Comment of the Day: Runup to Hiroshima: "The [Potsdam Ultimatum] document makes a reference to the 'self-willed militaristic advisors'...:
...and in the same sentence refers to Japan as an 'Empire.' Later on the demand is made for the elimination of the authority of 'those who have misled and deceived the people of Japan.' It's clearly directed at the people in power at that time, which could include the Emperor, but there's nothing here that demands the complete dismantling of the imperial institution. 'Unconditional surrender' is specifically directed to apply to the Japanese armed forces. Also, the term 'utter devastation' is a strong indication of what might be coming.