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Hirohito’s Funeral

Conrad’s cartoon showing a dead Hirohito in his casket saying “They won the battles, but we won the war” (Feb. 24) is historically inaccurate in its implication. We assume from the cartoon that Conrad is fostering the popular notion that the Japanese are winning the war economically, when they couldn’t do it militarily.

The facts are different: In Japan prior to World War II there were two strong opposing policies among the people in the power structure, i.e., whether Japan should attempt to dominate and prosper through military means, or, to pursue business and economic goals. As we all know, the military people won that struggle. At the end of the war the military faction was discredited. Emperor Hirohito was associated with that point of view. The people of Japan who were for peace and doing business were right.

The power structure responsible for the war is gone; “they” did not “win the war” in the post-war era by selling cars and TVs. To say that the Japanese want to win a war against America fosters jingoism and hatred. I think the Japanese just want to make a living, like the rest of us, and are doing a good job at business. Business isn’t war.

HOWARD MASS

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Hacienda Heights


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