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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0099, 1945-12-21.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0437

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 437 Date: 21 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Mr. MACHIDA to be President of the Progressive Party - Mainichi Shimbun - 19 Dec 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Full translation:
The much discussed question of the presidency of the Progressive Party was settled on 18 December with the choice of Mr. MACHIDA, Chugi, a senior member of the Diet. At 1400 on the same day the party held a general committee meeting and a standing committee meeting followed by a meeting of members of Parliament to report on the decision reached. The choice of Mr. MACHIDA as president of the Progressive Party has upset the Party, which, faced with the general election, has determined to stick together and drastically reshuffle the leadership of the Party.
On account of Mr. MACHIDA'S advanced age and his lack of energy as president, a strong demand is being made for an assistant president. This idea has, however, been left for Mr. MACHIDA to decide. Among the leaders of the Party, Mr. SAITO, Mr. KAWASAKI, and others are absolutely against MACHIDA are may not remain in their present positions.
After the plenary session of the 18th, the progressive party held a meeting of members of Parliament at which President MACHIDA aid Chief Secretary TSURUMI clarified the party's attitude toward the general election.
MACHIDA said, "at this time, full of unprecedented difficulties, I have accepted the office of president inspite of my advance age. Now, to save the country in her darkest hour, I think drastic measures are necessary but the present Cabinet is not to be relied upon. I feel confident that the Progressive Party will, by the forthcoming general election, become a stabilized power and will be able to carry out the construction of a new JAPAN."
Following the president's speech Chief Secretary TSURUMI delivered a fervent speech, enumerating the following as planks for the general election: resolute defense of the Emperor System; opposition to the Communist, Social Democratic and Liberal Parties; and, restoration of international confidence in JAPAN.
ITEM 2 On the Prospects of the Coming General Election in North-Eastern Provinces Asahi Shimbun - 19 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ono.
With the Liberal and the Progressive Parties remaining idle, the election campaign in HOKKAIDO is still inactive, except for the Social Democrats and the Communists who have already started their election drives. It is believed that almost all of the present members of the Diet will run

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POLITICAL SERIES: 99 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
in the election. Outstanding figures among the new candidates are TOMABECHI, professor at the OTARU Higher Commercial College and TAKEDA, head of the ISHIKARI branch office of the HOKKAIDO Government, both belonging to the Liberal Party. The Social Democrats will have three to four candidates, while the Communist Party is expected to enter six to seven, mainly picked from among the workers.
Contrary to the opinion generally held, it is likely that the adoption of the major electoral district system will prove to be advantageous to the Social Democratic and the Communist Parties, both being equipped with a wide-spread net of branches all over HOKKAIDO. The general outlook is that female voters show no signs of interest in the election, except for a few highly educated ones who insist on running their own candidates to gain politial independence.
In AOMORI the election drive has been actively started centering around the Progressives, holding four seats, and the Liberals, enjoying an absolute majority in the Prefectural Assembly, while the Social Democrats have inaugurated their action with the slogan, "Down with the old parties." The number of candidates of each party is expected to be seven Progressives, two Social Democrats, and eight independents. As this province has been a stronghold of the old parties, there is little chance for new political figures to be elected, it is reported. All voters, both male and female, show little sign of concern in the election, since they are facing a crucial food shortage.
In IWATE the number of candidates is expected to be three Liberals, four Progressives, two Social Democrats, one Communist and some seven independents, thus making a total of 17 altogether. The candidates who belong to no party at present are expected to join one of the parties after the election. Voting is expected to be light owing to transportation difficulties and the food shortage.
In FUKUSHIMA, some 28 candidates are expected to run in the coming election, including seven Progressives, six Liberals, three Social Democrats, and 10 others. The above total includes four present and three former members of the Diet while the others are all new figures. The reason for the great majority of new candidates is believed to be attributable to the prevailing unpopularity of the old parties and the adoption of the newly-established major electoral district system, which is suppose to be favorable to the new candidates. In view of this situation, the young men's National Party has been set up by members of the now defunct Imperial Rule Assistance Association, with three candidates on the ballot.
In MIYAGU, it is reported that 28 candidates will run in the election, including seven present members, who belong to the Liberal and Social Democratic Parties. The appearance of the major electoral district, reducing two former districts to one, is supposed to offer favorable opportunity to new candidated. The new JAPAN Party, the JAPAN Nationalist Party, the Association for the Promotion of Justice, the Far East Association, and the Far Eastern Federation are expected to start their drive side by side with the old parties.
In AKITA the Social Democrats are conducting active drives in the campaign, organizing farmers' associations under the guidance of the Party branch, while the Progressives and the Liberals still remain idle, being in the process of organizing their Party branches. The total number of
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POLITICAL SERIES: 99 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
candidates is supposed to be about 16, including six Progressive, two Liberals, two Social Democrats and eight others, surpassing the number of representatives to be elected by two.
In YAMAGATA the total number of candidates is supposed to be about 27, surpassing by three the fixed number to be elected. The Liberals will run eight candidates, while the Progressive and the Social Democrats are expected to have three each. Other candidates have not decided as to which party they should join. There is a feeling that in this province, a long-extablished sphere of influence of the old parties, there is little chance for new figures to be elected.
ITEM 3 The Government Statement Concerning the Forthcoming General Election - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 19 Dec 45. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full translation:
Following the promulgation of the revised Election Law on 17 December, which passed the current extraordinary session of the Diet, the Government petitioned the Throne to dissolve the House of Representatives on 18 December. After having held a Cabinet conference in this regard at noon on the same day in the Diet, the Government issued the following statement simultaneously with the dissolution, and clarified the Government attitude on the forthcoming general election:
"It may be said that it is most urgent to strive for democratization of the political system in order to carry out the POTSDAM Declaration faithfully. Therefore, the Government introduced the bill amending the Election Law of the House of Representatives to the Diet and it was accepted on 17 December after passing both Houses. The Government petitioned the Throne to dissolve the House of Representatives hoping that a fair and new Diet, where the general will of the people is reflected in accordance with the new Election Law, be organized rapidly. Thus, in the forthcoming general election, the Government will take care not to be blamed for interference in the election and expects that the will of the people will be directly expressed in the results of the election."
ITEM 4 Government Statement - Asahi-Shimbun - 19 Dec 45. Translator: S. Sano.
The Government published the following statement on 18 December upon the dissolution of the House of Representatives:
"In order to realize the revival and strengthening of the democratic tendency in JAPAN by the faithful fulfilment of the POTSDAM Declaration, it will be necessary to democratize the political system. Therefore, the bill for the revision of the election law was submitted by the Government in the present extraordinary Diet session and was published yesterday, having been approved by the Diet."
"The Government asked the Throne for the dissolution of the present Diet, hoping for the early establishment of a new Diet based on the new election laws and reflecting the wishes of the people. Accordingly, the Government will keep itself free from interfering with the election in order to have the wishes of the people reflected in the results of the forthcoming general election."
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POLITICAL SERIES: 99 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
The following are the Imperial Rescripts ending the present session of the Diet:
The Imperial Rescript
We order the dissolution of the House of Representatives by Article VII of the Constitution.
Imperial Sign and Imperial Seal 18 December 1945.
Countersigned by the Prime Minister and other Ministers.
The Imperial Rescript
We order the adjournment of the House of Peers by Article VII, Second Clause, No, 44, of the Constitution.
Imperial Sign and Imperial Seal 18 December 1945.
Countersigned by the Prime Minister and other Ministers.
ITEM 5 The Dissolution of the House of Representatives will Leave Japan Stripped of Old Political Garment - Asahi-Shimbun - 19 Dec 45. Translator: S. Sano.
The House of Representatives was dissolved at 1800 on 18 December as expected. The outgoing House failed to reflect the will of the people in as much as its members were elected in 1942 under strict control of the Army and Government in the name of the Throne. Accordingly, the demand arose from various circles immediately after the end of the war for the establishment of democratic politics in the real sense of the term by holding a general election following the dissolution of the present House of Representatives. The demand was based on the fact that the House of Representatives did not represent the will of the people.
The Government asked the Throne for the dissolution of the House on 18 December, the day the session ended. Premier SHIDEHARA proceeded to the Imperial Palace at 1530 of the same day and was given Imperial approval for the dissolution of the House of Representatives and House of Peers. Thus, the dissolution of the House was effected for the first time since 31 March, 1937, when it was dissolved under the HAYASHI Cabinet. Now both the Government and the political parties will shift their labors to the forthcoming general elections which will mark the starting point for the democratic administration of the Japanese and will consequently influence the future destiny of JAPAN. Accordingly, the dissolution holds a historic significance in Japanese politics.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0099, 1945-12-21.
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