tv Mac Arthur Hirohito and Famine in Postwar Japan CSPAN January 29, 2017 9:05pm-10:01pm EST
the original british version of you might sayds," that, but i could not possibly comment. [laughter] >> thank you very much. announcer: you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend, on c-span three. to join the conversation, like us on these book at c-span history. announcer: author and historian richard frank talks about america's post-world war ii relationship with japan. he talks about emperor your veto in efforts to set up a food this region network. this hour-long talk was part of a multi-day conference in new 1946: yeartitled " zero, triumph and tragedy."
richard frank: there is a moral threat that weaves through my talk today. start with the first. literature on the occupation of japan from 1945-1952 generally treats it as a great triumph, or at least an overall success, if flawed. but that literature is overwhelmingly concentrated on political, economic, and social issues. in my judgment, that literature underlies what is the most critical moment of the occupation, the first year when the occupations fate hung by a thread in the face of two humanitarian crises, one epidemic diseases, and the second is spamming. the occupation was led by
douglas macarthur whose title was supreme commander of the allied powers. his command was known by that to the occupation. the ward had disrupted in degraded japan's public health. malnutrition had rendered the entire population more susceptible to diseases. 6.5 million japanese personnel and civilians were being repatriated to the homeland. they were all potential carriers of deadly infections. the situation created a perfect storm for rampaging lethal epidemics. in fact, 650,000 people would contract communicable disease during the first three years of the occupation. nearly 1000 of them died. these numbers represent a small measure of the peril facing the japanese. a peril defeated by occupation authorities who worked in extremely close collaboration with japan's own medical
personnel. the medical element of the colonel,n was under a a career army officer and a trained neurosurgeon. he was involved in extensive medical planning during the war, particularly planning for the occupation of the pan. his foresight in terms of stockpiling material there would serve -- would save many japanese lives in the coming months. authoritarian, extremely hard-driving, tactless, and extremely efficient. this may not have made him a good dinner companion, but he was the man for the hour. thisrived as a type outbreak threaten japan. someort order, there were
7000 cases and 615 deaths. sam set control of type is as is first priority. he organized a thousand american and japanese public health personnel to confront the disease. he personally swung into personal action in osaka and oversaw the dusting of 500,000 people in four days. in total, 50 million japanese, or two thirds of the population were dusted with ddt. nearly 13 million were in nokia later anti-type this effort. for several months, there were no cases of highly lethal cholera. but japanese patriots introduced digit sees -- the disease in 1946. cholera is an extremely deadly disease. an outbreak of 17,000 japanese
being repatriated to korea of cholera resulted in 11,000 deaths. by august 1946, medical authorities identified 1200 cases of cholera in japan, most import cities. general sam saw to it that 35 million people, almost half the population, were vaccinated against the disease. there were no more cases of cholera after december 1946. that the medical textbook list of other diseases like smallpox. efforts are seeing dressed touched 96% of the japanese personalization -- population. no other element affected so many japanese. the other front was public health. there is a major upgrade in the licensingsis hang -- for all sorts of medical profession is.
public health efforts in multiple dimensions. it must be emphasized, he expanded upon early efforts by japanese health care providers. toeed, he worked rigorously work in collaboration with the japanese when japanese historian said that american japanese cooperation during the occupation was at its xina in the dealing in the medical spear. the combined efforts of the japanese and american public health efforts in 1946-1949 dramatically reduce the incidents of-- tuberculosis, which was extremely prevalent in japan. it accounted for 12-15% of all deaths in japan. the concentrated efforts during the occupation reduce the death rate by 40% between 1946-1949.
effort inam's reforming and strengthening the health system proved dramatic area this is the metric of that success. before armed1940, conflict with the u.s., the annual death rate was 18.7 per thousand people. at950-51, the death wrote plummeted to 8.1. a reduction literally of one half. scholarminent japanese would write that his efforts saved 3 million lives. lesserly, this was the of the mass saving endeavors during the occupation. an 18-year-old american server -- soldier arrived in japan has the occupation began. he was shocked to witness japanese fathers come up to the
fences around american facilities and try to pass over inir children to put them the hands of americans so that they might eat and live. he saw japanese sifting through garbage left from americans. similarcan witness scenes and other scenes of gis finding ways to give foods to starving japanese. americans were feared by a certain woman. they could tell she was hungry. they offered her a strange food and to assure her it was not poison, they ate some of it themselves. she then took it and it was spam. she reports, she still loves spam, which places her in a very low percentile of the world population. one later well-known japanese scholar recalled that at his
university, they planted sweet potatoes on the lawns and later dug them up to cook and eat. on saturdays, they searched for grasshoppers to eat. or decades after the war, he and a large number of other japanese recoil at the site of his wheat potato. face onies put a human stories like hunger. it was confronting famine. famine has been defined as quote a shortage of food or purchasing power that leads to death from starving or hunger induced diseases." the connection between hunger and disease is very close and intimate area there were a few indications of food problems, but no indication it was a generalized problem. the most comprehensive assessment had confirmed that japan's food supply was nowhere near collapse. no premise that japan's face
food crisis frame the occupation policies. after the premise that it was the job of the japanese to fix their own plates. directions issued to macarthur provided that the japanese government without total responsibility for japan's economy including feeding the population. the directives additionally commanded macarthur that there would be no gratuitous distribution of american food to the japanese. and sam's became aware of this. by october 1945, staff officers were warning that japan's food supply and distribution system might totally break down in the latter half of 1946. this would endanger the home mission of the occupation. macarthur took three immediate measures. first, he ordered the transfer
of all storage and equipment including food to the japanese civilian authorities. the problem was not a great scandal. 70% of this had already began -- been looted by the japanese before the occupation began. second, this is significant because japan's policy that itut areas occupied was that the local areas had to supply food to the occupying armies. this had disastrous effects on many places, particularly in vietnam where 1.5 million pygmies start to death in 1945. undoubtedly, the decision to make sure that we fed our own troops saved thousands of japanese lives in the coming months. third, he cast aside the prohibition of the using u.s. food to feed japanese by ordering 3.5 million tons of food to begin to japanese that have been stored for the invasion. involvedt crisis
urban, not the rural population. most rural cell suppliers fared well. few urbanites had previously scorned them. the second problem was the lack of food and lack of data on the food situation. if fact that massive amounts of food was being ported in rural areas. this made it impossible to arrive at a precise figure at how much food was actually available in japan, especially during the first critical year of the occupation. macarthur turned to the japanese government for a sixpack. rice -- four basic facts. rice was a major foodstuff. in 1945, the rice harvest was devastated by cold weather, typhoons, floods, and a lack of fertilizer.
the japanese government reported the rice harvest was only 6.4 5 million metric tons, about 60% of the norm. it was by far the worst harvest since 1910. food imports had completely ceased. these have provided at least 15% of the food supply. the japanese minister of finance in october 1945 public the announced that 10 million japanese would die from the operation without food relief. -- would die from starvation. they insisted the japanese government maximize production. the basic problem of food by additional impediments like transportation disruption, the hoarding and divergent to the black market. in september, macarthur announced only joined a thousand soldiers would be needed for the occupation. announcement which was very popular with the americans back home.
tos meant that staff had rely on the japanese government for most of the work in food election and distribution. maintained that staff had no economic policy worthy of the name before 1947. the more recent scholarship emphasizes that they had a food policy from the start, they had an economic policy from the start, and it was the food policy. macarthur and his staff recognized that feeding the japanese people was vital to achieving the goals set by washington. the two cannot be separated. no voice was louder than macarthur's in existing that the united states had an obligation to feed the japanese. made the macarthur request loudly as something to prevent unrest and disease. when this produced a tepid response, he went to plan b, scare the hell out of them.
he described the rice harvest as the worst in 30 years. 1000rned the ration of calories per day could not be met until may. to sustain the food situation, without food he asserted it would be disaster, poverty, hunger, and disease. he said it would spark uprisings of a major character. he said washington either provide him food or searchers -- or soldiers. he passed on the request that these are questioned the showing to the president or that if the food is not provided, there may be no future question as to the chain of responsibility. macarthur was the only american art -- officer willing to send a message like that back to washington. washington did not immediately respond, but they did send a food investigation mission to examine whether the situation was as buyer as macarthur was reporting. they quickly wrote back that the
it was not quite as does asterisk as macarthur painted it, it was serious indeed. this was followed by the appearance of former president hobart -- herbert hoover was with a u.n. mission. he affirmed the food situation was extremely dire. he had printed to his report a comment that without food imports, the japanese would be in conditions like the concentration camps. maintaining order, much less economic recovery, would be impossible. missions message -- helped pave the way for food imports. although harrison and hoover moved washington to except that the food situation in japan was indeed very critical, the remaining factors that curb the willingness. these included a worldwide food shortage, japan's status as a
former enemy nation, and the needs of former allied nations for food. in addition, some of the allies were particularly concerned that the americans were favoring the japanese over some of the other liberated areas and their own peoples. that thee stressed actual official ration was not nearly enough to sustain life. famously, a japanese judge who was profoundly disturbed by the majority of persons before them on economic crimes were because of a search for food, he instructed his wife to be him only be official ration. he died. he was not the only case of that there was. they were required to go off the on the official ration by home production, the black market, emergency distribution, and imports. the government confronted a crisis with respect to
collecting the rice harvest. typically, the government held between 85-95% of the rice. in 1946 they had only collected 60%. farmers were suspicious of the government. additionally, the social dislocation before the next fall harvest all led to undermining the quota system. there was the black market, which was offering far higher prices than the official rates. in the first months of 1946, the rationing system was on the verge of collapse. distribution,od food started transfer from deficit areas to serve -- from surplus areas to deficit areas. to gain some cooperation with officials, there was an important appeal by the emperor himself that imports would not be distributed until the deficit transfer program had been completed.
these actions improve the collection situation, but in may tokyo- may 1946, residents receive a ration of 775 calories in their daily distribution. food demonstrations erupted nationwide. by may 19, one quarter of a million people demonstrated in a give us rice rally in front of the palace. feared there are new to the point of masturbation. the evidence seems very clear that an american food shipments proved crucial to heading off what could've been mass famine. on this there seems to be no real dispute. when we get to the exact figures , the evidence is very murky. i've been through quite a number of secondary and primary sources. i find it impossible to totally reconcile all of the figures. here's is basically what we know and do not know. it was previously mentioned macarthur had united 3.5 million tons of american food and had
stockpiled it for the american campaigns. some of this went to korea, who was also in a serious situation. some of it was held as a reserve against the catastrophic supply failure in japan. there is some evidence that most food that had been brought in for the stockpiles had been distributed by the time the summer was raised. we do not know where this tonnage was attributed. we do note that between may-october 1946, during the most critical months of the food crisis, vagina 4000 metric -- 594,000 of metric rice were imported in the form of canned goods. but may not seem like much, the heights of the crisis on the second half of the race here. so if half of the rice harvest went to the urban population,
that means regular rice through may and october should've been around 1.6 million metric kind. the imported u.s. food alone with her added 37% to the total available food during this. . that have some figures provide support for this. i'm sorry. indicates asigures you can see, the percent of the total food available to the japanese as a percentage of all the food. and then of course the ration in tokyo. i would emphasize of those figures through june-september, they are 90 overwhelmingly american food aid is going to the urban population. if you double that percentage for that. , then you can tell that is going to the urban populations. as you can see, tokyo is totally dependent on imported food.
there are 2 million people in tokyo during this. -- during this period. somewhere in the 60's to be 80% level of total food surprise. apan's population remain on fully adequate diet in 1947-48. firstember, it was the time to address the nutritional inadequacy of the japanese giant. sam's would expand on a school lunch program to include the nutrition of children. this would log about 7 million youths. the occupation authorities with playing that feeding during the famine saved all of million lies. they can be no light -- no doubt that the total number of lives saved was in the millions. mcarthur's role in heading off the famine was absolutely fundamental. one japanese who pass through these years as a teenager called
it the most noble an important achievement during the occupation. whatever else one might say about douglas macarthur, this was his one clear shining moment. there is one further aspect about the dealings with disease and famine. if you look at figures from the if ther, you find that disease control save 3 million lines -- lives, and the famine saved 3-5,000,000 lives, the total number of japanese that died in the whole war was 3 million. then you have the astonishing fact that the u.s. occupation in japan saved double the number of japanese lives that were lost in the entire war. this background is very important to the next part of my talk. disposition of ever hear of you know. -- of emperor hirohito. his role included the
asia-pacific war, in which everything imperial japan did was done in his name. the court this responsibility is mass death. here are some figures as best i can -- i think using a fairly 24-25vative measure, million died during the asia-pacific war. of this number, 6 million were combatants, 3 million were chinese, 2 million were japanese, and the balance all others. that means somewhere between 17-18,000,000 noncombatants died. japanese historians put the number of deaths among japanese noncombatants at 700,000. themerican scholar says number is around one million. even assuming one million is the correct figure, you will see an incredible disparity that for
every japanese noncombatants who died during the war, something like 17 or 18 other noncombatants died. overwhelmingly other asians, and about 12 of those would be type chinese -- would be chinese. this is the measure of the moral responsibility for the war. arguments have been advance that cash -- in order to secure the surrender they need to ensure the continuance of emperor hirohito on the throne. ofan surrendered in august 1945, they do not withstand close scrutiny. u.s. made one formal commitment. ttsdamppeared in the po proclamation. that stated that after japan's
habituation, there would be established in accordance with the freely express will of the japanese people, a responsible government. that pledge was based on the principles set forth in the atlantic charter. a clearly envisioned the japanese people to be free to choose their own government, which could include an imperial institution within a democratic framework. when the u.s. received the first authentic peace offer on august 10, 1945, the text contained a caveat that the acceptance was with the understanding that the declaration does not compromise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of his majesty of sovereign ruler. this language, which may seem fairly and actress, constituted the demand that the u.s. effectively recognize emperor hirohito as supreme over the government and the occupation
commander. does having a veto over occupation reforms. this was not acceptable. japanesense of the communication became known as the burns note at the u.s. secretary of medication james burns. andauthority of the emperor the japanese government to rule the state shall be subject to the supreme manner of the allied powers. the note went on to reiterate the u.s. position that the ultimate form of japanese government will be chosen by the japanese people. you can detect in the burns note an implication that the emperor will be recognized on intron status. there will be consistent with the u.s. and its allies who were anxious to use the authority of emperor hirohito to security compliance of all japanese, especially the pans are forces with the surrender. nothing in the burns note altered the basic pledge of the pots them proclamation -- of the
proclamation about the people. internal considerable debate on if the burns note offered prospect of survival of the imperial institution. on august 12, the note posed no danger japan top. on august 13, explaining his resolve to accept the note and end the war, emperor hirohito remarked to his prince will advise her that if the japanese people no longer want the imperial house, even if the united states allows it to continue, there would be no use in trying to save it. some at the time i japan's surrender and to no commitment that the japanese people would be free to choose their own form of government. that promise, included obviously, continuation of the
imperial institution. the the occupation began, original plan was that the u.s. would conduct direct governance of japan just like it had in germany. to initial post surrender macarthur reversed this and ordered macarthur to conduct his occupation through the japanese governmental machinery and agencies, including the emperor, to the extent that the satisfied u.s. objectives. macarthur was told he could not depose the emperor of lemonade the institution without approval from washington. on august 6, he was told to take no action against the emperor as a war criminal without explicit directions from washington. the occupation of japan was to be run through japanese local institutions, not by direct u.s. rule. this was a principal that would be ignored later in afghanistan and iraq. there are some reasons for the
change from direct to indirect role. linguisticcked no ability to conduct government. second, the number of occupation forces would decline from 500,000 to 200,000. that left macarthur without enough bayonets to enforce power. publicficial and interest in japanese matters very swiftly declined. american leadership was highly egocentric. the distances to asia were vastly greater. japan was much less well-known in the european states. macarthur had already established a distant relationship with washington that other american commanders. finally, the attention of the american people was diverted to conversion of the economy from
war to peace. 1946 is still the record for the most industrial turmoil the u.s. has ever experienced. what about the japanese side of this equation? within the japanese inner circle, those who might have some say in the matter, the idea that hirohito could be tried as a war criminal was unthinkable. what was thinkable was that he should take responsibility for the war. seen asy abdication was one clear act that could have him imagine his responsibility. on august 20 9, 1945, emperor hirohito himself brought up the question of agitation. the emperor framed it as a means of absolving his ministers and senior officers from their war responsibility. his advisers counseled against this. discussedr cabinet
abdication with the knowledge of the emperor. the cabinet remained divided. the prince himself, here are veto -- hirohito's uncle, suggest he abdicate in october. in october 1945, he was continue to be raised until 1946. one further aspect of abdication has to be raised, the principal advisor would be indicative as a war criminal at the war crimes trials. he was in prison when japan regained its sovereignty and 9052. at that time, he passed on his view, roughly what he first expressed in 1945, that the emperor should retire or beicate, and act that would
viewed as an acceptance of war responsibility. the japanese prime minister rejected that you and hirohito did not oblige. the disposition of emperor your -- was ans never issue to the american public as well as allied nations. in a 1945 whole, 77% of the american people wanted hirohito severely punished. there is a resolution introduced in the senate a call for his trial as a war criminal. in the autumn of 1945, the state and navy core dating commission -- coordinating commission remain split on how to use the emperor. numerous allied nations produced statements demanding the ever be tried as a war criminal. macarthur had carried with him to japan an entire approach to emperor hirohito that he had
developed with his psychological warfare experts. the most important of them came in 1944. from that time, his command had avoided direct attacks from the technicalth as a analysis and long-term considerations that the emperor might provide indispensable assistance to obtain cap and just japan's surrender. this approach dictated the posture be adopted to drivea wedge between the ever and the people and the military. ultimate status of hirohito yet to be resolved, there occurred in the event of tremendous importance.
macarthur met with hirohito for the first time. this is the famous photograph of that event. it became the most famous image of the occupation. the photograph shows that the emperor was not a living god, but a mortal human being. standing beside a much older human to whom he was now subservient. japanese officials were horrified when they saw the photograph and wanted it suppressed. macarthur staff insisted the photograph be published. it was a sensation. whatever the eventual fate of the emperor miner, this photograph demonstrated there would be a fast gap between what it gone before and what would come after. the ultimate resolution of the status of your moved on two fronts. macarthur's headquarters in tokyo and in washington. in tokyo, the policy was advanced.
there were unofficial conduits being exploited. quakers having ties to the imperial court. the second one through his old -- his own cousin who was married to a japanese diplomat. others collaborate with him. the imperial court as a separate, unofficial, and direct communications link to the highest levels of the occupation. several messages were conveyed by these contacts. one was an excavation of the wedge theory and the role of the emperor. the second was soliciting from the imperial court. not to establish what rule the emperor had really played, but to exonerate him from more responsibility. there is a series of investigations conducted from
september 1945 to march 1946, but these serve to provide japanese with export guidance on how to solve issues with emperor. others took responsibility for pearl harbor. washington got around to ordering an investigation of the emperor's war responsibility for the and of 1945. this produced the most important document on the u.s. side. on january response 25, 1946. this secret cable to dwight eisenhower, macarthur affirmed his belief in the emperor's total infants. that thereeclared was no specific and tangible
evidence about the emperor's exact activities which might connect into political decisions of the japanese empire during the last decade. i've gained a definite impression from as complete a research as was possible to meet that the election to the affairs of state to the end of the war was ministerial and automatically responded to the advice of his counselors. there was in fact no meaningful investigation. in his own style concluded this communication the trialfollowing, " of the emperor with a concussion of the cause a -- would unquestionably cause a tremendous convulsion with the japanese people. it cannot be overestimated. the is a symbol that unites all japanese. this him and the nation will disintegrate. troops would
disappear which need to be maintained for on indefinite amount of time. " final mile marker in this process came four-months later when the prosecution section for the international will carry tribunal publicly exonerated the emperor of war crimes. a number outlined here of stations on the path to keeping emperor here are veto -- emperor hirohito as emperor. in reality, we have not located complete evidence, assuming it exists, of all the nuances of american decision-making on this matter. particularly those that went on in washington. by any estimate, the american occupation of japan was not a success but an outstanding success. the accolades bestowed on the was a prevention of a
massive humanitarian catastrophe should secure a position on the list must take privacy. the moral authority of the occupation with the destroyed without them fixing disease and famine. the whole program would've been undermined. in terms of significant failures under the occupation, without a doubt, not having emperor moreito having take possibilities at the top of the list. the distorted the matter in which the japanese came to understand their history. it continues to generate classes with japan's asian neighbors who believe they have never manifested remorse for wartime activities. there were two methods to dealing with hirohito's more responsibility. the first was war trials, the second was at the occasion. abdication.d was
as a historian, my judgment has been tempered my understanding of the humanitarian crises that the occupation phase at the beginning. regardless of macarthur's motives, and i do not think they were stand scrutiny, any reasonable occupation commander could and should have held his hand against your heat up and the crisis of the unstable situation in 1945-9046. we cannot know what would've happened without the emperors plea for cooperation with food. it would've been extremely ill-advised to take the chance under these circumstances. after a year or two, there would've been plenty of time to deal with the emperor. i believe the best way would've been abdication, trials are missy and subject to challenge. abdication would be his own
personal initiative, would be eight clear way to establish his responsibility. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, rich. gentleman who had his hand up for the last round. he gets the first question. obviously, the: allies did not know about the food situation in japan when they were making their invasion plans in 1945. in your view, might that situation have made the invasion more feasible, or at least less deadly? richard frank: if you buy a copy of my book -- [laughter] richard frank: the food situation in the context of the end of the war is really important because the japanese
leadership in june 1945 conducted on imperial conference. they went before the emperor. these are formalized rituals. they paraded in front of the emperor. that werepapers prepared in preparation for this conference had a passage in them that i was looking at. i said this is clearly saying --t even if there plans got were able to work out, the leaders were still being told that there is going to mass starvation in japan in 1946. i hesitated to say that explicitly because i could not find a connecting link to this show that the leaders understood that. since then, others have found evidence that the military leaders clearly understood that however horrendous the invasion battle would begin, there is the
uneven worse prospect for the japanese population of mass death. even though we debate about what ended the war, there was a domestic situation. but it was about was the campaign of blockade and bombardment and the threat of mass starvation. starting with the beginning of the new rice year in november 1945. iselieve that that factor critical. a recent book by a writes that she thinks that is the most important reason why the japanese quake. thefood situation, besides shock of when we got there, one was a side effects powerful argument against the
blockade and bombardment strategy. it is why the invasion story went through. >> ivanek's question here. -- i have the next question here. who mademember: those a decision to drop the atomic bomb -- why did they not include tokyo in order to cut off the head of the snake? richard frank: their assessment was that the head of the snake was going to be important to get the japanese armed forces to surrender and the japanese people to agree to a surrender. when the aspects about this whole debate that to me is striking that gets omitted is in 1945, there had been no surrender of the japanese government to a foreign power in the history of japan. that was 2600 years. we were note of it,
aware of any organized surrender of any japanese unit in any battle or campaign of the whole pacific war. the joint space -- joint chiefs of staff wrote in 1945 that there was no guarantee that we are going to get a japanese government to surrender. secondly, if we got a japanese government that would surrender, there is no guarantee that the armed forces would comply with a surrender. this issue of no organized capitulation was the ultimate american nightmare about what was going to happen in terms of ending the war with japan. to the degree they believe they ever could be utilized to convince the japanese people, government, and armed forces is rendered, then it made no sense to kill him or attempt to kill emperor hirohito. >> in the back. audience member: the war was incredibly bitter.
inrican forces were coming and helping save everyone from famine and disease. can you tell us about the reaction of the japanese civilians to the conquering army. from their perspective, was their gratitude? with their bitterness and hatred? added that progress? richard frank: the first thing was terror. wartime propaganda and a general belief that the americans would people and slaughter have their way with the japanese women. then the americans arrives, and , although american conduct was by no means spotless, it was astonishingly good. compared to what was going on in germany and the eastern zone at that time. secondly, when the gis arrived in japan, they were old struck
by the amount of devastation. most of them were in urban areas. destination -- destitution of the japanese people because they were all hungry. when another arrived with his unit, he got the word that this that causes people to govern themselves with informal policies. no one will go off and buy japanese food off of the japanese economy because the japanese people are so desperate. it was hard for them to look at this, and when there was no overt act of resistance, to feel anything but compassion. in short order, americans were roaming around with no weapon, unlike what is going on in germany where people are still carrying weapons. it was a coat of different kinds --
to me it is fascinating at other levels. rage.was white hot there is a lot of literature on it solely about race. was off the chart of common humanity in terms of how they fought the war. did theywar stopped, stop being people of another race? did they stop the conduct? there is an obvious lesson there. >> right here in the front. audience member: thank you. another informative talk. it seems the united states quickly, in both europe and asia, went from fighting a war to trying to help the people that they defeated. i was particularly interested in
your chart that talk about the food that was applied to the japanese people. i know we were the suppliers, but do you have information on what the ultimate source was. did it come from america? regional things? where was the source of this food? richard frank: the imports of food continue into the occupation. it was not just in 1946. it was just under 600,000 tons that came from u.s. agricultural output. out that source points nearly 600,000 tons includes 50,000 tons of canned goods. had nutritional value that was much higher than whe or something like
that. at the effectiveness of those items was much higher. remarked that all of them have been older adults during the occupation, mentioned that american people came and fed the japanese people as a cornerstone of our relationship. audience member: just a quick follow-up. no difficulty with the american public and our consumption needs? richard frank: that is a good point. two names. things. there is a book about how well fed the americans were and how much food there were. at she also notes we shipped
lot of places. she mentions the food that went saved aoviet union couple million soviets from starving to death during the war. we had enough food around to ship out. the bigger issue within the animosity of the war. like i said, clearly what happened with the attention to gettingy swiftly the boys home and getting everybody back to work. that cap public attention off of all was going on in japan. ask the manike to in the front row to the right to stand. he gave a lecture on wednesday at the locals on the mercy whe program. if you want to learn more about food in world war ii, especially in the postwar world, talk to this man. thank you for giving that lecture earlier.
[applause] question inhe last the back. audience member: actually, i'm in the center. after the second atomic bomb was dropped, did not hirohito stepped into the ruling war council and say, this is it. it is over? , how many done that more atomic bombs were we willing to use had he not stepped in and said, it is over? richard frank: let me have another 45 minutes and i can answer that. [laughter] richard frank: it does take the intervention by the emperor to bring the japanese. the legal government of japan
never on its own initiative agrees to any terms to end the war that they u.s. and its allies would have found acceptable. the terms before included no occupation of japan. intervention was decisive. another historian made the point that after the official announcement on august 15 about the surrender, we were still intercepting traffic from japanese commander saying they were not going to comply. there is a message put out by the navy ministry in tokyo explaining what happened. how the emperor intervenes into the war. the historian did not know we what was going on behind the scenes with the japanese leaders. that message seems to be solid gold evidence that the emperor
did intervene, and his intervention was vital to ending the war, which seems with strongly reinforce -- would strongly reinforce the policy of keeping the emperor to achieve the occupation goals. at least, not try him as a war criminal. bonds -- on the number of bombs and what would have happened, i will have to take a pass on that. we can use that for further comments. >> thank you very much, richard. give him a round of applause. >> you are watching american 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on cspan3. forow us on twitter information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news.