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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0134, 1945-12-21.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0433

call-number: DS801 .S82



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
NO. 433 DATE 21 Dec 45

EDITORIAL SERIES: 134

ITEM 1 Amelioration of Educators' Treatment - Provincial Newspaper Tokushima Shimbun (Tokushima) - 15 Dec 45. Translator: Y. Suzuki
Summary:
The problem of improving treatment of educators was brought up in the Diet and in the prefectual assemblies. This is only natural, but it is unusual for the educators to agitate for themselves as they have been doing. Education is a vocation or, rather, a missionary work. Educators are thought to have lofty character and fidelity and are wxpected to set an example for society.
Hitherts, educators have considered education or an ordinary occupation rather than as irrtuous or missionary work. They went to normal schools not because they aspired to become the people's leaders but because it was the surest, easiest, and quickest way to be employed.
With the out break of the war the standards became even lower. Shortage of men caused these people to be hired without regard as to whether or not they had character. Hence education is a most serious problem in the reconstruction of new JAPAN. To improve the situation, better educators must be selected. But, before doing so, the authorities must first improve the treatment of educators. For example, the actual average of TOKUSHIMA-Ken educators' salaries is 70 yen for elementary teachers and 90 yen for high schools teachers. With such small salaries it is impossible for them to maintain themselves at present black market prices. The authorities must be aware of the need for making their living easier.
That is to say, improvement of education means establishing a basis for a new JAPAN.
ITEM 2 Free Election - Provincial Newspaper, Kyuga Nichinichi Shimbun (Miyazaki) - 15 Dec 45. Translator: I. Hotta
Summary:
The fact that the new Election Law Amendment has put woman suffrage into practice and has greatly modified controls over election campaigns is a remarkable reform in our political world. Priour election law amendments in JAPAN have aimed only at control of the election campaigns. It is undeniable that this control has been a great service in regulating elections, but the intricate regulations prevented free and sound development of elections and made the people unfamiliar with them.

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EDITORIAL SERIES 134 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Elections should be both open and more familiar to the public that they may willingly participate in them; otherwise, the actual intent of elections can not be attained. The newly passed Election Law aims at this point. Now that suffrage is given to women and young people, such severe control on elections will make the effect of these reforms completely void.
An "administration based on the free will of the people" demanded in the P TSDAM Proclamation can not be expected if the democralization of election campaigns is not realized. The abolition of control regulations may cause some evil influences. However, it is far more important for us to aim at the natural development of elections than to be too particular about these evils as the latter will be excluded when the people recognize the important part they play in the Government. It is preferable to abolish the control regulations in order to make politics more active and allow the people to criticize policies freely. Thereby, the elevation of political insight and political recognition of the people can be anticipated.
ITEM 3 The Nation's duty to the New Diet - Provincial Newspaper - Tokushima. Shimbun (Tokushima) - 16 Dec 45. Translator: K. Nagatani
Summary:
It is only natural that the House of Peers does not like to concern itself with the revision of the Election Law which a matter purely related to the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, the House of Peers showed sincerity in discussing the amendments proposed by the House of Representatives and pointed out a mistake in the amendment. This change in the amendment was a proved by the Lower House. Thus, this epoch-making bill passed both houses to our great satisfaction.
The gist of the Election Law Reform Bill is as follows: 1. Lowering of voting age. 2. Woman suffrage. 3. Adoption of the major electoral district system end the so-called "restricted plural ballot system" 4. Lifting of restraining legislation concerning campaigns. In the amendment the Lower House failed to take into consideration the case of a re-election or a by-election in which one or two candidates are selected. This mistake was pointed out by the Upper House according to the Upper House re-amendment, it was proposed that in an electoral district with three or less seats, the single ballot system would be adopted. Furthermore, according to the major electorial district system provided for in the bill, there is virtually no case of three of less seats except in the case of OKINAWA-Ke. Therefore virtually no change was made in the Lower House's amendment.
The amendment also includes the prohibition of election campaigne previous to registration of candidacy, originally permitted in the Government Bill Expenses spent before registration are naturally to be included in campaign expenditures. Acts forbidden under the present laws are still prohibited.
The distribution of campaign literature by candidates other than official gazettes is prohibited, while newspaper advertisements under equal conditions for all candidates may be adopted.
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EDITORIAL SERIES 134 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The present representatives have proved to be too conservative to carry out a drastic reform on the Election Law. The Government, considering the present revision as a transitory step, intends to introduce a more drastic bill for revision of the Election Law to the special Diet session after the general election. This is the reason why the government expressed its reluctant consent to the Lower House amendment.
The people are requested to exercise caution lest they should be fooled by the tactics of the majority plotting to acquire as many members as possible through the newly adopted plural ballot system. It is up to the people to scrutinize the projected platforms and select good and able candidates. The Diet will soon dissolve and the campaign will start at once. It is strongly expected that the forthcoming general election will reflect the nation's passion for democracy.
ITEM 4 Dissolution of The Old Lower House - Asahi-Shimbun - 19 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ota
Full Translation:
The 89th Session of the Imperial Diet ended its work on 18 December, and the House of Representatives was dissolved at that time. We often pointed out that the House of Representatives was not at all qualified to discuss the policies for the reconstruction of JAPAN after the unprecedented historical fact of its defeat. The dissolution ought to have been executed at the beginning of this session, if at all. Yet the important bills, such as the Election Law Revision Bill, Land Reform Bill, Labor Union Bill, etc., were submitted to this Diet. This was caused by the execution of the POTSDAM Declaration. Previously the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers ordered the abolition of the oppressive laws, such as The Peace Preservation Law, etc., in connection with the action for securing freedom of speech, association and assembly. Those important bills proposed to the Diet were most urgently needed, for they form part of the basic work or as it were the "ground work" for the democratization of JAPAN. Now that the Diet has finished the deliberation of these bills, passing them with some amendments, its duty has been completed.
Thus, the general election will be held in late January next year, the precise date thereof due to be determined within a few days. Since the general election at this time will be held under the revised election law, about 40 million voters, including the women, will be eligible for voting. This is a significant matter, for the universal suffrage system is thus carried out. Nevertheless, this great extension of the right to vote was not gained by the Japanese people themselves, but was suddenly thrust upon them by the Allied Powers. This fact should always be remembered by the voters who exercise their right to vote, by the government carrying out the election, and by the candidates of each political party. Moreover, the great extension of the right to vote at this time is characterized by the abolition of all the laws restricting the freedom of political movements. Whereas, on the contrary, when the Nation acquired the Universal Suffrage Law in the 50th session of the Diet, it was accompanied by the oppressive Peace Preservation Law. Thus, the Japanese People, are to face the first general election for the reconstruction of new JAPAN with greatly extended rights end unprecedented freedom.
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EDITORIAL SERIES 134 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
The chief merit of the general election is that the people select their own political representatives. The strongest political party will form the Cabinet and make such a Cabinet responsible for the politics of the next Diet. Hence, the political parties which will compete in the election, ought to be fully prepared. But what is the status of the present political parties in such a grave case as the present election?
There were four political parties in the Diet on the day of dissolution, namely, the Progressive Party, Liberal Party, Social Democratic Party end the Co-operative Party. In addition to this, there are many minor parties outside the Diet, including the Communist Party which has appeared openly for the first time. Democratic politics should be carried on by the majority, and for this reason the majority party selected by the election should take the reins of Government. Such is the way of democracy. All of the present political parties running for the election are aiming to become the majority party for the next period. But the present majority party, namely the Progressive Party, is merely a group of semi-feudalistic elements and is a disorderly crowd. The party does not deserve its position as the majority party. This may be illustrated clearly by the fact that they could not agree on a chief until the very day of the dissolution of the Diet, when they selected Mr. MACHIDA, Dhuji. Also the Liberal Party, despite its announcement at the beginning of its formation, is nothing but, the "HATOYAMA Party" surrounding Mr. HAT YAMA, Ichiro. These two parties, are not entirely composed of members in agreement with their policies. Moreover, both these parties do not come up to the standard of even the bowgeois democratic parties in their character. Their existence is reactionary, even though they call themselves "Progressive" or "Liberal" Party. These facts throw a dark shadow on the coming general election. The Social Democratic Party and the Co-operative Party are riding on the waves of the times to some extent. Yet it seems that they do not expect to take over the reigns of Government in the coming general election.
Thus, it may be seen that the masses of the people will be confronted with various self contributory alteratives if conditions remain as they are. Hence we demand that all political parties clarify their own social points of view, and that all of them clearly show their plans to the people. The Nation can never approve of them if they run for the Diet in the coming general election with their present vague attitude of an array of inane policies.
DISTBIBUTION "X"
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0134, 1945-12-21.
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