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Korechika Anami
February 21, 1887 - August 15, 1945 (aged 58)
AnamiKorechika.jpg

Japanese General Anami Korechika
Place of birth Taketa, Ōita, Japan
Place of death Tokyo, Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1906-1945
Rank General
Commands held IJA 109th Division, IJA 11th Army, IJA 2nd Area Army
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War, Pacific War
Other work War Minister
In this Japanese name, the family name is Anami.

Korechika Anami (阿南惟幾 Anami Korechika ?, 21 February 1887 - 15 August 1945) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, and was War Minister at the surrender of Japan.

Contents

Biography

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Early career

Anami was born in Taketa city in Ōita Prefecture. He attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry in December 1906.

In November 1918, Anami graduated from the Army War College with the rank of captain. He was assigned to the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff from April 1919 and was promoted to major in February 1922. From August 1923 to May 1925 he was assigned to the Sakhalin Expeditionary Army. Anami was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1925.

From August-December 1925, Anami was sent as a military attaché to France. On his return to Japan, he was assigned to the 45th Infantry Regiment, becoming unit commander in August 1928.

From August 1929-August 1930, Anami served as Aide-de-camp to Emperor Hirohito. He was then promoted to colonel.

From August 1933-August 1934, Anami served as regimental commander of the 2nd Guard Regiment of the Imperial Guards. He was subsequently Commandant of the Tokyo Military Preparatory School, and promoted to major general in March 1935.

War-time career

From August 1936, Anami served as Chief of the Military Administration Bureau of the War Ministry. He became Chief of the Personnel Bureau in March 1937 and was promoted to lieutenant general in March the following year.

With the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Anami was given a combat command, as Commander of the IJA 109th Division in China from November 1938. He was recalled to Japan in October 1939 to assume the role of Vice-Minister of War. However, in April 1941, Anami returned to China as Commander in Chief of the IJA 11th Army, covering operations in central China. He was transferred to the Japanese Second Area Army in Manchukuo in July 1942. [1]

In May 1943, Anami was promoted to full general. As the war conditions in the Pacific deteriorated for the Japanese, Anami was reassigned to the Southern Theater from November 1943, where he directed operations in western New Guinea and Halmahera.

Anami was recalled to Japan December 1944, becoming Inspector General of Army Aviation and Chief of the Army Aeronautical Department, while concurrently serving on the Supreme War Council (Japan). In April 1945, he was appointed War Minister.

Political career

I am convinced that the Americans had only one bomb, after all.
— Korechika Anami, immediately after the drop of Little Boy over Hiroshima[2]

As War Minister, Anami was outspoken against the idea of surrender, despite Japan's losses on the battlefield and the destruction of Japan's cities and industrial capability by American bombing. Even after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Anami opposed talk of surrender, and proposed instead that a large-scale battle be fought on the Japanese mainland causing such massive Allied casualties that Japan would somehow be able to evade surrender and perhaps even keep some of what it had conquered.[3]

Eventually, his arguments were overcome when Emperor Hirohito directly requested an end to the war himself; Anami's supporters suggested that he either vote against surrender or resign from the Cabinet. Instead, he ordered his officers to concede, later saying to his brother-in-law, "As a Japanese soldier, I must obey my Emperor."[4]

On 14 August 1945, Anami signed the surrender document with the rest of the cabinet, then attempted to commit suicide by seppuku early the next morning. Failing to conduct the ritual properly he had to be dispatched by his brother-in-law[5]. His suicide note read: "I - with my death - humbly apologize to the Emperor for the great crime."[6] Historians are divided as to what crime he was referring to. It is possibly a reference to his part in the aborted coup against Emperor Hirohito in the hours following Japan's decision to surrender at the end of World War II, the decision to surrender itself, or his suicide.

Anami's grave is at Tama Reien Cemetery, in Fuchu, Tokyo. His sword and blood-splattered dress uniform and suicide note are on display at the Yushukan Museum next to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

Anami's son Anami Koreshige served as Japan's ambassador to China from 2001-2006.

References

Books

  • Brooks, Lester (1968). Behind Japan's Surrender: The Secret Struggle That Ended an Empire. McGraw-Hill. ASIN: B000GRIF3G.  
  • Butow, Robert (1978). Japan's Decision to Surrender. Stanford University Press. ASIN: B000W0G7CS.  
  • Toland, John (2003). The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945. Modern Library. ISBN 0812968581.  
  • Pacific War Research Society (2002). Japan's Longest Day. Kodansha International. ISBN 4770028873.  
  • Kurzman, Dan (1986). Day of the Bomb. McGraw-Hill. ASIN: B000J0IOEA.  

External links

Notes

  1. ^ Ammentorp, The Generals of World War II
  2. ^ DOOMSDAYS, TIME Magazine, August 7, 1995
  3. ^ Brooks, Behind Japan's Surrender
  4. ^ Toland, The Rising Sun
  5. ^ Max Hastings (2008) Nemesis, The Battle for Japan, 1944-45, Harper Perennial p557
  6. ^ Pacific War Research Society, Japan's Longest Day, pg88-89
Preceded by
Hajime Sugiyama
Army Minister
Apr 1945 – Aug 1945
Succeeded by
Higashikuni Naruhiko

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