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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0051, 1945-12-04.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0210

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 210 Date: 4 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Trial of General YAMASHITA - The Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Nov 45. Translator S. Kawasaki.
Full translation:
At the trial of General YAMASHITA on 28 November, after favorable testimony by Mr. SUNADA, Shigemasa, General YAMASHITA himself spoke as follows: "I never ordered the destruction of the city of MANILA or the massacre of its citizens. Within the limits of my knowledge, none of my officers issued such orders. Moreover, I never ordered the execution of prisoners and neither did my officers. Allied prisoners ate the same food as Japanese troops. General TOJO ordered me to transfer the captives to Tokyo, but I ordered the captives set free when American forces approached, I ordered the captives be given a month's supply of food and was reprimanded for the order by Imperial Headquarters. Furthermore, I was not the supreme commander in the PHILIPPINE Islands. The supreme commander was Field Marshall TERAUCHI and I was under his command until August of this year. I never established our headquarters at MANILA. However, I once received a protest from the Spanish Government representatives in TOKYO, concerning the illegal handling of citizens of Spanish extraction at MANILA."
Mr. SUNADA, Shigemasa, testified that General YAMASHITA was one of the most noble-minded of persons and a man of high integrity in Military circles. After the fall of SINGAPORE he ordered a monument erected and decorated with a wreath to the memory of the war dead of the British and Australian armies.
ITEM 2 On the Diet - Asahi Shimbun - 31 Nov 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full translation:
In the Lower House, interpellations concerning general matters continued on 29 November. Those by President HATOYAMA, representing the Liberal Party, and by NISHIO, representing the Socialist Party, were received with interest and expection as the first voices expressing the political influence which will help in the construction of a democratic JAPAN. The speech by Mr. HATOYAMA, who had come up to the political front after a long absence, was especially heard with interest. His attitude as the President of a party left nothing to be desired, his voice was almost awe-inspiring. However, the purport of his address, which was limited to the maintainance of the National Policy, the sphere of democracy, and so forth, was rather too negative and lacking in political spirit. If the conservative character of the Li[illegible]eral Party has made its debut in this first speech, it is unfortunate indeed.
Mr. NISHIO abandoned his former critical tone, characteristic of a "left wing" member; his tone of simplicity and practicality was pleasing

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POLITICAL SERIES 51 (continued)
ITEM 2 (continued)
It was appropriate that his speech was limited to food and unemployment problems in which the nation takes great interest at present. But his interpellation was centered too much on the solution of these pressing problems. It was a pity that he did not clarify the political ideals of his party. The fact that the representative of the Liberal Party did not refer much to the hardships and difficulties with which the nation is confronted at present; and the Socialist Party hardly touched upon its political ideals, may probably show the peculiarities of democratization in our country.
A slip of the tongue by Mr. YOSHIDA, Foreign Minister, during his reply to a criticism by Mr. FUKUYA, elicited a joint attack from four parties.
In the plenary session of the House of Peers, Mr. MIYATA strongly advocated the abolition of the Privy Council, the abandonment of the political privileges of the peers, and a fundamental revision of the Upper House. How the peers, who have long been enjoying these privileges, will feel the effect of these stormy days!
ITEM 3 Establishment of Departments of Demobilization - The Asahi Shimbun - 2 Dec 45. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full translation:
With the abolition of both the Army and the Navy, the first and the second Departments of Demobilization have been established. The Ministers of the two newly-established Departments will be under the Prime Minister, SHIDEHARA. The ceremony of installation by his Majesty was held 1 December in the Imperial Palace.
The following officials were named to take over the newly formed posts: MIYAZAKI, Hajuire, will be Parlimentary Vice-Minister; HARA, Mori will be Vice-Minister; HARAGUCHI, Kiichi will be Parlimentary Councilor, all of the First Department of Demobiliztion.
In the Second Department of Demobilization, TAWAKA, Roydu, will be Parlimentary Vice-Minister; SANTO, Hisaski will be Vice-Minister; and HOSHINO, Seinosuke will be Parlimentary Counciler.
SHIMOMURA, Sada Minister of War, resigned from his post when the Ministry was dissolved. In addition, ASHIDA, Hitoshi, Minister of Welfare, was appointed President of the Protective Board.
ITEM 4 Real Situation And Motive Behind The Resolutions on War Responsibility Adopted by Political Parties - Asahi - 2 Dec 45. Translator: M. Maruyama.
The resolutions of political parties on war responsibility were collectively submitted to the plenary session of the Imperial Diet on 1 December. But before this, days of controversial discussion were spent by political parties on the problem of whether or not such a resolution should be submitted to the present Diet session. Why then so much trouble on a problem which admits no room for questioning from the standpoint of the people? We do not have to look far for the reason.
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POLITICAL SERIES 51 (continued)
ITEM 4 (continued)
The political parties have been working in their own interests in connection with the problem. Facts, speculations, and schemes, which have no relation with the substance of the resolution on war responsibility, have been introduced by the parties. On 27 November both the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Party decided to make a joint submission of their resolution demanding that all [illegible]leaders of the wartime Diet should resign from the membership of the House of Representatives, and assume their responsibility for the war. Ten neutral Diet members, including FUKUYA, Toshiichi, and TANAKA, Isaj[illegible]supported the movement of the two parties to submit the resolution. At first, it was decided that the resolution be presented to the Diet on 28 December as an expedient before Premier SHIDEHARA made his speech on the administrative policy.
The two parties concur in the opinion that their members have no responsibility for the war. Although this attitude may not be accepted by the public without reserve, it is quite tolerable that they insist political leaders of the Diet should make clear their responsibility anyway. The underlying reasons for these parties actions, however, is that they are intending to impress the people with the fact that such political leaders belong chiefly to the Progressive Party. By so doing, they hope to turn the coming general election in their favor. This fact cannot be denied.
It is natural, therefore, that the Progressive Party opposed these two parties' attempts to bring the joint resolution before the Diet session. Finding it impossible to carry through their objective defying the very strong influence of the Progressive Party, the two parties yielded with an amendment of their resolution to "the submission of resolution ahead of all deliberations" instead of "the submission of resolution ahead of all procedures." Thus a compromise was effected among committees of all the parties to submit the resolution immediately following the interpellations to be made on the Premier's speech. As a matter of fact, however, the Progressive Party apparently had intended, if possible, to prevent the resolution from being submitted to the Diet, but, in view of the important nature of the resolution, the party had not the temerity to do so even with its absolute majority, bearing an unfavorable influence on the popular mind.
The result was that after cudgelling its brain the party decided to bring before the Diet session its own resolution on the war responsibility. Its resolution included something like that which the joint resolution of the other two parties stated and made obscure the sphere and limit of the responsibility. It says in part, "That leading members of political parties must hold themselves responsible for the war cannot be denied, but all Diet members who co-operated with the Military and Government in the war also cannot be exempted from the responsibility. It is up to these Diet members, therefore, to consider what they had done and then act appropriately." The resolution was adopted by the party on 28 November. The Progressive Party thus has apparently made its gesture before the people confessing a sense of responsibility. The party then also attempted to effect a compromise with the other two parties to present a three-party joint resolution, thereby dragging the members of the other two parties into the vortex of war responsibility and guiding the coming
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POLITICAL SERIES 51 (continued)
ITEM 4 (continued)
election in its favor. They also provided in their scheme that, should the compromise fall through, it would cause its own resolution to be submitted first and, when adopted, prevent the joint resolution of the other two parties from being submitted on the pretext that discussion of the same subject is useless.
The compromise failed on 29 November, On the following day the bargaining committee of the Progressive Party proposed to the other two parties that its resolution be submitted first, to which the latter objected declaring that the two parties were the first to decide on the submission of the resolution. A final compromise was effected on 1 December, by which it was decided that the resolutions be submitted collectively and at the same time.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0051, 1945-12-04.
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