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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0089, 1945-12-19.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0387

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 387 Date: 19 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Difference of Japanese Social Democratic and Communist Parties - [illegible]minpo Shimbun - 16 Dec 45. Translator: C. Gilbert.
Full Translation:
Edgar SNOW, Correspondent of the "Saturday Evening post", arrived in JAPAN on 11 December and the next day interviewed the Japanese Communist leaders TOKUDA, Kyuichi, and SHIGA, Yoshio, on questions pertaining to the present situation of the Communist Party in JAPAN, the Emperor system, land reform, and education. On the 13th, he interviewed, together with Darrel BERRIGAN of the "NEW YORK Post", the secretary of the Social Democratic Party, KATAYAMA Tetsu. Edgar SNOW's interview with the Japanese Communist leaders appeared in full in YOMIURI-HOCHI of 15 December. We, therefore, carry only the interview with the secretary of the Social Democratic party which follows in full:
Question: What difference exists between the Japanese Communists and Social Democrats?
Reply: There are three main differences, 1. The Japanese Communist Party aims at a revolution, while the Social Democratic Party upholds the parliamentary system and a Government by the party which obtains the majority vote; 2. In the question of land eform, the Communist Party aims at expropriating the land without compensation. The Social Democratic Party aims ultimately at making all lend state-owned, but, as a first step in that direction, it desired to effect a redistribution of land by buying the land from the landowners. If the ultimate aim is reached, the state would become the sole landowner and the farmers state employees; 3. The Communist Party aims at abolishing the Emperor system at once, while the Social Democratic Party wishes to keep the Emperor System on a basis similar to the English monarchial system, that is, the Emperor is to receive limited rights of rulership, such as; a. The right to entrust the majority party in the diet with formation of the Government. b. The right to accept bills passed by the Diet. c. The diplomatic status as Sovereign of JAPAN in the relations with other countries. In other words, the position of the Emperor is to become that of a figurehead.
Question: Do you recognize the Emperor's right to veto a bill?
Reply: Yes, but, it will only be a formal right. The sovereignty of the State must rest in the State and not in the Emperor.
Question: What is your opinion of the position of women in Japan?
Reply: The position of the Japanese woman, bound by the feudal and family systems, has been extremely unfavorable. The wife had no

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POLITICAL SERIES: 89 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
legal rights. There is also a great lapse of time between the defacte and dejure marriage, causing many tragedies. It will, therefore, be a special job for the Japanese liberate women from feudalistic shackles.
Question: In regard to attitude of the Social Democrat party toward the present land reform bill, does the Social Democratic party support the bill, and if it opposes the bill, to what points does it object?
Reply: The present bill is incomplete. Two points are especially unacceptable. 1. The limit of land ownership being set at five chobu; 2. The landowner retaining the right to drive tenants from their land.
Question: What percentage of Japanese labor unions are under Social Democratic Control?
Reply: With the exception of the labor unions which are under Communist control, the majority of the unions can be said to be under social Democratic leadership.
Question: The Social Democratic Party has at present l6 Diet members who were also Diet members during the war. If these members had expressed the ideals and the program explained by KATAYAMA during the war, it is to be assumed that they would not only have been expelled as Diet members, but incarcerated. What does KATAYAMA think about this fact?
Reply: Under pressure of the GUMBATSU the Social Democratic Party could do nothing during the war. The Diet members of the Party kept still and took little political action. The reason they maintained their Diet seats was the desire to keep socialist influence in the Diet in some form.
Question: Do you think that the present Japanese war could be reconcile with justice?
Reply: No. During the war, I wished above all to effect peace. I hoped for the speedy conclusion of the war in any form.
ITEM 2 The President of the Privy Council to be Baron K. SUZUKI - Asahi Shimbun - 16 Dec 45. Translator: [illegible]Ochiai.
Full Translation:
The Government has been carefully seeking a new president of the Privy Council to succeed Baron HIRANUMA, as he has tendered his resignation since being named a war criminal suspect. After discussion, Baron SUZUKI, the ex-prime Minister, accepted the post, so that Premier SHIDEHARA proceeded to the Imperial Palace to report it at 1330 on 15 December and the investiture was conducted by the Emperor at 1410.
The Information Bureau announced as follows: Baron SUZUKI, Kantaro is nominated as President of the Privy Council. He was very loyal as the Grand Chamberlain and former President of the Privy Council and we still well remember how bravely obeyed the Emperor's will, performing his mission in spite of opposition from the Army at the time war ended.
Since Baron HIRANUMA was named as a guilt suspect and resigned, the has been a great deal of trouble for Premier SHIDEHARA, who tried to nominate a successor. The Privy Council Presidents responsibility has become more important politically as he now has the job of reporting
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POLITICAL SERIES: 89 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
the name of the next cabinet head to the Emperor after the abolition of the Privy Seal Council. Desiring a non-war criminal and a man trusted by the Emperor, the Prime Minister chose SUZUKI for the post end the letter, after much negotiation, accepted.
ITEM 3 Facing the General Election - Asahi Shimbun - l6 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
A round table conference the subject "Facing the General Election", was held recently at which the following were the principal speakers: TSURUMI, Yusuke, of the Progressive Party; KOYAMA, Kuranosuke, of the Progressive Party; ANDO, Masazumi, of the Liberal Party; MIZUTANI, Chuzaburo, of the Social Democratic Party; KUROSAWA, Torizo, of the Independent; and SHIGA, Yoshio, of the Communist Party.
The following in a report of the conference.
Mr. ANDO (Liberal): I do not know much about agricultural policy, but it seems necessary to make adjustments in the intermediate organizations. We must consider the question from two angles basic measures and emergency measures. The Agrarian Land Bill now submitted to the Diet deals with basic measures; it aims at an increased production in the long run, but it can not attain its objective in a short time. What we must solve just now is the problems of saving the people from starvation. Personally, I think the present "KYOSHUTSU" (TN: Farmers selling an allotted quantity of crops to the authorities at official prices.) system should be done away with, but as we can not afford to abolich the system all at once at the present time, it can be used as temporary measure. The amount of rice purchased this way should, however, be limited so that the farmer will have a great deal left for sale in the open market. But, even if we put this into practice we will not have enough rice and wheat, owing to this year's very poor harvest. However, in the meantime, we can collect as much collateral goods as possible, and get hold of all available bottoms to import rice no matter how small the quantity. With a reduction in "KYOSHUTSU", and with free sale and import we can manage to give the consumers rice in advance and overcome the present emergency. Also, an effort should be made to explain to the public at large that the fundamental spirit of democracy is mutual respect and [illegible]a1 love, Whose who have plenty to eat should not be indifferent to the fact that many others are suffering from malnutrition. I think this is the first step toward putting democracy into practice in a popular way.
Mr. SHIGA (Communist): Unless the Imperial Household, the Military, the bureaucrats, the capitalists, and the landowners disgorge all the food they are hoarding, the farmers will never be satisfied. Also, a quantity sufficient for the farmers' own requirements must be allowed to be retained by them. Owing to the sabotage of production by the bureaucrats and "ZAIBATSU" collateral goods are not being produced. To save the situation, the Imperial Family should contribute treasures out of its inormous stock for collateral goods. Ill feeling is running high between the consumers and farmers owing to mishandling of matters by the bureaucrats, and if the situation is left to take its own cause, the social solidarity of JAPAN will go to pieces. In order to regain the solidarity there is no other way than handling the matter by the system I recommend. Of course, I do not imagine that neighbors' associations can skilfully solve the food problem, fundamentally. It will help solve the imminent problem, however, if the control of the basic system of the distribution organization is left in their hands as a first step.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 89 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Mr. MIZUTMI (Social Democrat) As Mr. ANDO points out we must import food to a certain extent, whether we like it or not. But before doing so we must ask the producers to surrender their crops as much as; possible, Mr. ANDO wants to reduce the farmer's government sale quota and permit free sales, but this must be left for later. Going back to my recommendation to induce the farmers to meet as high a quota as possible, I must say that to pave the way for this the Government must provide as much manure as the farmers require. So long as the State controls rice, the State must take up full responsibility for the distribution of manure no matter what financial loss it may incur. Unless the Government shows its sincerity, import of rice will not be an easy proposition in spite of the Allied Headquarters' recognition of it in principle.
Recently I looked at the figures of the quantity of rice the army is to return to the Nation and was astonished at the amounts. What a shack it must have given the farmers to learn that such enormous stocks had been retained by the Army. Regarding collateral goods, though the Socialist party does not side with the Communists' claim for the overt-throw of the Emperor system, it wishes that the Imperial Household voluntarily release its property in order to secure imported food, for the sake of the sufferers of the war calamity, and for ex-servicemen.
Mr. ANDO: I generally approve of what Mr. MIZUTANI proposes, but as to giving away the Imperial treasures, since these are closely connected with Japanese history, the question can wait until absolute need arises. As there are abundant treasures in shrines and temples these can first be converted into collateral goods and millionaires and nobleman should contribute their share. The property of the Imperial Household must also be utilized for this purpose, voluntarily, as Mr. MIZUTANI suggests, though I do not think that this is absolutely necessary to save the people from starvation.
ITEM 4 Proposals of Policy - Tokyo Shimbun - 16 Dec 45. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Full Translation:
The following political questions were posed by TOKYO SHIMBUN: 1. What political party do you support or do you want to have? 2. Whom do you want to mold new Japanese policy? 3. Among politicians of the past, whom do you wish to retain under present political circumstances?
The following replies were received in the mail: 1. K. NAKAGAWA - "How would it be to appoint Mr. S. MUSHAKOJI as Prime Minister? I want NINOMIYA, Suntoku to be the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry." 2. T. SOEDA - "I support none of the present political parties. The proletariat is weak, perhaps because it has long been appressed, while the communists seem to be making a good impression. I long for the appearance of a man of creative power. Policy is made of creation and invention. I want Mr. K. YAMAKAWA, on impartial social scientist, to be the head political advisor. I want to recall SAKAMOTO, Tatsunosuke, as Minister of Education. Education is the foundation of policy, but education has been based upon policy here, and the present state of affairs results from that. It is at good that those, who object to real education are still active in educational circles. Don't you think it is disgraceful and mortifying that we must be educated by foreigners? General MacARTHUR will not be pleased with more flattery".
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0089, 1945-12-19.
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