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KathyMoore 09-05-2006 10:53 AM

what would have happened if the emperor was dethroned after WWII?
what would have happened if the emperor was kicked out after WWII?

were there ever any debates about keeping or abolishing the emperor?
(either among the Japanese people or the US military/govt)


Elspeth 10-16-2006 01:19 PM

I think it might have been much easier for Japan to follow so many of the other countries of southeast Asia into Communism. I gather the Chinese were trying to orchestrate a Communist takeover of the Japanese government; the strong feelings of many Japanese in favour of their Emperor may have been part of why the takeover wasn't successful.

EmpressRouge 10-16-2006 06:50 PM

Hirohito was not tried for war crimes, and the Japanese were allowed to keep their emperor but there were conditions the most significant of which was a declaration that he was no longer divine. Even that drove some Japanese to suicide.

Elspeth 10-16-2006 08:05 PM

Elizabeth Gray Vining's book about her time as tutor to the current emperor when he was a boy talks about the conditions in Japan in the immediate postwar period, and it sounded absolutely dire. That sort of deprivation and societal breakdown are often precursors to anarchy or revolution. I'm sure the existence of the imperial family was a stabilising influence even with the occupation-imposed changes to their scope and size.

Toledo 10-16-2006 08:30 PM

That sounds like a great topic for one of those alternate history fiction books. My wild guess is that life would be just like it is now...minus one monarch.

Mandy 10-16-2006 09:38 PM

Because the emperor was highly revered in Japan, the USA kept Hirohito as a figurehead to control the masses and prevent anarchy. I doubt very much that Japan would be just another country minus one monarch. As you see, Britain demanded that Hiroito be tried for war crimes, but the USA refused knowing full well the dangers involved in prosecuting an emperor since emperors had been revered like gods for centuries. It would have ensured the occupation's failure.

Lady Jennifer 10-16-2006 10:07 PM

This is an interesting topic. Gotta love the "what if" questions in life. :smile:


Originally Posted by Mandy
As you see, Britain demanded that Hiroito be tried for war crimes, but the USA refused knowing full well the dangers involved in prosecuting an emperor since emperors had been revered like gods for centuries. It would have ensured the occupation's failure.

Its good to see that they thought ahead & knew something like that could possibly happen. I guess in a way they thought it might cause another Hitler- like figure to rise to power if they had removed the Emperor?

Vanesa 10-16-2006 11:35 PM

I, for one, doesn't like the words "kicked out" for a serious history thread. And of course, you know that I'm against Republics in general , so I think that the best of all things is always conserve the Monarchs, who are the symbol of the historical and cultural roots of a Nation.

I agree that without an Emperor, Japan could have been quite easily pushed to Communism, or at least to a social war, which is always dangerous.

But again...Only Japanese could decide which kind og governement they wants to have and which rules should rule them. I think that no country (nor coalition of countries) must have any right to decide any political internal issue of a foreign State. "Progress" and "correct political ways" spread too much blood in our poor little world. :sad:


bruser 10-08-2008 06:32 AM

It was the Supreme allied Commander General Douglas MacArther that saved the emperor,that way he knew he would get better cooperation from there people.

Royal Fan 10-08-2008 09:08 PM

How old was The Emperors son if he had Abdicated

Elspeth 10-08-2008 09:30 PM

Prince Akihito was born in 1933, so he would have been around 13.

Royal Fan 10-09-2008 12:15 AM

Would he have needed a Regent

kimebear 10-09-2008 02:47 PM

Most certainly.

Parrothead 10-09-2008 03:09 PM

Very interesting question. I agree with Elspeth, I think the removal of the Emperor could have led to Japan becoming a communist ruled country. If that had happened it makes one think about how different our entire global economy could have been.

How seriously was his removal considered by the U.S. government...this is outside my area of knowledge. I'm sure many of the documents surrounding that conversation are still under lock & key and may never be released to be studied. I wonder if Truman decided that it would serve no purpose for an outside government (the U.S.) to remove a monarch from his throne, that it was up to the country in question to decide. Very interesting topic!

Thomas Parkman 10-09-2008 04:10 PM

Well, dear members, if my memory serves me, the matter was quite hotly debated inside the highest levels of the US government as well. However there is one point which the noble members have not considered. Germany. I think a decisive factor was what happened to Germany after the abolition of the monarchy. Kaiser Bill fled to Holland and all the rest of it. The socialist dominated republic that took the place of the monarchy was profoundly hated by the right in Germany. Which led to thugs like Hitler and company be able to manuver their way into power, with the acquiescence at a crucial moment of a senile Paul von Hindenburg.

So how much more sensible would have been a Germany without all of the humiliations of the Treaty of Versailles with a Kaiser Bill or one of his grandsons on the throne as a ceremonial head of state and very limited political powers as a reminder of the risks of taking on the whole world on the battlefield. It took the good Germans to make the mistake twice to hopefully learn the lesson of the follies of milirarism and the glorification of war. How much better would the world have been without a WWII???

fearghas 10-12-2008 10:12 PM

The results of what happened in Germany were taken into serious consideration when the US decided the future of Japan. They truelly had learnt from the past at that stage.

KathyMoore 10-18-2008 11:53 PM

allowing the Japanese emperor to remain probably ensured the succesful
occupation of Japan after WWII.

on the other hand, I wonder how this affected the Korean war...

bruser 10-19-2008 12:56 AM

Looking at Japan today it makes you wonder who won the war.

Thomas Parkman 12-07-2008 07:39 PM

Lok what is happening in Afghanistan. The majority of of Loya Jirga appearently wanted to restore the king but the Americans would not have it. A symbol and connection with a saner and happier past was not restored, to, I believe the countries great cost. Cheers.

Shaiya 12-16-2008 01:56 PM

Having monarchies(even constitutional) don't always make countries a more stable place.

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