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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0032, 1945-11-27.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0145

call-number: DS801 .S82

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NO. 145 Date: 27 Nov 45.


ITEM: 1 Abolition of the Privy Council - Tokyo Shimbun - 24 Nov 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
The vast majority of the people wishes to abolish the Privy Council, but it is said that the government intends to reform it with so-called "radical reform". It is strange that there is another organization which can control the government, as well as the Diet. The real fact is that the Privy Council was originally established to check the influence of political parties through the clan bureaucrats.
With the development of the times, it has become, after all, just an organization endeavoring to enhance the power of the Bureau of Legislation. The other day, it was called "guard of the constitution". "However, in recent days it is a very idle and powerless guard. Many bad regulations have been drafted so far, but it could not check the establishment of any one of them. If they (the counselors) argue that it was due not to their lack of power, but to their sense of discretion that they did not try to obstruct the system of a responsible government they can be called men who know well how to act. But, if they have common sense, they ought to agree with public opinion about the aboliting of the Privy Council. Some say that it should be continued as an organization deliberate only on the greater political questions. We must still question this.
Were any important political questions solved by the Privy Council throughout the war? In fact, even the resignation of the TOJO Cabinet, which had been blamed by all the people, was not enforced by the council Far from it, they bowed to TOJO whenever he commanded them. Most of the counselors are elderly men and have been specially favoured by the Emperor. Even if some of them should kill themselves in atonement for their war responsibility, our people would not consider it unnatural. Nobody has held a more responsible position, and the record proves that they lacked earnestness in dealing with the national difficulties during the war, After all, to entrust them with the coming important national affairs is comparable to forcing a cripple to run.
ITEM 2 Danger of Becoming Accustomed to Life at the Lowest Level - Mainichi Shimbun - 23 Nov 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
At the close of the statement issued 12 November 1945, the Supreme Headquarters pointed out that, "An easy life will nearer exist for the Japanese nation by the time they are permitted by the world to become a peaceful nation." It means that notwithstanding the fact that JAPAN surrendered and has been disarmed completely, she will never be permitted to enter the international society. Actually, JAPAN has lost dignity as an independent state, not only by being occupied by the Allied Powers but also because diplomatic relations with neutrals have been seve[illegible]by the Allies. Therefore, JAPAN is obliged to stand alone until permit-

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 32 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
ted to do otherwise by the Allied Powers, and she is obliged to live "[illegible]the lowest degree of the Japanese economy" as stated by Ambassador Edwin Pauley. In place of the dangers or threats of air bombings and bombardment by warships, realities more grim than those of the war are waiting for us, because of the shortage of food, housing, fuel, and clothing. We should not neglect to observe constantly the miserable reality caused by the defeat and surrender. However, we shall be divested of the spir[illegible]of recovery and independence by thinking our miserable lives are destiny be unhappy.
Man can live even by defying his own conscience or wisdom. He has also a temperament which prefers to live as a beggar or a slave rather than to die. If he does not always encourage his conscience or does not strive for wisdom, he is in danger of adapting himself gradually to a life of dire destitution. In the case of a defeated nation, existence depends upon whether or not it is to be controlled by animal desires to live. Haven't we been brought to such a mental crisis? In this sense, we must guard against losing our spirit of recovery and diligene by not accustoming ourselves to a life of dire destitution. If such an aimless philosophy as "tomorrow brings its own reward", becomes norm and our aims to build a peaceful JAPAN and to recover sovereignty as an independent state are forgotten, JAPAN will ultimately be ruined. There is no outsider who is anxious for our well being and who will advise us always. No other nation but the Japanese will conquer this crisis and build a peaceful JAPAN.
If one gives enough food to the starving people, they may worship the giver as a saviour, having lost integrity and the spirit of independence. A nation, if ruled by such a mean spirit, is in danger of becoming subservient. The food problem is, therefore, the most urgent one in the present JAPAN. It is known to all that for the solution, JAPAN depends upon the importation of food and the kind management of the Allied Powers who will make it possible. However, the prerequisite are: first, that we all work hard; second, that the food, importation is done commercially so that we will not rely upon the material aid of others, except the good will of the Allied Powers; third, that we conquer the national crisis by our firm spirit of independence.
At the root of our true democracy and individualism exists an independent spirit. The national life is awkwardly situated between both mental and material values. We cry loudly, "All people, stand firmly. Be cautious not to become accustomed to a life of dire destitution into which a defeated nation is apt to fall."
ITEM 3 Our economical situation - Yomiuri Hochi - 22 Nov 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Removal of restrictions on the sale of fish and vegetables was carried out. At the outset, it was stated that circulation of commodities is better than ever but that prices are too high, in some cases, much higher than those of the black market.
It is true that unrestricted sales, should stimulate the production and distribution of these commodities, Nevertheless, as long as there is a shortage of basic food, and, as long as black market operations are disregarded, the price of fish and vegetables can not become lower than that of the black market.
Now that the urestricted sale system is established, distribution at official prices no longer exists, and, therefore, the poorer classes will naturally become poorer than ever. The situation is epitomized
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 32 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
by the following words: "One who has no money must starve."
So far, the black marketeers have been more or less, observed through rose colored glasses. To a certain extent they felt inwardly petty, which indicates a decree of morality. But, now, free sale is permitted and one can buy and sell openly. Such being the case, money was never spent so freely as it is today, though it is often called valueless.
In GERMANY, after the end of the first World War, the salaried class and the group living on incomes were the first to collapse on account of inflation, Now, the Japanese livelihood is being seriously threatened. For example, some people would give up their lives for a piece t of chocolate. Excluding the millionaires, farmers, builders and black marketeers, the general public, including the middle class, is faced with a chaotic situation. One cannot live on one's salary alone unless one has a very special way of meeting the present situation.
The free sale system is not a bad policy, at all, for the circulation of commodities. But, in order to cope with actual inflation, the government must provide a plan for increasing the cash incomes of the earning class. If the government fails to act, the intellectual middle class will be ruined, thus resulting in the possible collapse of the independent culture in JAPAN.
ITEM 4 The Draft of the New Election Law Should be Put to Public Discussion - Asahi Shimbun - 22 Nov 45. Translator: J. Wade.
Full Translation:
Since the Government has promised to hold a general election under a new election law in January 1946, there are only two months left before the election date. After the reform of the Election Law, it is assumed that the number of people with the right to vote will be about 43,000,000, or an increase of 28,000,000 in the number of voters.
When the first general election under the universal suffrage system was held, the number of voters increased, to 13,000,000 from 3,000,000. When compared with that increase, the expected increase by the forthcoming reforms of the Election Law is unprecedented in the electoral history of JAPAN. As this increase is caused by the 3,000,000 men who are to be given the right to vote by the lowering of the minimum age limit and by 21,000,000 women who are to be enfranchised for the first time. The increase is epoch-making in its nature. We are now in the midst of a revolution. Has the government fully recognized this revolution?
The Draft of the election Law Reform was approved at the Cabinet meeting during the latter part of October and was sent to the Privy Council for the Emperor's approval the middle of November. The Draft has never been published to the nation. The Election Bill, which is to be operated by the nation after the Diet's approval, should be published for public discussion at the earliest time. The case is similar to social laws such as the Labor Union Bill. For the political education of the people, discussions are appropriate and efficient.
The Government and bureaucrats, however, have stressed the technique of obtaining the Diet's approval and have intentionally disregarded the necessity of presenting this bill's discussion. This is not only because they have feared of the people's opinions, but because they have actually been in contempt of the people. The fact that, in spite of the democratic trends of the time, they have sent the draft to the Privy Council which is already doomed, before putting it to public discussion shows
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 32 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
clearly their lack of recognition of democracy or their lack of sincerity. We maintain that the Government should publish the whole of the Election Bill at the earliest time.
The Government is said to be planning a "Citizen Enlightenment Movemen[illegible]in preparation for the forthcoming general election. This means that the Government has recognized the necessity of public education. But this civic education without publication of the draft will be no more concrete than the civic education in morals.
The 18-day session is not too short for the discussion of the Electora[illegible]Bill, [illegible]the time of two months is too short for the orientation of 28,000,000 new voters, especially when 21,000,000 of the 28,000,000 are women. Frankly speaking, the woman's suffrage has not been won by the efforts of women themselves, but has been granted by the Allies after our defeat. And it is no easy task to make the majority of the new female voters, who are still in the bonds of feudalism, use their rights properly and legally. The education in voting for women should begin with the fundamentals. Moreover, considering the rapidity of change in the situation, education of the voters should not be limited to new voters, but should be extended to all voters. The number and quality of objectives make the task of education of the voters extremely difficult. To add to this difficulty, there is the new technical problem of the Restricted Plural Ballot System. Also making the voters understand the natures of political parties, now arising one after another should be included in the task.
This task cannot be fulfilled by the Government alone. For the establishment of parliamentary politics, we should gain control of the parliament to ourselves. We believe education of the voters, or civic education, under democracy should aim at the recovery by the people control of the Parliament. Along these lines, we demand that the Government should publish the whole of the Election Bill to the people and open it to their free discussion. It is the people of the nation and not the government that are the basis of the election.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0032, 1945-11-27.
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