- Purchase/rental options available:
During World War II, American public observers debated the Japanese emperor's political and social role, his culpability in Japanese "aggression," and his proper status in the postwar settlement. Reflecting broader themes and developments of war and diplomacy, the focus of this discussion shifted at various points between December 1941 and August 1945, alternating between different levels of hostility toward the emperor. Though this public debate was often prominent in the minds of U.S. officials, the effects of the discussion on American policy were uneven. This being the case, the emperor question provides an excellent opportunity to study the complex relationship between rhetoric, policy, and public opinion.