TOKYO — After a devastating and tragic surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Emperor Hirohito has called for a ceasefire.
"The loss of life on both sides is a tragedy," Hirohito said in a speech requesting an end to hostilities. "Now that we have pulverized the American naval fleet, we respectfully request that the United States look for ways to promote peace and not take any steps to retaliate until we attack you again. Thank you."
American leaders had already begun talks to enter the war against the Axis Powers but were now bombarded with calls to engage in peace talks instead. "The timing of Japan's request does seem a little suspicious," said Captain Mike Rotunda, a United States Navy spokesman. "I mean, they literally asked for a ceasefire immediately after attacking us. It puts us in a weird position because that's not really how ceasefires work."
Segments of the American public pleaded with leaders to hold back on planning a counterattack and instead listen to Japanese calls for peace. "It would be immoral to strike back at Japan," said one Congressman. "Yes, they just bombed America's naval base. Yes, they seriously crippled our fleet. Yes, they killed over 2,000 Americans. But now they want peace, so we should totally believe them. It's not like they would do anything sneaky."
At publishing time, U.S. officials had tentatively agreed to a ceasefire in good faith despite new reports that more Japanese planes laden with bombs were on their way to Hawaii.
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