In the years since my death in 1989, I have observed many political upheavals in the Realm of the Living. Yet, in all this time, I have never seen such a shameful display as what is currently unfolding in your nation's capital. President Clinton's conduct has been base and without honor, but the humiliation of a public Trial of Impeachment is an insult without measure. If your leader has any sense of duty, he will spare his country the dishonor of this vulgar and embarrassing spectacle, and redeem himself by committing ritual hari-kiri. It is the only honorable course of action left to him.

The one called Clinton has shamed his House, his family and his ancestors. He has divided the nation and heaped indignities upon the highest office of the land. He has brought dishonor to his people and to his position. There is only one way for him to step down with dignity, set an example for the children, restore his people's faith in the presidency, and heal this nation's wounds. He must submit to seppuku, ritual suicide, and disembowel himself with a ceremonial short sword, driving the blade into the left side of his abdomen and then drawing it rightward across his stomach, before turning the blade upward, toward his heart.

How else can Clinton regain face before the American people? He has clearly violated the Bushido code of conduct prized by all honorable men, behaving without dignity, honesty, loyalty or courage. Even before the scandal, he behaved more like a common Hohei of the lowest rank than in a manner befitting a Daimyo nobleman. When campaigning for president in 1996, did he take care to avoid contact with truck drivers, auto workers and other persons of low social bearing? Sadly, no. And, when in public, does his wife remain a respectful several paces behind him at all times as simple decency demands? She does not. These insults are bad enough. But now, hiding behind words and a cowardly legalistic defense of his dishonorable actions, he has disgraced himself to the utmost.

He has become more of a dog than a man.

Throughout the entire crisis, Clinton has done only one honorable thing, and that is to declare war. However, even in this he has displayed cowardice, striking at Iraqi military targets with computer-controlled air-to-surface guided missiles instead of giving the young men of his nation the privilege of sacrificing themselves in the Divine Wind of the kamikaze. His wife and child have not even hurled themselves into the sea to regain face for their lineage and family name. Before long, Kenneth Starr and the Republicans will carry the head of their enemy through the streets in a kubibukuro bag, delivering it to their Lords and Masters singing songs of triumph!

Your leader's duty is clear. He should make a pilgrimage to the temples and shrines of his native Arkansas prefecture, and there offer gifts and tributes of rice, fruit and prayers, beseeching his ancestors for their blessing and strength in what he must do. Then he should return to Washington, kneel upon a traditional tatami straw mat and, in absolute silence, plunge the blade into his torso.

In committing this act—preferably on national television, so that his calm and self-control while performing this slowest and most painful form of suicide can be admired by millions—it is most important that Clinton choose wisely in selecting his kaishaku-nin, the man who will be his second and stand behind him to deliver the final jumonji death-blow. My advice would be not to select the one called Gore. He seems a weak and ineffectual man, lacking the courage and strength of will to properly administer the final stroke, which will sever Clinton's head from his body and end his torment. But that is a matter that only Clinton can decide.

Why am I saying all of this? Because I, like your President Clinton, once faced a similar situation and failed to do my duty. In life, I, like Clinton, embraced "progressive" ideals, seeking to modernize Japan and bring my nation into the 20th century. When Japan was defeated in World War II, I chose a course of compromise, accepting the Allied terms of surrender instead of dying honorably for my homeland, as the conservatives in my government demanded. After the war, I abolished the mandatory emperor-worship of State Shinto and publically repudiated my divinity. I even allowed my eldest son, the Crown Prince Akihito, to marry a commoner of ignoble birth, betraying 1,500 years of tradition!

I, who could have died gloriously of hari-kiri rather than surrender to the hated gaijin, instead lived out my final years as a meaningless figurehead, devoting most of my hours to a trifling interest in oceanography! I brought shame and disgrace upon my ancestors and my nation! But now, condemned to walk the Earth for all eternity wrapped in chains and rags, I have learned the error of my ways. I now know that the conservatives were right all along. Hear me, Clinton! I, the ghost of Hirohito, Emperor Of All Japan, say to you this: Do not make the same mistake I did! Commit ritual hari-kiri now and restore honor to your race!