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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0100, 1945-12-17.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0349

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 349 Date: 17 Dec 45


ITEM 1 "The part of the Youth in Renovation of the Diet" [illegible]Provincial Newspaper (SHIROSHIMA) CHOGOKU SHIMBUN 4 Dec 45 Translator: Furukawa H.
Full Translation:
The problems discussed in the Diet on war responsibility of Diet members were destined for oblivim. The resolution adoped on the basis of the Progressives proposed was such that "those who flattered the military, the bureaucrats the financial shall show penitence for their war responsibility.” Such an evasive on war responsibility is no more than a mockery to the people.
The nation became aware that the attitude of the Diet toward war criminals is indeed very mild when the Election law reform bill, which is most worthy of attention in this session, was introduced. This bill has a direct bearing on the interests of the Diet members and so there is no doubt that the members will give it careful consideration. The aim of this reform bill is to bring into the Diet a .fresh and vital atmosphere One of the three main points of reform of the extension franchise to both sex is over twenty years of age, was decided on the supposition that one intellactual ability and sense of responsibility of youth has much advanced in our present day. We have great expectative for the youthful enthusiasm which will clean the Diet in this period of transition.
The Diet. which is now in a state of staguation, can be rejuvenated only by the full youth at the forthcoming general election. Because much must be expected from the bright future of Japanese youth, the fate of revived nation will certainly be affected by their charateristic emotions, passions, and spirit. We must realize the fact that youth has usually led the revolutions in our history. For example, think of the brilliant civilization in the SUIKU Area which was mainly founded by Imperial Prince SHOTOKU, only twenty-four years old. Similarly, the TAIKA Reformation was executed by the efforts of Prince NAKA-NO-ONE who was also 24 years of age. Later, the greater part of the work of the MEIJI restoration was planned and achieved by young men of about thirty.
Considering these historical facts, we must conclude that youth is closely related to the reformation of the State. Why so? I think the reason is that adults are retrospective, while youth is hopeful. In this case there is a clean difference between those who live in the past and there who live for the future, In other words, the critical spirit of youth cannot easily he satisfied with the existing order. It is always carried away with the impulse to realize higher ideals and to create and form something new.
Mr. NISHIO a Social Democrat, in his opinion opposing the general resign, nation of the present members of the Diet, said that "A Diet, which is organized by new men exclusively, will be a sincere bat inexperienced one" Certainly as he said, youth is inexperienced.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 100 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Full Translation:
However, what is expericence, aquired on the basis of undersirable and old customs, worth? Can we regard such experience as a unique, and moral asset? It is characteristic of the historical reformation that the existing: party men gradually, lose their voice in politics in a sudden change of the mind of the time [illegible]the mind of JAPAN. Consequently, When the reformation of the State and society is eventually required, promising youths appear in great numbers in response to the demands of the time.
Our first aim is to renew political feeling and form new political organizations which can be a propelling power in the construction of the new JAPAN, In other words, we aim to establish a democratic country. To attain this purpose, however, a plan is required which is fresh and active which will sweep away adherence to the past. This ideal of the new State is so revolutionary that the existing political parties can never attain it. Therefore, we expect much activity, from oar youth. However, to conceive this ideal and realize it is, of course, not easy. The times now require the vigor of youth to conquer many difficulties which occur often the termination of a war. As a matter of coarse, passion it self cannot last too long. Passion must be led by reason in the right direction. It is necessary to face and study scientifically historical facts, for only by such scientific knowledge can affection for the fatherland be held, because love in the tree sense of the word is based on correct knowledge.
On the contrary, passion without knowledge drives youth to a radicalism which is merely destructive. Such radicalism is often no more than self - satisfaction in the destruction of the existing order, without the creation of something positive. The result is a deplorible waste of life and energy. At the same time, it must be also noticed that there is a danger of lapsing into a rihilistic[illegible]mental condition, a result of confusion in the mind of youth which is facing radical changes. When this danger is ignored youth will inevitably fall into a certain condition of rihilism, despising matters of state as trifles.
If such an indifferent attitude towards State affairs prevails among youth, the State will have gloomy prospects for its future. We hope earnestly that youth will rise out of its present rihilistic torpor as soon as possible and engage in reconstruction, Giving full vent to its ability to participate in State affairs, with the same active power and spirit as show, at the front and in the factories during the war. Youth's efforts in these matters is the key to the rejuvenation of the Diet.
ITEM 2 The Election Law Reform to be Accompanied by the Reform of the peer's House Provincial Newspaper KAHOKU SHIMPO 11 Dec 45 Translator: NAGATANI K.
The gist of the Election Law Reform Bi11 now before the Diet is included in the following four points: (l) reduction of the voting age; (2) franchise for women; (3) restricted plural ballot system; (4) removal of all restra[illegible]ning legislation concerning election campaigns.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 100 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Except for possible amendments to the latter two points the former two are expected to pass the Diet in the form originally drafted by the cabinet. In the event that the reduction of the voting age and women's suffrage are realized, the number of voters will become three times as large as in the preceding general election. This is surely the first great step of oar nation towards democracy, but at the same time it must be remembered that this is the very first step, and tha’s all.
There is a prevailing pessimism as to how many of the newly enfranchised voters will be sufficiently interested in politic's to exercise their voting rights. Especially in the case of women voters, it is generally predicted that only 50 per cent at best will participate in the coming general election. Of course, there are many causes for the lamentable indifference of women to politics; for example, there are the unspeakable difficulties in our daily life today, including poor knowledge of politics an the part of most Japanese women, but the fundamental cause lies in to fast that a single vote is too insignificant to directly influence the real lives of each voter. In other words the split existing between public life and exercising the vote accounts fundamentally for their indifference to the general election. Accordingly, the best way to prevent them from abstaining is to strengthen the power of the vote so as to affect directly the life of each voter.
Until the present there have been the so-called "four big drawbacks", hampering the realization of democracy as formally balloted by the MEIJI
Restoration of 1868. There are, the military groey, the Privy Council, the big policy makers, including the "elder statesmen", and the House of Peers: This is why the House of Representatives has been unable to take the leadership in politics in JAPAN. That is to say, in JAPAN politics has not reflected public opinion, and under these circumstances it is only natural that the general public should lose their interest in politics. In order to make the public concerned with politics, the House of Representatives must he the center of politics and to effect this, the above mentioned "four big drawbacks" should be abolished or thoroughly reformed. Now that the military group and high policy makers have ceased to exist, two face "two big drawbacks", the privy council and the House of Peers. It a reported that the Government intends to keep the Privy Cornell with some reform, and seems to have no intention of reforming the House of pears. We cannot welcome such a pasive attitude by the Government concerning these reforms. It is a great mistake for the Government to think that their problems are not connected with the Election Law. We hope the Government arrives at the solution to these problems as soon as possible.
As for the Privy Council, We insist on its abolition. A cabinet alone is sufficient for advising the Throne. We insist that the House of Peers should, be reformed so as to represent those classes not sufficiently represented in the lower House, thus executing its supplementary function for the Jouse of Representatives.
ITEM 3 Coal Shortage and the Board of Coal TUKID SHIMBUN 12 Dec 45. Translator: KAWANABE M.
Full Translation:
In order to overcome the coal shortage, it was decided to set up the Board of Coal.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 100 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Full Translation:
We all know coal in one of the most essential materials, next to food, and its shortage entails a. stoppage of its function as a necessity to production. It is presently an urgent necessity to increase the production of coal.
In this respect, it is a good idea to set up the Board of Coal to enforce a unified and powerful coal administration. We must net forget that the aim of this does nttdie in the establishment of the Board itself, but in the greater production of coal. In fact, however, while the authorities concerned are wasting much time in procedure and the like necessary to set up the Board, the situation has become so serious that the amount of coal distributed for railroads in January is cut in half. We already know that labor and materials are forming botllenecks to coal reduction.
Accordingly, counter-measures should have already been taken by the Government, and the counter-measures should not necessarily have been merely the establishment of such a Board. Though we do not oppose the establishment of the board of Coal, we admonish the Government for its tendency to lay stress on the means rather than the and. Don't put the cart before the horse!
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0100, 1945-12-17.
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