IT HAS COME TO our attention that Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Prime Minister of Japan, was discussed in a recent issue of Number 1 Shimbun [“Catalyst for Change,” March]. We would like to set the record straight.

Mr. Nakasone did not criticize the Emperor with regard either to the war or to Japan’s defeat. The Emperor had, in fact, desired to avoid war but Japan’s government structure is such that the Emperor’s views are not reflected in policy, and the country went on a path to war and to defeat. The Emperor must have suffered deep pain at the course that Japan had taken. In the National Diet, then Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida was asked if the Emperor was considering abdication, and if this would free him from the painful sense of restriction, whether that request should be respected.

As prime minister of Japan, Mr. Nakasone did not instruct educators to teach patriotism nor did he request textbook revisions for that purpose. As prime minister, he established the Ad Hoc Council on Education to address educational reform. In that effort, internationalization and advanced information technology, together with cultural education, were included in the curriculum.

The matter of sales tax [had] nothing to do with his resignation. The Government Tax System Study Council and LDP Tax System Research Council proposed a sales tax which was planned for implementation. However, this proposal was met with strong opposition by the public. The Nakasone administration abandoned the plan and left it for the Takeshita administration to continue the effort. In the July 1986 election, Nakasone was swept to reelection. At that time, the term of office of the LDP president was two consecutive terms for a maximum of five years. In that election, the LDP achieved a remarkable total of 304 seats, so the four years of the LDP administration was extended by another year and Nakasone appointed Noboru Takeshita as his successor.

We trust the above explanations help to clear up any misunderstandings about the Nakasone administration.

Masaki Donji
Yasuhiro Nakasone