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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0016, 1945-11-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0072

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 72 Date: 18 Nov 45


ITEM 1 A Phase of the History of Japan's Collapse - Yomiuri Hochi - 12 Nov 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full translation:
At this point we will endeavor to make clear General MASAKI's policy when he assumed command of the army.
According to his belief, a country's armament program must have as its objective place for humanity and the welfare of the nation. Therefore, viewed from any standpoint, a war should not be started unless all the people acknowledge its inevitability. With this point of view he had greatest concern for personnel of the army and steadily refused to recall to TOKYO those involved in the March and October Incidents, as well as the Manchurian Incident, lest there should be recurrences of undesirable incidents, or worse still, the outbreak of a foreign conflict.
Apart from MASAKI's usual declaration that he interfered with the personnel "not for the sake of his own power but for the good of the nation", it is a fact that those who on his blacklist have been responsible for plunging JAPAN into the present predicament. Not withstanding this, the JUSHIN (TN. Chief retainers) and closely related financial and political circles, incited by MASAKI's enemies, were superficially prejudiced against him. They claimed that ARAKI and MASAKI were the propelling powers and central figures of the Army. Incidentally, when military opinion strongly opposed the TENNO KIKAN-SETSU (TN. Theory that the Emperor is an organ of the state) General MASAKI after a conference of the War Minister, the Chief of Staff, and the Inspector General of Military Education, issued instructions to the whole army regarding "Polity clarification". These instructions were utilized by Rightist parties in stirring up a campaign to expound the theory of TENNO KIKANSETSU. This tended to increase the opposition against MASAKI by the JUSHIN, and financial and political circles.
Soon after his instruction to the Army MASAKI explained the spiritual effect it had upon the Army and is said to have confessed "Japan's Army should neither turn to the right nor to the left. But, in order to keep it strictly in the middle way a strenuous effort is necessary." He further said, "I have never taken part in a rightist movement."
While he was Director of the Military Academy he endeavored to prevent communistic ideas from creeping into the institution. In this respect he himself was afraid that he had been overly cautious. Anyway, it is a fact that he was absorbed in Military education and tried to inject new life there. He is also said to be against education based on absolute submission. There is an incident where a subservient principal of an elementary school suggested that he introduce military training into the curriculum. However he flatly refused explaining its inadvisability. Holding the idea that in military education, importance must be laid upon the perfection of the individual, so that a good soldier would make a good citizen, he introduced into the regular course of the

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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Military Academy politics, economics, sociology and psychology; but these new subjects were withdrawn soon after his retirement. In view of his strong antagonism to totalitanonism when it was at its zenith, MASAKI does not appear to have been an ultra-nationalist. He always listened patiently to the arguments of young officers and when they were right adapted their suggestions and when wrong, rectified their mistakes.
His sincere attitude was so much appreciated by younger people that, he was quite popular among them. Our object here is neither to defend nor applaud MASAKI but we must maintain that right is right.
From this standpoint, we cannot help but be indignant over the conspiracy of the militaristic fascists who falsely charge that he was inciting the young officers. As a result of this propaganda, he was regarded both inside and outside the Army as a central figure, and it was thought that his removal would hurt the Army's fascist tendencies. At that time, nobody noticed this was the beginning of the nation's misfortune.
As an example of how dastardly and underhanded the conspiracy resulting in General MASAKI's dismissal was we can cite the November or Military Academy Incident. The essentials of this incident are difficult to grasp, so difficult that a certain officer who was then in a prominent post in the Military Police Headquarters confessed to this difficulty and said it was a concected case based on an intrique by fascistic staff officers.
According to an anonymous publication, entitled "Facts About the a Army's November Incident or Incident of 25 February". The following was reported:
On 20 November TOKYO Military Police discovered there was a plot in TOKYO by a group of soldiers planning direct action to over-throw the existing government.
On 21 November eleven officers on active service were arrested and examined thoroughly.
On 22 November the Home Minister, Fumio GOTO, issued a ban on newspapers.
Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel XX, an instructor at the Military Academy, and by Company Commander X of the TOKYO Xth Regiment, the plot of 11 officers connected with the Academy was exposed.
The objective of the plot: "On the occasion of the opening of an extra-ordinary session of the Diet, the whole force is to rise up, proclaim martial law and a military government will be set up. In order to execute the plan, the following persons must be killed:
Weapons; Machine-guns, hand grenades, revolvers.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)

ITEM 1 (Continued)
Aclue in the discovery of the plot: It is supposed by the Army that the night before they had decided to execute the plan someone unwittingly said at a dinner party, "As we take out the machine guns you must have the hand grenades ready." This was overheard by a spy and brought the Military Police into action.

However, personal investigation discloses the following facts: —
At the last meeting held at XX SHINJUKU, TOKYO, a discussion arose as to whether one of the would-be victims was to he spared or not. Lieutenant X exclaimed that he must be killed and as the framed script hanging in the room happened to have been written by that person, the Lieutenant tore it into pieces. This was the cause of discovery. What is noteworthy in this case is that the scale of this plot was far more extensive than that of the incidents of 15 May or October as far as the members behind the scene were involved.
There were members in the [illegible]Infantry Regiment of the Imperial Guards, 3 Infantry Regiment, the Military College, Military Academy and TOYAMA School, besides young officers who were followers of Lieutenant KURIHARA of the Tank Corps at CHIBA, Lieutenant NISHIDA, and men connected with farmers' leagues. The fighting vanguards known up to now are 1st Lieutenant MURANAKA, Captain ANDO, 1st Lieutenant KURIHARA, and 1st Lieutenant OKURA. Among the Army group Colonel HOMMA, ex Chief of the Press Section, Colonel ISHIWARA, and Colonel NEMOTO, Chief of the Press Section, watched the developments from behind the scenes."
The above is the contents of the anonymous publication, but, oddly enough, in spite a grilling examination in the courts martial the prosecution could not reach the bottom of the plot. At last, three officers who were involved, NAKAMURA, ISOBE, and one other, were dropped from the case on 29 March, Moreover, three officers were suspended from their positions and five cadets were expelled from the Academy on 2 April. According to NAKAMURA and ISOBE this case was falsified by Major KATAKURA of the General Staff, Captain TSUJI of the Military Academy and Captain TSUKAMOTO of the Military Police who used three cadets as spies. On this ground, the two men sued them time after time for calumny, but, as the case was not taken up by the authorities, they resorted to distributing baskets of about 100 pages entitled "Opinion on the Army Purge" among their friends.
Apart from considering the truth or falseness of the contents they reveal the following: —" The recent disorders in the Army were caused by falsifying and concealing the treasonable acts of the so-called March and October incidents. Consequently, the chaotic state in and outside the Army has now reached its highest point." This publication naturally caused a great sensation in Army circles and created great panic among those whose names are cited in it. It also played a part of accelerating the internal strife which later erupted in the form of the AIZAWA case and finally in the occurence of the incident of 26 February.
In any case, there has been nothing more inexplicable than the November Incident. The matter came to the surface by an urgent message based on the verbal oaths of some cadets, delivered at night to the War Minister by a certain KATAKURA and TSUKAMOTO. The case

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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
was at once put before a courts martial board by the War Department's First Division, but the Military Police were not allowed to interfere beyond auxiliary investigations. A certain person who was then occupying a prominent position in the Military Police stated, "It was a very Strange case. The more we probed into the matter the more we were puzzled about its nature. As soon as the incident was known, people began talking of General MASAKI's responsibility. As far as the Military Police could ascertain NAKAMURA, ISOBE, and others simply talked with cadets on the reconstruction of the nation and this incident was so exaggerated and falsified that some people were secretly discussing ways of bringing about a criminal case for the purpose of having General MASAKI expelled."
Such being the case, we can well imagine how a section of the Army was feverishly devising means, fair or foul, for the dismissal of General MASAKI.
Note: To be continued.
ITEM 2 Great Majority for Direct Election - Mainichi Shimbun - 12 Nov 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Methods of Electing the prefectural governors ([illegible])
A Great Majority for the Direct Election ([illegible])
Men 54 %, women 60 % ([illegible])
Answers of the public to our questions ([illegible])
How the prefectural governors should be elected is one of the most important questions before the Japanese people at this time. The following is a summary of the results of a survey on this question recently made among the people.
The following three issues were put under consideration.
Direct election (election by general balloting).
Indirect election (election by prefectural assemblies).
Methods differing from the above mentioned.
Under three,—we requested only concrete suggestions. The public opinions secured broken down to show that of the 2,000 people investigated, 1, 109 (55 per cent) are for the first plan. 494 (25 per cent) for the second, and 397 (20 per cent) favor the third system.
The breakdown of these figures show that of the 1,595 males polled, 54 per cent are for plan one, 23 per cent for plan two, and 22 per cent for a third system. Of 405 women voting, 60 per cent are for plan one, 30 per cent for plan two and 10 per cent for same third method.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
According to these figures, the great majority of public is for the direct election. Most women are for the first or second plan, while many men favor a third method.
The fact that few women support a third, undecided plan indicates a low level of political education, or an inability to think beyond domestic affairs.
On the matter of choosing a proper candidate for prefectural governor, about 150 persons voluntarily sent in their opinions. Of this 44 favored having the TOKYO Metropolis, the HOKKAIDO districts, the FU's and the prefecture as the nominating unit. Another 11 favored the village, town, and city assemblies as the nominating unit within the framework of the metropolitan, district, prefectural and FU assemblies. In addition, 23 persons favored representatives of all circles, in addition to the-two above in order to elect those candidates who really represent public opinion.
A note-worthy fact is that 39 persons favor the second proposal on condition that proper members will be elected after the present metropolitan and prefectural assemblies are re-elected on a democratic basis. It may be mentioned that referring to the question of nomination under the first proposal the present members of the metropolitan and prefectural assemblies are more or less responsible for the war and therefore do not represent the public opinion.
There are various plans under the third proposal. Of a total number of 397 persons, a 150 are for the ballot system used in American Presidential elections. 92 persons are for the election by heads of city, town, neighborhood assemblies, 81 persons for an addition of the representatives of all factions, and 27 persons for the election by the metropolitan, prefectural town and village assemblies.
The following are proposals for local elections and appointment. The governor should not be given the power to appoint and to dismiss the sectional chiefs and other minor officials.
A confidence or non-confidence vote should take place upon expiration of the governor's term.
Only family heads should vote.
When making the above public opinion poll, the writer based his method on the GALLUP Poll. The 2,000 persons polled throughout the whole country were over 21 years of age. This group was broken down by age and sex in the same ratio as is found throughout the general population. Further polls are anticipated.
ITEM 3 Reorganization of Various Ministries - Tokyo Shimbun - 12 Nov 45. Translator: S. Ono.
Full translation:
Ministries Not Co-operative Where Will Administrative Reform Lead?
The government has now decided to take up the problem of administrative reform by reducing the number of it's officials by 50 per cent.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
At the Cabinet meeting held on 19 October 1945, it was decided to establish the Administrative Reform Council headed by NARAHASHI, chief of the Legislation Bureau. It's other members were personally appointed by the Premier as follows: IWATA, Minister of Justice; MAEDA, Minister of Education; SHIBUSAWA, Minister of Finance; MATSUMOTO and. TSUGITA, both Ministers without Portfolio. The projected plan is:
Vast reduction in number of government officials.
Adjustment of administrative mechanism.
Drastic reconstruction of officialdom.

Their present objective is to reduce the number of government official On 7 November 1945 every Ministry was asked to submit by 10 November 1945, it's concrete plan to reduce personnel. The year 1932 was to serve as the standard. Excepted were those recently employed due to increase in managerial affairs. But it seems that a satisfactory solution is very difficult to reach because next year's budget would be involved.
Home Ministry
Stress is Laid On Local Office
30 Per Cent Reduction Supposed
The case of the Home Ministry is very complicated owing to it's peculiar organization. It contains officials of main offices and local offices, the latter being carried on local expenditures as well as on state expenditures. To make the matter still more complicated, some officials of local offices are dispatched from other Ministries, with their salaries being paid from the budget of the Home Ministry. The technicalities are, therefore, very complicated.
Next we must recognize the fact that during the war local offices have absorbed, many officials of other Ministries to widen their sphere of activity, while the head office suffered no change. Since the termination of the war, the latter has lost a great part of its officials by the dismissal of social police. The establishment of the Board of Rehabilitation and the abolition of the Anti-air Defense Bureau. We therefore presume that not much reduction of personnel of the head office, can be made so stress will be laid on the local offices, which will be reduced 30 per cent.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hurrying to set up it's plan under Vice-Minister MATSUSHIMA. A drastic reconstruction is expected owing to the closing of offices in foreign countries. The number of it's officials was estimated at 1,153 in 1932, including 479 of superior rank (KOTO KAN) and 674 of HANNIN rank, and at present 2,420 including 1,065 of superior rank and 1,355 of HANNIN rank.
The Education Ministry having drafted its plan concerning the reform prior to the request of the Cabinet will lay stress on the reduction of personnel. The number of the officials higher than the HANNIN rank was estimated at 267 in 1932 and 469 last year. But owing to the new establishment of Bureau of Scientific Education, Bureau of Physical Training, and Bureau of Text-book Compilation, the number of persons able to be dispensed with is deemed very small, so that only 30 per cent reduction can be hoped for.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The concrete plan for the dismissal of idle personnel of the Commerce and Industry Ministry is scheduled, to be submitted to the cabinet in a few days. The number of officials higher than HANNIN rank reached last year, showing an increase of more than 4,950 twice the number employed in 1932, which was estimated at 1,995. As the natural result of the end of the war, the officials concerned with the War Munition Ministry were dismissed. Their number is estimated at 4,300, but some 60 per cent still remain as a non-official staff. These will become the target of further reduction.
A concrete plan for the administrative reform is not yet decided formally. But it is said that a wide range of activity will be given to the Bureau of Industry, which amalgamates the Bureau of Textile, Iron and Steel Section of the Bureau of Mining, and the Synthetic Oil Section of the Fuel Bureau. At the same time the merger of the Bureau of Fuel and the Bureau of Mining is also expected. While the Bureau of General Affairs, which was in a position to supervise the national resource mobilization plan and arbitrate inter-ministry relations, will have its sphere of activity limited to the handling of supply.
The Transportation Ministry presented it's plan for personnel reduction to the Cabinet on 10 November 1945. Its plan for administrative reform is not yet formed. The land transportation section now has 172,000 officials of higher than HANNIN rank. The volume of passengers and freight it handled last year was five or six times higher than that of 1932. This upward tendency is expected to continue because of the increase of freight for civil use. Not much reduction, in personnel therefore, can be expected in the transportation ministry except in the administrative staff.
In the Marine Transportation Section, the number of officials of higher than HANNIN rank estimated at 750 can be reduced by 50 per cent.
A concrete plan for a large scale reduction of personnel in the Agricultural and Forestry Ministry will be made by the end of the month. Not much reduction in personnel is deemed possible as the Ministry has undergone no increase in personnel during the war, except those in charge of food and charcoal. As food and fuel is a matter of importance to civil life, a reduction of personnel is not favored.
ITEM 4 The Policy For The Administration of Japan and the Attitude of Soviet Russia - Tokyo Shimbun - 13 Nov 45. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full translation:
The Far Eastern Advisory Council, the progress of which had long been looked upon with interest, was held on the 6th in WASHINGTON D. C., without the attendance of the representatives of SOVIET RUSSIA. President TRUMAN and Secretary of State BYRNES declared, before the first meeting that Soviet representatives would be sent to the Council, and it was reported that the diplomatic negotiation between the UNITED STATES and SOVIET RUSSIA had been progressing smoothly. However, the unexpected absence of the Soviet representatives shows that there is still some difference of view between the UNITED STATES and the SOVIET UNION concerning the measures of administrating JAPAN.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 16 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
Foreign Minister MOLOTOV declared that RUSSIA is regarding the problem of joint administration of JAPAN by all the Allied Nations as the most important item of the negotiations. It is clear that RUSSIA has intimated her dissatisfaction with the problem by delaying to send representatives to the Council.
The Far Eastern Advisory Council was, as is well known, established under the sponsorship of the UNITED STATES, and it was agreed upon by ENGLAND at the end of September, according to the announcement by Secretary of State BYRNES. According to a broadcast from MOSCOW, at the last meeting of foreign ministers from five countries, RUSSIA made a demand to Secretary of State BYRNES, concerning a joint organization for the four-power administration of JAPAN, following the method already applied in GERMANY. To this demand the Secretary of State replied on 10 October that the Far Eastern Advisory Council would be held on 23 October in WASHINGTON D.C. At the same time he clarified the attitude concerning the problem, declaring that the Supreme Commander was adamant on the question of occupation troops in JAPAN. The proposal of SOVIET RUSSIA at the meeting of Foreign Ministers indicates that there is a relationship in the administration of JAPAN with that of EUROPE. In view of such relation, the future progress of the Far Eastern Advisory Council is to be watched with keen interest together with the trend of the Bulgarian and Rumanian problems.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0016, 1945-11-18.
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