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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0361, 1946-02-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1134

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1134 Date: 5 Feb 46


ITEM 1 What is Loyal Service? - Mainichi Shimbun - 2 Feb 46. Translator: H Arai.
Full Translation:
We hear that, at a cabinet council, the Emperor's tin-one and sovereign power were discussed. That tells us how formal and nominal the former Cabinet councils were. The character of an old cabinet council was not political, but business-like, because many Cabinet Ministers were men of just that type. Anyhow many people may be disappointed in the conservative draft submitted to the Constitutional Revision Committee. In a word, the present Cabinet Ministers adhere to the words "Constitutional Revision," and lack the administrative ardor and ideals for the construction of a new state. The Constitutional Revision is no longer a mere matter of law. It is the highest politics. Nevertheless, as in the case of civil or commercial law, the Cabinet intends to organize merely a revision committee with State Minister MATSUMOTO, a lawyer, as leader, for drawing up a tentative plan. Such a way of thinking is far from the revolutionary trend of the times. It should consider that Prince ITC, Hirobumi the greatest Statesman in JAPAN'S history, played a most active part even in making the existing Constitution.
It is quite difficult to make a constitution in these revolutionary times of the state or society, because of the lack of a reasonable stabilized governing idea. However, if the Cabinet revises the Constitution at all, it must choose a definite course to make the Constitution suitable to the social situation that is now in the process of changing.
Regarding the problem of the Emperor System, it should be borne in mind that one of the provisions of the POTSDAM. Declaration is that the actual power for the inauguration of the Constitution is passed from the Emperor's hand's to the people's. Speaking frankly, a new Constitution would not, in fact, be one granted by the Emperor, but it would actually be one constructed by the people in conjunction with the Emperor. The nest loyal service would be for the present cabinet to manifest this established fact in the Constitutional Revision.
It is reported that, according to public opinion, the Household Ministry will set about the disposal of the Imperial estate in the public interest. It is, however, indefinite as to what standard the Imperial estate was valued at 1,500,000,000 yen. In accordance with SCAP's order the Imperial estate is regarded as coming under property taxation. If the authorities would resort to such petty means as to assess the Imperial property lower than national property, it would be extremely disloyal.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 361 (Continued)
ITEM 2 We doubt the Adequacy of the Government's Steps in Constitutional Revision - Asahi Shimbun - 3 Feb 46. Translator: H. Furukawa
Full Translation:
It seems likely that the Government is in haste to draft a revision of the Constitution. There is also the Government's desire to introduce a bill to that effect to the Diet by an Imperial decree and the present Cabinet seems desirous of carrying this task out. We do not object to the present Cabinet's making tentative plans for constitutional revision. We cannot be convinced, however, that the present Cabinet should also be responsible for introducing the bill to the Diet. As everyone knows, It is di[illegible]sted by the people, due to its reactionary character exposed in all its measures.
The existence of the present Cabinet has been made possible only by the unavoidable fact that, to our regret a powerful Political opposition has not been formed. It is already clear that the present Cabinet, which is so unpopular, is not qualified to present a plan for Constitutional revision which will be so important in the new democratic JAPAN.
Who same can be said, about the current political situation in view of the trad[illegible]nal political morality which seem to dominate the minds of the present Cabinet members. How can they dare, ask the Throne to order the introduction of the bill for Constitutional revision to the Diet without enjoying the confidence of the people? Are they still confident of being able to assist the Throne in spite of their unpopularity? It is reported that the Government will decide on the draft within this month, and early in March, it will consult with the Constitution Investigation Committee on the draft The period during which these matters are to be under way coincides with that of the election campaign, so we cannot regard it as the best time for full and careful deliberation.
Mr. MATSUMOTO Minister without portfolio, says that it is democratic to have the revision plan discussed among the people as an election issue, along with the deliberation in the Committee. Discussions among the people, however, are meaningless without being reflected in the revision plan. We think that the most adequate policy is to take such steps sc that the post-election cabinet will modify the plan after considering the results of the election and then, submit it to the committee for consultation. The Constitution Investigation Committee will be set up before the election. We must be extremely doubtful of the membership and the management of the said committee, and whether it can be democratic and satisfy the people, judging from the character of the present Cabinet.
As we have already pointed out, it has been customary in the formation of committees by the Government that the members of the Committees should be chosen so that the original plan submitted by the Government will be accepted. We warn the Government not to make the members of the revision Committee follow this precedent and we also ask the Nation to put the Government under the strict supervision of the people.
The constitution revision should not be considered by the people a problem of parliamentary Government or politics. It must be treated as a general problem deeply linked with the whole national livelihood, and from this point of view, the Committee members should be selected from every level of society.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 361 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Also in carrying out the work of the committee. We want to remark an the treatment of the opinions of the minority. Almost no regard was paid to the opinions of the minority in Committees officially set up in the past. Only the decision finally agreed upon, based on the majority's opinion was made public. Such an attitude towards the minority should not be allowed in the Committee which will discuss the important problem of constitutional revision. The Government should publish the opinion of the minority.
Since the constitution is the supreme law which has an actual effect on the life of the people, its revision is not a problem of more legislation. As a result of defect, our country is now confused. The fundamental policy for the construction of a democratic JAPAN has already been affirmance, but reactionary forces in the respective fields of society are not yet swept away. Furthermore, signs are to be seen of a revival by the reactionaries. Is it not the opinion of the majority of the people that the enactment of the revised constitution be made as a super structure for the democratization of each field of society?
Be that as it may, it is not permissible to force the people to accept the Government's decision on revision prier to the general election. The matter requires much prudence since it relates to the supreme law of the state, the nature of which can not be changeable, although the constitution has already proved to be perishable.
We believe that the policy the Government new intends to adopt cannot be considered adequate
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0361, 1946-02-05.
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