Documents with Commentaries

1-2 Joseph Grew, Address in Chicago, December 29, 1943

 This is a transcript of the speech made in Chicago on December 29, 1943 by Joseph Grew, who had been the American Ambassador to Japan prior to the war and was the Acting Secretary of State during the last stages of World War II. In his speech, Grew emphasized that Japan's military aggressiveness should be eliminated totally and permanently, but at the time of the postwar reforms in Japan, Americans and the Allies "must abandon all promptings of vindictiveness…and prejudice" and support the reconstruction of Japan and the normalization of international ties. He pointed out, among other things, the need to separate "military gangsters" from the people of Japan including the Emperor, and that "the Japanese people as a whole [were] somewhat like sheep…and malleable," by giving two examples. He also argued that the Shintoism, while used dogmatically by the militarists, involved "Emperor-homage," which could be "an asset" in reconstructing Japan as a peaceful nation. Along with this, he discussed that "so long as the Constitution fixed sovereignty in the Emperor, it was impossible for any party to come forward with the doctrine that sovereignty resided in the people." Then, he argued that "when certain constitutional changes are made and the Japanese are given adequate time to build up a parliamentary tradition," Japan would have "an opportunity to make the party system work."

 The arguments made by Grew during his address were widely criticized, as the advocated moderate reforms and the continuation of the Emperor system, although this concept was similar to that of the experts on Japan in the Department of State.

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