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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0337, 1946-01-31.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1048

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1048 Date: 31 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Day of the General Elections is Decided - The Asahi Shimbun - 30. Jan 46 Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
The Government decided to hold the general elections on 31 March and to make an official proclamation to that effect on 1 March. Therefore, announcement of candidacy or election campaign will not take place before March. The one mouth we have before the beginning of electioneering is, as it were, a preparatory period. It is 40 days since the House of Representatives was dissolved. This time is not long for a nation which is desirous of the earliest possible stabilization of politics. For we believe that the rapid changes which have occurred during that short period in political and social activities, such as the issuance of an Allied directive ordering the purge of militaristic leaders, the revelation of the present Cabinet's incompetence and reactionary character in dealing with the difficulties of national life including aggravated inflation and the food shortage, the development of the tendency for a democratic common front which was motivated by the home-coming of Mr. NOZAKA, Sanzo and various other objective circumstances, must have increased the people's interest in politics.
Since the present Cabinet has no supporting parties, it is in the position of a returning officer, whose duty is to preserve freedom and fairness in the execution of the election. However, we know the important role which the present Cabinet is playing in order to maintain the old ruling influences. We can not but doubt if the forthcoming general elections will be held as fairly as the Cabinet pledges. We become more doubtful when we see Mr. MITSUCHI, a senior member of the old SEIYUKAI, in the post of Home Minister, directly in charge of the administration of the coming elections. The nation should watch with utmost caution the conduct of the government in the elections on the presumption that the present Cabinet is reactionary in character.
The actual election campaign by candidates will not begin before March, but the political movement or the election campaign by political parties has already begun. Every political party or faction should carry on more vigorously its campaign, which will, at the same time, be a political or electoral education of the people. What is the way in which the election campaign should be exercised? Every party should first present a theoretical explanation of its social stand, and then put forth its concrete and practical policies. Even if a party publishes its concrete policies for such important problems as food shortage, unemployment, economic revival including the rehabilitation of war-devastated areas, and the farm land system, we should not take them as policies, especially electoral subjects, in the right sense of the word, unless we clearly understand the party's social stand and the theory which brought forth such policies.
Political parties, on their part, should not leave this important task of making their policies well-understood to candidates alone. They should make the best use of the one month before the day of the official proclamation. The nation, too, is required to make full use of the two

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 337 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
months before the voting day to get ready for a wise choice of the political influence which will be equal to the current situation, by a careful examination of the conduct and policy of every party and by the recognition that a new JAPAN should be built along democratic lines. The coming election constitutes the first important step in democratic politics. Considering that every vote of the nation can be the motivating power for the reconstruction of JAPAN and the establishment of democracy if organized, the nation should be as serious as possible in discriminating good parties from, bad ones.
Now is the best time for the nation to choose its favorite party from a new point of view. The passive attitude of "voting at the candidadate’s entreaty", which was often the case in past elections, should be abandoned at once, and the positive attitude of voting for one's favorite party should be taken. Our request for such a change in the attitude of the nation can not be over-emphasized, since the protocol annexed to the POTSDAM Declaration provides that the final form of Japanese government —— shall be determined by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people. Of course, we do not mean that all will be decided by the forthcoming elections. We do mean that the coming elections will be the first chance for the national will to be freely expresse.
ITEM 2 General Election will Decide the Fate of the Country - Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
The general election which was postponed by the purge directive issued by SCAP is now to be held on 31 March. Since the end of the war, JAPAN has been in a period of destruction pending her reconstruction. It can be said even that the real construction of JAPAN makes its beginning with the coming general election. Moreover, this election can be regarded as the test for the democratization of JAPAN. The coming election will clearly show the extent of the people's knowledge of democracy which is now under the hottest discussion every day, and will reveal whether or not today's democracy is a mere slogan.
In every sense, JAPAN has never experienced a general election with such great significance as the coming one. Therefore, the next two months until the general election must be spent in careful deliberation and exhaustive preparation for the election by the people, the parties and candidates and also by the government. We hope that the parties will make the details of their programs more clear. Each party has announced its policy in general, but there are left many vague points both fundament and concrete. Anyhow, such policy as will make the people blind must be rejected by all means. It is the duty of each party to reveal their respective character and political platform and then appeal to the nation. The candidates must also frankly reveal their platforms and careers, and wait for the decisions by the people.
Lately, the active campaigns held by the Social-Democrats and the Communists grow to great social influence, and the people, especially youth and intellectuals, can not help feeling that a strong political party has appeared after so long a time. Both the Social-Democrats and the Communists, however, have many vague points in their platforms in spite of their charming figures. In the Communist platform especially, there is much unknown to the people about the present stage of its fundamental beliefs. The Communist policy in the food problem is also not convincing so long as it stands on the assumption that they must come into power. We believe that it is the duty of the Communists to clarify their real aims and clear up the misunderstanding of the people. In view of the election, by so doing, it will endear them to the masses. As to the other
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 337 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
parties, the same can be said, to a degree, The program of the Progressives, for instance, is very poor end vague.
The same is desirable for the candidates. It will be necessary for the candidates to have the opportunity to announce jointly their respective programs by means of official election reports to make the people decide more easily. For instance, it is desirable to itemize the respective opinion of each candidate about the common problems of at least five or six problems such as food, inflation and unemployment. If the candidates, who must be returned according to their policy, program and opinion, do not have any important ideas and only show an array of abstract phrases, he must be regarded as lacking the qualifications as a candidate.
The people most deeply consider the significance of each vote realizing the seriousness of the present situation which JAPAN faces, and must never cast a vote carelessly or imprudently. Each voter must try to make his vote significant after pondering deeply and discussing extensively the most able party and a qualified person who can rise to the occasion. Above all, the newly franchized women, 21 million strong and the youth of two and a half million strong will cast votes in the coming election. It is anticipated that a considerable number of women voters will abstain from voting. The women voters, however, occupy more than one half of all the voters and accordingly have a decisive influence on the fate of JAPAN. Politics are never unrelated to women's daily life. Mothers and daughters must not fail to realize the importance of the politics which can decide the success of their cooking and dressing. Voting is a duty, and abstention from it is a crime in the negative sense.
At this time, discussion on politics at every chance or place, not to speak of at home and in one's neighborhood, is most useful to educate the women and other new voters about politics. Under the present situation it is most necessary to discuss the election, the new JAPAN and reformation of livelihood in one's daily life, and thus every one must properly exercise his vote. A candidate who bribes the voters with wine or dinners by spending much money for the purpose of property tax evasion can never be qualified as a member of the Diet in the new era.
Since all the candidates in the coming general election are to testify to their qualification in accordance with the Home Ministry Ordinance announced on 30 January they are not war criminals. However, those who pass this test are not necessarily the fittest. A great man in former times can not necessarily be a leader in the new era. Every person is to choose the candidates with great responsibility, and the result will be to decide the fate of the country.
Lastly, the present government has the coming election as its original and last mission. We hope the government will hold the general election in a democratic way, not to speak of the necessity for non-interference. The numbers of voters has suddenly increased to 40 million, twice the number in former times. We know that the general election has many obstacles such as inconvenient transportation facilities and lack of materials to be distributed. However, we are desirous that the government carry out the general election most satisfactorily, by resolving the difficulties. It is also desirable that the government should exert its efforts as much as possible in explaining the significance of the general election to the people or in clarifying the programs of parties and candidates. The people, candidates, parties and the government must co-operate with each other in order to stand the test for democracy which will decide the fate of our country.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0337, 1946-01-31.
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