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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0079, 1945-12-13.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0332

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 332 Date: 13 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Amendments of the Election Law Revision Bill Will Be Submitted Respectively by the Three Big Parties - Asahi Shimbun - 11 Dec 45. Translator: H. Kato.
Except for possible amendments on the balloting system and the time of electioneering, which may vitally affect the interests of various political parties and groups, the government bill for revising the Election Law, which is scheduled to be introduced in the plenary session of the House of Representatives on 11 December, will pass through the Diet in the form originally drafted by the Cabinet. Political circles opine that no amendment will be proposed on the more essential clauses of the bill. The only two points on which the three leading political parties are not in agreement are the balloting system and electioneering before the dissolution of the Diet. All parties are stubbornly against the government plan of the restricted plural balloting system. The Liberals advocate the proportional representative system as a future plan, but, under the present situation, are in favor of the existing secret single ballot system. The Social Democrats support the single vote transfer system for proportional representation based on the major electorate system, and Progressives generally favor the government plan of a partially amended, restricted plural ballot system. As regards electioneering before the dissolution of the Diet, the Social Democrats and the Progressives have agreed to prohibit it, while the Liberals support the government plan of the freedom of electioneering at any time.
Disagreement of the parties on the fundamental points lengthened the last meeting of committees deliberating on the amendments on 10 December.
Each party is scheduled to submit its own amendment to the committees on 11 December. In the event that the three parties fail to arrive at a compromise, the opinion of the Progressive Party will prevail by a majority vote, and the bill will be introduced to the plenary session the same day.
ITEM 2 The Farm Land System and Labor Union Bills Will Be Passed; Extension of Session Likely - Asahi Shimbun 11 Dec 45. Translator: H. Kato.
The deliberation on the bill for revision of the farm land system in the House of Representatives was greatly affected by an Allied directive issued on 10 December. The bill is scheduled to pass through the Diet even if extension of the session is necessary. The Government has submitted three big bills to the present Extraordinary Diet Session.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 79 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Except for possible amendments, the Election Law Revision Bill this afternoon will pass through the Diet in the form originally drafted by the Cabinet. The Farm Land System Reform Bill is now under consideration, and the Labor Union Law Bill was submitted to the House of Representatives on 10 December. The new Allied order has so great a significance that it will make the Diet accelerate the deliberation on both of the latter bills. The Government intends to pass the Farm Land System Reform Bill even if extension of the session is necessary. The Labor Union Law Bill will also be passed.
ITEM 3 Lieutenant General Homma Accused; Put on Trial at Manila - Asahi Shimbun - 11 Dec 45. Translator: H. Naoji.
Full Translation:
On 9 December, the American Government formally indicted Lieutenant General HOMMA, Masaharu as responsible for the cruel Bataan Death March which was perpetrated at the beginning of the war in the desperate battles of the Bataan Peninsula and CORREGIDOR. He is said to have permitted many brutal deeds to be committed against the Americans and the Filipinos.
Following this accusation, Allied Supreme Headquarters issued one formal written accusation, consisting of two all-inclusive counts and one specification against General HOMMA. The trial of HOMMA and four other Japanese officers will take place in MANILA.
At the beginning of the battle of the PHILIPPINES, Japanese soldiers decapitated several Americans and bombarded the city of MANILA after it was declared an open city. In the terrible March of Death, about 1,200 Americans and 16,000 Filipinos were killed or lost, and Japanese soldiers treated war prisoners cruelly, killing them or starving them to death.
The four Japanese officers, who were accused along with General HOMMA, are Lieutenant Colonel OTA, Haruji, former chief of the Military Police Detachment; Major SAITO, Zenzo, former chief of TORA Force in the PHILIPPINES; Major AZUMA, former chief of the Military Police Detachment stationed near the city of MANILA, and Colonel NAGAHAMA, who was commander of the Military Police Detachment. These four officers are also accused of permitting brutal deeds by their soldiers against both Americans and Filipinos. Although General HOMMA is now detained in SUGAMO Prison, he is supposed to be sent to MANILA.
Lieutenant General HOMMA, who served for 38 years in the Japanese Army, has been accused as follows: While in the position of Supreme Commander of the Japanese Philippine Expeditionary Army, he allowed his soldiers to commit brutal deeds and violated the laws of war himself. (The above-mentioned accusation is very similar to that against General YAMASHITA.)
The written accusation declares that the Japanese Army bombarded the city of MANILA on 27 and 28 December (Ed. Note: presumably 1941) notwithstanding the fact that MANILA had been declared an open city. On BATAAN, the First Hospital, named "Little BAGUIO," was bombarded on 7 April 1942 and 69 Americans and 52 Filipinos were killed or injured. Japanese artillery detachments would not permit the Americans in the Second Hospital to obtain shelter. In May of the same year,
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POLITICAL SERIES: 79 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
the Japanese soldiers killed American and Filipino war prisoners in the hospital with their bayonets and they refused food, medicine, and clothing to the patients in the hospital.
In addition, the following accusations were made in the written charges: A Japanese officer massacred all members of a family of eight Filipinos at CAPUCAPAN, including a child; some Japanese soldiers attached to the Sixteenth Division on BATAAN maltreated about 25 Filipino war prisoners and, at length, killed them all, using them in fencing practice.
The thirteenth item is most important of all. In this item, what is called the Bataan Death March is described. It charges that 10,500 American and about 74,800 Filipino war prisoners were forced to march a distance of 120 kilometers between BATAAN and SAN FERNANDO, although none were in any condition to do so. Many of the soldiers who were forced to take part in the march were stabbed to death. Near the PANCHINGIN River about 400 officers and men of the Filipino Army were bound and decapitated or stabbed to death. Such a march under the scorching sun is termed a "most barbaric torture."
ITEM 4 Resolution on Urgent Rescue of Countrymen Abroad - Yomiuri-Hochi - 12 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
At a plenary session in the House of Representatives on the 11th a resolution on the rescue of countrymen abroad was urgently introduced and Mr. KITA, Soichiro (Independent), explained its purport. He said, "We earnestly desire the speedy repatriation of our countrymen, both civil and ex-servicemen. After five months since the end of the war no news about their fate is obtainable. The Government should listen to the pathetic voices in the street shouting for fathers and sons, and work out proper measures for their return. We announce this resolution to the world at large from the humanitarian standpoint."
Mr. KUSUMI, Shogo (Progressives), supporting the bill amplified, "Overseas expansion has never been carried out with militaristic ideas. Our farmers in MANCHURIA have been fighting against extreme cold for the sake of the people's welfare. Nevertheless, the Government lacks enthusiasm for the rescue of these compatriots who are left unaided. A proposal in this connection was made to the Allied countries. I support this bill in order that the whole House approve it for the realization of our objective."
The bill was unanimously approved, and Foreign Minister YOSHIDA said that the Government would do its best for its accomplishment.
After explanatory remarks made by Mr. NARAHASHI, President of the Board of Legilation, regarding ex post facto approval of the Imperial Ordinance accepting the Potsdam Declaration, Mr. SHIMIZU, of the Progressives, made the following interpellation, "Has the Government no intention of abolishing the Department of Foreign Affairs and creating an organ directly under the Cabinet? In view of the present situation, where diplomatic relations with the neutral countries have been suspended, and the only business handled by the Foreign Department is that of the repatriation of Japanese abroad, the Government ought to abolish this office, especially as it is planning to carry out changes in the administration. Next, I would like to know how the Government intends to deal with those
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POLITICAL SERIES: 79 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
who are responsible for the defeat. The Allied countries do not appear to bother those guilty of having gained excessive profit or those who have been resorting to black market transactions. How is the Government to investigate such cases and punish the offenders?
"Is there any discrepancy between the Agrarian Land Reform Bill now before the House and the directive issued by the Allied Headquarters regarding farm land? If so, will the Government submit a fresh bill?"
Premier SHIDEHARA replied that as there is still business left for the Foreign Office to attend to, its aboilition is inconceivable. Besides, it is rational to expect a diplomatic revival in the future. The Foreign Department will be taken into consideration in connection with the administrative adjustment. As for war responsibility, the Premier says that he is of the opinion that the matter should be referred to public opinion, but careful study must be made if it is to be submitted, to legal procedures.
Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA replied that the previous day's directive refers to the transfer of land ownership from absentee land owners to cultivators, and two other points. He does not see the necessity of withdrawing the present bill, as the contents of the directive are the prime object in the bill submitted. As to the other items in the directive, he went on to say that those which should be submitted to the next session of the Diet will be done so, while those of an urgent nature will be carried out by Imperial ordinances. "The Government can not refuse an amendment of the bill, of course," Mr. MATSUMURA continued, "but I believe that General MacARTHUR's directive supersedes the Diet's right of amendment."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0079, 1945-12-13.
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