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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0060, 1945-12-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0235

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 235 Date: 5 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Take A Chance on the Proportional Representative System Yomiuri-Hochi Shimbun - 3 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
The Election Law Reform Bill, one of the important measures under discussion in this session of the Diet, was presented to the House of Representatives on 1 December, but the Government's original draft is expected to face many amendments.
This bill, along with the policies of the Government, is faulty and lacks consistency. We cannot see the Government's political reasoning. Home Minister HORIKIRI, explaining the reasons for the bill's proposal, stated, "Our ultimate ideal is to create a proportional representation system and a major electoral district system." In spite of his statement, we are wondering why the Government does not hasten its enactment. They claim that political parties must be established before the system can be put into practice. But this is a great misconception.
In JAPAN, political parties have not been able to develop fully. Therefore, the semi-feudal social structure became so entangled with the election system which depended on minor or medium electoral districts, that the will of people could not be expressed by election. Notwithstanding the fact that universal suffrage was carried out resolutely in 1927 through the Election Law Reform of 1925, the people could not really express their will and left the feudal power dominant as of old. This was so because the people could not break up the old election system.
There is no more suitable method to break down semi-feudalism in politics than to institute proportional representation in a major electoral district. To say that parties have not yet been established is not true. A party can be supported by people only through a campaign. Therefore the idea of holding a election after the parties have been established solidly is still bureaucratic.
As parliamentary parties, the Progressive, the Liberal and the Social Democratic have already been formed although they may still be weak. As for parties not represented in the Diet, various minor ones, not to speak of the Communist Party, have also been set up. Whether these parties will become powerful or not depends upon the coming election campaign.
According to the bill by the Government, there is, on the one hand, a major electoral district system in which fifteen representatives are to be elected, and on the other, a minor electoral district system in which no more than five or ten are to be elected. It is proper that every party in the Diet should oppose such government methods. The Progressive Party has had no definite opinions on reform because of its intra-party complications, and the Liberal Party, advocating the proportional representation system as an ideal bill, is still resorting

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 60 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
to secret voting in a medium electoral district. The Social-Democratic Party alone is maintaining the proportional representation system. However, these parties have lacked a consistent belief. The social situation is rapidly changing, and we cannot solve problems easily and moderately. We wish every party to forego individual gain, and strive for enactment of this bill establishing a system of proportional representation.
Every nation in the world as well as the Japanese is watching the consequences of the coming general election, which will take place early next year and will be a barometer measuring our degree of democracy. If the result of the election remain feudal as ever, the world will not confide in us .and our reconstruction will be hindered. We can see, therefore, that the results of the Election Law Reform Bill will have a great influence upon our country. We warn, however, that if revolutionary and ideal elements cannot be woven into this bill, the Diet will have to hear no less a responsibility for that than for the war.
ITEM 2 Scandal in the NUMAZU Arsenal - Yomiuri-Hochi 3 Dec 45. Translator: I. Inoue.
Misdeeds by professional military officers in the confusion at the end of war were carried on in various parts of JAPAN, and here in the NUMAZU Arsenal there was illegal disposal of government goods. A certain FUKAI, chief of the arsenal, with other military officers, is still carrying on his misdeeds under the pretext of managing the remaining business oven though three months have passed since the end of the war. A great deal is being said about their wrongdoings among the town residents. In conspiracy with the mayor, the police chief, said agricultural associations, at the end of the war, they disposed of or sold numerous articles of government issue. They also hid a great deal of architectural materials, foods and other military stores in civilian or agricultural association's warehouses. We are very curious about how they are going to dispose of this goods.
There is another rascal named AIZAWA, an ex-captain of the Japanese Army, who hid many medical instruments including X-ray apparatus and other items valued approximately 400,000 yen some place in the city. He now intends to establish a hospital in which the above-mentioned machines are to be used. It is further rumored that he divided 500,000 yen stolen at the end of the war between the police chief and a certain timber man. Furthermore, he recently disposed of a great deal of coal in conspiracy with the agricultural association. We wonder what the Military Store's Disposition Investigation Commission is doing in regard to these injustices. (Signed: A Patriot.)
ITEM 3 The True Meaning of the Existence - Tokyo Shimbun - 3 December 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full translation:
On 23 November I listened to the broadcast of a discussion on the Imperial System. Any expression of opinion on the existence of the Emperor had been heretofore suppressed, not only in broadcasting, but
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 60 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
even in hones. Consequently, this was an unprecedented broadcast.
While there may be various opinions about the Imperial System, it should be stressed that the EMREROR is always, today, as in the past, in war or peace, the pivot of our nation. It has always been and should always be. Our people are anxious for it. Any movement, whether it be liberalism or communism, would be permitted in our country, provided it be peace loving, beneficial and prosperous for the nation. But, if it should be incompatible in principle with the existence of the EMPEROR, expulsion or amendment of it would be inevitable. For the existence of the EMPEROR has quite different characteristics from those of kings of other countries.
Even if it may be legally, substantially and theoretically, of the same kind as the others, and in it may be found nothing to distinguish it from the others, it is distinctively apart from them in our inner-feelings. Someone my argue that this is so because of prejudices with which we were imbued from our primary school days. Nevertheless, an unsound prejudice is bound to fall off as time goes on. Surely, our school education is an example of this. However, our feelings towards the EMPEROR are for more deep-rooted. It has been so for thousands of years. After all, it must be concluded that it is the one true claim of our nation from older times. We people all place ourselves at the service of the EMPEROR. We ran into the war which was hopeless, from the beginning because of the Imperial Order. We have the existence of the Emperor within ourselves.
I ask TOKUDA this question, on what basis do you argue that the existence of the EMPEROR is a scourge to the Nation and a source of danger to the people? Do you intend to shift the responsibility for the present sufferings, the extreme poverty and starvation, altogether to the shoulders of the EMPEROR? Suppose the EMPEROR were not in JAPAN and such things as occured on 15 August happened, and some other person proclaimed the ending of the war. Surely he would at once have been killed. There would have been bloodshed for at least three months. In any other country but JAPAN, have there appeared such heroic soldiers as the TOKKO (TN: Special Attack) troops who followed one another to the front during the war? They went to the front not merely under their chief's order, nor for their fellow countrymen; they went only in order to set the Emperor's heart at rest. On their school days, they were rather common students; therefore, it must be concluded that such heroism was carried out because of the existence of the EMPEROR. You do not sufficiently understand their spirit. I ask you again, where have you been instructed? Did your mother bring you up in such a way? Where were you instructed in this communism which you hold as a principle?
The absurdity of criticizing the Imperial System through crooked and veiled spectacles with the words "militaristic cliques", or "rotten bureaucrats", may be compared with a blind man, who catches an elephant's tail concludes that an elephant is a kind of rope. Obviously, the governing authorities are non searching with every effort to establish a basis for the future interests of the Nation. Therefore, I can only with that you would express more constructive opinions to aid them."
ITEM 4 Viewing the Diet Yomiuri-Hochi - 4 Dec 45. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full translation:
The reform of the Election Laws was the main topic for deliberation today at the plenary session of the Lower House. Nobody dared raise
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 60 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
any opposition against the main point of the reform. Most of the members seemed to hope the reform would be favorable to their interests in the forthcoming general election. Therefore, in the eyes of observers their discussions were inclined to be dull. We were rather more interested in the problem of how many and who among the House members will be named as war criminal suspects, and will follow their five colleagues who were to be transferred to SUGANO prison today. The question also arose as to how seriously this will affect the existing political parties.
When we think of the speedy handling of difficult problems on the part of MacARTHUR's Headquarters, by tackling them directly, it is pitiful that the reform of the Election Laws should progress so slowly although in comparison with the Lower House, more members were cleaned out of the Upper House as war suspects, if the situation continues, it is feared that the memberships of both House will decrease to below their respective quorums.
The budget meeting was opened in the morning. In compliance with the demand of the Progressive Party the Cabinet has presented a budget of 118,000 yen for the expenditures of the current Diet Session. The current sitting being set for 18 days, 10,000 yen per day will be appropriated. For what purpose? We do not like to look at it so stingily. The appropriation of such a small sum can be made from the second reserve funds. It is but a very small sum in comparison with the huge amounts of our recent budgets which often called for several billions at one time. To all appearances, the budget meeting seems to be a meeting designed for members' interpellations rather than the deliberation of a budget itself. Therefore, to speak paradoxically, it is impossible for the House members to map out measures for the forthcoming election unless a budget is presented to them and the general meeting is opened.
There is a succession of members who interpellate. Yet they are, as it were, broadcasting their own speeches, in the name of "freedom of speech", with the forthcoming election in mind. To the Government authorities, this "freedom" must be very annoying. However, once we turn from the Diet problem, we see a coal shortage which is becoming worse and worse and at the same time a constantly rising price for rice.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0060, 1945-12-05.
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