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29th July, 1945

Japan will ignore the Potsdam declaration. It develops that Foreign Minister Togo reported its contents to the cabinet at its regular meeting on the 28th and that the Japanese government would “say nothing on it”. No one else had anything to say on it. The Mainichi said the proposal was “most insolent” and “based on self-conceit” but neither in its own nor in the other editorial columns was there another word of condemnation, rejection, or challenge.

[Illegible] one has, [illegible] this [illegible] vigilance, sensation of terse waiting, or thoughts not yet put into words, or words not yet spoken aloud.

The mere fact the ultimatum has not been scorned and excoriated outright in the familiar terms of arrogance, contempt, and outraged defiance, betrays the faltering hand, the breaking nerve. The terms, as published, are hard: a naked, prostrate Japan penned up in her rocky islands, a beggar under guard; for the warlords and sealords, disgrace and an unknown punishment. But the alternative is suicide like Germany’s.

It is an electric silence. A decision has not been made by the pale brooding men who must make it or, if it has been made, the words have not been found to announce it. How should ruin be announced? How can suicide be made palatable?