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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0035, 1945-11-25.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0158

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 158 Date: 25 Nov 1945


ITEM 1 "The Abolition of the Privy Council is now inevitable". 25 Nov 1945. Translator: H. [illegible]wa.
Full Translation:
According to Baro[illegible] [illegible]Chief of the Privy Council, the powers of the Privy Council may be reduced, but its abolition is not being considered. Baron [illegible]did not show clearly the extent to which the[illegible]e powers would be reduced. However since the entire revision of the present Constitution has now became inevitable, the Privy Council which has been closely connected with the provisions of the present Constitution is not free from fundamental criticism.
Originally, the Privy Council was established in 1888 for the enactment of the Constitution and the Imperial House Law. From May to December of that year it discussed the drafts of the Constitution, the [illegible]Law, the Diet Law, the Electoral Law of the Lower House and the [illegible]of the Upper House. All this was done under the title of the Constructional Conference. The Conference was memorable as the only [illegible]achievement of the Privy Council. After the enactment of these important laws, the Privy Council, which had been originally set up as a supreme advisory organ, began to interfere in actual administrative matters, with powers similar to these of the Legislative Bureau in spite of the clause prohibiting its in[illegible]in political affairs.
When the Privy Council opened a government bill there was often a shift of [illegible]the provision of the law prohibiting the interference of the Privy Council in political affairs became a dead-letter. For example, when the emergency Imperial ordinance for a subsidiary to the Bank of FORMOSA was presented to the Privy Council by the first WAKATSUKI ministry, the ministry collapsed. Also in the cases of the TANAKA cabinet's: bill for ratification of toe Peace Pact or the ratification of the LONDON Naval Treaty presented by the [illegible]GU CHI cabinet, the Privy Council and the government firmly opposed them and the political situation shifted [illegible]. In these cases, the Privy Council showed great political [illegible]independent of the government.
The Privy Council, when it works as "the second Legislative Bureau" or as the opposition of the government maintains to date a unique political position [illegible]that it can interfer with the responsible administrations of the government. Since the political power has been turned over to the people and only parliamentary government is entitled to take responsibility in state affairs,

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 35 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
no more need be said as to the unreasonable existence of a Privy Council endowed with powerful political powers.
In the days of absolute monarchy, every country had a body advisory to the monarch. In ENGLAND, the Privy Council existed before the beginning of the cabinet system. By the creation of the cabinet system, the real power of the privy council was transferred to the responsible cabinet. Consequently the existence of the privy council became nominal. Only because of the old law which provides that the privy council be advisory to the king, are cabinet members customarily given the official title of privy councillors. By this fact, it can be said that legally in ENGLAND there is only a privy council and no cabinet, but in reality there is no privy council and only a cabinet.
In our country, on the centrary, both the cabinet and the privy council remain equal, so political disputes often occur. The privy council overshadowed the responsibility of the government to a greater extent then the Army or Navy staffs. All this has been an historical process in which the political power will finally be transferred to the people. However, as long as the monarchy exists, its advisor or advisory organ may be permitted to maintain its existence, and the officials may be called privy council or councillor. The question lies in the extent of competency with which a privy council should be endowed. The answer to this question only depends on the terms of the Constitution to be revised. According to the provision of the Ordinance of the Privy Council, the matters to be inquired into by the Privy Council include those pertaining to the Imperial House Law, the Constitution and its attached laws and ordinances, martial law, emergency Imperial ordinance, treaties, etc. When the prerogatives are reduced, the competence of the Privy council will consequently be largely curtailed. However, should a certain part of the prerogative remain in some form, the Privy Council, which is not representative of the people, should abolish the matter of secret meetings which it holds when discussing matters entailing the exercise of its prerogatives. The responsibility of the cabinet for the exercise of the prerogative must be regarded as supreme. In any case, the future Privy Council, whatever its title may be, must be made a mere court; group which can not interfere with any political affairs, and its functions should be similar to those of the Minister of the Imperial Household, grand Chamberlain and other organs of the court.
The post of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal has already been abolished, and the unification of the Privy Council and the Board of Chamberlains should be pressed forward. In fact, former instances when the post of the chief of the Privy Council aid the Grand Chamberlain were alternately occupied by the same man several times, shows the possibility of their unifiction. In short, following the present action on the revision of the Constitution, the fate of the present Privy Council will finally be decided.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 35 (Continued)
ITEM 2 About the Arbitration Committee. Yomiuri-Hochi. 25 Nov 1945. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
In the editorial and other columns of the November 21 edition, dissatisfaction was expressed with regard to the method of nomination, of the members, of the Labor Disputes Arbitration Committee. I wish here to make myself understood since it concerns me.
First, there is a question as to which side I belong on the committee, the capitalists or to the laborers. The seeming ambiguity as to my assignment arose as a result of my position as clerk in the Technical Association. I presented my resignation to the Technical Association after the peace was restored and am now devoting myself to the establishment of a labors union as a member of the Central Preparatory Committee of the General Labor Union. The ambiguity is either due to my position as a clerk or due to the institution where I worked; that is, the Technical Association.
Second, I was reported to be a follower of MATSUOKA, Komakichi, since reportedly I had formerly belonged to the General Labor Union. However, I never belonged to that Union, nor have I become a follower of MATSUOKA, Komakichi, who is my trustworthy elder in the labor movement. The attitude of looking upon us as leader and follower is a feudalistic attitude.
Third, that the number of the laborers represented in the committee is not sufficient, is stated in your paper. Nevertheless as fighters, our side excels the capitalists.
In addition, I want to express my opinion that our committee has no legal basis; therefore, there can be no differences between the standing and extraordinary committees and there will arise no question of voting.
In conclusion, now that various intrigues are being attempted to hinder to the formation of a single labor union, I am afraid that the attitude of your paper may be utilized by the ruling class to split up our coalition.
I wish your paper would be more prudent in treating your subjects since your paper is not the personal possession of SHORIKI, the chief editor.
Signed: WATANABE, Konosuke.
ITEM 3 Our Present Political Situation. Yomiuri-Hochi. 26 Nov 1945. Translator: B.Ishibashi.
Full Translation:
Revolution is always headed by destructive phenomenon. In the case of militaristic fascism, the attach is made on liberalism and democracy. In the reverse case, it may be the exposure and attack which is now executed in our country towards everything connected with war.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 35 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The Communists wish to cut off the fabulous elements from Japanese history and to abolish the Imperial system. The Socialists and Liberals are crying for the submission of a bill on the pursuit of war criminals. The general public, getting hungry, is hoping to expose and destroy financial combines, great landowners, war profiteers, black marketeers, the extraordinary military expenditures and the usurpers of goods at the close of the war.
The press magazines and radio broadcasts are full of these exposures. Such a radical destructive phenomenon has not appeared since the MEIJI era in our country. The moderate thought of the Golden mean or the worldly wisdom of common sense is almost useless. Our democratic revolution is still without bloodshed, but no one can deny the possibility of a forceful upsurge of the masses, resulting from the development of the serious food and housing situations. However even if it happened in JAPAN, I think it does not necessarily mean misfortune for JAPAN. It would rather hasten her in regulating herself, in cleaning up, airing out or casting off the devils. Thus, great opportunities may open up for the reconstruction of JAPAN. In the forthcoming Extraordinary Diet Session, they will perhaps pursue the ordinary course true of every revolution. They are likely to be confined to competitions among the old powers within the limits of the Imperial democracy since there are no Communists Seats.
It is pityful for the present cabinet to have to prepare for all these destructive attacks. At any rate for purpose of reconstructing JAPAN, I think the first step should be to obtain a supply of 2.500 calories per day to the people.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0035, 1945-11-25.
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