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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0106, 1945-12-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0454

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 454 Date: 22 Dec 45

POLITICAL SERIES: 106

ITEM 1 Mr. MINOBE Speaks on the Coming; General Election. - Mainichi Shimbun - 20 Dec 45. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full Translation:
"The forthcoming general election is a turning point for us Japanese," says Mr. MINOBE, Ryokichi, professor of HOSEI University. "The next Diet, to composed of new members, has, needless to say, a political significance in that it will be more democratic. From the economic point of view, it is vital that we have a government able to reconstruct Japanese economy.
"The most urgent economic problems obstructing the reconstruction of JAPAN are those of food supply find inflation. As for foodstuff, since the harvesting of rice has been finished for the year, the only remaini[illegible]problem at present concerns the import of foodstuff and the rice quota.
"Measures may have been taken to combat the food problem. As for the other problem, however, we can no longer rely upon the present Government and its undecided policy. In order to solve the most urgent problem of inflation, we need a free, fresh, Government policy, forcefully care ried out.
"What should we do to establish a powerful and reliable government? The answer lies in the coming general election. In a real democratic institution a future cabinet leader is chosen as the result of a general election; that is, a premier is elected by the people. A voter must vote according to his own, independent, conscientious judgment.
"Though choosing candidates as individuals is important, we should attach more importance to their selection on a party basis because parliamentarism is really party politics, and a decision of the Diet depends not so much on an individual's opinion as it does upon the party's opinion, We can do this more easily under the system of proportional representation, but to my regret, it is too early for JAPAN to adopt this system. Also, in the coming election, opened to women for the first time, we should not support an individual just because he is agreeable.
"I should like to have a government with no reactionaries, composed of members of one party with an absolute majority. There are some suggesting about coalition cabinets, but I do not approve of this. There might be room for discussion on this if a strong united front were presented before a general election, like 'Le front populaire' in FRANCE. In the case of JAPAN, However, if a coalition cabinet were to stand this, we could anticipate nothing but friction and compromise and certainly not a strong policy".

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POLITICAL SERIES: 106 (Continued)
ITEM 2 Survey on the Activities and Electoral Policies of the Political Parties - Yomiuri Hochi - 20 Dec 45. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Summary:
In order to make JAPAN democratic, we will have many struggles before us. Democracy will not be built in a day. It is true, however, that already some new powers or new activities, aiming at building the people's liberty, have been observed, although conservative powers still prevail. Let us see what each political party accomplished in the last session of the Diet and also what general attitude each has towards the coming election.
The Progressive Party: How strongly did its opportunism impress us in the Diet? Utilizing its majority power it consented only to the measures which were useful to it. For instance, when there was a demand to place war responsibility on every representative, the Progressives objected, and took an evasive attitude, saying that "everyone of the representatives must handle his own case", and ultimately they gave up the problem of their war responsibility. 400 Progressive candidates will run in the coming election with policies as follows: (a) ration for rice, wheat and such staples to be set at 3 GO; (b) collateral for importation of rice to be procured; (c) exchange rate to be fixed; and (d) engineering works to be established.
The Social Democratic Party: At this session of the Diet, they were said to be resolutely conscientious. Although they wanted some changes in the new revision bills, they earnestly tried to pass these bills. This party will put forward 200 men as candidates, backed by the wage-earning class.
The Liberal Party: The Liberals were very outspoken about war responsibility and, however strongly they demanded that the bills should not be discussed by representatives who are responsible for the war, they were overwhelmed because they were in the minority. However, aren't they also responsible for the war? Having a fair chance of getting 150 candidates elected, the party will run 250 men. Although their party name is "liberal", they are conservative, except on womens political rights.
The Communist Party: The Communists, for the first time, have been allowed to take part in politics. Though the party members are increasing day by day, only 103 candidates will run, since the party seeks quality, not quantity. Their policies are, first, severe prosecution of war criminals and, second, a practical decision on food problems. Although unemployed laborers and farmers are their desired constituents, we don't think they are closely connected with those groups.
ITEM 3 Leaders of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association may be forbidden to run as candidates - Yomiuri Hochi - 20 Dec 45. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
With the general election in sight in January, each party is already nominating and announcing candidates. According to reliable reports, General MacARTHUR is planning to forbid leaders of the Imperial Rule. Assistance Association, organized by the late Prince KONOE, to run as candidates in the forthcoming general election. Members of that association are now drifting into almost all the parties, and have powerful influence upon the Progressive Party, which is most inclined to conservatism. Allied Headquarters appears to be considering the above-mentioned directive in order to protect the people from these leaders who have had discreditable political careers.
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