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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0067, 1945-12-10.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0291

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 291 Date: 10 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The Government and the Diet Betray the Public - Yomiuri-Hochi - 8 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ono.
Ten day have already elapsed since the opening of the 89th Extraordinary Session of the Diet, during which time we have been unable to hear any serious discussions concerning the Nation's vital problem. We might have foreseen this, since the present Diet consists of a Government-made House of Representatives and a stale and outdated House of Peers, which undoubtedly would have passed a bill expressing their thanks to the Imperial Navy and Army were the war still going on; on top of it all, the Government is widely recognized as nothing more than an interim cabinet.
It appears that the Government has adopted no measures to overcome the food situation save the bill providing for the revision of the Form Land Adjustment Law and the entreaty to the Allied Powers for permission to import food, while the interpellations of the members of Parliament could be called anything but constructive. As for the unemployment problem, a paper plan of the Government for public works requiring a total of 720,000,000 persons with an estimated expense of 6,000,000,000 yen, was the only thing presented. NISHIO was the only interpellator who touched the crux of the present problem. The housing problem was completely forgotten, leaving hundreds of thousands of war sufferers to the [illegible]rcy of the winter days ahead.
Their attitude toward the problem of war responsibility makes the Diet a farce, as was disclosed the other dry when the decision on the punishment of the members suspected of the war responsibility was presented to the Session. Now they are extremely uneasy in the face of the continued issuance of directives for the apprehension of the suspected war criminals from General MacARTHUR's Headquarters. We must take up this matter with throughness to determine the extent of responsibility. Not only is it necessary to charge those directly responsible for prosecuting the war, but by an investigation of the causes of the war, we must also charge those who were responsible for initiating it. Even the UNITED STATES, the victim of the war, is holding a thorough investigation with a special committee in charge concerning responsibility at Pearl Harbor.
We will waste no more time in criticizing the present Diet. The House of Commons is destined to be dissolved shortly after the present session, and the House of Peers will be facing drastic reform before long, anyway. But we Cannot help but censure the Government for its inactivity. Up to now what has the present Government done, on its own and without awaiting the Supreme Commander's directives, to reconstruct the country and to eliminate every obstacle to the resurrection of democratic tendencies. The Bill for the establishment of labor unions and the Agricultural Reform Bill, the most

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POLITICAL SERIES: 67 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
important of the bills to be presented to the Diet, were reluctantly introduced when nearly half of the Session had passed. It is clear that they are destined to be shelved for further deliberation.
Now, there is no doubt that the cross-examination to determine war responsibility is the sine qua non prerequisite for the democratization of JAPAN. The lack of courage on the part of the Government and the Diet to face the problem reveals that they are still under the old feudalistic influences. Even for the deliberations on the revision of Election Law, a prolongation of the Session is necessary. Viewing the situation as it stands, we cannot but insist that the Government and the Diet take the responsibility, before the whole nation, for their lack of action.
ITEM 2 General Yamashita - The Asahi Shimbun - 8 Dec 45. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
Lieutenant-General REYNOLDS, President of the American Court Martial Commission trying General YAMASHITA, decreed the death sentence for General YAMASHITA, Tomoyuki, at 1400 (Manila time) on 7 December.
When General YAMASHITA heard his death sentence, he stated calmly, "I am thankful for the impartial trial by the military commission."
Whatever may happen, General YAMASHITA will be prepared as a military man should be. Did he expect the sentence of death? He calmly stated that he was thankful for the impartial trial, and we cannot help sympathizing with him in this mental attitude. He was at the zenith of his power at the time of the attack on Singapore, and he had taken Major-General PERCIVAL, British East ASIA Commander, as a captive. Now, he is the man who is being judged. It is true that "A man's life has its ups and downs," as the proberb goes. What are his thoughts? He may be recalling his officers and men. He may be thinking of the so-called, "one general who is crowned with victory at the expense of thousands of lives." Nevertheless, he will be calm and self-possessed. He is generous and a man of integrity. Many people in JAPAN will feel deep regret at hearing that he has been sentenced to death. We hope the defense will succeed in its plea for clemency.
If there is a war criminal who is pardonable, it is such a man as General YAMASHITA. Though war is a cruel thing by its nature, and sacrifice is inevitable, we think he exerted himself in an effort to prevent the sacrifice of good inhabitants. If we could classify war crimes into two kinds—one which is pardonable, and the other which is by no means pardonable—we think this case would belong to the former. At any rate war crimes are truly a serious problem not only in EUROPE but also in JAPAN.
ITEM 3 Discussion at the Election Law Revising Committee - Yomiuri-Hochi - 8 Dec 45. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full Translation:
The fourth meeting of the Election Law Revising Committee was opened on 4 December. Questions asked at the meeting, and their answers, follow:
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POLITICAL SERIES: 67 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Mr. KANNA, Progressive: What do you think of the election in OKINAWA-Ken?
Home Minister HORIKIRI: Regarding the elections, it has not been agreed to by the Allied Headquarters as to when an election will be allowed in the near future. According to the Constitution, it is impossible for representatives from OKINAWA to remain in office when the Diet is dissolved.
Mr. KAWASHIMA, Shojiro, Independent: Don't you intend to enact a law preventing interference in election campaigns?
Home Ministers I will think it over.
Mr. KINOSHITA, Gisuke, Progressive: Recently, a large number of Government officials and policemen were removed throughout the country. But still, there are those, among the present officials, who should bear more responsibility for the war in view of their past careers. Have you any appropriate measures to dispose of them?
Home Minister: The intention of the Allied Headquarters seemed mainly to abolish the organization, and the personnel matter was secondary. Therefore, I intend to place capable persons from among the dischargees to posts different from those previously held.
In the afternoon, Mr. KIKUCHI, Yonosuke, Social-Democrat, and some other members interpellated on the practical method of woman suffrage, revision, of the civil law, public management of elections, and public election of prefectural governors. To the opinion of Mr. KAWASHIMA on the unimportance of popular education in the elections, the Education Minister answered, just as the Home Minister did, that stress will be laid on preventing abstention from voting.
The meeting was closed at 1630.
ITEM 4 The Time Is Not Yet Ripe to Request His Majesty the Emperor to Reform the Constitution, Says Premier - Tokyo Shimbun - 8 Dec 45. Translator: H. Naoji.
Full Translation:
At the general budget meeting of the House of Representatives on 7 December, Mr. TANAKA, Isaji, Independent, interpellated concerning the problem of reforming the Constitution and other problems. Prime Minister SHIDEHARA's response to the interpellation revealed the Government's attitude on these problems.
Mr. TANAKA's interpellations follow:
If the notion for the reform of the Constitution has not been issued from His Majesty the Emperor as yet, as explained in the Government's reply in the Diet session, the Government should ask His Majesty the Emperor to issue this motion. Furthermore research and the study of the problem should be opened to the public for discussion in accordance with present day democratic trends. Has the Government no intention of publishing the contents of the reform of the Constitution before its discussion in the Diet Session?
What are the opinions of the Government about the abolition of

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ITEM 4 (Continued)

the Board of the Loard Keeper of the Privy Seal, the reform of the Privy Council, and the reform of the Board of the Minister of the Imperial Household?
Has the Government no intention of abolishing a system, in which the chief vassals' council made its rule to select, at its own will, the chief of the succeeding Cabinet and to report him to the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal?

Prime Minister SHIDEHARA replied:
The Government intends to hear the attitude of His Majesty the Emperor on this matter after the study of the reform of the Constitution, charged by the Government, has reached some conclusion and is submitted to the Throne. It is improper to ask the Emperor to issue the motion before some conclusion has been reached.
The publication of the particular study being made about each article in the Constitution before any conclusions have been reached means disclosing the motions of those who are in charge of various studies. Consequently, the Government has no intention of publishing the studies in this way. However, when the Government receives the motion from His Majesty the Emperor to reform the Constitution, only that part which is deemed permissible for publication will be made known to the public.
The Government has already learned of the results of the study of Prince KONOYE, which were privately reported to me. But its publication would be improper at this time.
The duty and authority of the Board of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal after its abolition has already been explained in the official gazette. As to the reform of the imperial household system, for example that of the Minister of the Imperial Household, the Government has been consulted confidentially, but I cannot answer about this matter at this moment, since it has delicate connection with state affairs.
The word "chief vassal" is only a popular word and has no official acceptance. When I received the Imperial mandate to form a Cabinet, the so-called chief vassals did not advise the Throne about the Premier of the Cabinet and this was true also in the case of His Highness Prince HIGASHIKUNI's Cabinet. Judging from these circumstances, the chief vassals will not be asked for their notions regarding the nomination of the Premier for the succeeding Cabinet. As a matter of propriety the participation of the chief vassals in deciding the Premier of the succeeding Cabinet has became out the question as a result of the abolition of that system.

ITEM 5 The Social-Democrats Refuse to Co-operate With the Communists -Yomiuri-Hochi - 8 Dec 45. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full Translations:
On 6 December Mr. KUROKI and Mr. KAMIYAMA, representatives of the Communist Party, had an interview in the House of Representatives and made a formal proposal to open a common front in their fight. In response to this proposal, the Social-Democratic Party again declared a basic policy and decided on 4 December that the party will not join
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ITEM 5 (Continued)
in a front with the Communist Party. The Party formally refused the proposal, stating that it is impossible for both parties, which are in a transition stage at present, to join in a common front with mutual confidence.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0067, 1945-12-10.
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