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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0048, 1945-12-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0192

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 192 Date: 3 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Characters of Political Parties - Asahi Shimbun - 29 Nov 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
The first mission imposed upon political circles of JAPAN after the end of the war was to make JAPAN a democracy. Representative government which has bean shrouded by systems of political control has dwindled almost to nothing since the time of KONOE's cabinet, and is now confronted with the now motto "JAPAN's reconstruction", and as if it were suddenly resuscitated, has now begun to resurrect political parties. The parties that have begun anew include the JAPAN Progressive Party, the JAPAN Liberal Party and the JAPAN Social Party.
At this bewildering turning point, what with the defeat of JAPAN and the forthcoming general election, it is almost impossible to expect the formation of a political party in which the nation can place its full trust. When we probe into the declarations, platforms, and policies of the three parties, we feel that they are only marking time. Let us now cast a glance at the motives and procedures used in the formation of these new parties.
The Liberal Party was the first one organized, but the party which set up its declaration, platform and policy earliest was the Socialist Party. In the midst of political struggles and competition, it was a matter of course for the Socialist Party, with the intention of amalgamating former proletarian parties into a single party, lost no time in forming itself so as to gather its members from among the working classes. Its platform follows:
As an organized body of the working classes, we guarantee political freedom.
We endeavor to oust capitalism, to carry out socialism, and to stabilize and promote national life
We oppose all militaristic ideas actions, and expect permanent peace through the co-operation of all nations.

Of all its policies, the following are specially emphasized: adoption of a large electoral district proportional representation system; the right of franchise and election to men and women above 18 years of age; abolition of peerage system; public ownership of steel, coal and other important industries, as well as banking, trust, and insurance businesses; establishment of a Labor Office and official recognition of labor unions; establishment of a 48 hour work week; establishment of a National Land Construction Office and a Social Insurance Office and prohibition of purchase and sale of women.
These policies cover extensive spheres of political, social, and economic activities and seem to be too ambitious a program. It's

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POLITICAL SERIES: 48 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
doubtful that the party can attract the mass of the people by such a full program. What the party aims at seems to be, after all, the carrying out of economic plans based on socialism, but the question is whether the party has real executive power.
The Liberal Party has decided on the following platform:
We are ready to meet the terms of the POTSDAM Declaration and root out all militaristic elements; expect to found a new JAPAN.
It is our intention to maintain our national sovereignty, establish a democratically responsible Government, secure freedom of learning, art, education, and religion, and lead thought, speech and action into the proper channels.
We expect to stabilize economics, strengthen free financial activity, reconstruct agricultural, commercial, and industrial enterprises, and stabilize our national economy.
We expect to promote political and social virtues, and cleanse our national life.
We expect to respect man's rights, improve the status of women, carry out extensive social legislation, and secure happiness and stability of the standard of living.

This is the platform which the Liberal Party stated when it was founded. The party, through this declaration, seeks to "establish a free democratic system, promote diplomacy based on mutual respect, friendship and co-operation, and found a constitutional Government." It is also a beam of light leading people through this transition stage. In these important times, the party set up diplomacy before everything else, and urges the restoration of international faith. It stresses the necessity for participating in the United Nations end also correction of the mistaken policies toward China. Thus the Liberal Party has its own policies, but it is doubtful whether the party can gain confidence of the people by such an array of mere beautiful words.
Let us now look at the platform of the JAPAN Progressive Party which was formed after a series of complicated processes. Their platform is as follows:
We support our national sovereignty, firmly stand by democracy, and seek to establish a responsible government with the Imperial Diet as its nucleus.
We respect individual rights, based on co-operative self-government, and strive to establish world peace and promote human happiness.
We expect everyone to work independently, aim at the activity of industries under a system of industrial equality, and at fairness in distribution. Moreover, we want to establish a new economic system, and secure the welfare and livelihood of the whole nation.

After looking over this platform, however, we can easily find that,
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notwithstanding the name of "Progressive", the party has not changed at all. It was formed by those who expected the rise of HATOYAMA's Cabinet in the near future. Members of the party are composed, as it were, of "a mixture of good and bad". Based upon the popularity of President HATOYAMA among the people, the nation must feel that there is something lacking in this party. Unless the defective part is remedied, the party itself will become rotten and fall. This explains why there are some representatives, who, though they wanted to join the Party, fled at the very moment of its formation. The Progressive Party has its raison d'etre, because it has Mr. HATOYAMA as its president, but since it gives us the impression that there are some undesirable elements in it, its future ascendency cannot be expected.
The formation of the JAPAN Socialist Party may be regarded as a success, in so far as its outward aspects are concerned, and also in that the party can amalgamate former proletarian parties. But this success is due to the fact that such distinguished personages as Messers. KAGAWA, ABE and IWANO acted as sponsors in its organization. Now that these three leaders have retired from the front, there is every chance the party will dissolve.
Generally speaking, the Progressive, Liberal and Socialist Parties look, each of them, like temporary huts built merely for the sake of convenience. Following the end of the war, all party representatives set up democracy as if it were their only sign-board. These drum-beaters have been and still are hatching or breaking up amidst the present chaotic social conditions. That is why there are some Parliamentary members who cannot determine to which party they had better belong, and who, in consequence, remain neutral. What is most important for the parties is that they wipe out all traces of past impurity in order that they may build up parties worthy of the complete trust and confidence of the nation.
ITEM 2 Investigation of War-Responsibility - Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Nov 45. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
During a discussion held by the Diet on war responsibility Mr. FUKUYA, Shunichi, (Independent), stated, "First, concerning the question of who is responsible for the war, the Prime Minister has missed the vital point. It is useless to discuss those who are responsible for the war. Some of the JUSHIN, military factions, bureaucrats, plutocrats and statesmen who are responsible for the war, are shamelessly attempting to escape that responsibility. Their crimes deserve certain death. (Applause). For the sake of the reconstruction of JAPAN, those responsible should be thoroughly investigated.
"Second, we must investigate the crimes at the end of the war. The criminals are not the soldiers in foreign districts, but those in JAPAN Proper. When I had a narrow escape from death and was demobilized, my house was burnt down. My family had the misfortune to be broken up, and I am in a miserable condition, having no food to eat and no employment. War-made millionaires and demobilized profiteers are stalking the country. The Government is said to have begun to expose these criminals. Please then, announce the
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course of action. Will the Government take decisive measures or not?
"Third, rescue our countrymen in the territory ruled by the SOVIET UNION. I do not understand this injustice for JAPAN, which is faithfully carrying out the POTSDAM Declaration, a document based on the respect of human rights. The Government is said to be unable to make foreign negotiations, but still the nation can never be content with this.
"Fourth, the problem of abolition of the pension system for soldiers is supposed to be studied starting next February. Does this concern only officers? Or does it apply to the non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, too? What of the living problems of a bereaved family? What of the question of abolition of civil officials' pensions?"
The Prime Minister replied, "Concrete measures for the punishment of war-guilty are never simple, but I wish to carry them out in every possible way. As for the mis-management of supplies, a thorough investigation will be carried out in the future. The rescue of our countrymen in MANCHURIA and North KOREA, must await more propitious circumstances before it can go further. However, I intend to exert myself." (At this point hecklers shouted, "Put yourself in their fathers' and elder brothers' places!")
The war Minister, SHIMOMURA, stated, "I have seen with my own eyes, the misappropriation of munitions at YONEKO, OSAKA and TOKYO Precious materials were produced in a disorganized, unmethodical fashion, and soldiers whose integrity is their pride have been brought to disgrace as a result. As one of those whose job is to keep soldiers orderly. I profoundly apologize to the nation through the Diet. The number which the authorities have arrested, is 725, officers of higher grade among them. Hereafter, I wish to arrest more and more, but at the present time gendarmes do not exist, and the military is about to disband, making the task difficult.
"Concerning the rescue of demobilized soldiers overseas, I intend to continue persistently seeking new methods to get them home. Concerning the pension, I keenly feel the responsibility, for I, myself, said that there is nothing to worry about on that score. Generally speaking, the army continues to exert itself in the interests of the government."
The Navy Minister, YONAI, Mitsumasa, commented, "I feel the responsibility as keenly as the War Minister, but I am at a loss for words to apologize for the injustices dons at the end of the war. After 28 August, the cessation of munitions distribution was ordered, but the articles produced unlawfully were collected and given a disposition. Among 449 cases of unlawful disposition, 77 persons were found to be officers. Among them were one general officer and five colonels. Henceforth I intend to continue the arrests."
The Foreign Minister asserted, "As to the actual conditions of countrymen in MANCHURIA, I report that they are slowly being organized. There is news from day to day; sometimes it is better than we expect, and sometimes worse. I wonder if the reports are made public here?
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I am sorry to disappoint those who wish to know more of the details, but you can go to the Foreign Office and hear the news yourselves." (At this, cries of "foolish man," "retire," "don't you know where you are?" "retract your words," were heard from the gallery. The whole Diet was thrown into an uproar.) Foreign Minister YOSHIDA repeated his former words, and then added, "I retract my words." At that statement the House still did not calm down. Angry voices shouted, "Apologize," "Open the secret meetings."
Minister of Justice IWATA said, "The pursuit of war-criminals is a very difficult problem, as the Prime Minister has pointed out. How does one decide who is responsible for the war? The method of pursuit, the measures used in punishment are all indeed very difficult, especially, the pursuit of those who are responsible for provoking the war politically. The Department of Justice and the authorities hope that society's unwritten laws are applicable to the politically responsible persons through social restraint and moral obligation so that the guilty ones will of their own accord retire from political circles, offering a peaceable solution by such action.
"Since the end of the war, the criminals reported to the central office amount to 964 persons." (At this point, the Foreign Minister asked for the floor and ascended the platform. He said, "I retract my former words." At this juncture another outcry was made, "It is a poor excuse," "Do you retract all your words?" The House was once again thrown into an uproar.) With the proposal of Mr. NAGANO, Koichi (the Progressive Party), the President of the House of Representatives, SHIMADA, declared a recess at 1725.
At 1910 the House reconvened. The Foreign Minister then stated, "Answering the question put by Mr. FUKUYA, I will say that I am sorry my answers are so inadequate and unsatisfactory. I apologize for them and will once again attempt to clarify them. The news of our countrymen in MANCHURIA and North KOREA, is of a vital nature so the authorities are exerting themselves to find out all the details. I am sorry to say that detailed news has not yet arrived. We have had mere fragments on which to rely. According to the news, conditions in some regions are better than we expect, and in some areas are much worse than we think. For example, in the southern districts of MANCHURIA and others order has been restored, and in a few of the places, some people are engaged in their business. However, the actual, real conditions are not yet known. Therefore, I am very sorry to say that a satisfactory explanation is not yet available. Henceforth, as soon as news is received, I shall report it promptly." The House adjourned at 1914.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0048, 1945-12-03.
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