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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0006, 1945-11-11.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0025

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 25 Date: 11 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Chunking dispatch "Death March of Hangkow" - Mainiohi Shimbun - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: It. Kozaki
The Americans arrested one Japanese staff officer, eight Military Police, and one civilian responsible for "the death march" of three American airmen. Due to the severe air attack of the Americans, the Chinese began to lose confidence in the Japanese. In order to regain their confidence, the Japanese called the three Americans, who parachuted from their plans, "the devils who attacked HANGKOW", and burned them to death by pouring gasoline over their bodies in front of the Chinese public. General OKABE, Nasaburo commander of the Central CHINA Area Army, is accused of this crime.
ITEM 2 Request government action on the returning, of Japanese from abroad Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: It. Kozaki
Army and navy personnel overseas should be treated as "prisoners of war" in accordance with international law. But many of the cabinets formed after the cessation of hostilities maintained negative and vague attitudes toward Japanese military personnel and civilians abroad. This proves not only that the government personnel and military authorities lack a realization of defeat, but they have no desire to rescue the men overseas. They must realize that all disarmed military personnel are prisoners of war and the civilians are also interned as "prisoners".
The feudalistic idea of ignoring prisoners of war as disgraced persons should be abandoned, for they have a right to be treated humanely. Many prisoners of war and internees were oaved from starvation by the Americans. Some of those who were in the hands of the Americans, Chinese and British, have returned home already and those remaining are being kindly treated. The whereabouts and safety of those who are under the Russians is unknown. We must remind the SOVIET government that those Japanese are prisoners of war and should be treated as such.
ITEM 3 National Discussion on Improvement of Constitution - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: H. Takahashi
In response to the statement of the spokesman of MacARTHUR'S Headquarters, on the evening of 1 November, the government published the following intention.

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ITEM 3 (Continued)
The Government desires that national discussion of the Constitution shall be both careful and active, that it shall also be debated in the Diet. Nevertheless, the fact should not be neglected, that His Majesty the Emperor thought on the subject will be the determining factor.
Although it is not intended to hold a special session of the Diet for such discussion alone, the matter will be inquired into by government officials with the assistance of specialists through the committee on the Constitutional Problem.
ITEM 4 Mainichi lectures on democracy - Mainichi Shimbun - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: H. Nishihara
Full translation:
The first day of the MAINICHI public course opened at the MAINICHI Press Company's public hall on 3 November at 1300 hours. Lectures were delivered as follows:
"Explanation of Current Topics" by TAKATA, Ichitaro, head of the European and American Department of the MAINICHI Press.
"Democracy Considered from the Point of view of History Since the Establishment of the Constitution" by SHINNOSUKE, Abe.
"General Election" by SHINNOSUKE, Abe, advisor of the MAINICHI Press.

Some members of the audience were seen taking notes earnestly.
The second group of lectures, to be given at the same place on the 9th at 1300 hours, are as follows:
"Explanation of Current Topics" by SATO, Asagoro, head of the Economics Department of the MAINICHI Press.
"On New Political Parties" by ROYAMA, Masamichi.
"Reformation of Administrative Organization and Public Election of Prefectural Governors" by FUNADA, Naka.

ITEM 5 Discussion of Emperor system - Yomiuri Hochi - 6 Nov 45 - Translator: K. Nobunaga
Full translation:
These arguments have now come to be discussed freely not only among foreigners, but also among the Japanese. This is a very remarkable change from the condition existing two and half months ago. According to the history of the MEIJI era, we know that we had naturally criticised the Emperor-system, as liberal and democratic ideas developed. But the liberal and the radical parties were born and developed from standpoints which opposed the new MEIJI government.
Similar to the militarists and bureaucrats in modern times the SAT-CHO-CLAN (TN Members of the SATSUMA Clan and the CHOSHU Clan.) which was the central strength of the MEIJI government, had their own way of using the Emperor and the Imperial family as their
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ITEM 5 (Continued)
symbol of protection or posed as being the Imperial Standard bearers. Malcontents made democracy, opening of the Diet and even the matter of sovereign rights their slogan in their offensive against the SATSUMA-clique.
The liberal party, a very radical one, which was organized by ITAGAKI, Taisuke, of the province of TOSA, said that sovereign rights were inherent in the people, and should be asserted through a general election and a unicameral system. OKUMA, Shigenobu, of the province of HIGO, a sound statesman, supported a bicameral system and a limited election. He maintained that the sovereign rights arose from the meeting between the Emperor and his subjects in the Diet. However, neither of these suggestions has been applied in JAPAN for 15 or 16 years until 15 August. The Diet was convened, but JAPAN did not become a republic and the liberals were more loyal than the militarists and the bureaucrats.
OZAKI, Yukio, Minister of Education in the OKUMA and ITAGAKI cabinets made the following speech, which caused him to resign his position. He said, "If JAPAN became a republic, a MITSUI or IWASAKI, who are plutocrats, would be our president". His speech was not dangerous at all. Everyone believed that he was one of the most loyal subjects. If all in sincerity (TN Selfish interests, disloyalty etc.) between the Emperor and the people are swept away, JAPAN will settle down.
ITEM 6 Formation of the Reconstruction Bureau - November 6 - Asahi Shimbun - Translator: A. Kido.
The government decided at the Cabinet meeting on the first to establish a Reconstruction Bureau, of which regulations were issued yesterday and put into effect. The Bureau is under the superintendence of the Prime Minister and Mr. KOBAYASHI, State Minister, will be the first president. Mr. MATSUMURA, Mitsuma, former president of the Chinese Administrative Association has been appointed vice-president, and the president's secretariate. The Project Department, the Administration Department and the Construction Department will also be established. The consulting and technical committees will also be organized with government officials appointed by the Emperor, and they will be learned and experienced people. The term of office of both committees will be two years.
President: KOBAYAS - I, Ichizo, Minister of State
Vice-President: MATSUMURA, Mitsuma
Chief of Project Dept: OHASHI, Takeo, Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs
President of the Administration Department: SHINDO, Buzaemon.
ITEM 7 Government Struggles to Prepare for Extraordinary Session of Diet - Tokyo Shimbun - 6 Nov 45 - Translator H. Takahashi.
Future of Government is Dark
When we look back on those policies which the government has taken
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ITEM 7 (Continued)
up for about a month since the formation of the Cabinet, one can say that it has done no more than be driven about by five point demands and other successive, important directives of the Allied Headquarters. In foreign affairs, Foreign Minister YOSHIDA's efforts and administrative ability saved the situation, while on the other hand, the government had no effective and positive plans for the various urgent problems.
The present Cabinet is so weak and nonchalant in dealing with domestic affairs that it will be unable to maintain its existence until the next general election. Without a definite future plan the government has decided to increase the ration. As a countermeasure for the housing shortage, the Reconstruction Board, which is presided over by KOBAYASHI, Ichizo, was established. As for financial plans which are to take up problems about the disposition of the ZAIBATSU, or the increase of taxation we can greatly depend upon Finance Minister SHIBUZAWA, but there are some fears of his influence. After the dissolution of TOKKO Police, the position of Home Minister HORIKIRI must be strengthened in preparation for the extraordinary session of the Diet. Because he is facing total opposition from every side of the political circle in regard to the previous changes of prefectural governors and the revision of the Election Law.
Under these circumstances, the government will make Commerce and Industry Minister OGASAWARA support the Finance Minister and intends to promote powerfully its financial policy in close cooperation with Minister Without Portfolio KOBAYASHI. For assistance to the Home Minister, the seat of the State Minister which is now vacant will be filled by someone who can offer a considerable contribution to the internal administration.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0006, 1945-11-11.
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