Japan's Decision To Surrender Analysis

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Japan’s surrender in 1945 ended the worst and most destructive war that the world had even known. Since the end of World War II, a countless number of historians have studied and written chronicles on the Japanese’s decision to surrender and what motivated them to do so. This argument derives from the factors of whether the atomic bombings, the Soviet Union’s entrance into the war in the Pacific and the influence of how Japan’s government helped motivate the country’s decision to surrender. Post-World War II historian Robert J. C. Butow’s 1954 book Japan’s Decision to Surrender originated the discussion on the topic of what motivated the country to surrender. Butow’s thesis states that while the atomic bombings and the Soviet Union’s declaration …show more content…
Serving as a Language Intelligence Officer in Japan in late 1945, and Butow had a personal connection to the topic. With the investigation of Japanese governmental primary sources and documents, Butow takes a political and social approach into the Japan’s perspective in the final months of the war. Through this perception, the author can point out the internal turmoil that split Japan between the peace party and militarist groups, when moving towards the choice to surrender. Butow supports his argument by addressing the militarist group’s wishes to have one final battle in which they desired would produce an outcome “to negotiate a settlement on favorable terms.” To support this claim of Japan’s wish to negotiate terms that they deemed acceptable for surrender, the author turns his focus to the internal struggle Japan faced. This leads the author to his assessment of what he proclaims that the militarist was the main issue that stood in the way of Japan’s surrender, which started as far back as to when the war with the United States began. The claim that drives the trajectory of Butow’s investigation into the inner conflict that Japan faced is through the militarist’s “obedience-unto-death psychology,” which he states is was pure “propaganda.” This conflict provides support to the author’s thesis and development on the view of the subject, and Butow sets precedence for the internal turmoil that faced Japan when motiving the country’s decision to end the war. Expanding his thought on the topic, he offers evidence to support his thesis through Japan’s internal struggles by pointing out that the militarist’s “attitudes” eradicated any thought for surrender. This pushes the topic forward as it would provide historians with a new perspective. This point of view provides historians with a new question; what are the terms of surrender offered at Potsdam? Butow turns the argument to the

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