Lens of History (8)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: New York
Format: Textual Record
Object: Personal communications of  Admiral                      (ret.)
Original Language: Japanese
Location (if known): Koyu County, Miyazaki prefecture
Time (if known): Written in 1966

My dearest daughter,

We are not ready. The plan the General Headquarters want to implement is absolute lunacy. Japan has yet to recover from the devastation twenty years ago. We were driven to bankruptcy and ruin funding the Great East-Asian War. To do so again and try is madness, yet no one speaks out.

It was necessary for them to silence me, my daughter. Please understand this. As much as we disagree, they, too, want what is best for our country. They simply could not risk having me speak or leak our plans to the Americans, and in doing so I tell you, they will cause another war – a war that we could not win at the height of our strength, much less now, a shadow of our former self.

I lead the study that gauged our nation’s preparedness in case of total war. It took four months to collect the data; three days to analyze it all.

Food alone should be concern enough. Production of critical foodstuffs fall short of expected and far short of what would be sufficient. Yields have fallen to pre-war levels. Production is stagnant and trending downward. Less than ten percent of the people have adequate levels of stored food. thirty-five percent has a liter or less of stored rice. The rest have no stored food at all.

The people are starving. Ask yourself how can we implement further rationing when food is already rationed. Kind as it is for the Americans to help, these monsters come from the seas! What will happen when they choke off Japan’s link to the rest of the world? Will America send convoy after convoy to their death so a former enemy could be fed? Suppose there are honorable men enough to do this, and I do believe there are, do you honestly think they can sustain their effort for long? They attack globally after all.

Food is the first concern, energy the second. The corporations has been falsifying their reports. Power production rates at only thirty or less of reported levels in eighteen prefectures, fifty percent in twenty-seven, eighty percent in three. Only Niigata, Osaka, and Wakayama are adequate, and the status of current infrastructure requires immediate attention. Fuel reserves are low to non-existent. At this rate we will ran out of oil before a single warship could be built.

Our currency reserves are dry. Even if our coffers are full, rice and oil are not all that we need to purchase. Where are we to find the raw reserves of steel, rubber, aluminum, lead, tungsten, chromium, and countless other materials? From whom can we purchase fertilizer or textiles or antibiotics?

The efforts to reach self-reliance has failed. Yet we now clamor for additional weapons of war! Can you eat an aeroplane or a submarine or a missile? Can you burn a tank for warmth or wear a semi-automatic rifle? 

I will not stand for this madness. Not any longer. This old man has lived a long life. The spirit of the navy is such that we are victorious or we die trying our best. I will deliver this report – to His Majesty if necessary.


Note: this letter is a part of personal collection 440619200619. A number of fragmentary pages are grouped with the letter, strongly suggesting that this was the final written missive within the collection.

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