First Advisor

Bernard V. Burke

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Hirohito. Emperor of Japan (1901-1989), World War (1939-1945) -- Japan



Physical Description

1 online resource ( 2, 134 p.)


Before World War II ended with the Japanese surrender to the Allied Nations on August 15, 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on a Japanese city of Hiroshima. For fifty years, the question of whether the atomic bomb was necessary to end the war has been discussed by historians and journalists. The purpose of this thesis is to clarify the Japanese situation in the spring and summer of 1945 by reading the statements and ideas of the Japanese Emperor, government officials and military officers at the time. Since the Japanese Emperor was believed to have played a significant role in ending the war, it is necessary to examine his power and the nature of his decision making. Also, the Japanese Army still wielded significant influence on the Japanese government, it is indispensable to examine what the Army men thought and said at the time. In the final stage of the war, the Japanese leadership came to realize that the retention of the Imperial System would be the only demand from the Allied Nations they could insist on. The American leadership knew this circumstance in Japan, and thought that the war could be ended by giving the Japanese the assurance of retaining the Emperor. After the May 8th German surrender, the Japanese feared the Soviet entry into the war against Japan. They knew that Japan could not fight against all the world. Also, the Japanese feared the spread of communism through Soviet advance toward Japan. So the Japanese asked for the Soviet maintenance of neutrality and mediation in the war. Even when the Japanese were asking for the Soviet mediation, they had the alternative plan of asking for the direct negotiation with the United States in case the Soviet route was to be closed. Through considering all these factors, it is concluded that in the summer of 1945 the Japanese were unable to continue the war and were seeking a way to end the war.


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