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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0059, 1945-12-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0243

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 243 Date: 3 Dec 45


ITEM 1 YONAI. ([illegible]) Former Navy Minister Interviewed at Home - Asahi Shimbun - 3 Dec 45. Translator: N. Hisanao.
On the morning of 2 December, the first Sunday since the abolition of the Navy Ministry, which had been in existence for seventy seven years YONAI, former Navy Minister, who became a civilian with the abolition of the Naval Ministry, spoke, as follows, from his temporary residence which lies at SANKO-cho, SHIROKANE, SHIBA-ku, "The problems of living, are too difficult for me to solve. I did only try my best in order that I might do the right things during my life. The reason why I did not resign can be seen in the procedures following the abolition of the various Ministries. (TN: Reference not specific). Also, I have been in the Reserve since 1940, so that I automatically retained my reserve status with the abolition of the Naval Ministry.
"The reason why I was still in uniform until the abolition of the Department is attributed to my conviction that the active soldier must wear the uniform while he is in an official position. The questions of Mr. SAITO, which were asked in the Diet were, as you realize from the shorthand notes, in the Journals asked of the Army Minister, not of me. I kept silent in the Diet. That is to say, I had no official business in the Diet." Admiral YONAI has always been taciturn, but now he was frank enough to bare his heart as above.
ITEM 2 International Law and Japan's War Criminals - Yomiuri Hochi - 4 Dec 45 Translator: Paasche.
Full Translation:
Allied Headquarters has arrested a great many persons charged with war crimes, but it is to be foreseen that more will follow. Mr. MATSUSHITA, an authority on international law and former professor at St. Paul's University had the following to say on the definition of a Japanese war criminal, "Heretofore, international law specialists used to define a war criminal in a very restricted sense, but the term will from now on, have to be defined in a very comprehensive way. It seems to me that there are three kinds of war criminals: There are, first of all, these responsible for the war, i.e. people who have played a political part in bringing about conditions that make war inevitable. The second category is made up of infringers of the rules of war, e.z. torturers of prisoners or murderers of American pilots. The last named are war criminals in the restricted sense. The third set are those who, without directly committing criminal acts, themselves, had authority over people belonging to the second group. The unknown men on the Allied list fall under the first and second categories, whereas the well-known names are in the third category, i.e. those responsible for the war.
Leaving the different conditions of ancient days and the Middle Ages

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POLITICAL SERIES: 59 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
out of account, we find that actions falling under the second and third classes are dealt with by international law, whereas there is no precedent for prosecuting culprits of the first. This is the first time such a prosecution is taking place so that the question arises on what legal basis it is to be carried through. However, I think there are very good reasons for such impeachments. At the time of the first world war, war was still internationally recognized, but the Kellogg Act provided for the elimination of war as a means of national policy. The UNITED STATES, BRITAIN, RUSSIA and JAPAN were parties to this agreement which was later signed by all countries of the world. Since this treaty's existence war was outlawed, except for defensive purposes. The second war was called a defensive war by JAPAN, but unfortunately her subsequent actions showed that she was waging an aggressive war. It follows that the demand by the victors to have those responsible for the war arrested, is based on treaty rights."
The foregoing is the opinion of an international jurist. It is true, according to popular feeling, that war criminals of the second and third classes falling under international law, must be severely dealt with. Now as regards those of the first calss, we have to admit that they were discussed by Parliament, but it must be kept in mind that in JAPAN a political environment prevailed which left no choice except co-operation in the war from the day war was decided upon by the highest authority in the State. While it was possible in AMERICA, where public opinion is unfettered, to openly proclaim opposition to the war and to adopt an attitude of non-co-operation, it was impossible in JAPAN to actually proclaim non-co-operation, since public opinion was not free in this country and human rights were trampled upon
Therefore, we lay the responsibility for the war at the door of all those who have co-operated in it. We end by making war criminals out of the majority of the people, but I believe the quilty ones are the responsible politicians who made war inevitable. The heaviest [illegible]responsibility is jointly borne by all persons who took part in the Imperial Cabinet Council of 8 December 1941.
Since the Tripartite Pact was the other event that made the outbreak of war inevitable, all those who exercised their authority on behalf of the conclusion of this treaty, as well as all individuals and writers who strongly backed it, must be made accountable. If we go back in time, we come to those who engineered the CHINA Incident, the events in North CHINA and MANCHURIA, not to mention those who were responsible for JAPAN's quitting the League of Nations between the incidents in MANCHURIA and CHINA. As I said, during the war the Japanese dared not show an unco-operative attitude. The only thing they could do was to co-operate with a view to keep the suffering of humanity within limits, or to lessen the brutality of a war that kept becoming more frightful.
People who conducted the war in a brutal way must of course be called war criminals, just as those who, more than was necessary, propagated hatred against enemy countries or incited others to kill pilots or to regard enemy soldiers as devils. It appears that HIRANUMA was opposed to the Tripartite Pact, but he advocated the expansion of armaments after the Manchurian Incident and was busy suppressing liberty. AOKI was his bench man in the job of putting political bureaucracy into the saddle and of making a kind of mad man of JAPAN. That NAKAJIMA belongs on the list is borne out by the huge gains of to be armaments industry. SATO is responsible for the suppression of public opinion since enactment the "gag" measures. TOKUTOMI was the chief backer of the Tripartite Pact. That SHORIKI is a war criminal goes without saying. SHIODEN was foolish enough to bring anti-semitism to JAPAN, where there was no anti-semitism at all. KODAMA brought Pro-Germanism as a means of fostering militarism here, anticipated a Nazi victory, made propaganda bordering on Nazi worship, and must consequently be punished.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 59 (Continued)
ITEM 3 War Criminals - Yomiuri Hochi - 4 Dec 45. Translator: Paasche.
Full Translation:
The House, which had barely finished discussions over question of war-guilt was suddenly faced with the storm caused by the war criminal arrest order. The members, benumbed by the news, flocked together from offices and galleries in little groups, eagerly buying news extras. Their anxiety is understandable since six members of the Lower House are slated for arrest, OTA, and SAKURAI of the Progression Party, and IKEZAKI, SASAKAWA, SHIODEN, and NAKAJIMA all independents. Some members uttered words of sympathy. Others were relieved to find their own names not listed.
Those who had vainly proclaimed the non-responsibility of the Diet for the war had to face hard facts and hid their feelings with difficulty. OTA and four others had received the news earlier in the day and did not appear at today's session. SHIODEN knew nothing before noon and had come to the Diet. He seemed confiderably rattled upon receipt of the news. ANDO, a Liberal, stated, "The name of general KOBAYASHI is on the list; he was the director of The Imperial Rule Assistance Association which is the old name for the Progressive Party. OTA, SAKURAI and SHIODEN were "big shots" in The Imperial Rule Assistance Association; should similar people appear in future lists of war criminals we can only say that this is in line with out war-guilt-bill. The Social Democratic Party's NISHIO commented, "The names were picked from a different viewpoint than that underlying the war-guilt bill, but the whole thing is like an incendiary bomb coming down in the adjoining block."
ITEM 4 Resignation of Chief of Privy Council - Mainichi Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full Translation:
Baron HIRANUMA, Chief of the Privy Council, was nominated as a war criminal by the Allied Forces on 3 December. But at present, the Chief of the Privy Council is so busy with the revision of the Constitution, the reformation of the Privy Council, discussions on Imperial Household matters, and many other important state affairs, that he is not allowed to leave his post vacant even for a single day. Accordingly, Baron HIRANUMA will remain in his position till the formal notification of his arrest as a war criminal reaches him, when he will at once tender his resignation, and his successor will immediately be appointed.
On 3 December, a representative of the MAINICHI SHIMBUN called on Baron HIRANUMA at his private residence at NISHI-OKUBO, bringing the report that he had been nominated as a war criminal. He was calmness itself, and revealed his mental attitude as follows: "Of course I will resign my post of the Chief of the Privy Council as soon as I am notified officially. As for my successor, I have nothing in mind about it. It will be decided upon by Premier SHIDEHARA. To be sure, he will recommend to the Throne a personage perfectly free from war responsibility. I think the Privy Council should not be abolished, but it should be reformed, namely, a reformation should be made of the number of Councilors, the status of Ministers in the Privy Council, the authorized limit of its rights, and the applications thereof, etc.
ITEM 5 A P Correspondent's Interview with Prince HASHIMOTO - Yomiuri Hochi - 4 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
When interviewed on 3 November by Russell Bryon, Associated Press correspondent Prince NASHIMOTO made the following statement:

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POLITICAL SERIES: 59 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
"I do not understand at all why I am considered a war criminal. Probably you know the reason. I am a marshal without a command, a Prince of the Bland with no influence and Head Priest of the ISE Shrine
"The Japanese people will decide on the continuance of the Emperor System but it is premature to take up the question now. America's interpretation of Shintoism is correct. In order to unify the nation during the war the militarists arbitrarily made use of religion. I do not concern myself with the question of war responsibility since I have never been consulted on political questions. I withdraw from public affairs bearing directly on military matters in 1932, not because I opposed the Manchurian Incident, but because of my health. Consequently, while I was on the Board of Marshals I merely replied to the Throne when there were inquiries regarding military questions."
ITEM 6 Misterious Part Played by YOKOYAMA. Yui - Mainichi Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Full Translation:
Among 59 Japanese war suspects named by the Supreme Commander on 3 December, there is YOKOYAMA, Yui, who, although utterly unfamiliar to the Japanese, influenced all the army leaders, bureaucrats, financial cliques (ZAIBATSU) and even the people. Holding them in the hollow of his hand, ignoring his State and people for self-attainment, he played an active part in diplomatic circles, proclaiming himself a patriot although in reality he was a traitor.
He is now 64 years old and lives at CHIGASAKI, in KANAGAWA Prefecture, far from his native home in FUKUOKA. The fact that he was previously convicted four times indicates the manner in which his mysterious past was spent. He was a favorite of TOYAMA, Mitsuru, and spent his earlier days engages as an advisor of GENYOSHA (a political society). Although having become a leader in dark circles and acquainted with notables, he was still punished for impostures and thefts, especially his misconduct in selling Government lumber and law violation in the 1942 general elections.
Through GENYOSHA, he formed a warm friendship with HIROTA, Koki, established the Public Information Bureau supported by both ili[illegible]militarists and the people, and with sufficient self-advertisement, received an audience by the Emperor as a spokesman of the people. How charming is his patriotic appearance, even to the eyes of OHARA, NAOSHI!
Upon establishing himself in the political and bureaucratic circles, he secretly became active as a spy in the Tokyo Military Police, joining with the fascists. Acting as a tool of Germany, after becoming friendly with KUMEK (German) and interviewing STAHMER (German ambassador to Japan), he informed them of developments in diplomatic and political circles. He also planned to negotiate peace between Russia and German following Germany's withdrawal from STALINGRAD. On the other hand, as he was acquainted with CHANDRA, Bose, through "Light" (HIKARI - a magazine organ of Japanese military intelligence information), he could inter-exchange news with VALGAS (Filipino) and with a correspondent news of French HAVAS news agency.
Unable to permit the continuance of his outrageous behavior, the prosecution arrested him as an international spy just prior to our defeat, but confusion resulted upon the discovery that the more they probed his affairs the more notable Japanese were involved in his acts Perplexed and lacking sufficient proof, the prosecution finally released him. He boastfully exclaimed, "There are three famous YAMA

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POLITICAL SERIES: 59 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
(meaning mountains) in Japan; namely, TOYAMA, SUGIYAMA, Shigemaru and YOKOYAMA (himself)." Those who supplied him with information during the war are too numerous to he listed, hut include SAWADA, Kimiko, the wife of the former Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, SUGIYAMA, Harris, a member of a radio braodcasting station, the clerks and secretaries of the Foreign Office, and the staffs of various press companies in TOKYO.
ITEM 7 A Grave Suggestion to the Political Organs - ippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
Since the Allied Headquarters' Directive of 11 September for the apprehension of General TOJO and 39 others, several similar directives have been issued, as the result of which the number of war criminal suspects hitherto taken into SUGAMO and OMORI camps has reached 218.
The Supreme Command further issued a directive dated 1 December for the arrest of 59 war criminals including Prince HASHIMOTO. Unlike the previous ones, the present directive not only embraces a greater number of persons but the scope extends over Government, financial, political, journalistic, rightist and military circles, and contains in its list influential persons in these fields. In addition, an Imperial figure, Prince NASHIMOTO, as well as the Privy Council Chairman HIRANUMA, and Councillor IKEDA are involved, so that the effect it will produce upon our political organization is believed to be quite serious.
Since the deliberations at the present Extraordinary Session are looked upon disappointingly, thereby, creating the impression that the war responsibility issue is being buried, the directive will prove a great shock to the country's ruling class. Moreover, the list is regarded as having made a grave indication of things to come, the organizations of the Privy Council, the Houses of Peers and Representatives as well as the political parties.
Allied Headquarters' nomination of Mr. SAKURAI, Hyogoro, an adviser, and Mr. OTA, Masataka, Chairman of the Political Affairs Investigation Committee, as war criminals, has seriously shaken the whole Progressive Party beyond concealment. The opinion is gaining ground that if the present trend continues, the party will collapse, so the presidential question must urgently be settled in order to maintain soldarity.
This atmosphere was reflected, at a directors meeting held on in 3 December, and after debate it was decided that the question must be settled, if possible, during the present session.
However, voices are still being heard suggestion, in the interests of practicality, that it is advisable to temporarily postpone the matter. Under the present circumstances, despite of the directors' efforts, the question seems to remain unsettled.
HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0059, 1945-12-03.
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