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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0062, 1945-12-06.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0242

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 242 Date: 6 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The Coal Shortage And The Railway - Tokyo Shimbun - 3 Dec 45. Translator: K. Gunji.
Full Translation:
It was just the other day that we were delighted by the announcement of the Transportation Department on the increase of railway operations and the revival of express trains. But now we hear of the large scale reduction of railway traffic resulting from the decreased coal output.
It was all too obvious that the conclusion of the war would cause a shortage of coal, in view of the coal industry's small ration of Japanese employees to Chinese and the latter's return to their father land. Even the Allied authorities warned the Government of this dancer pointing out that it would lead to the suspension of railway traffic and of the supply of gas. Not with standing all this, the Transportation Department published its plan, ignoring the crisis.
It is true that the coal problem is within the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce and Industry. But the Transportation department should be most acutely concerned with it because of its close connection with the coal-mining industry. Neverthless that very Department has shown no foresight, has ignored the warning, and has blamed its plight upon the coal shortage. Since even the high rail road officials are taking this stand it is of no consequence for us to blame the employees for their idleness.
ITEM 2 The Diet Horrified At a New Apprehension Order - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Dec 45. Translator: Y. Wada.
Full Translation:
Active discussions were expected in the plenary session of the Budget Committee which was held yesterday. But to our disappointment, the arguments centered around the leadership .after the forthcoming election, about which the representatives are seriously concerned. Members such as KAWASAKI, Katsu and MAKATAMI, Takeyo asserted that the present Cabinet should resign as a whole after a new democratic diet has been formed. The Premier replied to the effect that a majority party did not always represent the people's will, and that the situation alone would, determine the Cabinet's course.
We can well understand what SHIDEHARA meant by that answer. For the Representatives, however, that is a very serious problem. They are afraid of a possible re-dissolution of the Diet after a costly but successful campaign. Especially the Progressive Party, the majority in the Diet, may lose power. The members' anxiety to know the Cabinet's attitude toward the result of the coming elections comes from their confidence of success in the forthcoming elections. But, if many of

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 62 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
the present members are re-elected in the forthcoming general election, we shall be very disappointed.
Much need not be said about war responsibility on the part of the members. A new sweeping arrest order including some members, which was made public by the Diet about noon, took all the members abock. As the result, the plenary session of the Diet in the afternoon was attended by only a few members. The scene was in ironical contrast to that of the Budget Committee meeting in the morning, which was rather active.
Finance Minister SHIBUZAWA, in the plenary meeting of the Budget Committee, gave full details of his financial reconstruction plan. His argument came to the point, but is lacking in two imminent problems. One is the concrete measure to realize the "production-first principle". The other is the means of democratization. Of course, these problems have a close relation to the policies of the other department, but the minister on his part should have profound ideas from a financial standpoint.
A resolution for the extension of coal production is also going to be presented. There are too many problems around us, the solution of which admits of no delay. The most important of them is, of course, the encouragement of necessary production. Members should work on these problems with sincerity, and the Government on its part should give persuasive answers to the nation without evasive words. We advise the Government and the representatives to recover the national confidence in them by action rather than empty promises.
ITEM 3 Discussions on the War Responsibility - Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
The bill for a resolution on war responsibility caused a dispute among the members of the House of Representatives. This in itself proved that the present members are to be excluded at once from such responsibility. It is conscience itself that makes the members of the Diet feel the responsibility for the part they took in the war. Accordingly, there may be some differences between the senses of responsibility for the feelings or situations are individual.
There will probably be some separate resolutions respecting war responsibility among the Progressive Party, the Liberal Party or the Social Democratic Party, and it is indeed strange that the Diet members deceive the general public with such a lame excuse as "repentant attitude" to explain the responsibility. One may take up this excuse for oneself to explain one's own feelings respecting responsibility in order to make public the way in which one is responsible. One, however, must not force it on those members of the other parties, who are far forward in the sense of responsibility, so that he may include other members and make his excuse as he likes. This is indeed unconscionable and does nothing but disclose on evil side of democracy to the people.
The value of assuming responsibility depends upon whether one's act is based on one's conscience, or not, without regard to how he feels his responsibility. In such case one deceives his conscience and also that of others, therefore, we cannot find any intention to take responsibility in such action. Now, some members of the Diet are in-
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 62 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
sisting upon the total resignation of all members, but it actually does no good for them to withdraw just before the dissolution of the Diet , after a discussion of all bills. We may understand them if they intend to resign in recognition of the responsibility and not to stand as the candidates in the coming election. Then, why did they not discuss it in the last Extraordinary Session of the Diet? They will have no cause for grumbling if the general public may think that their acts are based on the idea that such an attitude will be advantageous for them in the coming election. Nothing is better than an earnest discussion.
ITEM 4 Endless Disputes over the Reins of Power, vague Arguments Not Based on the Facts - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: E. Yuriko.
Full Translation:
The Budget Committee of the Lower House, which met in its first plenary session on 3 November, spent the whole morning in disputes between the Prime Minister and Mr. KAWASAKI, katsu. They had endless arguments about Premier SEIDEHARA's statement to the cabinet reporters, the statement which Mr. SAITO, Takao, took up at the Diet. Both the Premier and Mr. KAWASAKI had no objection to the idea that democracy is a policy based on public opinion, but the Premier disapree[illegible]with Mr. KAWASAKI in the latter's contention that the policy which respects the people's opinion means nothing but party politics; therefore, the Government must transfer its reins of power to the majority party immediately after the general election. Mr. KAWASAKI took pains to maneauver the Premier into committing himself to this transfer of power, hence a long pointless argument.
A party government may well be a good policy. But at the forthcoming general election, there is a, possibility of the present Diet members being re-elected, because each of them has a long-established constituency, while the lack of publicity., materials and communication facilities will not favour new candidates. Then, can such an election be fair judgement of the people? Therefore, whether the Government will resign en bloc or not immediately after the general election will entirely depend on the situation at that time. We guess that that is perhaps what Premier SHIDEHARA means, but ho never did specifically say that. As for the Diet members they may be in a dilemma, if the problem, setting aside general or abstract arguments, is explained in too concrete a manner, because they the selves obscured and smothered their resolution on the investigation of war responsibility of the Diet members under the Recommendation System.
We listened to them with a feeling of repugnance. Of course, it is not our purpose to inquire into the members' deeds and censure them, but there are too many discussions which do not appeal to the people at the time when the streets are overflowing with war-sufferers and black market dealings are rampant on the very ruins of air-raids. If the Government only promised that it will transfer the reims of power to a majority party immediately after the general election, the Progressive Party, which is said to be on the verge of a split, will soon be temporarily consolidated. However, the party will soon be criticized and overthrown if it is not a party which grows up on the strength of its being the representative of the people. Such a majority party is not capable of the work of rebuilding the Nation in this critical situation.
The House of Peers held only two meeting of committees and was very
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 62 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
inactive in the face of the projected fundamental revision of its own House. Perhaps this may be due to the fact that, as yet, no bills have come to the Upper House. The House of Representatives, holding its plenary session beginning at 1300, introduced the Election Law Reform Bill, the law in question. Several Diet members interpellated on the Restricted Plural Ballot System which decides the question of revision, womens' suffrage, the system of a large election constituency, electoral expenditure, and regulations on election campaign, before the announcement of candidature. Those interpellations were not very argumentative and most of the seats for both the representatives and for the public were vacant.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0062, 1945-12-06.
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