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19th February 1945

The task force around Tokyo has definitely “sought refuge” in parts unknown, according to the vernaculars, and the Japanese staff finally showed up today at the embassy. One of our interpreters said that many of his neighbors had been killed or wounded in the two-day raid; they were workers in nearby factories.

All the vernaculars also featured the peace term for Japan proposed by the Institute of Pacific Relations at its recent conference in Hot Springs, Virginia. “This document,” said one paper, “reveals the enemy’s insolent ambitions in outrageous proposals.” As was to be expected, the greatest indignation was felt at the “sacrilegious” proposal to tamper with the imperial institution. “But it was plain that what caused the greatest uneasiness was the announcement (also emphasized by pamphlets dropped during the past raid) that the Americans had no quarrel with the Japanese people but wished only to punish the militarists and industrialists behind the war. To this the press could only reply that the Americans must hate all the Japanese since they called for the occupation of Japan by Chinese troops. Immediately after bridling at this “indignity”, and unaware apparently of any inconsistency, the press went back to Asianism and called the proposal another instance of the policy of “divide and rule” in Asia.