Chronological Table

Chronological table 1    September 1, 1939 - October 25, 1945

Japan GHQ, US Government and Others

    Semtember 1 World War II begins.

July 22 Fumimaro Konoye forms his second cabinet.    
October 12 Imperial Rule Assistance Association established.    

July 18 Third Konoye cabinet set up. August 14 Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill announce "Atlantic Charter" (15 nations including Soviet Union and the Free French join it on September 24).
October 18 Hideki Tojo cabinet set up.    
December 8 War in the Pacific begins.    

    January 1 United Nations Declaration signed (26 Allied powers joins).
    February Advisory Committee on Post-War Foreign Policy established with Secretary of State as Chairman; Subcommittee on Political Problems and Subcommittee on Territorial Problems established along with others.
April 30 Twenty-first general election for the House of Representatives (with candidates nominated by an officially sponsored commission).    
May 20 Imperial Rule Assistance Political Association established.    
    October Study on post-war policy for Japan begins in the Far Eastern Unit of the Special Research Division in the Department of State.

    January 24 Roosevelt and Churchill demand unconditional surrender of the Axis countries in the "Casablanca Declaration."
    July 28 Far Eastern Unit in Department of State submits "General Principles Applicable to the Post-War Settlement with Japan" to the Subcommittee on Territorial Problems.
    Early October Inter-Divisional Area Committee on the Far East in the Department of State initiates activities.
    November 22 United States, United Kingdom and China meet in Cairo. (Roosevelt and Chiang Kaishek discuss the Emperor system on November 23. Cairo Declaration published on December 1, indicating the unconditional surrender of Japan, return of Taiwan and independence of Korea.)

    January 15 Department of State sets up Post War Programs Committee (PWC).
July 22 Department of State sets up Post War Programs Committee (PWC).    
    August 21 United States, United Kingdom, China and Soviet Union meet at Dumbarton Oaks (on October 9 they announce a proposal to form the United Nations).
    December 19 State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC) meets for the first time.

    February 4 United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union meet at the Yalta Conference (on February 11 they sign the Yalta Agreement, signaling the Soviet Union’s participation in the war against Japan).
    February 5 Subcommittee for the Far East (SFE), under SWNCC, meets for the first time.
March 30 Political Association of Great Japan established replacing Imperial Rule Assistance Political Association.    
    April 1 US armed forces begin landing in Okinawa.
April 7 Kantaro Suzuki cabinet set up.    
    April 12 Harry Truman becomes President of the United States.
    May 7 German unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers signed.
    May 8 Truman moves for the unconditional surrender of Japan.
    June 5 Truman approves the Terms of Reference of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission (FEAC).
    June 11 SFE produces the first draft of "US Initial Post-Defeat Policy relating to Japan " (SWNCC150).
    June 25 UN Charter signed in San Francisco.
    July 17 Conference in Potsdam convened (it continues until August 2, Truman, Churchill and Stalin attending).
July 25 Naotake Sato, Ambassador to the Soviet Union, requests the Soviet Union to mediate a conditional peace agreement.    
    July 26 United States, United Kingdom and China announce the "Potsdam Declaration."
July 28 Prime Minister Suzuki announces to the press that he will ignore the Potsdam Declaration and push forward with the war effort.    
    August 6 United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
    August 8 Soviet Union joins the war against Japan and joins in the Potsdam Declaration.
    August 9 United States drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
August 10 Imperial Conference decides to accept the Potsdam Declaration on the condition that the prerogatives of the Emperor as sovereign ruler are maintained.
Japanese government contacts the Allied Powers through neutral nations.
    August 11 Reply issued to Japan under the name of Secretary of State James Byrnes.
August 14 Imperial Conference makes its final decision on the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration and contacts the Allied Powers through a neutral nation.
The Emperor records the Imperial Rescript declaring the end of the war.
Police Bureau in the Ministry of Home Affairs issues notice concerning maintenance of public peace.
August 14 Douglas MacArthur appointed Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
August 15 Imperial Rescript declaring the end of the war broadcast at noon.
Suzuki cabinet resigns en bloc.
August 16 The Emperor orders immediate cessation of all hostilities. August 16 Stalin demands that the Soviet Union occupy the northern part of Hokkaido (Truman rejects the demands on August 18).
August 17 Cabinet under Prince Higashikuni established (Konoye holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister).
The Emperor issues an Imperial Message to military personnel to abide by the decision to cease hostilities.
    August 18 Soviet Union forces begin attack against Japanese defense forces in Kurile Islands.
Truman approves "National Composition of Forces to Occupy Japan Proper in the Post-Defeat Period" (SWNCC70/5) avoiding a divided occupation.
August 19 Japanese government orders all military units to cease hostilities.    
August 20 Lieutenant General Torashiro Kawabe and the other emissaries receive the Instrument of Surrender and Directive No. 1 in Manila. August 20 United Kingdom proposes the establishment of a committee on the control of Japan by the Allied Powers.
    August 21 US government sends Terms of Reference of the FEAC to the United Kingdom, China, and Soviet Union.
    August 23 US government rejects the United Kingdom’s demands that a committee on the control of Japan by the Allied Powers be established.
August 26 Central Liaison Office set up.
Ministry of Munitions and Ministry of Greater East Asia abolished.
August 28 Prince Higashikuni, at a meeting with the press, calls for protection of the structure of the Imperial State and for the Japanese people to fully repent.
A meeting of the cabinet decides on a policy to crack down on freedom of speech, association, and assembly to return to the spirit of the pre-war Peace Police Law.
August 28 US occupation forces (Eighth Army advance forces) begin occupation of Japanese mainland. General Headquarters of the US Army Forces Pacific (GHQ/AFPAC, referred to as GHQ until October 2 of this chronological table) moves from Manila to Yokohama.
    August 29 Department of War forwards "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan "(SWNCC150/3) to MacArthur.
    August 30 MacArthur arrives at Atsugi Airdrome.
August 31 Prince Higashikuni states for the press that he "desires the voice of the people to be recognized in the political process. " August 31 Amended "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan"(SWNCC150/4) approved by Secretaries of State, War and Navy.
Semtember 1 The 88th (extraordinary) session of the Imperial Diet convened (opening ceremony held on September 4, and closing ceremony on September 6).
Cabinet Investigation Board set up (Cabinet Planning Board abolished).
Semtember 2 Instrument of Surrender signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Semtember 2 MacArthur orders "Directive No. 1" relating to the conditions of the occupation to be implemented.
Byrnes issues communiqué on Japan’s relinquishing its spiritual militarism and reformation of education.
    Semtember 3 MacArthur retracts 3 proclamations of the military administration in a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mamoru Shigemitsu.
Semtember 5 Prince Higashikuni addresses the Imperial Diet on government policy. Semtember 5 Soviet Union armed forces complete occupation of Kurile and Habomai Islands.
    Semtember 6 Truman approves "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan"(SWNCC150/4), and orders MacArthur to implement it, at the same time informing MacArthur of the extent of his authority as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
    Semtember 8 US occupation forces begin moving to Tokyo.
    Semtember 9 MacArthur announces policies on control of Japan (Indirect control, the promotion of democracy and others).
    Semtember 10 GHQ issues "Memorandum on Freedom of Speech" (Censorship begins).
Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union, and China meet in London until October 2. Discussions are held on peace arrangements with the former Axis countries. Decision made to establish the FEAC.
    Semtember 11 GHQ issues orders to arrest 39 people suspected of war crimes including Tojo and Shigenori Togo.
Semtember 13 Konoye meets with MacArthur.
Imperial General Headquarters abolished.
Semtember 14 Political Association of Great Japan dissolved. Semtember 14 GHQ orders Domei News Service to stop publication until noon the following day (September 15).
Semtember 15 Prince Higashikuni meets MacArthur.    
Semtember 17 Foreign Minister Shigemitsu resigns, and Shigeru Yoshida is appointed in his place. Semtember 17 GHQ moves to Tokyo.
Semtember 18 Prince Higashikuni meets with the foreign press for the first time (and announces that there is not enough time for civil reforms including revisions to the Constitution).
Toshio Irie, Director of the First Department in the Bureau of Legislation, drafts "Termination of the War and the Constitution. "
Semtember 18 GHQ orders Asahi Shimbun to stop publication on September 19 and 20.
    Semtember 19 GHQ issues "Memorandum on the Press Code for Japan. "
Semtember 20 Emergency Imperial Ordinance "Re Orders to be Issued in consequence of Acceptance of Potsdam Declaration " promulgated.    
    Semtember 22 Department of State announces "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan" (SWNCC150/4/A)
GHQ issues "Memorandum on the Radio Code for Japan. "
    Semtember 24 GHQ issues orders to eliminate governmental control of the news and broadcasting industry.
GHQ announces the ordinance on class B and C war criminals.
Semtember 25 All Japan Lawyers’ Association presents a judiciary reform proposal to Prime Minister Higashikuni.    
Semtember 27 Emperor meets MacArthur for the first time.    
Semtember 28 Professor Toshiyoshi Miyazawa of Tokyo University addresses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a speech titled "Main Points of Revisions of Constitution and its Appended Statutes on the Basis of the Potsdam Declaration. "    
Semtember 29 Newspapers carry the photo of the Emperor’s meeting with MacArthur. The Bureau of Information of the cabinet attempts to repress it on the grounds that it is blasphemous.
Prince Higashikuni meets MacArthur.
Semtember 29 GHQ countermands the Japanese government’s efforts to repress publication of the photo of the Emperor and MacArthur that was taken during their meeting.
GHQ orders the abolition of wartime laws and regulations.
Semtember 30 Great Japan Industrial Patriotic Association dissolved.    
October 1 Revisions to the regulations governing the organization of the Central Liaison Office promulgated (fostering closer ties between ministries under control of the Foreign Minister). October 1 GHQ issues "Memorandum on Censorship of the Mails. "
    October 2 General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ/SCAP) established
(comprising nine sections, including the Government Section).
October 3 Minister of Home Affairs Iwao Yamazaki announces that the government will continue arresting communists based on the Peace Preservation Law.    
October 4 Konoye consults with MacArthur and receives his suggestions for constitutional revisions. October 4 GHQ issues Civil Liberties Directive ("Memorandum on Removal of Restrictions on Political, Civil and Religious Liberties") to the Japanese government on dismissal of Minister of Home Affairs and others, removal of thought control, abolition of Higher Secret Police, and liberation of political prisoners.
George Atcheson, Political Advisor, sends a wire to the Department of State requesting directions regarding the problem of revising the Constitution.
October 5 Prince Higashikuni and his cabinet resign.    
October 6 Higher Secret Police abolished.    
October 8 Konoye and Professor Yasaka Takagi of Tokyo University consult with Atcheson and receive suggestions on points to revise in the Constitution.    
October 9 Kijuro Shidehara sets up his cabinet. October 9 GHQ starts prior censorship of five Tokyo newspapers (Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Tokyo, and Nihon Sangyo).
October 10 Joji Matsumoto, Minister of State, approaches Shidehara at the first cabinet meeting about the necessity of work on the revisions to the Constitution.
Political prisoners released. Upon their release, Kyuichi Tokuda and Yoshio Shiga announce their "Appeal to the People. "
October 10 Atcheson notifies the Department of State of his personal suggestions to Konoye.
October 11 A meeting of the cabinet decides to abolish the Peace Preservation Law and related laws.
Konoye appointed to Commissioner for the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.
Shidehara visits MacArthur and receives suggestions on liberalization of the Constitution and five major directives on the protection of human rights.
October 13 Newspapers report that Konoye has started working on constitutional revisions after an audience with the Emperor.
Shidehara and Matsumoto meet with Konoye to protest the Office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal working on the constitutional revisions.
Soichi Sasaki, ex-professor of Kyoto University, appointed Commissioner for the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal.
An extraordinary meeting of the cabinet decides to start studies on revising the Constitution (Matsumoto appointed to head up the studies).
National Defense Security Law, Military Secrets Protection Law, and Emergency Control Law for Speech, Publication, Assembly and Association abolished.
October 15 Konoye meets with the foreign press to explain the concepts behind the revisions to the Constitution.
Matsumoto states that revisions of the Constitution are the responsibility of the cabinet.
Laws such as the Peace Preservation Law and the Protection and Surveillance Law for Thought Offense repealed.
Naval General Staff Office abolished.
October 16 Miyazawa criticizes Konoye’s work on the revisions to the Constitution in the Mainichi Shimbun.
Japan Socialist Party’s organizing committee criticizes the work of the Office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and the government.
    October 17 Atcheson receives instructions on the outline of fundamental items for constitutional revision from the Department of State.
October 20 Tatsukichi Minobe, Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University, claims there is no urgent necessity for constitutional revisions in a series of articles in the Asahi Shimbun October 20 to 22.    
October 21 Konoye makes a statement to the foreign press regarding the submittal of the draft proposal to GHQ and the problem of the Emperor’s abdication.
Sasaki rebuts criticism of the Office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal’s work on constitutional revisions in a statement to the Mainichi Shimbun.
    October 22 GHQ issues "Memorandum on Administration of the Educational System of Japan" (prohibiting militaristic and ultra-nationalistic education, and encouraging teaching about representative government, international peace and fundamental human rights).
October 23 Shidehara demands that corrections be added to Konoye ’s announcement made on October 21.    
October 24 Matsumoto meets Konoye to protest the statement he made on October 21.
Konoye gives an explanation of his statement.
Sasaki granted the title of Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University.
October 24 United Nations Charter comes into effect, and the United Nations is formally established.
October 25 Constitutional Problems Investigation Committee established. Matsumoto, Chairman of the committee, makes a statement that "the quick preparation of a draft proposal is not taken under consideration".
Japan Liberal Party decides on its official name and a five-point platform.
October 25 Office of Political Advisor gives Takagi and others a supplementary explanation to the suggestions made for Konoye on October 8.
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