Masataka Ida

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Lt. Col. (5 October 1912 - 6 February 2004) was a young soldier in the Military Affairs Section of the Japanese Ministry of War, at the end of World War II. He had been stationed on Formosa (Taiwan), but was ordered back to Tokyo early in 1945. Along with Major Kenji Hatanaka and a few others, he was one of the chief conspirators in a plot to overthrow the government of Prime Minister KantarĊ Suzuki; they wished to see the institution of martial law under War Minister Korechika Anami. The plan changed, however, into a plot, engineered by Major Kenji Hatanaka, to seize the Imperial Palace and prevent the broadcast of the Emperor's surrender speech. Lt. Col. Ida took part in this plot only briefly, trying to talk Hatanaka out of it by the end. Not many know about his attempted 'coup', which, although it failed, came dangerously close to lengthening the war, and altering the face of modern history.

Ida saw the surrender as suicide on the part of the nation as a whole, and as an attempt by the Cabinet members to save their own lives, with no regard for the nation's honor. He decided that the only way for the military to regain its honor, and apologize to the Emperor for being defeated was for them to commit mass suicide by seppuku. Failing that, he intended to commit seppuku himself. Upon being asked by Major Hatanaka, the creator of the plot, to join him, he replied that the plot offered no guarantee of success, and might even lead to a civil war. He refused to join the plot,...
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