JAPAN: Imperial Dictator

Japan groped for a way to meet total disaster. In a "personal message," broadcast by Radio Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito told his people that they faced a crisis "unprecedented in scope in our national history."

A commentator declared it highly possible that the Emperor would invoke his supreme authority in the crisis. His powers would override all existing laws and exceed even the sweeping powers granted Premier Suzuki's Cabinet by the Imperial Diet (Parliament) last fortnight.

Said Radio Tokyo: "Personal government by the Emperor, based on the tradition and sentiment of the Japanese nation, is more deeply rooted than government by law...

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