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5th June 1945

The minister of the imperial household, Marquis Tsuneo Matsudaira, resigned after more than nine years in office yesterday “assuming responsibility for the burning of the imperial palace and the Omiya palace.” His successor was a surprise, Sotaro Ishiwata, former finance minister, who has had “little or nothing to do with the affairs of the Imperial Household,” according to the Asahi.

It is said that Ishiwata was chosen because, not being a peer himself, he can be expected to fulfill with more impartiality and less embarrassment one of the minister’s chief duties, which is to discipline the nobility. The minister is in and yet above the cabinet; he does not fall with the different governments and exercises a great deal of unofficial and unconstitutional influence in their formation as one of the emperor’s closest advisers.