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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0087, 1945-12-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0375

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No 375 Date: 18 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The First Hearing of War Criminals - Asahi Shimbun - 15 Dec 45. Translator: Paasche.
Before a Military Court, Supreme Headquarters issued the following information on the first trials of Japanese charged with brutal treatment of Allied prisoners:
The five Japanese to be tried by the Military court are: YURI, Kei, HIRATE, Kaichi; TSUCHIYA, Tatsuo; FURUSHIMA, Chotaro; and HONDA, Hiroji. YURI was chief of camp "17/B", OMUTA, and is charged with intentional cruelty meted out to Allied prisoners in 1943 and 1944. He also permitted similar actions by his men. TSUCHIYA was a guard at the MISHIMA Prisoners' Camp and was nicknamed "Cold glass eye" by the American soldiers to whom he had become an object of fear. He was extremely violent and used to beat American prisoners with ropes, boards, clubs and rubber boots, killing at least one American soldier. Captain HIRATE was in charge of Sub-Camp "7", prisoners' camp of HAKODATE (1943-45). He committed acts of brutality and permitted such acts by his subordinates. FURUSHIMA, Chotaro, headed the Sub-Camps at GIFU and KAMIOKA of the NAGOYA prisoner's camp during 1944 and 1945, committing the same crimes as the afore mentioned defendants. Captain HONDA, Hiroji, commanded the ONAHAMA sub-camp of the P.O.W. camp at SENDAI. He also faces the same charges as the others. These men will be tried separately.
ITEM 2 Mistaken View of Great-Men (Part 3 of "Re-examination and Reconstruction of Japanese History'') - Tokyo Shimbun - 15 Dec 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Full Translation:
A second characteristic of Japanese tradition is the emphasis on ruling class, consequently, Japanese history is inclined to be greatly distorted. Some cultural aspects traceable in history are also concentrated around prominent characters, losing the true meaning of culture. For instance, cultural history is generally classified as NARA culture, HEIAN culture, or Nobility culture and Military culture, including the culture of the TOKUGAWA Era, and the MEIJI culture. Economics alone is an important factor of cultural history, and ancient slavery, feudal surfdom and modern labor must all receive due consideration.
A great man, to the Japanese must be either a statesman or a warrior. Scientists, learned men and artists are not considered to be in that category.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 87 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
It is needless to say that politics or war can be conducted only by great man, and the governed, victims of war, must constitute important historical facts, from the modern democratic standpoint. It is also important from the people's standpoint to study the character and meanings of each historical phase of politics or war. In Japanese history, however, the survey of the people themselves, and research into the meaning of war or politics, were rather neglected. At any rate, the historical awareness centering around great men, politics, and war is against modern scientific historical ideas. History must be based in the proper view of life or of society. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Men are creatures who make means." Technique can, through the medium of economics, promote human welfare and develop culture. In modern society, science and technique are so closely connected that each promotes the other.
Technique, science, and economics form a trinity which constitutes the basis of human culture and conditions the other social aspects and cultural phenomena. Thus, modern scientific history must include economic, technical, and scientific developments as a basis from which to describe other cultural phenomena. Japanese history, reconstructed from such a standpoint, might be called a scientific Japanese history.
ITEM 3 All Parties Making Preparations for the Election - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Dec 45. Translator: T. Kitayana.
Full Translation:
It has been decided that the Imperial Diet session shall be prolonged for four days, but all important bills have already been sent from the House of Representatives to the House of Peers, and investigations and discussions are now concentrated in the Upper House. The Lower House is already anticipating dissolution, and all parties have begun making preparations in earnest for the coming general election. Only the Progressive Party, because of the unsettlement of its President problem, is still unable to find time to make any preparation for the election. This party is considerably dilatory in this respect in comparison with the Liberal and Social Democratic Parties. Now let us probe the measures that are being taken by the Progressive, Liberal, and Social Democratic Parties.
In spite of the imminent general election, the Progressive Party has not yet got under way in taking any measures for it, and the members of the party are impatient. However, they are individually making preparations for standing as candidates. As the president of the party has not been decided upon as yet, the party is lacking in stability and unity, with the result that many of its members are not agreed among themselves, and it is anticipated that they will find it difficult to raise the money necessary for the election campaign. The first stage of measures for the election depends on the solution of the president problems. At present, when it is most difficult to select a president who will satisfy the majority, members will remain in the party, with the attraction of a majority party as their only hope. Whether the president is decided on or not, it is needless to say that they will form an election committee before they face the general election. In case the president is not decided on, or any suitable person can not be chosen, the party will become so enfeebled that it will not be able to unify its members.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 87 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The Social Democratic Party held an election conference at its headquarters on the 14th, and discussed its plans for the general election. As a result the party decided to form a committee for the forth-coming general election, and KATAYAMA and HIRANO were chosen as secretary and head of the election committee respectively, while ASANUMA, MIZUTANI, NISHIO, KŌNO, and KATO were made executive committee members. As a rule the candidates must observe the following points:
The candidates must respect recommendations by branch offices in prefectures. At the same time, in view of the smooth progress of the establishment of the party and its speedy development, the election committee should recommend able new men and women, who will be finally passed upon by the standing central executive committee.
Those who are not formally admitted as candidates would not be recommended as such.
One-third of the fixed number in each constituency should be recommended. (This will be increased or decreased in consideration of local circumstances.)

As a help to each candidate bulletins, placards, pamphlets, slogans, etc., will be made available request, and assistant speakers will be dispatched by party headquarters. No candidate will be given money. On the contrary, each candidate must pay 200 yen. At present 213 candidates are on the list, comprising 90 party members, 58 party members whose constituencies are unstable, and 65 new men of scholarly attainments. Of these candidates, those who are to be formally recognized number between 150 and 200. The party headquarters expects to elect 150 at most and 100 at least. If this calculation is correct, the party can expect to establish a record in the election campaign. As for new persons, it is rumored that KITAZAWA, Shinjiro, a former professor, MORITO, Tatsuo; MORIMOTO, Yoshio, former Chief of the NIIGATA Railway Bureau; and Mrs. YAMAZAKI, Michiko, wife of the late YAMAZAKI, Kenji, will stand as candidates.
ITEM 4 An Interview by Edgar Snow with the Leaders of Communist Party - Yomiuri Hochi - 15 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ono.
Following is the gist of an interview held by Edgar SNOW, noted commentator on the Chinese Communist movements and correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, with TOKUDA, Kyuichi, and SHIGA, Yoshio, leading members of the JAPAN Communist Party:
Question: "How was the Communist movement during the war?"
Answer (TOKUDA): "We held on to our organization throughout the war days, but our activity was oppressed as illegal. We had to continue our movement underground. Our aim was centered around the anti-war campaign through our branches in the military services, rural provinces, and in factories. I was then in jail, but I did my best to cope with the suppressions. This is the reason why, once we wore freed, our party became so active. We kept up our movement very actively, with our central committee and branches all over the country, until 1936, when oppression forced us to dissolve. We did manage to
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POLITICAL SERIES: 87 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
continue our activity through local organizations."
Question: "What is the total membership of your party at present?"
Answer: "The number was estimated at 1,183 when the last general meeting was held, 26 November. The number reached 1,700 with a week after the meeting. We expect it will reach 5,000 by the end of the present year. The circulation of the first issue of our paper, Red Flag, was 10,000; thus has been rapidly increasing and reached 90,000 by the ninth issue. We are assured that we can dispose of 200,000 copies if the paper, is available."
Question: "I am afraid that the education of new members cannot be attained in a short time, while the numbers of party members who remained loyal to their convictions are rather small."
Answer: "We are quite optimistic on the matter. Many former members are now joining us, while, thanks to the freedom of publication, our pamphlets and printings are now available to many who are eager to listen to what we say. Our propaganda will leave little unsaid."
Question: "What is your opinion about the occupation policy of the UNITED STATES up to now?"
Answer: "Generally speaking, we are quite satisfied. It is contributing much to the democratization of JAPAN.
Question: "Anything especially unsatisfactory?"
Answer: "Yes, the fact that the occupation policy of the Allied Powers has been conducted through the medium of the Emperor system and the bureaucrats. They distort the directives in execution, disregarding the welfare of the general public."
Question: "Do you want the Allied Powers to eliminate the current political rulers and organize a new Government?"
Answer: "It is what we heartily welcome, as it will promote a rapid realization of democracy in this country."
Questions "Have you made a statement to that effect to General MacARTHUR's Headquarters?"
Answer: "No, we have no connection with important persons in position to influence the occupation policy."
Question: "Are you satisfied with your liberty at present?"
Answer: "Generally speaking, yes. We hope that our influence will penetrate into the masses in the near future so as to overcome all the obstacles yet remaining. Our co-operation with the Allied Powers will then become closer. We do not expect that the present Government will be able to cope with the coal shortage now menacing our national life. Miners have no faith in the Government and the capitalists because of the maltreatment they received during the war. We wish to realize the production increase through our labor unions. Late in November, we established a labor union of coal miners in HOKKAIDO, with 45,000
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POLITICAL SERIES: 87 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
members, while in KYUSHU we have another labor union with 20,000 members."
Question: "What is your opinion about the Government Farm Land Reform Bill?"
Answer: "We sincerely welcome the directive concerning the matter. But the Government distorts the objection of the directive. It is our firm conviction that the emancipation of the rural workers is impossible through the hand of the Government. We insist on the confiscation of farm land without compensation. The grounds for our assertion are: landowners have too long enjoyed their undeserved privilege of payment for land to be confiscated; payment of installments will cause the farmers to have a shortage of operating funds; buying up of land by farmers will inevitably put them in a state of heavy indebtedness, the result of which will be their reversion to the present tenant status."
Question; "There is a rumor that rural indebtedness has disappeared during the war, and that farmers are rich enough to pay the installments."
Answer: "That is true only of rich farmers who dealt in the black market. Small farmers are still suffering from heavy debts."
Question: "What is your opinion on educational reform?"
Answer: "Education in JAPAN has hitherto been conducted along the line of the imperialistic militarism and needs drastic change. As a practical plan to promote democratic tendencies in the educational field, the abolition of Chinese characters and the adaptation of the Japanese alphabet is desirable, later giving place to Roman letters. The younger generation must be brought up on the basis of political democracy, paying due attention to natural science study. It is our hearty regret that the Education Minister MAEDA is now prohibiting criticism of the Emperor System in the school room. We wish to organize teachers' unions so as to promote our objective of democratization in the field of education, side by side with the activity of the Young Mens' Communist Association and Boyscouts."
Question: "Theoretically, I support your opinion on the abolition of the Emperor System. But what about the practical aspects of this problem?"
Answer: "People have learned much from the war. The fact is that even soldiers and officers of low rank; who are supposed to be the strongest supporters of the Emperor System, are now eager to support us on that point. Laborers and farmers are coming to understand the necessity of the abolition of the Emperor for their happiness, although we admit that there exists a feeling of sympathy toward the Emperor as a person."
Question: "I have heard that the Social-Democrats turned down your proposal of a popular front."
Answer: "Local branches of that party are willing to co-operate with us. As the Central Committee has turned down our proposal, some local branches have dissolved to join us. It is a matter of much interest to learn that those who most strongly opposed the popular front are those who are now suspected as war criminals."
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POLITICAL SERIES: 87 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
Question: "What do you think of the assertion of the Social-Democrats, supporting the Emperor System and pointing to ENGLAND as an example to be followed?"
Answer: "The assertion is totally wrong. Circumstances are quite different in JAPAN and in ENGLAND. Furthermore, we do not have faith in the Labor Party of ENGLAND, seeing that they do not attempt to realize socialism in their country and that they keep colonies under the control of the Empire."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0087, 1945-12-18.
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