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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0058, 1945-12-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0241

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 241 Date: 5 Dec 45


ITEM 1 War Criminals - Asahi Shimbun - 3 Dec 45. Translator: Daasche.
Full translation:
59 well known men from all walks of life were arrested on orders of Allied Headquarters. The list is topped by Prince NASHIMOTO, Cabinet Ministers HIRANUMA, HIROTA, OKEDA, GOKO, TOKUTOMI, HATA, TOYOTA and others. General Headquarters made public its orders to the Japanese Government to arrest that number of specified persons. According to these orders, those to be seized by the Japanese Government would to 59, including 72 year old Prince NASHIMOTO as well as such outstand Cabinet Ministers as HIRANUMA and HIROTA. This means than Allied Forces' prosecution is now, for the first time, knocking at the door of the Imperial Family. The present orders are among the most important so far issued, as can be gathered from the fact that the list includes many important industrialists who have provided the background for JAPAN's aggression, bankers, political leaders, newspaper men and military officers who have led JAPAN in war by land and sea.
ITEM 2 An Interview with Prince NASHIMOTO - Yomiuri-Hochi - 4 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller
Full translation:
When the reporter called upon His Imperial Highness, Prince NASHIMOTO the first of the Imperial Princes nominated by Allied Headquarters as a war crimes suspect, he was engaged with an Associated Press correspondent. His palatial mansion had been reduced to ashes, leaving on two warehouses, by the raid of 25 May. With scorched trees standing in the garden as a background, he was clad in a national costume, fel[illegible]hat, also GATA, and was giving the Associated Press man brisk answer to questions fired at him through an interpreter. The interview with the correspondent lasted over forty minutes, and the Prince said that he felt tired, but he was quite willing to meet our reporter.
The following dialogue took place:
"What do you think of the present directive, sir?"
"I can not understand it at all. When the Foreign Minister notified me of this, I wondered what it meant and am still wondering. I was never active during the war, nor ever tried to be. Perhaps you know more about it. (He was so eager while he spoke that his face came within 50 centimeters of the interrogator.) As I was not active as a soldier, it looks as if the principal cause of the directive arose from the various honorary positions I had during the war, such as the Honorary residency of the JAPAN Military Arts Association, the JAPAN Fire Brigade Association, the JAPAN Air Defense Association and the JAPAN Aviation Association.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 58 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
What do you think? I have just spoken with an Associated Press reporter and it looks to me that that is the cause. As you well know, the JAPAN Military Arts Association was not created during the war. The JAPAN Fire Brigade Association exists even today for the prevention of fires, and so on. As to the other associations, I am no more than an ornament there, as the actual business is conducted by the subordinates. I took up those honorary presidencies because of the recommendations of the Household Department."
The Prince talked on this for a while and without considering the time asked the reporter if there was anything further. The reporter asked, "Did the American understand your point, Sir?" He replied, "The American did not appear to understand about the ISE Shrine. Although I tried to explain to him that the Shrine is a thing apart from religion he seemed to be taking it in on the same level as "TENRIKYO". (TN: A comparatively new religion, something akin to Shintoism, founded by a carpenter's wife in NARA prefecture at the end of the last century.) But he appeared to have understood that my presidency of organizations in JAPAN was purely an honorary function."
ITEM 3 Prince KONOE and Mr. YONAI Still[illegible]at Large - Yomiuri Hochi - 4 Dec 45.
Two important persons have been omitted from the list of war criminals whose apprehension was directed by the Supreme Commander on 3 December 1945. The names of these persons are Prince KONOE and Navy Minister YOHAI. In addition, the name of KIDO, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, is conspicuously absent. There is no reason why these people should evade the guilt of war responsibility.
ITEM 4 Diet Caught Up in whirlwind of War Responsibility - Mainichi Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full translation:
Liberal, Progressive, and Social Democratic Parties of the House of Representatives, for the purpose of shifting responsibility to others by saying; "It is you who are responsible for the war," prepared resolutions on war responsibility. After heated discussions, the House of Representatives passed the resolution of the Progressive Party. Thus they felt relieved and thought, "Now we can cheat the people."
However, to their surprise, on 3 December, after a holiday, the directive of General MacARTHUR's Headquarters to arrest persons suspected of war crimes, reached members of the Diet. Corridors and dining rooms were filled with rumors. The persons concerned were only Messrs. CTA, Masataka; IKEZAKI, Tadataka; NAKAJIMA, Chikukei; SAKURAI, Hyogoro; SASAKAWA, Ryoichi; and SHITENNO, Nobutaka. It created an uproar as great as if a score of persons were to be arrested. They did not know the truth until approximately noon, but they were thinking, "Who will be the next?" They could not help feeling melancholy because every one of them was tinged with war responsibility. The atmosphere over the Diet was cold. I heard some member in the dining room say, "I have been anxious about him, for he has had connections with all quarters. It is just as I thought." He seemed to mean Mr. OTA, Masataka.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 58 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
"What shall I do? More persons will be arrested hereafter," said another member.
"Of course!" someone else replied, as if it did not concern him. Both you and I will be arrested, because you were a manager of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association."
"What! Manager! The President has not been arrested yet, so I, a mere manager, cannot be arrested!"
"No, you are wrong. Presidents have been ordered under arrest, namely Mr. ARIMA Mr. ANDO, Kisaburo and Mr. GOTO, Fumio."
"No, I was a manager under Prince KONOYE."
"But you had been a manager thereafter, hadn't you?"
"Oh, get away: I cannot be arrested," he protested in a serious tone.
Former leaders of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association walking in the corridor, looked pale. Here and there two or three persons were talking secretly, but their topics seemed concerned not with bills, but with the problem of war responsibility. It was an unprecedentedly heavy storm to members of the Diet. Of those members named as suspected war criminals, Messrs. OTA, Masataka, SASAKAWA, Ryoichi, and SHITENNO, Nobutaka, were in the Diet. Mr. OTA disappeared immediately and Mr SHITENNO reassured those who gathered together, tapping them on their shoulders, saying, "Be calm! Don't be so exited!"
Mr. SASAKAWA was in high spirits, saying to his comrades, "I passed the examination for war criminals."
Mr. NAKAJIMA did not appear in the Diet. The House of Peers was indeed a House of Lords. Therefore, there was not such uproar in the corridors and dining rooms, but more than 26 persons including Viscount OKABE, Chokei, Baron IDA, Iwakusu, Baron KIKUCHI, Takeo, Mr. OTA, Kozo, Mr. SHIONO, Suyehiko, Mr. AOKI, Kazuo, etc, were to be arrested. The lords, millionaires and old bureaucrats seemed to be quietly thinking of their future. Baron IDA was striding as usual in the corridor as if he did not know that he had been named as a war criminal.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0058, 1945-12-05.
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