Imperial agency releases transcript

The Imperial Household Agency on Thursday made public its copy of a transcript of the first meeting between Emperor Showa and U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1945.

The move comes a week after the Foreign Ministry declassified an identical transcript kept at the ministry archives.

The two copies are apparently the only original record left by the late Katsuzo Okumura, who served as Emperor Showa’s interpreter.

Okumura was the only other person present at the historic meeting, which took place Sept. 27, 1945, at the U.S. Embassy.

According to Imperial Household Agency officials, Okumura typed the transcript on Foreign Ministry stationary. One copy went to the Foreign Ministry and the other was preserved at the Imperial Household Agency.

The Foreign Ministry declassified its copy Oct. 17, and this prompted the Imperial Household Agency to consider making its own version public, officials said.

The agency decided to release the record after confirming that the contents of the two transcripts were identical, and that the contents of the transcript did not infringe on the privacy of people mentioned in the meeting.

The agency’s copy of the transcript is available for public reading at its archives.

Emperor Showa met MacArthur 11 times between 1945 and 1951, when Japan was under Allied occupation.