Once you hear about Hirohito’s dedication and commitment to his country you will definitely put him as a top 5 leader. Hirohito was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He was the longest-reigning monarch in Japan’s history. Hirohito became regent for his chronically ill father and assumed the duties of emperor. In September 1923, an earthquake struck the Tokyo area, killing about 100,000 people and destroying 63 percent of the city’s houses. Rampaging Japanese mobs subsequently murdered several thousand ethnic Koreans and leftists, who were accused of setting fires and looting in the quake’s aftermath. During World War II (1939-45), Japan attacked nearly all of its Asian neighbors, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.
In September 1940, Japan joined the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, (this was a very strategic power move). Agreeing to aid each other if any of them were attacked by a country that was not already at war. Hirohito agreed to his government’s choice to fight the Americans a little over a year later. Japanese planes bombed the US naval station at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, destroying or crippling 18 ships and killing over 2,500 sailors. One day later, the United States declared war.
Japan conquered the Dutch East Indies, British Singapore, New Guinea, the Philippines, and a variety of other Southeast Asian and Pacific areas over the next seven months. However, with the Battle of Midway in June 1942 and the subsequent Battle of Guadalcanal, the tide began to shift. Even though Japan’s military leaders realized victory was impossible by mid-1944, the country continued to fight until August, when atomic bombs were unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hirohito made a radio broadcast on August 15, 1945, proclaiming Japan’s surrender. As hard as he fought this was an un-winnable battle.
For the rest of his life, Hirohito was an active figure in Japanese life and performed many of the duties commonly associated with a constitutional head of state. He and his family maintained a strong public presence, often holding public walkabouts and making public appearances on special events and ceremonies. He also received many awards, such as: The Order of the Sacred Treasure, The Order of the White Rose of Finland, The Order of the White Eagle, and the Grand Order of the Orchid Blossom.
The people of Japan saw Hirohito as a god. He made them believe that their country was more important than their life. The Japanese military has kamikazes. Kamikazes were a part of the Japanese Special Attack Units of military aviators who flew suicide attacks. Just to be clear he had people killing themselves for him.
He also has many foreign honors such as: The Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.