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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0018, 1945-11-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0077

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 77 Date: 22 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Reconstruction of the Imperial Guards under consideration - Mainichi Shimbun - 14 Nov 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Regarding the Imperial Guards (KINEIFU) which has been established as a temporary measure after the end of the war, the Imperial Household is now considering its reconstruction in view of the prevailing circumstances, and the details are expected to be decided on shortly. Mr. OKANE, Vice Minister of the Department, called on Mr. TSUGITA, President of the Board of Legislation, on the twelfth, and together with Mr. YAMAGIWA, Vice Minister of Finance, had a talk regarding its budget.
The principal point of the reconstruction is a reduction of personnel. Of the fixed number of 4,000 there have been up to now 1,000 retired members whose vacancies have not been filled, and a further reduction of 300 is expected by the end of this month. The Imperial Guards Corps guards the Imperial Palace, detached palaces and villas. Hence its total abolition is by no means considered.
ITEM 2 Socialization of JAPAN - Yomiuri Hochi - 13 Nov 45. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full translation:
It should be carried out under the Emperor. The Minister of State, Mr. MATSUMOTO, expresses his opinion.
The discussions on the revision of the Imperial Constitution, including the questions of the advisability of abolishing the Emperor system, have suddenly became active since the publication of the article in YOMIURI HOOHI entitled "The Way to Attain Democracy." The Minister of State, Mr. MATSUMOTO, Joji is in charge of preparation of the revision of the Constitution, expressed his opinions on 12 November in answer to the questions of a YOMIURI reporter. The following statements are the first of importance made by a member of the Government, concerning the Imperial system.
Question: "What do you think about the statement that the existing Constitution, or at least those portions of it contrary to the PCTS-DAM Declaration, have died with the pronouncement of that document, and that it is not necessarily to be revised by Imperial order?"
Answer: "If the existing Constitution is totally dead, the Diet and the laws of JAPAN will not exist anymore. I cannot understand those people who have such opinions. As the result of occupation by the Allied Forces, it is a fact that some abnormal conditions have been created, but orders issued by the Allies are being carried out under "The Emergency Imperial Rescript in keeping with the provisions of the POTSDAM Declaration." They are effective only on the supposition that the Constitution is still in existence. As long as the Constitution is in existence, Imperial orders are necessary."

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POLITICAL SERIES: 18 (Continued.)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Question: "Is the real democratic revision of the Constitution possible under this system?"
Answer: "The revision of the Constitution can be made only as based on Article 73 of the Constitution. If you say the revision is undemocratic if carried out in accordance with the Constitution, you so-called democrats negate the existing Constitution. I think that wither the revision is democratic or not will be decided by the contents."
Question: "What is your opinion about discussion on the abolition of the Emperor system?"
Answer: The Chinese proverb says, "One's opinions differ as one's face differs." There is no doubt that many various discussions take place on the abolition of the Emperor system, but I think very few among our 70 odd million people are in favor of it. At any rate, I definitely object to the abolition of the Emperor system. I became a fairly rabid socialist in my high school days, and studied socialism. I think socialization under the Emperor is the way for JAPAN. This I published in my articles in the "DOJIN Magazine." I wish to socialize JAPAN only under the Emperor. I believe that the Emperor system should be maintained at any cost in JAPAN. I believe the majority of the people have the same opinion. If you say such a belief is not rational that is another problem. JAPAN should be united under the Emperor and I believe that is the only way JAPAN can maintain its existence. I can explain this to you from the historical, sociological, and other various points of view. Should the Emperor system be abolished, JAPAN will be in great danger of total ruin. The belief that the Emperor system must be maintained is reasonable, I think."
Question: "What is your opinion on the criticism of some people that the hastening of revision of the Constitution by the Government indicates its intention to maintain its position before the Diet changes in personnel?"
Answer: "I do not approve of the immediate revision of the constitution. I believe that if a revision is carried out before the Japanese can speak their minds, the revision will be of no use. Therefore, I agree with this criticism (hastening the reform), but from a different point of view. However, if the external and internal political demands necessitate the quick revision of the Constitution, such a political result (manning not clear but probably the Government policy on the revision) may be brought about. This may be the reason why the Research Association on Constitutional Problems is hastening its study. My own intention is to study the matter deeply as long as time permits, and then to carry out the revision as completely as possible."
ITEM 3 Probing TOJO'S suspected property - Asahi Shimbun - l4 Nov 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full translation:
It has been uncovered by the Police Department that public scandals cropped up one after another in the Government and that many influenced the morals of Government officials and company heads under the regime of the TOJO Cabinet, which issued the Imperial Battle Instructions (SENJINKUN). Numerous ugly rumors were circulating concerning high officials and wealth-seeking ZAIBATSU. Apart from the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
authenticity of the rumors, the circulation of such rumors at critical moments in the war was an evil omen. The nation became so suspicious after the war that, in addition to the TOJO mansion, which was newly built contrary to the current building regulations, the watchful eyes of the country were focused on even such trifles as a tin of "Hope" cigarettes left on the table when TOJO attempted suicide. At the same time Lieutenant General ISHIWARA, Ganji disclosed to the YOMIURI on 3 November to the surprise of the nation, that the ex-Foreign Minister SHIGEMITSU received ¥ 20,000,000 from the Chinese National Government on the understanding that no agreement with CHIANG KAI SHEK would be attempted. Before the people recovered from the shock, the Public Relations Office of the US Supreme Command announced on the 7th that, as a result of the investigations into the substance and movements of MITSUBISHI and other ZAIBATSU, the mansion in question was given to General TOJO by MITSUBISHI and that ¥ 10,000,000 was presented to him through Mr. GOKO, Kiyoshi. Relative to this statement MITSUBISHI on the 9th addressed a correction to the US Headquarters through the Liaison Office denying the above two assertions. Mr. GOKO also flatly denied it saying, "Why should MITSUBISHI or I curry the General's favor? Monetary assistance for a political campaign has no meaning for a rich man like the General." The nation's serious concern is now centered on these two contradicting statements and a fervent desire for uncovering the real facts by careful investigation is quite discernable from the number of letters pouring into the newspapers. It is quite natural that the investigating authorities cannot remain apathetic. Since the announcement by the Public Relations Office on the 8th, a series of conferences have taken place between the Prosecutor-General NAKANO, Chief Prosecutors HOSHIOKAWA and KISHIMOTO, and Vice-Chief Prosecutor YUDA. As a result of studying the question from every conceivable angle they have decided to probe the mysterious matter, though they anticipate considerable difficulty in the process of the investigation. After careful study, they appear to have hit on a method, and consequently, Mr. X (name not published in view of the assigned duty) of the Prosecution Bureau of the Supreme Court, who is noted for his ability, has been appointed to take charge of the case. The work is under the direction of the Chief Prosecutor KISHIMOTO and Vice Chief Prosecutor YUDA. They are said to have commenced activities on the 13th.
Extraordinary Secret Service Expense of the Army is Hard to Investigate.
As the search must go into the ultrasecret dealings of the TOJO Cabinet, which under cover of national and military secrets, spent stupendous sums, and, since important papers bearing on the matter have been destroyed, the undertaking will be very difficult. It appears that the investigations are focused on the following points: Why did General TOJO really need the sums expended? If so, to what purpose will they be put? Was the house in question built out of the Government Secret Service Fund, his own salary, or the money donated for political purposes? In the process of the investigation it is possible that the US Headquarters will be asked to provide the data and in the final stage the General may be interrogated in prison. It is also conceivable that the investigations may not stop at the relation between the General and MITSUBISHI but may extend to new persons and new facts. The result will be looked upon with intense interest in that it will lay bare many facts about the TOJO Cabinet.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
This reporter called on Prosecutor General NAKANO on the 10th and questioned him on his views about this case, but in view of the secrecy required not much information was available. He simply remarked, "We cannot of course ignore the question after such revelations have been made. Whether the allegation is true or not is our duty to ascertain."
ITEM 4 Corporal Punishment Was Inflicted on Japanese Officers Who Committed Atrocities Against War Prisoners - Mainichi Shimbun - 14 Nov 45. Translator: H. Kato.
Full translation:
SAN FRANCISCO (UP) November 12.
According to a telegram from TAIHOKU on 4 November a Japanese court-martial sentenced two Japanese officers to ten month's penal servitude on a charge of atrocities against two American airmen who were prisoners. This may be the first trial for war criminals conducted by the Japanese.
ITEM 5 YAMASHITA's trial - Asahi Shimbun - l4 Nov 45. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full translation:
The Defence Council for YAMASHITA Asked the Postponement of the Trial.
Kyodo, MANILA (S F), November 12.
The trial of General YAMASHITA was adjourned on 9 November for the rearrangement of the documents of witnesses, but it was opened again on 12 November. Several witnesses testified that the Japanese troops attempted to kill all the Chinese at LOS BANOS, and that all the relatives of a certain Chinese boy were murdered.
A Filipino boy's left thigh was sliced off. Seven Filipinos were bayonetted and burned to death by Japanese troops in the vicinity of the SANTO-TOMAS internment camp on 7 February.
On the other hand, on 12 November the defence council made an appeal for the postponement of the trial, and the Supreme Court of the PHILIPPINES, on the following grounds:
The charges made against General YAMASHITA do not say that he violated any rules of warfare.
In the PHILIPPINES martial law was not proclaimed, nor was a military government established. Therefore, the military commission has not the judicial power to try General YAMASHITA.
The orders of General MacARTHUR say that war-criminals will be tried in JAPAN or in Allied occupied countries, but the PHILIPPINES are not an occupied country.
The documents which offer grounds for this trial, violate articles # 25 and # 38 of the Articles of War, and also other rules and regulations of the UNITED STATES and the PHILIPPINE Constitutions. They are thus denying General YAMASHITA a fair trial.
SPAIN Japan's protecting power, was not formally notified of the trial.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
Should this appeal be approved, the trial of General YAMASHITA will be stopped automatically. But if it is rejected, the defence council can present the same appeal to the American Supreme Court. The Chief Prosecutor, Major KERR stated that the result of this would be announced by the afternoon of the l6th.
ITEM 6 Three General Officers Escorted - Asahi Shimbun - 14 Nov 45. Translater: K. Murakami.
Full translation:
KYODO, BATAVIA (AP) 12 November.
The BRITISH Occupation Army Headquarters in JAVA announced on 12 November that three JAPANESE general officers now detained in JAVA will be sent under guard to SINGAPORE on l4 November to be tried as war criminals. The three officers are the Commander of the l6th Army, Lieutenant-General NAGANO, Yuichiro; his Chief of Staff, Major-General YAMAMOTO, Shigeichiro; and the Commander of the JAPANESE Army in Central JAVA, Major-General NAKAMURA.
They are reported to have been accused of supplying arms to the JAVANESE Independence Troops against the orders of the BRITISH Supreme Commander.
ITEM 7 Preliminary Trial to be Started Shortly of the Court of War Criminals in JAPAN - Asahi Shimbun - l4 Nov 45. Translator K. Murakami.
Full translation:
HONOLULU (AP) 12 November.
The Under-Secretary of War, John McCLOY made a statement on the trials of war criminals in JAPAN as follows: "The organization of courts to try war criminals in JAPAN has been completed and preliminary examinations are about to start. However, war criminals who have been accused by two or more Allied countries, will be tried at a separate higher court. The atrocities committed by the Japanese and Germans are of equal magnitude."
ITEM 8 Extraordinary Session of the Diet to be Converted on 26 November Session for 18 Days - Asahi Shimbun - l4 Nov 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Full translation:
Intending to submit such important bills as one to revise the election law for members of the House of Representatives, the Government requested the Throne to convocate an extraordinary Diet session on 1 December for two weeks. At the Cabinet meeting held on the 13th, the Government, however, decided to ask the Throne to change the date for the convocation to 26 November, and to set the session period at 18 days, from 27 November to l4 December.
That the date of the convocation of the extraordinary Diet session has been moved up and its period prolonged are caused by the remarkably rapid advancement made in the preparations for the revision of the election law The bill for revising the election law will soon be presented to the Emperor for approval by the Privy Council, whose deliberations also are expected to proceed smoothly.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 8 (Continued)
The relations between the House of Peers and House of Representatives, especially between the political parties of the latter have also had an influence on the above mentioned decision. However, it is inevitable that a lively argument will take place at the extraordinary Diet meeting on the revision of the election law.
Furthermore, discussions on the problem of revising the Constitution and on relations, etc. between the forthcoming extraordinary Diet meeting and the ordinary one are expected to take place. In view of forthcoming formation of the Democratic, Liberal, and Socialist Parties, the actual situation is that the right of speech by the Diet members cannot be restrained or controlled as it had been before.
Under such circumstances, it may be that preparations cannot be completed for the scheduled convocation of the regular meeting on 24 December if an extraordinary session of the Diet is convened in December For this reason, the date for the convocation has been moved up and the session period prolonged.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0018, 1945-11-22.
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