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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0050, 1945-12-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0204

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 204 Date: 3 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Insufficient Seriousness in the Diet - Tokyo Shimbun - 30 Nov 45. Translator: Paasche.
Full translation:
"Heckling isn't fair", says Mr. SASADA, third year student of HOSEI University's Economic's Department. During the war he was taught aviation in an air corps regiment at UTSUNOMIYA and was demobilized in September. On the morning of the 29 November, SASADA commenting on the Diet and anticipating a continuation of the noisy session of the day before, said bluntly, "Yesterday's Diet session lacked seriousness. Useless heckling, devoid of wit is not my idea of activities in which Diet members should indulge.
"I am disturbed by the thought that legislation of tremendous importance is handled in this way. In connection with the war guilt problem, old stuff such as anonymous balloting against Diet members with a view to cause their retirement is brought up over and over. This leads one to fear that the question of war guilt might become a weapon in party politics. The abuse heaped upon speakers leaving the platform is a shame. I cannot forget what the minister of War said about the spirits of the war dead, whose efforts must not be brought to fought, and I wept over my comrades out of gratitude. When I came home I was struck by the loneliness of the tear-soaked YASUKUNI Shrine and I thought grimly of TOJO and the others who filled their own pockets, pretending to fight a war. When I heard the Minister of War and saw what was going on in the Diet I felt the same emotions. What I, a demobilized soldier, felt when I saw the fighting over the war guilt in the Diet, was that those responsible for the lost war should be eliminated in the name of the people."
ITEM 2 The Plenary Session of the House of Representatives on 30 November - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 1 Dec 45. Translator: N. Tachibana.
The House of Representatives held its plenary session on 30 November. Questions and answers are as follows:
Mr. KITA, Reikichi's ([illegible]) question (Liberal): What is Japanese democracy? Japan once regarded democracy in England as a regular political way. Does the Government intend to adopt such thought? It is important to reform education in order to establish a new JAPAN. JAPAN has good and bad points in morality and in education. The virtue is that loyalty and filial duty are considered one and the same thing,

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POLITICAL SERIES: 50 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
and the fault is that JAPAN lacks social solidarity and respect for individual rights. In order to prevent ruin, the Government must take anticipatory measures. We have been freed of the military clique. It is necessary to promote the study of freedom. The Navy Minister opposed the Tripartite Pact, but was the navy not in sympathy with the idea? Does the Premier go on to establish a new Japan without pursuing the war-guilty?
Prime Minister SHIDEHARA's answer: I think it is not good to force the people to give a determined definition to democracy, and it may be said that JAPAN may endeavor to develop democracy in accordance with Japanese history, circumstances, and national character. The Japanese people must contribute to the culture of the world under our Emperor. I am not ready to state what measures the Government will take and what is to be sanctioned in regard to war responsibility.
Navy Minister YONAI's answer: I had no power to oppose the Government as matters stood then.
Education Minister MAEDA's answers: I have determined to print no more copies of "Subjects' Duty" (SHIMON NO MICHI). It is a fact that JAPAN has lacked freedom. I intend to promote the growth of freedom hereafter in reforming education.
Mr. MATSUMOTO, Jiichiro's ([illegible]) question (Social): Democratic revolution began on 15 August, but members of ETA, who have been oppressed as slaves for the past hundreds years since the Tokugawa Era, are being treated with discrimination now. Has the Government no intention of abolishing the ETA system?
Prime Minister SHIDEHARA's answer: Regarding the ETA problem, I think it is wrong to treat them with discrimination. I will make every effort to stop it.
ITEM 3 Careful Deliberation on Revising Constitution - Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Nov 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Full translation:
At the plenary session of the House of Peers held 29 November, the President of the House of Peers, Prince TOKUGAWA, announced that the critical prospectus introduced by Viscount OKOCHI and others relating to the responsibilities of the ministers of state as advisors to the Throne had been forwarded to the Government on 28 November. Viocount KAWASE of the Society for the Study of Social Science, then took the rostrum to discuss a revision of the method of selecting Government officials. Count NIKO spoke on the democracy of our Imperial Family.
Mr. MIYATA asked, "Why doesn't the Government get on with the plan for revising the Constitution? Does it intend to do away with the Upper House as well as with the Privy Council which continues to hold themselves aloof from the nation? In order to replace the Upper House, a House or Board must be set up of members elected from districts, so as to secure a safety-valve for operation of parliamentary politics."
Minister of State MATSUMOTO answered, "Do most people now feel that since the POTSDAM Declaration has been accepted, it is necessary to immediately alter the existing Constitutional Law? The acceptance of
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POLITICAL SERIES: 50 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
the Declaration does not necessiate immediate alteration of the Constitution article by article. We are, however, carefully studying, the problem, for we think it necessary to revise the Constitution, in order to recover and augment the democratic idea. We do not think that the revision of such a fundamental law as the Constitutional Law could be completed in a week or so. Keenly alive to the importance of the problem, I am, day and night, engrossed in the matter and am consulting with many people. The appeals for abolishing the Privy Council and studying the competence of the Upper House have been carefully taken into consideration."
ITEM 4 Notes on the Diet - Tokyo Shimbun - 30 Nov 45. Translator: Paasche.
Full translation:
At present there are various kinds of democracy in existence. JAPAN after losing the war, is coming to life as a democracy. Now the current question is, which type will it be? Can Japanese democracy be achieved without infringing on Imperial sovereignty, or is absolute popular sovereignty the only way? One would expect this question to be more widely discussed among the people than is the case. Even in Government circles there is little such discussion. It is true, SAITO, Taka took up the problem of constitutional reform in the Diet on 28 November, but he seemed to assume that Japanese democracy must not invest sovereignty in the people.
The Progressive and the Liberal parties are staunch upholders of the Emperor system and have, therefore, needless to say, aroused nose stir in the Socialist party, the only group which advocates popular sovereignty, carried remain silent on these issues. Since there are no Communists in the Diet, the Socialist Party alone must discuss these matters. On the other hand, the Progressive and the Liberal parties will have to explain why they are backing the Emperor system. None of these parties should forget their basic aim, namely the creation of Japanese democracy.
ITEM 5 Deliberative Right of the Diet and the Allied Forces - Asahi Shimbun - 1 Dec 45. Translator T. Okamura.
Full translation:
In connection with the rights of deliberation of the Diet and other problems, the following questions came up at the special meeting of the Bill Approval Committee held at the House of Peers 30 November. Viscount MATSUDAIRA said, "The POTSDAM Declaration provides that the administrative rights of the Emperor shall be placed under the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces. Does this clause mean that the legislative and the judicial rights are also placed under the command of the Supreme Commander?" Minister without portfolio MATSUMOTO answered, "So far as I know, the Supreme Commander of the allied Forces issues orders not only on administration, but also on legislation directly. There are still doubts as to whether his directives will refer to the judiciary, but we have to interpret the clause to read that, for the enforcement of the conditions provided in JAPAN's unconditional surrender, the allied forces may order anything. But as a matter of fact, I think the Supreme Commander will not issue directives on the judiciary."
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POLITICAL SERIES: 50 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
Viscount MATSUDAIRA, then asked, "I understand that the Women's Suffrage Law is ordered by the Supreme Commander, and if so, the Diet cannot disapprove of it on the ground it is premature. Therefore, I think the right of diliberation of the Diet on the Reform Bill of the law for the election of the members of the House of Representative, is restricted, What do you think of this?" Minister MATSUMOTO gave his opinion, by saying, "The Women's Suffrage Law is not demanded formally by the Supreme Commander, but is only a wish expressed by him. The Government, with the point of view that it would be right for the Government itself to bring about such a desired matter, has proposed the bill."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0050, 1945-12-03.
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