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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0272, 1946-01-20.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0849

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 849 Date: 20 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Political Transition After Reorganization Provincial Newspaper-Kobe Shimbun (Kobe) - 14 Jan 16. Translator: K. Ketel.
After many twists and turns the Cabinet decided not to resign. By reorganizing sections, it decided to remain on duty until after the general election. There will be much criticism. Premier SHIDEHARA still thinks that he has been forced into the dilemma of playing the role of chief retainer by himself because all other retainers have been dismissed from the Cabinet. This might perhaps, please Premier SHIDEHARA, but it must be considered a very subjective idea. They may be observed in the Cabinet after its reorganization.
The Cabinet has changed for the worse instead of for the better. It still intends to neglect the crisis confronting the Nation. Of course, the Premier dismissed all persons to whom the directive applies but he still acts illogically. For instance, he appointed a superannuated official to a post as high as Home Minister, and picked up an Agriculture Minister who knows nothing about rice. While we continue toward collapse in the impending food crisis and inflation, we regard with astonishment the irresponsibility of the Government. Under such circumstances we doubt whether this Cabinet will be able to remain unchanged till after the general election.
The present Cabinet's administrative methods are too primitive. The policy and economy of a nation will not rally to such an administration. What the Nation needs is a Cabinet with strong political power. Political parties are now very active, but these actions are all subjective. All the parties will be judged by the people in the coming election. Even if the election is not a fair judgment, it will be an effective barometer for determining popular opinion.
The problem of a coalition cabinet has not yet been exposed to judgment of the Nation, but from a practical standpoint, we believe it is one of the best plans. Premier SHIDEHARA knows this fact, yet he preferred the reorganization plan carried out recently. Since SHIDEHARA chose to select the latter plan, the newly reorganized Cabinet should have been a powerful one, but it exhibits no such characteristics. Under these circumstances movements vilifying the Cabinet will not stop.
Not only political circles are affected by this crisis. The entire nation anticipates further aggravation of the food crisis, and continued inflation.
ITEM 2 Answer From a Heckler - Yomiuri Hochi - 18 Jan 46. Translator: T. Naruse
Full Translation:
I was accused in this column on 13 January of being a heckler by Mr. S. NAKAMURA (IBARAKI Prefecture). But I want to ask your consideration from my standpoint as Secretary of the JAPAN Democratic Union. The cardinal principle of democracy is that everyone must consider personal

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 272 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
character. From this viewpoint, your writing, also puts the JAPAN Social Democratic Party and all of its members in difficulty as well as hurting the prestige of the JAPAN Democratic Union. Moreover it creates an important social problem.
It is true that I, who advocated retaining the Emperor as the political nucleus to prevent future confusion in Japanese reconstruction, hooted during Mr. SHIGA's speech to several thousand people. At that time, I proposed to debate Mr. SHIGA, but my proposal was refused. Therefore, I announced my name, believing it to be a manly act, and, moreover, establish the responsibility.
Mr. NAKAMURA: I recognize your charge of heckling. But you said that "the materialistic foundation of the same Union is such a feudal pillage." From what did you deduce that? The membership of our Democratic Union, represents all popular circles, directors of companies, bank clerks, office workers, railway men, journalists, teachers, policemen, laborers, middle class and small merchants, industrialists, farmers, et al. Although the union has had the party expenses paid by the members, it is not so large that it can not be organized without exploiting the incomes of the membership. I want you to remember this point well.
It is also the truth that the SAKURAKAI, one of the street-vendorse' unions, is represented among our members. The Democratic Union is not so narrow that it refuses membership to those who have not yet completed course of study in political theory. We are sympathetic to all who accept our principles and therefore are joining willingly. You carry your joke too far by saying that the Union is exploiting the income of the SAKURAKAI. These words indicate you have an axe to grind, and are not exposing the truth. I suggest you question SAKURAKAI members to learn how much direct and indirect aid the Union is giving to the SAKURAKAI.
The JAPAN Democratic Union is a practical party. Accordingly, the union's relief division has now established free barber shops in various districts, and the SAKURAKAI, which is a branch of the relief division, is engaged in relief for war sufferers, adjustment and cleaning of UENO Station, and employment service for coal mine workers. These facts have already been recognized even by Mr. KAZAHAYA.
Furthermore, the SAKURAKAI established a free refreshment room in:front of UENO Station with all their income except that required for their bare minimum living expenses. It has been providing 5,000 people with food every day since 8 January. What do you think of this! Practice is better than theory, and a bowl of hot gruel is better than a speech!
The Democratic Union is putting this principle into practice. If you go to UENO Station between 1100 and 1200, you will see the free refreshment flag and several thousand people sipping hot gruel. And if you go to ASAKUSA, you will find many people gathered cheerfully at the free barber's shop. (YASUDA, Takeo, JAPAN Democratic Union)
ITEM 3 (1) Change of Capital (2) The Emperor System and its True Character—Asahi Shimbun - 18 Jan 46. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translation:
The New Year's Imperial Rescript reading, "We are with you, our subjects was really epoch-making and impressive indeed not only to our nation but also to foreign powers. If the elements close to the Throne, however, fail to realize the true intentions of His Majesty as represented in the Rescript, they will surely be censured by the people. Half a month has already passed since the issue of the Imperial Rescript,
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 272 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
but what has actually been done?
Here I shall make a proposal: since the general election has been postponed until March, the Emperor should abandon TOKYO and return to KYOTO. This, I believe, is the first step toward the rejuvenation of JAPAN. Now it is generally admitted and is an established historical fact that the MANCHURIA Incident of 1931 brought on the calamity of the second world war. With a view to the atonement of this misdeed before the world, transfer of the capital should be effected.
The present Imperial Palace is the old "EDO Castle" built by TOKUGAWA, Ieyasu, who attached much importance to defense against an enemy's attack when he built it. Accordingly, the Imperial Palace is surrounded by moats and stone walls. On the other hand, the KYOTO Imperial villa has a vast area, is built on a level with civilian houses, and does not have the cloistered trappings of the TOKYO Palace, with its high watch towers looking down upon the people. Accordingly, abandonment of the present Imperial Palace of TOKYO and restoration of the KYOTO Imperial villa will actually emphasize the fact that JAPAN in the future is determined to move along peaceful instead of militaristic lines.
"On the Transfer of the Capital" by OKUBO, Toshimichi, published in 1868, has a passage which reads as follows: "If the Emperor, clad in a special costume, is seated behind a screen and is not called forth except by court nobles, then there will be a separation between the Emperor and the people. That is, the Emperor cannot serve as the father of the people. For this reason, transfer of the capital is desirable." Now we have learned that the transfer of the capital to TOKYO was intended to bring His Majesty down from the clouds to the earth thronged with human creatures.
It is remembered that the Emperor MEIJI was often seen wrestling in the gardens of FUKIAGE villa with YAMAOKA, Tesshu, who had previously not been permitted even to go to the court because of his low position. The MEIJI Emperor sometimes even commanded a company of court soldiers himself. The Emperor as a human being became "a living God through the maneuvers of the military clique, the bureaucrats, and the fanatic nationalists." Therefore, there is a need for transforming the position of the Emperor today.
It is but a matter of time before the JAPAN Social Democratic Party will come into power. If that party carries the coming general election and a socialist cabinet is formed, then according to their projected platform, the Imperial prerogatives will he substantially diminished.
Since the MEIJI Restoration was the restoration of the supreme command from the TOKUGAWA Shogun to the Emperor, it might have been appropriate that the Emperor enter a castle erected by a warlord. However, now that this country has been disarmed and the responsibility for administration is expected to shift more and more to the Cabinet, it is most logical, I think, that the Emperor should return to KYOTO.
(KIMURA, Ki, writer, TOKYO)
The question of the Emperor System should be subjected to a scientific study of its origin. The true position of the Emperor ever since the MEIJI Restoration has been at the top of a pyramid of the Japanese capitalistic social structure which was founded on militarism. The troops under the Emperor were a means for the imperialistic development of Japanese capitalism in foreign countries, and at home, were a force
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 272 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
to bind the people under slavish conditions.
The true character of the Emperor is connected directly with this peculiar form of Japanese capitalism. Accordingly, simply because the MEIJI Emperor wrote a poem to the effect that "although there is a great unrest throughout the world, he is longing for world peace," or merely because the present Emperor addressed the troops before the war by ouoting this poem, it does not mean the Emperor System is a peaceful institution. The above facts may demostrate that the MEIJI, Emperor and the present Emperor are peace-loving individuals.
However, it cannot be deduced from these facts alone that the true character of the Emperor System is peaceful. A human Emperor is loaded with a prodigious ruling mechanism—the autocracy of the Empire. There is a belief prevalent among the people that since the military clique and ZAIBATSU have perished, the Emperor now stands in a position to become a democratic governor as before. Nevertheless, this theory is but a dual paradox separating the substantial from the supernatural.
The Five Articles of the Imperial Oath are quoted in the the New Year's Imperial Rescript. However, the true meaning of that Oath is by no means democratic. Every attempt was made to broaden the meaning of the Imperial Oath. Once the MEIJI Administration seized power, it was insensible to parliamentarism and suppressed people's movements by reactionary and vicious laws.
In 1881, the Imperial Rescript was issued for the establishment of the Imperial Diet. However, in those days people at large favored the theory of patterning the Diet after the British Parliament, while the MEIJI Regime created the present undemocratic Constitution after the Prussian Constitution. It was due to the Imperial prerogative that the MEIJI Regime successfully insured the surrender of the popular active movements for democracy.
It was not the Emperor MEIJI, who achieved the MEIJI Restoration. It was inevitable that the course of the nation's economy forced the downfall of the feudalistic Shogunate administration and brought about the MEIJI Restoration. The fact is that the Emperor System, since the fall of the Shogunate, has proved the only reactionary power hampering the democratization of JAPAN, as the sami-feudalistic center of the ZAIBATSU.
Today, we should investigate the true character of the Emperor System of the past. The problem of the Emperor is one which is connected fundamentally with the social structure of this country and is not to be decided by the passions of the people.
(INAMURA, Masao, student, GUMMA-Ken)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0272, 1946-01-20.
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