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11th February 1945

I heard today a more complete version of the recent incident in the diet concerning “divine aid” and “divine punishment”. The original reminder, it seems, was made by a professor of the imperial university, also a member of the diet, who wished merely to display his erudition. Incautiously Premier Koiso agreed with the interpellation. Whereupon the storm broke. In the house of peers a count pounced upon the unfortunate prime minister. How could “divine punishment”, he inquired, be visited upon the emperor, himself divine? And secondly, why should Japan have to worry about “divine punishment” at all if she was in the right? Koiso hurriedly agreed once more and expressed his regrets.

More significant is the story, sufficiently confirmed, of a revolution of young diplomats in the foreign office. A group of these, dissatisfied with Japanese foreign policy, which they believe to be under the spell of timid and incompetent old men, drew up, signed, and presented a memorial to the authorities, asking for a reorganization of the ministry. Among other things it is said that they wanted Shiratori as foreign minister. Shiratori, former ambassador to Italy, is the strongest Axis man in the service and would take a more “positive” stand against Soviet Russia.

This has led to gossip that the German embassy was behind the entire business. At any rate the ringleaders have now been retired to “inactive status”.