Documents found at the house of one of the late Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe’s relatives indicate he tried to end the war against Chinese forces led by Chiang Kai-shek in the closing days of the war, sources said Sunday.
Togo Shrine’s chief priest, Teruo Matsuhashi, and others who have examined the documents — 23 sheets of letter paper found in a hidden drawer in a dressing table at the relative’s home — are convinced they were written by Konoe (1891-1945), said the sources.
A book detailing Konoe’s attempt to end the war based on the documents — “Fumimaro Konoe: Scenario for Ending the War in June,” edited by Matsuhashi — will hit bookstores on April 4.
The 23 sheets, written in fountain pen, comprise four sets of documents, with two of them being translations of letters addressed to Konoe or his aide around 1939 from John Leighton Stuart, president of Yenching University who had ties with Chiang and the U.S. government, according to the sources.
The two other sets recorded two meetings that Masaru Nakayama, a close aide of the prime minister, had with one of Stuart’s secretaries in Beijing in late May 1945.
The documents show Nakayama telling the secretary during the first meeting that Japan had neither the necessity nor power to invade China, according to the sources.
The secretary is quoted as telling Nakayama that his view is correct, and the two agreed on the importance of ending the war, the sources said.