Japanese Prime Minister defies 1945 Potsdam Declaration

CCTV News

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) and Regional Revitalization Minister Shigeru Ishiba (L) listen to a speech by a member of an opposition party during a lower house plenary session at the parliament in Tokyo on July 16, 2015. Controversial security bills that opponents say will undermine 70 years of pacifism and could see Japanese troops fighting abroad for the first time since World War II, passed through the powerful lower house of parliament on July 16.       AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) and Regional Revitalization Minister Shigeru Ishiba (L) listen to a speech by a member of an opposition party during a lower house plenary session at the parliament in Tokyo on July 16, 2015. Controversial security bills that opponents say will undermine 70 years of pacifism and could see Japanese troops fighting abroad for the first time since World War II, passed through the powerful lower house of parliament on July 16. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

70 years after the Japanese surrender, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently revealed that he is not familiar with the 1945 Potsdam Declaration. 

Potsdam is a city near Berlin. It is well known in history as the site of the conference that set the terms for Japan’s surrender 70 years ago. It’s also believed to be where then U.S. President Truman ordered the nuclear strikes.

On July 26, 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the then Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin gathered to make the crucial decisions that would end the Second World War. After the conference, China, the U.K. and the U.S. jointly issued the Potsdam Proclamation outlining the terms of Japan’s surrender.

The proclamation defined the terms for Japanese surrender and accelerated the end of World War II. It stated that their military power was “poised to strike the final blows upon Japan” and would “prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to exist.”

Japan rejected the Allies demands and refused to surrender. The U.S. responded by dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945.

The staggering loss of life led Japanese Emperor Hirohito to finally accept the Potsdam Proclamation and declare Japan’s surrender.

However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refuses to acknowledge the Potsdam Declaration, especially the part which defines Japan’s involvement in World War II as aggression.

CCTV’s Tao Yuan has more details about Japan continuing to struggle with the legacy of Potsdam.

Japanese Prime Minister dismissed 1945 Potsdam Declaration

Japanese Prime Minister dismissed 1945 Potsdam Declaration

70 years after the Japanese surrender, it seems Prime Minister Shinzo Abe still refuses to face history squarely, and has recently revealed that he is not familiar with the 1945 Potsdam Declaration. Potsdam is a city near Berlin. It is well known in history as the site of the conference that set the terms for Japan's surrender 70 years ago. It's also believed to be where then U.S. President Truman ordered the nuclear strikes. Japan would accept the Potsdam Declaration. And China was among those demanding its unconditional surrender. CCTV's Tao Yuan has more details about Japan continuing to struggle with the legacy of Potsdam.

Highlight:

  • This month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed through parliament’s lower house legislation that could see troops sent to fight abroad for the first time since World War II, which indicates a major shift away from the country’s post-war pacifist constitution.

Einar Tangen on Japan’s struggling with Potsdam Declaration
For more on this, CCTV’s Susan Roberts spoke with Einar Tangen in Beijing. He is a political and economic affairs commentator.

Einar Tangen on Japan's struggling with Potsdam Declaration

Einar Tangen on Japan's struggling with Potsdam Declaration

For more on this, CCTV's Susan Roberts spoke with Einar Tangen in Beijing. He is a political and economic affairs commentator.

Story compiled with information from CCTV News.