Japan’s Emperor Hirohito criticized plans to go to war with the U.S. prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, according to documents released Tuesday. “It is nothing less than a self-destructive war,” he was quoted as saying on July 31, 1941. The emperor also criticized Japan’s army minister for building an alliance with Nazi Germany two years earlier, on July 5, 1939. The new insights come from the release of a 12,000-page official history of Hirohito’s reign during World War II. He was criticized for letting himself be used as a symbol for Japanese militarism, but the new information may cast his reign in a different light.