Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0278, 1946-01-21.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0872

call-number: DS801 .S82

(View Page Image)
No. 872 DATE. 21 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Reconstruction of the Metropolitan Area - Asahi Shimbun - 20 Jan 46. Translator K. Nobunga.
Full Translation:
A directive SCAP issued recently has prohibited entrance into certain cities without permission so that the abnormal growth of cities may be prevented. These cities are not only the six large cities, but also those with populations of over 100,000. No less than 10 per cent of the population of 70 million lived in metropolitan districts as consumers. Nevertheless, the Government had taken no extraordinary measures against their expansion. Therefore, in only one or two air raids, not only clothing, food and housing, but also the water supply, gas and electric supply, transportation, medical treatment and education were totally destroyed.
FUJINUMA, Shohei, newly appointed head of the metropolitan district and Police Chief was the former Governor of TOKYO-Fu and has experience as head of the Metropolitan Police Office and as Chief Secretary of the Cabinet. For this reason, he may avoid useless collisions between the metropolitan district and the police, and is a person fit for the reconstruction and maintenance of public order in the metropolitan district. On the other hand, when Governor, he foolishly assisted the late Mayor NAGATA, Hidejiro in carrying out the unnecessary 35 Ku System in TOKYO. We desire that he make efforts for the development of the metropolitan district in atonement for this failure.
ITEM 2 Liberal KONOE - Asahi Shimbun - 20 Jan 46. Translator; M. Kato.
Full Translation:
Freedom and responsibility are both aspects of the same thing. JAPAN is now in a position to devote herself to the construction of a democratic country or society. Even though she had been victorious, a similar state would have been experienced. Although defeated, JAPAN is fortunate enough to have a revolution without bloodshed. It is not altogether fortunate, however, because the motive of this revolution is not likely to be fully appreciated. In consequence, the democratization of our country will undeniably not be thorough. Freedom should be most highly regarded in establishing a democratic country or society. However, this freedom should be combined with joint or common responsibility which forms the foundation of national or social life. Otherwise freedom cannot be the motive power of democratization.
I was impressed with the fact that late Prince KONOE was a liberal when I read the momorandum regarding the negotiations between the UNITED STATES and JAPAN which was published in serial form at the end of last year in ASAHI. By these memoirs was clarified the truth

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 278 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
of the negotiations together with the facts that lay behind them that a few men were playing a vital role in connection with the fate of our country.
At the time of the negotiations no opportunity was afforded even to those closely connected with KONOE to detect the truth or the aspects of the negotiations along with the influences working upon them. In contrast, however, there was an impression, as we read in this memorandum, that some secret was kept which seemed unnatural to those who read it. The last of the serial was published on 30 December and this led us to the conclusion that late Prince KONOE was, after all, a liberal. No sense of responsibility was implied in his memorandum.
It is most doubtful whether his death was fortunate or not for our country. Some people are of the opinion that KONOE should have survived to relate what he believed at the international court of justice. I am doubtful as to whether his free expression of belief at the international court in order to avoid war crime accusations would have brought good luck to him. On the contrary, it would have brought great misfortune and would have done great harm, to our country. In short, his memorandum was little else but a thorough expression of irresponsible freedom for the purpose of protecting himself. I was reminded of this fact, although I had hardly seen him before an official business.
The truth is this: On9 August last year the conference of advisors to the Throne was to be held. Unexpectedly however the a[illegible]-bomb attack and the participation of RUSSIA in the war caused the Cabinet to hold an important conference to find a remedy for this grave situation; the scheduled conference of advisors to the Throne was suspended. The late Prince KONOE now free, was at a dinner party with a certain group. The conversation naturally passed to the Cabinet meeting where a vital problem of war or peace was to be discussed.
All present were of the unanimous opinion that KONOE should stand by the Cabinet as one of the chief advisors to the Throne. Some even expressed an opinion advising KONOE to risk even his life for the attainment of this object. The late Prince's reply was, "I will, of course, devote myself to this important task; however, in case the Government should be forced to bow to the Supreme Command's decision, and enter into war, I shall be helpless." The Government, alongside which I shall, of course, stand, should persistently oppose the military, leaving the issue of war or peace to the decision of the Throne. I believe that what you must now do is encourage the Government."
This was KONOE's response, and he was right. If this correct manner of seeing things and of functioning on the part of KONOE had been realized in his third Cabinet in 1941 what would have resulted? In the Imperial Conference held on 6 September 1941 an item wa3 discussed, as KONOE's memoirs revealed, that preparations for conflict should be made in case there was no prospect of reaching an agreement even at the beginning of October. According to his memoirs, this means that had there been no prospect of peace, preparation would have been made for war, and regarding that prospect, at the beginning of October, the problem should have been re-examined.
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 278 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
This, therefore, did not imply, according to KONOE's view, that preparation for the war would not necessarily he started at the beginning of October. However once such a resolution were made, the Government was unable to control the High Command and discussion at the beginning of October on the prospects of peace would be useless. This is a self-evident fact. Why didn't the Government resort to the measure of submitting the issue to the Throne at a time when the Government and the Supreme Command stood in opposition? The reason is obvious enough; Prince KOSOE was a liberal.
On 12 September of the same year there took place in TEKIGAISO an important conference where discussion continued for two or three days resulting in a disagreement among the Cabinet members and caused the resignation of the third KONOE Cabinet; this was likewise related in his memoirs. Careful reading of his memoirs revealed the fact that there was a difference of opinion between the Supreme Command and the Government. The Navy, however, submitted the decision to Prime Minister KONOE. Since any war was expected to be fought in the sphere of the Pacific, the Navy had almost all the opportunity to speak.
Prince KONOE to whom this right was pointed out, was, on the other hand, the representative of the Government. This implied that KONOE's opinion would represent that of the Government and, at the same time, represent more than half of the voice of the Supreme Command. His resignation was induced by his intention of avoiding the responsibility which would result from his expressing his opinions in that capacity. Prince KONOE's correct attitude at the juncture according to the example of the SUZUKI Cabinet, would have been the opening of the Imperial Conference where the decision of the Throne could be expected at his request, prior to his resignation and the tendering of a statement to the Throne concerning the state wherein the Government and the Supreme Command stood in opposition. This is the duty of an advisor to the Throne.
Furthermore, Prince KONOE could have found some solution without troubling the Throne had he had firm convictions of self-sacrifice. This is easily seen from the attitude of War Minister TOJO as described in Prince KONOE's memoirs. His blunder was the repetition of that made on 6 September. His statements to the Throne should have been made after the Imperial decision that peace should be maintained to the last.
However, it is quite evident that as long as he was responsible for state affairs such an Imperial decision could never have been expected. Here again was expressed the shameful attitude of an irresponsible liberal. Whether we want it or not, the trend of democracy in our country is prevailing, even though we are being guided by the present Cabinet's poor leadership. This is an inevitable aspect of defeated JAPAN. The SHIDEPARA Cabinet is unsuited for self-rennovation. Nevertheless, we cannot but put up with it, now that it has been decided to keep it in power until the election.
The only prerequisite is the full appreciation of self revolution. It should be the true employment of normal intelligence and the united efforts of the Japanese race based on the necessity for reconstructing JAPAN and it should never be the rebuilding of defeated JAPAN. It is high time that the truth be spoken, and acted on. The time has come when every Japanese should devote himself or herself to the construction of new JAPAN. (by NAGAT Mineo, a diplomat, TOKYO.)
- 3 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0278, 1946-01-21.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only