The crucial step in evaluating the evidence from Japan in 1945 is to understand how government by consensus works. In government by consensus agreement after consensus is arrived at is the sine qua non. It’s very important after a decision has been settled on to conform to the new position. People who are outside the consensus lose their positions of leadership.
When the Emperor says, “It was the Bomb that made us surrender” there is immediate pressure on everyone to then conform publicly to that position. There is a certain amount of “following orders” in this. There is also the pressure of not being out of step with the group.
What this means, from a historian’s point of view, is that everything after August 15, when the Emperor’s rescript is played over the nation’s radios, is suspect. Everyone will try to fit … Read More »