Hideki Tojo After Suicide Attempt

Former Prime Minister, Imperial Japanese Army Major General Hideki Tojo, immediately after attempting to shoot himself. After Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945, U. S. General Douglas MacArthur issued orders for the arrest of forty alleged war criminals, including Tojo. Soon, Tojo's home in Setagaya was besieged with newsmen and photographers. Inside, a doctor named Suzuki had marked Tojo's chest with charcoal to indicate the location of his heart. When American military police surrounded the house, they heard a muffled shot from inside at 1617 Hours. US Army Major Paul Kraus and a group of military police from the Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) of the Supreme Command Allied Powers' General Headquarters went to Tojo's home in Tokyo's Setagaya District and burst in. Tojo had shot himself in the chest with a .32-caliber Colt, but despite shooting directly through the mark, the bullet missed his heart. At 1629, now disarmed and with blood spreading on his shirt, Tojo began to talk, and Toichiro Takamatsu of the Tokyo newspaper Mainichi translated his words. "I am very sorry it is taking me so long to die," he murmured. "The Greater East Asia War was justified and righteous. I am very sorry for the nation and all the races of the Greater Asiatic powers. I wait for the righteous judgment of history. I wished to commit suicide but sometimes that fails." Among the reporters present were Frank Bartholomew of United Press International, George Jones, a reporter for the New York Times, and Russell Brines of the Associated Press, among others.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, September 11, 1945
Tokyo Prefecture