BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Under the Emperor's Nose

Admiral Shigetaro Shimada, the chubby, cherry-lipped little man who had steered Japan's Navy through its worst defeats, was sacked again. Already out of the Cabinet (Navy Minister), he was dropped from his No. 2 job: Chief of Naval Staff. His successor: Admiral Koshiro Oikawa, wealthy aristocrat and former mentor of the Emperor (1915-22).

The meaning of all this, so far as outsiders could divine, was that the new Jap Cabinet and new Supreme War Council had thrown ex-Premier Tojo's China-first policy out the window. With high hopes for Oikawa as a brilliant...

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