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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0041, 1945-12-01.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0159

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 159 Date: 1 Dec 45

POLITICAL SERIES: 41

ITEM 1 Attitude of Parties Toward Important Bills - Asahi Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Extracts:
The Government will introduce at the Extraordinary Diet Session a bill to revise election law, an agrarian reform bill, and a labor union law. Parts of these three important bills have already been made public.
Heated opinions have been expressed against bills other than the Election Law Revision Bill. Whether or not the bills will pass is a question of considerable doubt. Since, however, the agrarian and labor bills have been drafted on direction of Allied Headquarters, ultimate passage with a few revisions is assured, despite the animated criticism and debate that will inevitably occur. The following discussion applies to the views of the Progressive, Liberal, and Socialist Parties.
Being directly affected by the Election Law Revision Bill, all parties are carefully scrutinizing it. No party will find fault with lowering the age of franchise, woman suffrage, or simplifying election campaign regulations. The question exciting the greatest attention is that of the majority electorate system in opposition to the limited plurality ballot system.
The Liberal Party opines that in the majority electorate system, proportionate representation is predicted; and that the limited plurality ballot system is worse than existing laws. The Socialist Party in general is of the same opinion, but intends to institute a motion for amending the adoption of the single transfer proportionate representation system (TAN-KI-I-JO-SHIKI-HIREI-DAIHYO-SEI ([illegible]). The largest party, the Progressives, will eventually endorse the bill since no others are in opposition to the Government's proposal.
It is universally recognized that an adjustment of the farmland situation is imperative. The Progressive and Liberal Parties with their capitalist and landowner ties are unwilling to concur with Government policy, yet lack the courage to offer open opposition. Therefore, these parties are expected to assume an official position after circumstances are clarified by discussion.
On the other hand, the Socialist Party has fully endorsed the proposal, urging further that the maximum acreage to be permitted a landowner be reduced substantially, that Government purchase land, and that the right of landowners to appeal be abolished. It is certain, however, the Socialist Party will support the bill in its present form.
The Socialist Party has announced, moreover, its unqualified support

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POLITICAL SERIES: 41 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
for the Labor Union Bill, declaring that its present form is almost perfect. The Progressive and Liberal Parties, on the other hand, have displayed no particular position on the Labor Union Bill. However, they will be obliged to jump on the bandwagon eventually in its support.
ITEM 2 Resolution on War Responsibility - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 27 Nov 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Extracts:
A move toward democratic Government has just begun, a aim[illegible]ng[illegible]t the establishment of political machinery fit for the reconstruction of JAPAN, with several parties opposing one another. The 89th extraordinary session of the Imperial Diet will begin discussions on 28 November. Prior to this, the so-called smaller parties, the Social Democratic Warty, and the Liberal Party, as has already been reported in the press, are quite active In the House of representatives. They intend to present under joint sponsorship, a resolution concerning the clarification of war responsibilities on the part of the representatives, previous to the P[illegible]mier's administrative address. The purport of the resolution is as follows:
Since the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, the Japanese in all classes have been reprimanding themselves for their own mistakes in the past. The military clique, ZAIBTSU, and the political police have already been abolished, and reform plan for the press has been carried out. Yet it is incomprehensible that the representatives of the nation themselves are unconscious of their situation, and dare to participate in the discussions of such important bills as the Election Law Revision Bill, the Agrarian Bill and the Labor Union Bill. Those reformation bills which mark the dawn of a new JAPAN can not and should not be discussed by such culpable representatives. We must first of all clarify the war responsibilities of the representatives themselves.
Opinion is divided as to how to bring the clarification of war responsibilities into effect. Some representatives insist that the House of Representatives as a whole should shoulder the responsibility, and others advocate that individual representatives should be responsible for the war. When we look into the discussions and investigations, hitherto made conc[illegible]this problem of clarifying war responsibilities, see that they are concentrated upon the impeachment of the leaders of the former Imperial Rule Assistance Association and the JAPAN Political Association. This chows, on the other hand, that there has been a new political power rising in opposition to the above-mentioned two political parties.
It must be noted that the present [illegible]solution is founded on public opinion. The direct objective of the resolution is to bring about confusion and the ultimate to dispersion of the Progressive Party, which, though it is the largest part with 250 mem[illegible]ers, is nothing but a mosaic, lacking in cohesive strength. The majority of the leaders of the present Progressive Party are these who were regarded as bosses of old parties. By driving out these bosses as war criminals, the members of the smaller parties mean to beat down the Progressive Party in the coring general lection.
ITEM 3 The Minority Parties Given Chance of Interpellation - Mainichi Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: N. Kurakami.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 41 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Full translation:
The House of Representatives held Negotiation Committee Meetings on 26 November 45, and some of the decisions reached are as follows:
Both the chairman of the Committee of the whole House, and each standing chairman of estimate budget proposition, petition and disciplinary committees shall be appointed by vote.
Opportunity for interpellation shall not be exclusively possessed by the majority parties, but shall be given to the minority parties, too.
In addition to the Progressives, Liberals, and Independents, the Socialist Party shall also have from 1 to 3 seats on the standing and extraordinary committees.
Seven members, namely, NAGANU[illegible], [illegible]QRITA, SAITO, TAKANO, KAKIMATSU, NORIYA, MURASAWA, tendered their resignations, because they felt keenly their war responsibility. Their case shall be judged by the Members, and acceptance of their resignations shall be decided upon by individual secret ballot.

[illegible]e. The resolution in relation to investigating war responsibility, which was submitted by both the Socialist and the Liberal Parties, shall be decided in the negotiation committee meeting after being submitted through channels.

ITEM 4 The Resignation of the Peerage and the Abolition of the Peer's Heritage Law - Asahi Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translators: K. Murakami.
Full translation:
The second meeting of the Peerage Bureau Investigating Council, which as inquiring into the peerage system, was held on 26 November at the Imperial Household Department. At the meeting, it was decided to offer a reply to the Throne on the problems of resigning titles and the abolition of the Peer's Heritage Law. According to the decisions reached, anyone who has a special reason for doing so, may present a petition to resign his title. Sufficient reason, however, would have to be presented, because the honor must not thoughtlessly be resigned.
Each petition must await Imperial sanction. The Peer's Heritage Law is to be abolished, and a report is to be made to the House of Peers. The Peer's Heritage Law was enacted by an Imperial Ordinance in 1886. It was revised on a large scale in the Diet in 1916, and then became a law. At present, more than two hundred peers, equivalent to a quarter of all the titled people maintain: hereditary estates. At a meeting in the future, the Investigation Council will make inquiries into the whole problem of the peerage system.
ITEM 5 Political Environment of the Current Session of the Diet - Mainichi Shimbun - 27 November 45. Translator: M. Tachibana.
Full translation:
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POLITICAL SERIES: 41 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
The extraordinary session of the Diet will begin formally on 28 November after the Premier's address concerning his administrative policies. The current session of the Diet has a deep political significance. That is to say, the current session of the Diet is the first step for the establishment of democratic government, and the course from dissolution to general election has been made clear. Moreover, division among parties has become clear for the first time since the parties were dissolved, and as the general election is near at hand these parties are trying to gain a dominant position in the general election.
On the other hand, national life, in regard to clothing, food and housing, is miserable. This is the background for the Diet session. Therefore, it is clear that three parties, Progressive, Social, and Liberal, and other representatives will express their opinions aggressively when they debate on the proposed bills, and the government will be made a target for critical attack. Not only between the government and parties, but also among parties themselves, a fierce battle will be fought on the question of war responsibilities among the Diet members. The Diet session will be stormy, and the Government, dragged into the storm, is headed for a serious crisis.
It may take the whole period of 18 days for deliberation on the important bills in the House of Representatives alone. The Government is determined to fulfill its mission by conducting a general election, and intends to fight for its views however difficult the situation it faces in the Diet may be. The present situation does not warrant optimism.
In addition to the three parties the Independent Club, which includes the greater part of independent members, has been organized and is trying to get an independent bargaining position among the three parties. The Progressive party, which consists mainly of members of the former JAPAN Political Association, suffers such internal complications that it may dissolve under any political stress in the Diet.
The unprecedented extraordinary phenomenon of 98 independent members marks the current session of the Diet, out a part of those independent members will surely join some party while the Diet is in session. Therefore, the sphere of influence of each party will presumably change with the event in the Diet.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0041, 1945-12-01.
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