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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0030, 1945-11-29.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0120

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 120 Date: 29 Nov 45


ITEM 1 New Witness For Yamashita Trial - Yomiuri Hochi - 19 Nov 45. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full translation:
Lieutenant General YOKOYAMA, former MANILA Defense Commander, testifying in the KAMASHITA case, declared during a four hour questioning that General YAMASHITA had never ordered the razing of MANILA or the massacre of Filipinos. General YOKOYAMA remained in the mountains near BAGIO during the defense of MANILA. He is expected to be tried as a war criminal soon.
According to the testimony of Vice-Admiral OKOCHI, defense witness, General YAMASHITA did not want to fight within the city. The destruction of the harbor, moreover, was planned by high navy officers. He further that Imperial Headquarters had attached 20,000 sailors to YAMASHITA's command to unload ships.
OKOCHI's testimony coincides with that of a Filipino who had stated that most of the atrocities in MANILA had been perpetrated by sailors.
ITEM 2 On the Japanese Prisoners of War - Yomiuri Hochi - 19 Nov 45. Translator: S. Ono.
Of late, several newspapers in TOKYO have reporting on Japanese servicemen who surrendered to American forces in the battle fields of the pacific Theater. This may be quite a surprise to the Japanese, who were unaware of the fact, but is not at all strange to the officers and servicemen of the American forces. It is true that in the early period of the war, only a few Japanese surrendered. They were then fresh in fighting spirit and confident of their strength. For example in the battle of ATTU Island, only 26 prisoners out of 2, 100 were taken. Much to our interest, those prisoners were found to be a little different from the usual prisoners were found to be a little different from the usual Japanese soldiers. One of them claimed he was a pacifist, saying he never wanted to join the military service. Another one said that he had no obligation to fight till he died because he was a civilian technician, which he actually was. Other prisoners consisted of those who tried to survive, if possible. At the battle of the KWAJELEIN Islands the number of prisoners increased considerably.
"We put down our arms and survived as prisoners of war. Our friends in the homeland might consider us dead and we might never return there again, but neither would we wish to." This was the unanimous answer we received from the prisoners who surrendered. But later when the strategic situation went from bad to worse, the number of Japanese soldiers surrendering increased. It seems the idea of dying in the

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POLITICAL SERIES: 30 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
battle field for the sake of their homeland had lost its former attraction.
A prisoner of war who surrendered in the battle of BOUGAINVILLIE, Island said that many of his comrades would have taken the same step with him had it not been for the strict supervision of their officers. He took upon himself the task of calling upon his comrades, still in the Japanese trench, to surrender, using microphone from an American position in the front line. He broadcast on a certain Sunday morning of April, 1944. The sound of firing was completely absent throughout his broadcast which continued for two hours. He told his friends about the fact that prisoners of war were treated very kindly in the American camp, and that the wounded were cared far better than in a Japanese hospital. He also said that American soldiers are supplied with better feed and equipment than Japanese, and that he had seen trucks, guns, bull-dozers, air-fields, air-planes and other excellent instruments of war. He continued saying that JAPAN was a country still in the feudal stage and had no power to fight against a strong, modernized country like the UNITED STATES. It was not their duty to die in vain in defense of ancient JAPAN, but to survive and rebuild a new JAPAN. In response to his call, a few Japanese soldiers surrendered that night.
In another case a revolt of Japanese troops against their officers was noted. It happened shortly before the battle of the MARSHALL Islands. A group of Japanese soldiers on a barge came to land on ENIWETOK Island, which had been, occupied by the Japanese previously. An American destroyer came near the barge and ordered it to surrender. Then Japanese troops witnessed a queer scene. When the destroyer came nearer, they saw an officer in the barge trying to flee by himself, and ordering his subordinate to stay in the boat. The next moment, he was thrown into the sea by his own men. A fight ensued and six men surrendered, killing their five comrades who had opposed them.
Thus, the number of the prisoners of war increased. In the fighting on OKINAWA the number of those who surrendered reached into the tens of thousands. From this it can see that Japanese soldiers began to reflect upon their destiny. They began to ask themselves if it were really good for their country to continue fighting against a force with better equipment and command.
A strong antipathy toward becoming prisoners of war was often noticed among Japanese soldiers. But the 10,000 soldiers showed the trend of thought by surrendering themselves. Progress is never made without destroying tradition, and them rightfully destroyed the non-surrender tradition in these cases.
ITEM 3 Advisory System in Metropolitan Police Board; Abolition of Junior Policemen - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 19 Nov 45. Translator: A. kido.
Aiming at popularizing policemen who shoulder the metropolitan peace-and-order burden, the Metropolitan Police Board is now going to adopt an advisory system and, at the same time, a new method of appointing and training policemen. The Board will hold round-table conferences on popularizing the police. An outline of the above is as follows:
An advisory system will be established, and, in case of need,

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POLITICAL SERIES: 30 (Continued)

ITEM 3 (Continued)

learned men will be invited from among the people and new police methods will be studied.
Junior policemen will be abolished. The junior police system adopted during the war will be replaced by a regular police system.
A method of recruiting new police officers will be studied as approximately 600 policemen have resigned. Eligible for the post of a policeman are those who have completed middle school.
The main point in the education of policemen in the future will include relief every year by a guard member and thorough training in the guards.
Efforts will be made to give the police better treatment by way of augmenting the vigilance committee organization and supplying uniforms, etcetera, as salary increases are now impossible.

ITEM 4 War Crime Facts To Be published - Asahi Shimbun - 19 Nov 45. Translator: H. Naoji.
On the 10th, Brigadier General Ken R. DYKE, Chief of the Civil Information and Education Section, told Associated Press journalists the following concerning war criminals' trials and Shintoism:
"In order to make the Japanese realize the truth of the war developments since the CHINA Affair, plan for the war criminals' trials will be published before long.
"As for Shintoism, the Civil Information and Education Section is investigating on a large scale the use of Shintoism by the military party and. super- nationalists of JAPAN as a psychological instrument. The results of the investigation will be published in the near future. I have already received several hundred letters asking me for the publication of the truth concerning war criminals. The facts are condensed in 20 articles, to be published through journals and used in schools.
"According to the results of the investigation of Shintoism, the Japanese government expended 6,000,000 yen in a year as a subsidy for Shintoism but this sum did not include subscriptions from various bodies including the Imperial Household.
"No special tax has been imposed on expenditures for shrines in JAPAN. I have no intention of interfering in a fundamental question like that of freedom of faith.
"According to the explanation of the Japanese government, Shintoism was taught to school boys in classrooms, but sermons inside school were prohibited. Therefore Shintoism is not a religion."
General DYKE could not say if orders affecting Shintoism would be issued by Allied Headquarters.
ITEM 5 Supplement of Privy Councillors - Asahi Shimbun - 20 Nov 45. Translator: H. Takahashi.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 30 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
HIRANUMA, president of the Privy Council, has deliberately been favoring two councillors to fill vacancies in the Privy Council and at this time IZAKA, Takoshi, president of the Japanese Economic League, and KAWAHARA, Shunsaku, former Vice-Minister of Education were selected.
Because the Privy Council has at present become the object of discussion, this choice was made with great care. To fill the vacancy of FUKAI, Eizo, who died some time ago, a distinguished figure in the financial world was desired. Hence, AKASHI, Teruo, and OHIRA, Komao, Vice-President of the MANCHURIA Railway Company, also were under consideration besides IZAKA.
Mr. IZAKA was born in IBARAKI prefecture and now is 77 years old. He holds the positions of president of the Japanese Economic League and president of the Bill Exchange. Also previously he was selected as a member of the House of Peers by the Emperor.
For the replacement of MATSUURA, Shinjiro , many in the government whole heartedly desired to recommend Doctor MINOBE Tatsukichi, who is a distinguished authority on the constitution, problem, but in keeping with past example, KAWAHARA was elected because of his background in the Ministry of Education.
Mr. KAWAHARA was born in TOKYO and is now 56 years old. In the past he has twice served as Vice-Minister of Education and has held the position of president of the TOKYO University of Literature and Science. Thus he is acknowledged by public as a man of ability in educational administration.
ITEM 6 Privy Council, Reform or Abolition? - Tokyo Shimbun - 20 Nov 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full translation:
Prince KONOE, who had been appointed Commissioner of the Office of Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, in connection with the revision of the Constitution, has been busy making preliminary investigations, together with Doctor SOICHI, Sasaki, and Doctor CHO, Shimizu. He expects that he will be able to report to the Throne on the result of his researches about 20 November. So the Office of Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal will be abolished with the completion of the revision work of the Constitution as its final service.
On the other hand, the Government itself, in the hope of establishing a democratic government system in JAPAN, has been steadily making investigations about the revision at several sessions of the Constitution Problem Investigation Committee, with State Minister MATSUMOTO as chief investigator. Along with the revision of the Constitution, it has been decided that the Privy Council, which has been a strong support to the bureaucratic influence in the political history of JAPAN, should be reformed, and this problem is to be brought up in formal discussions.
The Government's viewpoint is that the complete abolition of the Privy Council is inadequate. At present the Privy Council seems to be nothing but a subordinate office of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau. Fundamental reformation of it is really desirable. It should be:
A consultative organ to work with the Emperor in connection with only the most important political problems.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 30 (Continued)

ITEM 6 (Continued)
The number of Councillors should be reduced at present.
It should be constituted of elder statesmen in addition to the prime Minister and the Minister of the Imperial Household,

But there are some opponents who are not satisfied with mere reformation of the set-up of the Privy Council, but insist upon the complete abolition of it. They are strongly opposed to the Government plan, especially to such a temporary measure as that which involves inviting elder statesmen to become Councillers. Elder statesmen today are responsible for the outbreak of the war, and they should not participate in the Government.
Concerning the abolition of the Privy Council, Mr. HATOYAMA, President of the Liberal Party, states that:-
"I am of the opinion that the Privy Council should be abolished and replaced by a standing committee system in the House of Representatives. The reason for this is that the Privy Council at present has no more power than the Legislation Bureau, namely, it does no more than issue urgent Imperial ordinances. These may well be issued through a standing committee, and there is no necessity for the existence of the Privy Council. Such a subordinate office to the Legislation Bureau as the present Privy Council should be completely abolished."
Mr. MIZUTANI, Executive Commissioner of the Socialist Party, makes his remarks as follows:
"We are decided upon the abolition of the Privy Council. This is connected with the revision of the Constitution. The Communist Party insists on the abolition of the Emperor system, but our party approves the Emperor system based on the readjustment of sovereignty. Critics in AMERICA also are of the same opinion as we are. The Emperor himself leans toward the English constitutional monarch. According to the English constitutional monarchy, the Diet holds the supreme power and the Emperor constitutes part of the Diet. Just as in the Magna Carta in the 13th century, the Emperor reigns, but does not rule'. So long as the revision of the Constitution is made in accordance with the English system, the existence of the Privy Council is unnecessary, because the Emperor reigns, but does not rule. In short, whether the Privy Council is abolished or reformed affects the position of the Emperor. If affairs concerning the supreme power of the Emperor are greatly reduced and readjusted through the revision of the Constitution, the abolition of the Privy Council must be considered quite reasonable."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0030, 1945-11-29.
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