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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0055, 1945-12-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0222

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 222 Date: 5 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Clarification of War Responsibility - Yomiuri-Hochi - 29 Nov 45. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full translation:
There are those who think it un[illegible]ene[illegible]ous to inquire into war responsibility in addition to the present stern pursuit of war criminals by Allied Supreme Headquarters. However, it is necessary, from our standpoint, to clarify war responsibility.
If we Japanese are to rise as a peaceful, cultured, and democratic nation, we have to exact self-criticism and frank self-adjustment at the start. We must first clarify war responsibility. Rebuilding depends upon the destruction of the old. Indeed, we must thoroughly determine war responsibility in order to demonstrate our capacity for national self-analysis.
We must discard several false ideas in order to take up faithfully the problem of war responsibility. Some people suggest that we are now facing the greatest crisis in our history and have no time to spare for a discussion of past responsibilities; that must forgive all faults of the past and co-operate together for the reconstruction of a new JAPAN. This is indeed a plausible suggestion which may appeal to the spirit of the people. However, generally we have a national tendency to forget the past too easily. Owing to this tendency we are apt to fail in adjusting ourselves and in destroying the old at this time of political and social restoration. This results in half-way measures and compromise.
Japanese sayings, such as "Don't look at the past" or "Don't whip the corpse," are often misused so [illegible]s to obscure political responsibility. Even a premier who failed the people is forgotten after he leaves the cabinet. All guilt is forgotten in the case of a military officer who commits suicide and in the case of Government officia1 who resigns from his poet. Nay, not only forgiven, but sometimes their families gain the people's sympathy. We demand, however, that such a trend should be swept away in order to remove people from militaristic control and to establish democracy. We must give up old sentimentalism and thoroughly clarify war responsibility.
Next, I intend to refer to the idea of a so-called "National Confession." Ex-premier Prince HIGASHIKUNI told press correspondents immediately after the formation of his Cabinet that the confession of all the people was, so to speak, the first step in rebuilding JAPAN. Moreover, he repeated before the Diet in a speech on the Administration, as follows: "It is needless for us to rebuke anyone. All the people must confess and try to develop the fortunes of this country in the future. Some people have been misled in their judgment, owing to this idea of national confession. What shall we Japanese, confess?

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POLITICAL SERIES: 55 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Of course, we must be remorseful for our impotency; that we could not be freed from militaristic control by ourselves but were freed only by the authority of General MacARTHUR's Headquarters. We should have overthrown the remains of the feudal system and started a modern, democratic restoration. Nevertheless, the fact remains: the change was not executed by us but given to us. We must be ashamed of our inability."
However, insofar as the responsibility for war or for defeat is concerned, what have those people, unemployed or demobilized, to confess? They have been deceived, threatened, whipped, blindfolded and finally thrown into the midst of ruin and starvation in return for the sacrifice of their own, their father's, son's or husband's blood to this worthless war.
Some dare to say that all the people should apologize to His Majesty the Emperor. It is quite out of the question. The people are not the criminals but, rather, the injured. The people must not apologize; apology should be mode to them. We should, not wait, but should demand apologies. We should realize that our life is brightened only when we rise together, demanding apology instead of national confession. A policy requiring national confession is far behind the times. This thought has, however, been replaced by those of the incoming Cabinet. Premier SHIDEHARA told correspondents, immediately after the formation of his Cabinet, of the responsibility of high officials. "If it means political responsibility, all the people are responsible. I do not intend to point out certain persons," said, the Premier. Political effects of this national confession is seen more clearly in his words. War responsibility of high officials is divided and so 80,000,000 people have to share the burden. Thus, the criminals can escape from war responsibility. The thought of national confession is nothing but a means to obscure war responsibility, to save militaristic controllers and their supporters from the vengeance of the people, and to increase the anger of the nation.
Last, I must warn that people often confuse war responsibility with war defeat responsibility. In the 88th Diet Session, a representative asked, "Who is responsible for the failure of the Greater East Asia War" "What measures does the Government take to clarify the responsibility"
To these questions the Government answered as follows: "There were many faults in the various systems and policies during the war. We intend to make efforts for the future of JAPAN, using past experience as an admonition to the future." Like question, like answer! They say that defeat in this war would be instruction for the next war.
Recently, Premier SHIDEHARA established a special organ in the Cabinet, to clarify the cause of defeat in the war, from the point of view that the reconstruction of JAPAN must be begun by clarifying the cause of defeat. This organ is expected also to inquire into war responsibility, but the latter would not be an important duty of the organ. The difference is only one word, responsibility for the war and for the defeat; yet there is a big difference in meaning.
They agree on one point. Both of them are necessary for thorough
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POLITICAL SERIES: 55 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
clarification of responsibility. They are, in a sense, two parallel lines, the end of which are two different, new JAPANs. The political influence of this country now, and from now on, is to be divided distinctly into two ports. One is the power starting from a clarification of responsibility for the defeat; the other is that which deals with war responsibility. From such a point of view it is clear that clarification of war responsibility must not be attempted by the old controlling classes or political powers, since these are, more or less, suspects themselves. Only the people can decide where war responsibility should lie. We must oppose the investigating organ, which is composed of militarists and their partisans, by establishing our own advisory council to clarify war responsibility.
ITEM 2 Emperor is Pillar of State, Settlement of Food Problem Dependent Upon Politics, Asserts Hatoyama ([illegible]) - Asahi Shiabun - 30 Nov 45. Translator: S. Fukuda.
In an interpellation before a plenary session of the House of Representatives, HATOYAMA, Ichiro, leader of the Liberal Party of JAPAN, stated:
"World politics up to the present has been developed alone concepts of dividing and creating spheres of influence, motivated by a desire for national aggrandizement and the formation of a rich and militaristic nation. Such concepts insure neither permanent prosperity nor peace, but establish the strong after the fall of the weak. Basic world policy must be initiated with common and joint concepts throughout the world. What is the view of the government?
"Aside from ideals of peace, democracy, and freedom, conditions in various nations differ just as the national faiths differ. The political organization, then, should be one compatible with conditions peculiar to the nation. In JAPAN the people believe in the Emperor's sovereignty, JAPAN being a state in which the sovereign is also the spiritual head of the race. Therefore, the central pillar in the Japanese political and economic structure is His Majesty, The Emperor. We must never lose this pillar, because it supports the very political life of the Japanese people. That the Emperor is a democratic being who rules by sanction of the nation's will is the Imperial policy passed down from generation to generation.
"The direct relations between the Emperor and his subjects have in the past been obstructed in some rather shady ways. Our peaceful national policies were warped to lead us to disaster."
ITEM 3 A Fresh Start as a Legal Party - Yomiuri-Hochi - 30 Nov 45. Translator: S. Fukuda.
Full translation:
A Fresh Start as a Legal Party Convention to be Held 1 and 2 December.
The Communist Party, legally recognized, is to hold its fourth party convention at general headquarters, YOYOGI SHIBUYA on the first and second of December.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 55 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The first convention of the party, presided over by SAKAI, Toshihiko, was held in TOKYO, on July 1922; the second, at ICHIKAWA; and the third, under the chairmanship of WATANABE, Masanosuke, at GOSHIKI Hotsprings.
This, the fourth convention, will be the first convention of the Communist Party as a legal entity. It is, as such, a rather auspicious start for a party which, in our opinion, is destined to lead the masses.
The convention will herald regular party action, geared for the rapid reconstruction of JAPAN along democratic lines. Approximately 500 delegates from TOKYO and the prefectures are expected, to attend. The convention will not be open to the public.
Election of chairman (presiding officer: TOKUDA KYUICHI).
Appointment of committees to direct the convention.
General reports (general party situation, immediate tasks, party organization, distribution of rod flags, etc.) and resolutions based on general reports.
Report on the situation in KANTO District by Mr. HAKAMADA; the KANSAI District by Mr. KUROKI; and. other; similar reports.
Proposed resolutions: (a) Platform, MIYAMOTO, Kenji. (b) Party by-laws, TOKUDA, Kyuichi.
Matters regarding the coming general election, KUROKI, Shigenori.
Matters regarding organization of labor unions and agrarian associations, KAMIYAMA, Shigeo.
Matters regarding propaganda activities among Koreans, KIN JAIKO.
Matters regarding extension of civil liberties, SHI[illegible], Yoshio.
Matters regarding propaganda activities among young women, HAKAMADA, Satomi.
11.Matters regarding training of the executive committee, MIYAMOTO, Kenji.
Election of the central committee and its chairman.
Election of working committees.

Problem of Restoration of Civil Liberties:
The Communist Party has devised measures for the forthcoming elections, and has selected candidates from its membership. Authorities of the Department of Justice have been approached about the restoration of civil liberties, and the eligibility for office of some party members who have been imprisoned for a long period of time.
With the assistance of lawyer KURIBAYASHI, KUROKI, Shigonori, party
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POLITICAL SERIES: 55 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
member, arranged an interview with Director SATO of the Bureau of Criminal Affairs on 27 November. The Department of Justice officials stated that the restoration of legal rights must receive royal sanction after the due deliberation of the Department of Justice. The application for restoration of civil rights to the authorities concerned must be made through a chief local public prosecutor or the public prosecutor's office.
There is, it is true, a precedent for restoring civil rights through the Department of Justice, but Mr. SATO felt that at the present time it is very difficult to direct local authorities to restore rights on the basis of the crime, even if the judicial authorities were to deliberate on the application.
The Communist Party considers the judicial authorities highly bigoted, and acting contrary to the spirit of the POTSDAM Declaration. In order to reach more satisfactory settlement, the party will reveal the situation to the public, disclosing as well the war guilt of the Department of Justice, and their violation of the principles of civil liberties. They, further intend to sponsor mass protest on a large scale, before and after 8 December.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0055, 1945-12-05.
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