Cambridge, Mass. — Celebrated historian Bertram Oxley has uncovered a memorandum from former Japanese Emperor Hirohito to Admiral Yamamoto dated December 6, 1941, showing that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was motivated by an offensive film made by Charlie Chaplin ridiculing Japanese cuisine.
“Contrary to historical accounts over the last seventy years,” Professor Oxley said in an interview today with the BBC, “What appeared to be a meticulously planned surprise attack was actually a spontaneous demonstration by moderate sushi connoisseurs in the Imperial Navy in response to a hateful and offensive movie. Thereafter, extremist elements within the Japanese military co-opted the spontaneous attack, transforming it into the overseas contingency operation sometimes referred to as ‘World War II.’”
The discovery has created a sensation in scholarly circles. “This is a remarkable find,” declared Reginald Smythe, chairman of the Progressive Historians Assocation and former Obama State Department official. “Had President Roosevelt condemned this movie — instead of uttering that infernal ‘Day of Infamy’ provocation — the war could have been avoided and millions of lives would have been saved.”
Reached at his home in Houston, former President George H. W. Bush, an aviator in the Pacific during the war, expressed skepticism. “It’s simply inconceivable that the Japanese First Air Fleet, with six aircraft carriers, could have staged a spur of the moment attack on an island thousands of nautical miles from the Japanese homeland with such stealth and precision.” Most experts dismissed Mr. Bush’s remarks, however, since it’s widely understood that World War II was primarily his son’s fault.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, asked this afternoon about the memo’s discovery stated, “Of course, hindsight’s 20-20. But one can only wonder how much pain and suffering could have been averted had FDR simply apologized to Hirohito at the outset.”
“Fortunately,” Carney continued, waving off questions from White House reporters anxious to return to questions about Mitt Romney’s grooming habits, “We’ve evolved to a more sophisticated strategy of leading from behind, so we’re unlikely to repeat the disastrous mistakes of the past.”