NEW YORK — For five days following Japan’s surrender this month in 1945, the Mainichi Shimbun, by then reduced to a single sheet because of severe paper shortages, published editions with a good deal of blank space: on Aug. 16, Page 2 totally blank; on the 17th, not just Page 2 but also a third of Page 1 blank, and so forth.
This startling outcome was a result of the daily’s editorial director Kojiro Takasugi’s plea, with his own letter of resignation, that either the newspaper company be shut down or its top executives resign at once. How could a national newspaper that had “glorified and inflamed the war” up to the day of surrender, predicting a certain victory, make an about-face with defeat? The upshot: the executives resigned, including the president.
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