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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0028, 1945-11-28.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0114

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 114 Date: 28 Nov 1945


ITEM 1 Reform of Peerage Commenced - Asahi Shimbun - 17 Nov 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
In reply to me inquiry by Mr. ISHIWATARI Minister of the Imperial Household, regarding the points to be revised in the Peers Rules, the Bureau of Peerage and Heraldry has decided to set up an investigation council which will commence its business on the 22nd.
The current Peers Rules were promulgated in May 1907 and contain all regulations in connection with the peers status. The maintenance of the Peerage system and the protection of peers' privileges are emphasized, therein. It is, therefore, natural in view of the coming democratic system that these points be the objects for revision. However, the proposed reform will not go beyond that of the rules. With regards to the titled members of the House of Peers, the revision of the rules pertaining to it will necessarily be dealt with separately. In this connection, the reform of the Upper House constitution has been decided upon for consideration.
The members of the council will consist of the Director of the Bureau of Peerage and Heraldry, and three councillors from that Bureau, also three Privy Councillors, four officers of Imperial appointment, and five peers. The Minister of the Imperial Household can be present and express his opinions at the council.
Setting aside the opinion heard in some quarters for the abolishment of the peerage system, the following are a representative collection of the views on how to revise the rule:
The present rule stresses the maintenance of the peerage system. In this connection voluntary relinquishment of the peerage can only take place in the following instances:

(a) Loss of nationality. (b) Non-notification of the succession within the prescribed period, (c) Being sentenced to death or hard labor, (d) Acts or misdeeds such as to bring disgrace to his position.

There is another provision to the effect that in the event a titled peer cannot maintain his dignity any longer he can appeal through the House-hold minister for the relinquishment of the title. Therefore, apart from the above cited five instances, a nobleman cannot simply relinquish his title if he so wished. This point must be totally revised and an easier way must be paved for relinquishment of titles.

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ITEM 1 (Continued)
A study must be made about the fact that the greater part of present peers are descendants of court noblemen and feudal lords who were given titles during the MEIJI Restoration, The titles are the heritage of their forefathers and have not much significance at present.
It is all very well to bestow titles on those who did some meritorious deeds for the nation, but the present system allowing the original owners to hand down such titles through the ages to children of their lineage, has no valid foundation. It should be limited to one generation, or at least, to a certain number of its generations.

ITEM 2 Interview of B. G. Dyke with Press - Asahi Shimbun - 17 Nov 45. Translator: O. Shigeo.
Brigadier General DYKE, Chief of the Civil Information and Education Department, at a press conference on the 16th, disclosed his views on the progress made in journalism, education and religion, since the issuance of the directive on 4 October abolishing restrictions on religious freedom.
At the conference he revealed his attitude toward the Board of Information, which recently underwent re shuffling. He also stated his intention to establish a research organization in Headquarters to study public opinion in JAPAN. The following ere some of the remarks he made during the interview:
Generally speaking, we find the recent trends in journalism and education satisfactory. The co-operative attitude of the Education ministry toward the Occupation Forces gives us much satisfaction, while the activities of the press show much improvement, following their adherence to the instructions given to the editor-in-chief. As we then stated, we are ready to respect the freedom of speech and will even allow criticism of the occupation policy of the Allied Powers provided it is of good intention and of a constructive nature. The Board of Information has been reorganized to inform the general public of the policy of the Government and to give aid to the press in the collection of necessary information, but not to restrict or suppress knowledge from the public as heretofore. Restrictions on the motion picture industry have been abolished by a directive issued on 11 October. We are only too glad to give aid, if necessary, to motion picture production which will contribute to the furthering of democratic ideals. Many American movies will be imported shortly. These we expect to show on the screen as soon as the necessary measures for distribution are made. European pictures are not at all objectionable.
We are going to have a library for the use of producers of motion pictures, drama and music; we wish this to be utilized as much as possible. Regarding the improvement of radio broadcasting, we recognize that much has been done, but owing to the war, its volume at present is one half of what it was previously. Apparently, technical assistance is necessary.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 28 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
We are, at the same time, making preparations for the investigation of public opinion in JAPAN, but in view of the importance of this work, we are waiting for the arrival of experts from the UNITED STRTES before completing the necessary preparations. The food problem is an item on which public opinion will be investigated. The survey recently made by the Strategic Air-raid Investigation Commission on the results of air-raids and their effect upon the spiritual condition of the people, may be helpful for future investigations.
The translation of American books is quite welcome, but at the same time we think it is necessary that an agency be set up by a group of translators to keep in contact with the original authors, so as not to violate their copyrights.
As we have already stated, the education program is progressing smoothly. In the school curricula, judo and fencing have been eliminated, but this does not mean that students are prohibited from participating in these two sports as a pastime.
ITEM 3 Thirty-three Political Parties Already Formed - Asahi Shimbun - 17 Nov 45. Translator: H. Kato.
The main parties in the Present Diet, the JAPAN Socialist Party, the JAPAN Liberal Party, and the JAPAN Progressive Party in a meeting last Friday, advocated holding a special session of the Diet to open on 26 November.
At the general election to be held in January many new parties hope to place their men in the Diet. The following is a list of all political parties and factions now recognized. A large scale and active campaign will be evolved in the coming general election.
The JAPAN Socialist Party, KATAYA, Tetsu, Chief Secretary; The JAPAN Liberal Party, HATOYA, Ichiro, President; The JAPAN Progressive Party; The JAPAN Communist Party headed by SHIGA, Yoshio and TOKUDA, Kyuichi; The JAPAN Reform Party, MANABE, Tomiji, Chairman; The JAPAN Masses Party, MIKAMI, Seiji, Chariman; The League of Koreans in JAPAN, CHO, Tokusei, Chairman; The Youth Liberal Party, headed by KURITA, Hideo; The JAPAN Revolution Party, headed by KAMIMURA, Shin; The National Wage-Earners League headed by YOSHIMATSU, Masakatsu; The New JAPAN Party, ICHIJO, Sanetaka, President; The JAPAN Nation Social Party, KATSUMATA, Eiichi, President; The World Peace Party, headed by YAMASAKI, Ganichi; The New JAPAN Youth League, headed by SASAKI, Matsuo; The Constitutional Youth Progressive Party, KOIZUMI, Kokichi, President; The Youth Liberal Party, headed by YANAGISAWA, Kenji; The JAPAN National Party, headed by KODAMA, Yoshio; The National Masses Judgment Association, headed by NAKANO, Takeo; the Livelihood Party, headed by KENJI, Hisashi; The Youth Liberal League, headed by WATANABL, Han; The Constitutional Association; The New JAPAN Construction Fellow Association, headed by HONRYO Nobujiro; The Japanese Party, headed by HASAIMOIO, Tomisaburo and OKAMURA, Niichi;
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POLITICAL SERIES: 28 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued
The Youth Masses Party, headed by INADA, Akinari; The JAPAN Democratic Party, headed by NISHIMORI, Hisaki and TANIGUCHI, Masaharu; The JAPAN Democratic Party (the same name as the former, but a different party); The Sovereign People's Party headed by KATO, Yoshimasa and EDO, Daikichi; The New JAPAN Democratic Party headed by CHIBA, Seichiro; The JAPAN Autonomous Farmer Party headed by NAGANO, Ro; The New JAPAN Political League headed by YAE, Unkichi; The Social Democratic Party headed by HOISO, Sukeo The JAPAN Democratic League headed by SHIRAISHI, Kiyoshi; and the JAPAN Revolution Party headed by ODA, Ei.
ITEM 4 Woman Suffrage - Asahi Shimbun - 17 Nov 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Madam ICHIKAWA, Fusae began a lecture series on politics for women at NIKORAI Hall in KANDA on 16 November. After the end of the war, she inaugurated a New JAPAN Women's Union, and has now succeeded in forming this union into a practical organization. On the following day, the 17th, she intends to hold a Memorial Lecture meeting on woman Suffrage at the HIKOKAI-KAN (Aeroplane Hall). AS co-promoters, she will have the aid of notable women leaders of former days in Mrs. HIRAZUKA, Raicho, Mrs. KUFUSHIRO, Ochimi, Mrs. YAMATAKA, Shigeri, and Mrs. AKAMATSU, Tsuneko.
Mrs. ICHIKAWA who has been upholding the women's suffrage movement until the present has now made up her mind to dedicate her remaining years to the political education for women. Concerning the future of the women suffrage in JAPAN, she made the following remarks:
"According to the census taken by the Home Ministry in February last year, the number of women voters in the coming election will be estimated at 21,680,000. This exceeds the 21,230,000 men voters by 450,000. If we deduct from this number the 6,000,000 military men who are now abroad and who are soon to be demobilized, we have about 6,500,000 women voters more than men voters. The result is that women's votes actually will be the deciding majority. Emphatically speaking, a democratic government will be greatly influenced by women's power. In order that women can participate in politics effectively, it is most necessary that they should be conscious of their mission. For this purpose they must have a re-education to prepare them for their new role. Obstacles lying in the way of attaining this object are feudalistic ways of thinking on the part of men. Unless these obstacles are cleared, women cannot use their voting right to the best advantage. If they are fettered to their household duties from morning till night, as they have hitherto been, they will scarcely have time to read newspapers, to listen to the radio, or to political speeches. This condition prevents them from going to the polls as well, and of course, is a deplorable situation. To eliminate this, the co-operation of men is absolutely necessary."
"It is easily foreseen that there will be many cases of abstention from voting. Therefore a movement must be started to prevent those women who are likely to abstain from voting from doing so. This must be done before the general election, when suffrage was first granted women in England, 50 per cent abstained from voting. Accordingly, if more than half
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POLITICAL SERIES: 28 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
the number of women voters in the coming general election cast votes it may be termed as successful. Anyway I think utilization of the radio is most effective to enable women to concentrate their attention on the coming election."
"I will ask editors of newspapers and periodicals to take up the problem of woman suffrage, and enlighten women voters politically. School authorities, during the civic hour are also requested to explain in detail the particulars concerning the election."
"But what strengthens women's interests in political affairs more than anything else is for women themselves to stand as candidates. Therefore I want at least one woman candidate in each prefecture to stand for election. Fortunately, in the next election, a large electoral district a plural balloting, system is to be adopted. This will give women candidates an opportunity to secure extra votes."
"There is good reason for women candidates to become members of a political party, provided their political opinions are the same as those of the male members of their party. Accordingly, those who can get the official approval of some political party at their native places, had better support its candidates. What I most desire in the case of women, is that they go in for an ideal election at all events."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0028, 1945-11-28.
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