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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0093, 1945-12-20.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0408

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 408 Date: 20 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Official Report to Deities Banned in New Directive on Shintoism - Mainichi Shimbun 17 Dec 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Full Translation:
Referring to publication of the directive on Japanese Shintoism Brigadier General DYKE and Navy Lieutenant W. K. BUNCE, Chief of the Religious Section, had an interview with the Japanese press, resulting in the following statement:
Question: "Is it prohibited for government officials to worship officially in their capacity at a shrine; for instance, to worship at the Grand Shrine at ISE and report their assumption of office? And what about the case of the Emperor?"
Answer: "The Emperor may safely visit a shrine in his individual capacity, just like any other government official."
Question: "What will become of the Shinto Temples and Shinto priests?"
Answer: "Shinto Temples will only be able to count on free contributions of the people. Financial assistance from the state will be cut off. On this question we spent more than two months with the Japanese persons concerned, and have ascertained that most of the Shinto priests wish to have Shintoism set free from state control."
Question: "Among the assets or properties of the Shinto temples there are important treasures. When the state's assistance is cut off, must such national treasures come to ruin?"
Answer: "No, we don't think so. The TOSHOGU, IZUMO OYASHIRO, and so on are supporting themselves. We will make inquiry in each separate case."
Question: "What is the most obvious example where Shintoism egged on militarism?
Answer: "One special case cannot be quoted. Such examples can, however, be found in various things, for example, the spirit of the phrase "HAKKO ICHIN," or all the globe under one roof, is a good examples implying an aggressive spirit that the whole world is to be put under the Japanese roof, or rule,"
Question: "Is Japanese history to be rewritten?"
Answer: "Yes, we think so."
IINUMA, vice-president of the SHINGIIN, Shrine Bureau, says:
"The directive does not mean abolition of the Shinto shrine itself,

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POLITICAL SERIES: 93 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
nor does it put restraint upon religious liberty of the state religion that has old traditions. The state subsidies granted to the Shinto temples amount annually only to 230,000 yen for the Grand Shrine at ISE, and 1,030,000 yen for other state shrines, making only one fourth of the total upkeep expenses. The prefectural shrines and others do not get any state subsidy. Were all Shinto priests or ritualists to give up their official capacity and become laymen there would be of course no Shinto officials or professional Shinto ritualists any more, thus removing the restriction and qualification for such offices. From this viewpoint, the SHINGU KOGAKKAN, the only public theological school, a training institute for Shinto priests, also must be reorganized or abolished."
ITEM 2 Prince Konoe's Talks with the Mainichi Journalist - Mainichi Shimbun - 17 Dec 1945.Translator: S. Sano.
Full Translation:
"Called weak-kneed before the war, abused as a pacifist during the war, and named as a war-criminal after the war, I am a child of fate." This was what Prince KONOE said with a deep sigh when he heared his arrest warrant as a war-criminal suspect had been issued by Allied Headquarters. This man has now committed suicide.
He also said: "We cannot really understand anyone before he dies; historians give judgment on people years after they die." When I (TN: The journalist) heard what he said at that time, I thought this was merely his advice on life, but now I remember it vividly.
The value of Prince KONOE cannot be decided directly after his death, and future historians will comment on his value. He has been at the top in the political world since before the CHINA Incident. When he recommended General TOJO as the Premier after his 3d Cabinet, he described his feeling as follows: "The mistakes in the CHINA Incident are too many to count and the Japanese-American negotiations took place for the sake of correcting these mistakes. I sincerely hoped for successful negotiations and put forth my best efforts for the nation, but in the end, my failure was exposed. It was with the expectation of making more efforts for peace by suppressing militarism that I. recommended General TOJO as the Premier after my 3d Cabinet. This was a fatal error."
It is true that Prince KONOE and Marquis KIDO must bear full responsibility for recommending General TOJO as Premier. If they intended to suppress militarism, as he said, they committed a great mistake. KONOE intended to go to RUSSIA to ask or arbitration between JAPAN and the UNITED STATES a month before the end of the war, when the POTSDAM Declaration was announced to the world, but the Japanese public was not aware of this.
On the same day when many planes were attacking the KANTO area, I called on the Prince at his mountain villa and asked the following:
"Now, Japanese conditions are utterly hopeless. In spite of the propaganda by the military that the decisive battles are to be fought on the Japanese mainland, the people are tired of the war. In your opinion how will the war be brought to a conclusion?"
Previously he was accustomed to answer my question willingly, but
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POLITICAL SERIES: 93 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
this time he refused to answer.
I asked him further, "The time has come, I dare say, when the Emperor has to give the final decision by himself. It is Marquis KIDO who has to urge the Emperor to do so, and you are the only person who can talk to Marquis KIDO."
The Prince, with a copy of the POTSDAM Declaration in his hand, replied, "It is a very difficult problem. I am fully aware of ray responsibility after all that has happened. You say that I should influence KIDO, but he does not always take notice of my opinion. Now there will be no other way but unconditional surrender, and after that JAPAN must be revived. However, the Imperial Household will not fall, nor will the Japanese nation. We shall be retired from our position for the establishment of a New JAPAN.
"The time will certainly come in the future when we will comment on which was the best way to end the war—by annihilation on the mainland in battle or by unconditional surrender."
He added, "I am a child of fate. Those who surrounded me in the past, the Socialists, the Nationalists and other kind of people, have decided my present fate. The present conditions were a result of my inability and it is very unfortunate for the nation. I always did my best for the nation and have never lacked political conscience."
Within less than ten days after this interview, Russia declared war, the atomic bomb appeared, and the war of the century drew rapidly to a conclusion.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0093, 1945-12-20.
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