By Shigeru Yoshida
First American version 1962 ~ The Riverside Press
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Extra resources for The Yoshida memoirs: the story of Japan in crisis
No one was allowed to visit me except those of my immediate household, and the daily questioning by the military police was such as could be borne with patience. But the mood lasted for only a few days and I soon began to tire of this kind of life. :Freedom has never seemed such a precious thing to me as at that time. Two weeks after being confined within the military prison headquarters I was transferred, in the company of thieves and other similar people, to the Tokyo military prison. The cell allotted to me was clean, and I had the gratification of not being visited by fleas and lice.
One, which was obvious to all, consisted of the fact 1hat the Occupation, which had at first been conducted along lines of great severity, became progressively more lenient in policy a~ time passed and before its end had been transformed and aiTorded all feasible aid to Japan. This change was marked by three clistinct phases of which I shall write later. At this point I wish to elwell on the other sort of change. This was concerned with the basic policy of Occupation as formulated in the United States prior to the landing of American The Yoshida Memqirs troops in the Japanese islands, which would seem to have undergone drastic alteration very soon after the Occupation actually began.
To cite one outstanding example, the ·Americans declared 11 to be their policy to respect the will of the Japanese people in ~~~~ard to the status and position of the Emperor, but they seem 10 have foreseen from the outset that the majority of the people were loyal to their Emperor and to have decided to act accordinJ:;Iy. I cannot help thinking that the views and active advice of M r Grew figured prominendy in that decision. Here at least we have someone whom one need have no hesitation in calling a true fri<~nd of Japan.