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Agency apologizes over 5,000 errors in annals of Emperor Showa

The annals of Emperor Showa, which were presented to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, are seen at the Imperial Household Agency in this Aug. 19, 2014 file photo. (Mainichi/Tsutomu Koseki)

TOKYO -- The head of the Imperial Household Agency revealed on March 14 that the annals of Emperor Showa, which record his words and deeds over his 87-year life, contain about 5,000 mistakes, and apologized.

The agency's Grand Steward Shinichiro Yamamoto told a regular press conference that the profusion of errors are in an edition of the annals titled "Showa Tenno Jitsuroku," which was presented by the agency to Emperor Showa's son, the reigning Emperor Akihito. The flaws emerged during procedures to release a version for the general public, and the agency has since corrected the mistakes.

"We are sorry. We were preoccupied with work to publish the public edition," Yamamoto said.

Copies of the same edition as that presented to Emperor Akihito were released to news organizations upon its completion in 2014 and have been quoted in various news reports. The agency had not revealed the mistakes previously.

The agency said it has also found dozens more mistakes in the public edition volumes that have already been released. The mistakes include typos in people's names and titles, and incorrect entries when quoting from original documents. The agency will release a list of errata.

The annals were compiled by the agency's Archives and Mausolea Department from 1990 through 2014, based on public documents and diaries of aides to Emperor Showa (1901-1989), known during his reign as Emperor Hirohito. The public edition comes in at a total of 19 volumes and was first released in 2015. The final volume is set to go on sale later this month.

(Japanese original by Nao Yamada, City News Department)

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