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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0045, 1945-12-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0194

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 194 Date: 3 Dec 45


ITEM 1 "Something Left to be Desired by the Government at the Opening of the Diet Session" - Asahi Shimbun - 29 Nov 45. Translator: H. Furnkawa.
It can be said that everyone in the Japanese Nation has no antipathy but feels as if something were missing in the cases of Premier SHIDEHARA and the present Cabinet. Although they don't show bureaucratic manners candidly, they still adhere to the bureaucratic way of looking at things.
In his reply to the question of Mr. SAITO, member of the Lower House, the Premier showed his intention to dissolve the newly elected Diet when it can be regarded as not really representing the people's will. He quibbled that he cannot take the responsibility of his talk reported by the newspapers. In such speeches of the Premier, we can vaguely learn his attitudes toward the Diet and the press under a democratic system. We must not be fascinated at the sight of the grand Diet building on the hill at NAGATA-Cho.
We must bear in mind the fact that this special Diet session is opened under the supervision of the Allied Forces, and on devastated ground where a chorus of hunger, traffic difficulty, black markets, and street girls can be heard. If the people, the press, the Diet and the Government go hand in hand, considering each other without vanity, camouflage and self-deception, the present Government will be able to gain 70 million people over to its side. The people have found the important element which will alleviate their dissatisfaction with the tragic attitude of the War Minister. The latter, in his reply to the question on militarism, stated that he would apologize to the whole Nation through the Diet for the past mistakes which he frankly recognized in the Army.
ITEM 2 The Suspension of the Pension System - Tokyo-Shimbun - 29 Nov 45. Translator: S. Inoue.
Full translation:
The directives issued by the Headquarters of the Allied Forces to the Japanese Government are all very importment in striving to bring forth a democratic revolution in JAPAN. Most of those issued so far are political, and so same of us may not have felt them. However the directives dated 25 November were those regarding the war profits tax, the property tax and the suspension of the pension system for Military personnel and are so related with the problems of our personal lives that we cannot overlook their importance.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 45 (continued)
ITEM 2 (continued)
These directives indicated that we are not permitted to acquire profits from any form of business during the war and must realize a war is never profitable. Whats more, there must be no difference in privileges, such as receiving pensions from the Government, because of professional services.
The pension system for military personnel has been discussed very often, and the unreasonableness of the case in which young men of little more than twenty or thirty receive pensions has been criticized by us. A pension system improvement plan, previously projected by the Government, might have been a response to this public opinion. However, these directives are severe enough to bring about a revolution among these who live on pensions. Yet, is this revolutionary measure any more cruel than the fate of war sufferers who lost some or most of their family members and were stripped of everything they had by war casualties?
This brings up the suspension of the pension system for civil officials although the Allied directives have not gone that far. This problem was one of those treated in this column under the renovation of officialdom. Their pension system must be replaced by some kind of social insurance system. The Welfare Ministry previously suggested the difficulties in the realization of an insurance system, and we are very sorry to see the Welfare Minister obliged to adopt it. We must, however, remember in this connection that there is no reason for military personnel or civil officials to have the privilege of receiving pensions when the people who have worked hard for the country have no pensions when they have become unable to work. We must be careful not to settle this new pension system by a halfway social insurance system.
ITEM 3 From the Diet - Yomiuri-Hochi - 30 Nov 45. Translator: T. Unayama.
Full translation:
HATOYAMA, Ichiro, President of the Liberal Party, spoke on the subject of the "Limits of Democracy," and emphasized his absolute support of the Emperor System. It was a direct and fundamental contradiction of Communism. He also explained the fragility of democracy and warned of the danger that despotism would arise again, taking advantage of democracy's loopholes.
To this speech replied Premier SHIDEHARA, saying that he was entirely in agreement with the President. This concurrence is due, we believe, to his being the same bookist type politician as the President. He may also be described as an English-type in that he pays respect to the leadership of a party although his viewpoints as a bureaucrat differ from the President's as a party man. HATOYAMA'S speech was an argument on general principles and accordingly was not attractive. It seems that as the President he feels he must appear elegant.
NISHIO, Suehiro is the spokesman of the Social-Democratic Party and has set forth clear principles of policy, so we were eager to hear what he had to say. Nevertheless, wasting no words ever the problems of the Social-Democratic Party and the Emperor System, or socialism, and communism, talked minutely on the problems of food, unemployment and labor unions. His lecture materials termed to consist entirely of prose clippings.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 45 (continued)
ITEM 3 (continued)
In the days when the Proletarian Party was a power in the House, their speeches, as for example, OYAMA, Ikuo's, did not harmonize with the atmosphere of the floor. They gave one the impression of an open-air meeting. Nevertheless, their echoes were great outside the House, The present members of the Social-Democratic Party have already become accustomed to life in the House and seem like one of the old parties. If the Communist Party secures seats, they might create the sane atmosphere the Proletarian Party created in former times.
The Liberal Party and Social-Democratic Party take the normal form of political parties, and in this respect they differ from the Progressives and Independents. For this reason, the public takes an interest in them and pays attention to their speeches and actions. The Liberal Party is the only party which has a president, and the president's voice is important since it affects the party's fortunes. The President's speech ought, we believe, to have been one which would have advocated steps toward improving our existing society rather than one which seemed like a lecture in a political science class. We are more concerned with the development of the Social-Democratic Party than that of the Liberal Party, and what the Social-Democratic Party needs is more fighting leaders. Today again, our impressions of the Diet were not good nor was there any vitality or vigor there.
ITEM 4 Do Away With Useless Chatter in the Diet - Asahi Shimbun - 30 Nov 45. Translator: I. Imai.
Full translation:
The 18-day term of the Diet session passes day by day. It is still necessary to explain what ought to be explained or to say what ought to be said, and as speed is essential at the present time, we should do away with useless chatter.
A lengthy formal speech which includes "Dear Sir" and "Yours truly" is now taboo, and it is enough if the gist of a problem is plainly expressed. We should realize that the same old dullness and the vulgar disturbances in the Diet are reviling and dishonor the Diet, the people, and the Nation.
On the other hand, however, matters closely related to the nation's livelihood must be thoroughly examined, and those adopted must be put into practice. For example, taking into consideration the fact that the voting age and the age limits for holding office have been reduced by five years and that women are also given the vote, changes must be made in lowering the age of attainment of the majority mentioned in the Family Law and in the marriage age provided in the Civil Code.
The Imperial House Law provides that the crown prince (KOTAISHI) and the Imperial Grandson (KOTAISON) shall attain their majority at eighteen, and that the Regency shall be assumed by the KOTAISHI or the KOTAISON upon reaching majority.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 45 (continued)
ITEM 4 (continued)
As for the nation in general, its people are given their testamentary rights at the age of fifteen. In spite of the fact that men are allowed to marry at the ages of seventeen and girls at fifteen years, marriage without the consent of parents can be made only at thirty for the former and twenty-five years for the latter, according to the provisions of the Law. The Law also provides that an under-age son has to get consent from the person in parental authority when he applies for the military service. However, many of the young pilots of the Navy, during the war, must have gone into the schools without listening to their parents.
What are the authorities going to do with these inequalities? We demand deliberation on this matter by the Minister of State Mr. MATSUMOTO.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0045, 1945-12-03.
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