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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0077, 1945-12-15.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0325

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 325 Date: 15 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The Abdication of the Emperor - Chubu-Nippon Shimbun - 7 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ono.
Full translation:
Active discussions in WASHINGTON on the Emperor's responsibility for the war, and a discussion of the problem of abdication of the Emperor between TANAKA Isajii, Independent, and MATSUMOTO Minister Without Portfolio, in a Diet session on 5 December, have started rumors among civil and political circles, here and abroad. It seems that foreign correspondents are active collecting information concerning the problem, SMITH, a Reuters correspondent, expressed his views as follows:
"I saw the Premier's secretary yesterday in an attempt to get information on the problem. He denied the rumor of the Emperor's abdication. But I deem it a routine reply. My opinion is that abdication is inevitable, judging from the situation as it is at present. It is a necessary and wise way to meet the situation."
Guirand, of the French Press Union, is reported to have said that he thinks the abdication will take place early next year.
ITEM 2 The History of the Trade Union Bill - Mainichi Shimbun - 11 Dec 45. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Although a trade union bill has been proposed at every session of the Diet since 1920, it has been continually rejected. Sometimes, they said it was too radical and would turn workers into communists, while at other times it was vetoed because of severe restrictions on workers.
Mr. NISHIO, (Socialist), who has earnestly tried to make the bill a law for a long time, explained about the machinations of militarists and bureaucrats, and he also explained his satisfaction with the ideal bill to be submitted to this Diet. We can easily understand the past history of bills by this explanation, and it is surprising how many times parties tried unsuccessfully to pass labor bills. For example:
1920: A trade union bill was proposed by the Provisional Industrial Board of Inquiry.
1921: The National Party and the Constitutionalists submitted bills at the 44th Diet.
1923; The Reform Club and the Constitutionalists introduced their bills into the Diet.
1924; A trade union bill was proposed by the Reform Club at the 49th Diet.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 77 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
1925: The Bureau of Social Affairs published a proposed bill.
1926: A Government measure on trade unions was, for the first time, introduced into the 51st Diet:
1927: The same bill was proposed at the 52nd Diet but, Government measures have always been for controlling workers rather than for benefitting them.
1929: The Social Democrats submitted a bill.
1931: The Government bill passed the House of Representatives, but was rejected by the House of Peers.
1934: The Social Democrats demanded that Presidents of both houses put their Emergency Trade Bill into practice.
1935: At the 67th Diet, a similar Emergency Industry and Trade Bill was proposed.
1936: The Social Democrats again submitted a bill on control of industry and trade and a trade unions bill at the 69th session of the Diet.
1937: At the 70th Diet, the Democrats proposed a trade union bill, while the Proletarian Party demanded the institution of another trade union bill.
1938: The proposition on controls on industry and trade was again proposed by the Social-Democratic Party.
ITEM 3 On Democracy - TANJI, Enjira, Professor of Tokyo Imperial University - Tokyo Shimbun - 11 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ono.
I was quite at a loss as to how to reply to my son when he asked the other day, 'What kind of thing is democracy, Papa?' Big shots of this country are now trying to enlighten us, using jaw-breaking words, on what democracy should be. But to confess the truth, I can not make head or tail out of their glittering words. What concerns me now is getting an idea how to overcome the difficulties confronting us at present. What we need now is not bookish lectures but simple and frank advice on how to behave ourselves.
"JAPAN has been called 'a country of literary words.' Well, they did not fail to prove it. During wartime, we heard so much about the holy objective of the war from our notables as to make us sick of it. But their lectures have always failed to give us a clear understanding on why the objective was holy, and how the war was going to be carried out. No, what they really intended was to make us follow them, blindly and dumbly. If we ventured to ask them about the prospects of the war, all we could expect was an angry 'You traitor!' we therefore followed them, and now find ourselves in a hopeless situation.
"Now I can clearly see the circumstances then prevailing. Having drawn a rosy picture of the future of the war from the beginning, they did not know themselves what to do next to meet the situation as it turned from
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POLITICAL SERIES: 77 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
bad. to worse. The present plight is, therefore, what we have invited, allowing our lenders to drive us anywhere they desired. In view of our present misfortune, we must hereafter strive to find our way of life by ourselves, and not repeat past failures. To be sure, the first step of democracy starts right from here.
"Then, what should be the way of life in the future? My idea of life is to live in such a way that honest and innocent people will never be subjected to sneak treachery and difficulties. In war days, we had enough of treachery from our leaders. Now is the time to give a fair chance to honest people to carry on their lives in peace. Let us start to establish a society where there is no need of people cheating each other and where honesty is respected as the highest virtue. Where honesty is respected, there certainly grows the feeling of mutual confidence; where mutual confidence exists there, no doubt, prevails a feeling of mutual co-operation, which is indispensable in a democratic way of life.
"Thus, I answered my boy, 'Democracy is a way of life where people pay respect to honest men, my son.'"
ITEM 4 "Don't be domestic animals!" cries Attorney MASAKI - Yomiuri Hochi - 11 Dec 45. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full translation:
Attorney MASAKI, Kan, said, "Mr. KEENAN, Chief Prosecutor of the War Crimes' Court, says that they must record war criminals, by this trial, in history as 'the lowest grade felons.' I want to examine the reasons why such cruel felonies were committed. For one thing, JAPAN has always been self-conceited, believing herself a moral state and calling herself a land of gentlemen in the East, but truly, her low morality is now being disclosed. Japanese nationalism lies in the point that the Emperor is God and the people are His subjects, but it is clear from His Majesty's statement, 'I wish to be as the King of ENGLAND,' that the Emperor has been in fact human, not divine.
Then, it is a logical assumption that the people, the class lower than the Emperor by one grade, are lower than human beings, that is, something like domestic animals. In other words, the man who wants to make people his private possession has originated fatalism, that he is ruler by nature, in order to camouflage his ideas. It is the Japanese people in general who have been changed from independent human beings into dependent domestic animals, as a wild boar is tamed to be a pig. The Japanese people are indeed a human race with domestic animals’ instincts. Domestic animals form groups, but they do not form societies. They fight each other in a jealous rage, but they never struggle against their keeper. This is well understood when we see the cruelty of this war.
The people were driven to death, crying, 'One hundred million people die in honor!' in spite of the certainty of defeat. It is not strange in a society of domestic animals that one million domestic animals should be killed for one human being. We can not help being struck with terror to think that we were domestic animals, but our national spirit has had just such a character. Therefore, individual personality or even preciousness of the right to live has never been recognized.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 77 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
There can not be morality in such a situation.
It is not accidental that such cruelties which astonished the world should have been committed. In order that the Japanese may correct this anti-social character and become the equal of other people of the world, it is necessary for them to shake themselves free from groups of domestic animals and establish a society where sovreignty of the people is insured. However, it will be very difficult for the Japanese, who have been really changed into domestic animals, to do so. Nevertheless, if we do not overcome this difficulty, we shall still repeat cruelties among our fellow men, and show cruelty and bad morals even to foreigners.
The war criminal problem can not be solved by saying something like, 'General TOJO is such and such, or General YAMASHITA acted in such and such a way'. It is impossible to gain the credit of the world without examining thoroughly why such immorality has been caused. In other words, we must recognize that everyone of our 80,000,000 people is an independent human being. We must sweep away the past mistakes of having a national life on the par of domestic animals, and correct the national convention of being proud to die. If war criminals are examined this time along this line, we will be successful in reconstructing a peaceful JAPAN."
ITEM 5 Moral Punishment - Tokyo Shimbun - 11 Dec 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
HAMAJI: As to war responsibility, Prince KONOE's vacillation and General TOJO's arbitrary decisions have brought about the present situation so, should the former be found not guilty by Allied Headquarters, he should be morally punished by the people.
Premier: Though he may not be found guilty, it may happen that the Japanese as a nation can not let him go unpunished. But it is very difficult to try and punish these persons. We must choose between the two courses, namely, whether the case should be taken up as a legal or as a moral problem. It is not easy to take it up as a legal problem, but it may possibly be taken up as a moral problem and be assigned the sanctions of public opinion.
HAMAJI: What is your opinion as to the arrest of Prince NASHIMOTO? Have you taken any steps as regards it with the allied Forces?
Premier: I know very well the Nation is gravely concerned about the fact that one of the members of the Imperial Family has been ordered arrested. I am worried about that problem day and night, but the relations existing between the Allied Forces and myself do not permit me to make any comment on it.
ANDO, Satoru (Progressive): In JAPAN, the Premier is responsible for his assistance to the Throne in respect to administrative affairs, and he can not evade the responsibility by Imperial sanction. What is the Premier's view on this?
Education Minister: Concerning national affairs, state ministers should be responsible for them all. This has been a grave and delicate question. In the future, when the Constitution is revised, this problem must be carefully studied along the line that state ministers should assume all the responsibilities upon themselves.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 77 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
ANDO: There are discussions on the abolition of the Emperor system. What is the Government's attitude?
Education Minister: The Government is going to combat that problem by instructing the nation in civics in an adequate and broad sense. It is our plan hereafter to confront ideas with ideas. We expect that sound discussions will arise from within the nation.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0077, 1945-12-15.
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