August 15, 1945. V-J Day

 

TO THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE IMPERIAL FORCES:

Three years and eight months have elapsed since we declared war on the United States and Britain. During this time our beloved men of the army and navy, sacrificing their lives, have fought valiantly on disease-stricken and barren lands and on tempestuous waters in the blazing sun, and of this we are deeply grateful.

Now that the Soviet Union has entered the war against us, to continue the war under the present internal and external conditions would be only to increase needlessly the ravages of war finally to the point of endangering the very foundation of the Empire’s existence

With that in mind and although the fighting spirit of the Imperial Army and Navy is as high as ever, with a view to maintaining and protecting our noble national policy we are about to make peace with the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and Chungking.

To a large number of loyal and brave officers and men of the Imperial forces who have died in battle and from sicknesses goes our deepest grief. At the same time we believe the loyalty and achievements of you officers and men of the Imperial forces will for all time be the quintessence of our nation.

We trust that you officers and men of the Imperial forces will comply with our intention and will maintain a solid unity and strict discipline in your movements and that you will bear the hardest of all difficulties, bear the unbearable and leave an everlasting foundation of the nation.

Today, seventy years after the fact, it is difficult to believe that we have within our nation a non-trivial number of people who believe war with Japan was wrong. There are college professors who teach ending the war with the atom bomb (keep in mind the second atom bomb was dropped on August 9, so the Japanese were hardly stampeded into surrender) was wrong, somehow the millions of military and civilian casualties an invasion and conquest of the Japanese Home Islands would have entailed was preferable to a quick win. Because America is evil, I guess. Over those years this iconic image of V-J Day

vj day

has stopped being the impulsive celebration of a young man damned glad he is not on his way to the Pacific to face Japanese kamikaze attacks and has become a symbol of rape, sexual assault, and the evil patriarchy that is just keeping women enslaved by that womb-thingy.

On this day in 1945 a horrific slaughter came to a halt. Hopefully, we have the good sense to avoid a repeat but every day Obama is in office the odds seem to go down.