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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0153, 1945-12-24.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0494

call-number: DS801 .S82



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 494 DATE 24 Dec 45

EDITORIAL SERIES: 153

ITEM 1 A Study of the Emperor System - Mainichi Shimbun - 22 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
"According to a reliable source, Prince KONOYE, who committed suicide, is said to have advised the Emperor to abdicate." Such is the report of Mr. Frank CARY, correspondent of the NEW YORK HERAID TRIBUNE. The report alone is enough to amaze the Japanese Nation.
Such a situation as "abdicating the throne" can be found neither in the Constitution nor in the Imperial House Law. If Prince KONOYE and the chamberlains have advised the Emperor to abdicate, or have discussed the matter at all, the problem is one involving a revision of the Imperial Household Law, not the Constitution. The Law prescribes only that [illegible]hen [illegible]Emperor dies, the Crown Prince ascends the throne and r[illegible]ceives the ancestral sacred treasures."
There have been no abdications in JAPAN from Emperor J[illegible]to Emperor BURETSU, although some occurred among the succeeding 58 Emperors for reasons of illness, infirmity, old age, and so on. Two Emperors, KOGYOKU and KOKEN, [illegible]scended the throne again after abdicating, and there were some Emperors who were forced to abdicate or wore order d to resign. "To be forced to abdicate" means by the subjects, and "to be ordered to resign" means by a former Emperor.
There is, in the criminal law, a regulation concerning impiety against the Imperial Household. The Government also stated in this last session of the Diet that impious speeches and conduct should be punished. However, the meaning of impiety has been changed with the acceptance of the POTSDAM Declaration. In reality, abolition of the Emperor System, side by side with the revision of the Constitution, is being debated. Such a matter, before the defeat of JAPAN would have been regarded as impiety. JAPAN will be given an opportunity "to return to such state as to be respected by the world" only after setting up [illegible]government based upon democratic principles. A government which threatens to punish those who discuss the Emperor System can in no way be considered realistic or progressive.
There have been Interregna in JAPAN, such as the three year, nine month, 26-day period from the death of Emperor JI[illegible]to the enthronement of Emperor SUISEI; the 11 month, 14-day period from the death of Emperor SEIN[illegible]to the enthronement of [illegible]; and the nine month, 26-day period from, the death of [illegible]to the enthronement of JOMEI. However, an interr[illegible]num does not [illegible]ean that sovereignty did not exist.
That a [illegible]dication is being discussed throughout the world means nothing

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 153 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
less than a revolution in JAPAN.
A revolution in JAPAN is a problem of the national Constitution. The abolition of the Emperor System is one thing and abdication is another. The sovereignty of the Emperor is subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
There are double meanings in the Emperor System—that is, the Emperor in the Constitution and the Emperor as a chief of the Imperial House. Therefore, the Emperor System is a problem of the Constitution and abdication is a problem of the Imperial Household Law.
ITEM 2 Coal Shortages and the Defeats of the Official Administration - Nihon Sangyo-Keizai - 22 Dec 45. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
Allied Supreme Headquarters has voiced dissatisfaction with the measures of our Government toward solving the coal crisis. The coal shortage delays stabilization and affects seriously the reconstruction of a peacetime economy. Though the labor supply is being improved gradually, as reported by the Vice-Minister of Commerce and Industry, further improvement will be necessary both as to quality and quantity, in view of the fact that the newly supplied laborers consist almost entirely of unskilled and temporary workers.
At the same time, the Government should thoroughly reform the traditional inefficiency of the official administration. It should be bitterly excoriated for its negligence which caused large scale cuts in train facilities due to the coal shortage; this shortage could have been anticipated much earlier. The results of this coal shortage will be clearly shown in future economic conditions. Several months will be required for the recovery of economic activity even if the coal production be rapidly increased.
It is evident that the greatest and most direct cause for the coal shortage lay in the shortage of coal miners. It is also clear that the food shortage is another obs[illegible]in procuring a labor supply to eliminate the shortage created by the departure of Chinese and Korean laborers. Nevertheless, the Government has taken no effective measures toward remedying the causes of the coal shortage, and was reluctant to increase the staple food ration to coal miners and their families. Even when the increase of rations was finally approved, much time was required to carry the plan into execution.
Though the present food situation does not now permit the Government to make immediate, substantial increases in the food ration, especially for the coal miners, the conditions facing us today would have been alleviated to some extent had the Government courageously increased the food ration at the beginning. The Government's attitude in meeting the situation with compulsory measures shows that it still adheres to absolutist ideas. In addition to the labor shortage, damaged equipment and the shortage of materials have also contributed to the decrease in coal production. The Government's measures for overcoming obstacles are impractical and have no flexibility. They are inadequate to deal with the problems arising in the various mines. Measures should be [illegible]ted with an eye to future as well as present problems.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 153 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The Administration has hitherto been too slow to meet actual situations, and has dallied with conferences which lead nowhere. The measures taken are not feasible because they were decided only on paper without reference to the conditions at hand. We wonder to what extent these defects will be remedied? The Government has decided to make a 58 per cent adjustment in personnel. Reform in administration should be made with the readjustment of personnel.
At present, officials are seeking the opportunity to rise up ageing though they have been quiet since the end of war, fearing popular criticism and attack. Moreover, they still fancy themselves capable of coping with the difficult situation brought about by the defeat. One of the reasons for their self-complacency is the inactivity of financial groups in reconstructing a peacetime economy. Accordingly, the financial group must take the leadership in meeting the present difficult condition.
The Government will be greatly relied upon hereafter in matters of social policy. Therefore, if defects in this official Administration be not immediately remedied, many troubles like the present coal problem will soon follow.
DISTRIBUTION: "X"
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0153, 1945-12-24.
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