The World: Is Hirohito the War's Real Villain?

BY a coincidence worthy of some Kabuki melodrama, Emperor Hirohito's first visit to American soil occurred just a week before the official publication of a startling new book that proclaims him a major war criminal. Japan's Imperial Conspiracy (Morrow; $14.95) charges that Hirohito, far from being a mild and unworldly figurehead, personally supported and even encouraged the attack on Pearl Harbor. The main reason he escaped hanging was that General MacArthur needed his symbolic authority to maintain order during the Allied occupation of Japan.

The book's author is David Bergamini, 43, a Rhodes...

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