Emperor Akihito Visits Saipan

27 Jun 2005

The trip is the first the emperor has made to a WWII battlefield abroad, and it comes at a time when China-Japan relations are deteriorating from Japan's accused reluctance to come to terms with its imperial aggression. Over 43,000 Japanese and over 3,000 American soldiers died while fighting for the island, and the American victory that emerged caused a great morale hit on the Japanese people, and the American victory there directly led to the fall of Tojo's government. Key site on Akihito's agenda includes cliffs where Japanese citizens of Saipan committed suicide en mass upon American victory.

For detailed information about Emperor Akihito's trip, please see this BBC article. For more information on the battle for Saipan, please see this WW2DB article.

UPDATE

This BBC article contains updated information on the Emperor's trip.



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