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Excerpts from Hirohito's diary reveal desire to visit post-conquest South Pacific, doubts about China war

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TOKYO -- Shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack, Emperor Hirohito told aides he hoped to visit the South Pacific after the war, when the entire region would be Japanese territory, according to a newly released journal. He also said, however, he did not want Japan to go to war with China.

Hirohito [who reigned 1926-89] made the South Seas comment on Christmas Day 1941 -- just weeks after Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the Pacific War, according to the journal kept by his chamberlain. Excerpts of the journal were published in the monthly Bungeishunju magazine on Saturday...

According to Bungeishunju, the 600-page journal was kept by Hirohito's main aide, Kuraji Ogura, and covered the period from May 1939 to June 1945...

In October 1940, he seemed angry over the situation on the Chinese front, saying Japan had underestimated China's strength. "I did not want to see this war with China begin," he said.

"China is stronger than expected. Everybody made mistakes in war projections," he said...
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