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Old 26th January 2009, 03:58 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by kageki View Post
In April and May 1945, Japan made three attempts through neutral Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to a peaceful end. On April 7, acting Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu met with Swedish ambassador Widon Bagge in Tokyo, asking him "to ascertain what peace terms the United States and Britain had in mind." But he emphasized that unconditional surrender was unacceptable, and that "the Emperor must not be touched." Bagge relayed the message to the United States, but Secretary of State Stettinius told the US Ambassador in Sweden to "show no interest or take any initiative in pursuit of the matter." Similar Japanese peace signals through Portugal, on May 7, and again through Sweden, on the 10th, proved similarly fruitless.
The Ultra-interceptions made it clear, that none of these officials had official authority from the Japanese government to make these attempts.

Originally Posted by kageki View Post
The Japanese were ready to accept almost everything demanded by the US except that the "Emperor must not be touched". That was their only real condition..
.. except that it wasn't:

Originally Posted by
But when Foreign Minister Togo informed Ambassador Sato that Japan was not looking for anything like unconditional surrender, Sato promptly wired back a cable that the editors of the "Magic" Diplomatic Summary made clear to American policymakers "advocate[s] unconditional surrender provided the Imperial House is preserved." Togo's reply, quoted in the "Magic" Diplomatic Summary of July 22, 1945, was adamant: American policymakers could read for themselves Togo's rejection of Sato's proposal--with not even a hint that a guarantee of the Imperial House would be a step in the right direction.
The "Magic" Diplomatic Summary of July 22, 1945 can be read in its entirety here: The relevant section is on the first 2 pages.
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