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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0107, 1945-12-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0463

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 463 Date: 22 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Reformation of The House of Peers. (1) By Miyata, Mitsuo. - Tokyo Shimbun - 20 Dec 45. Translator: S." Kawasaki.
The problem of the reformation of the House of Peers first arose when Prince ITO, Hirobumi organized the cabinet as the first president of the SEIYU-KAI Party about the year 1880. During the term of that cabinet, a bill for collecting additional taxes was submitted, and the House of Representatives passed it. The Upper House objected to it, however, and it was rejected, As a result, Prince ITO pointed to deficiencies in the system of the House of Peers. This was the beginning of the problem on the reformation of the Upper House. Many actual instances show that the House of Peers was amenable in times of bureaucratic cabinets, but fought against the cabinet, when a party cabinet was inpower. Since the Upper House was an organization which was invulnerable to attack, it failed the intentions of the people; which we know very well from the history of the Diet. The reason for the existence of the Upper House lies in its being the safety-value of the Diet.
Under the constitution, however, the same rights as those of the House of Representatives were given it. Deliberations of the House of Representative on bills were repeated by the Upper House after passage in the Lower House. Such facts show that the affairs of state became troublesome and were delayed. It is well that the faults of the peerage, the important element of the Upper House, are recognized now. Such titles as prince, marquis, count, viscount and baron are honorary titles, differing from court rank in that they are passed on from generation to generation. The legal basis by which the peerage has special political rights, cannot be found. It is said only that the constitution permits this.
Under such a deplorable system, the first step for obtaining complete democracy out of such a deplorable system is naturally through the abolition of the House of Peers together with the Privy Council, which are not democratic. It is obvious that the Nation desires the abolition of the Privy Council, which has many old and infirm officials and it is inevitable that the House of Peers, where the peerage interferes with the politics of state, and where no true democracy exists, is on tie point of being wiped out by the remorseless tide of circumstances. The members of the Upper house have no intention of reforming the louse of their own accord. The attitude of the members is insufferable and the House of Peers must be reformed from without as follows: -

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POLITICAL SERIES: 107 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The name must changed. It should be called Upper House (J0IN) or First House (DAIICHI-IN).
The organization is to be changed. It must be chosen by general election, fixed number of members to be 100. Nominated members of the House of Peers will number 50. As for their selection, many selecting committees will be established. Moreover, a nominated members of the Upper House must be well-grounded intellectually.
One important function of the Diet is to act as a "safety-valve". When the opinion of the Government is different from that of the Diet on a certain bill, only then will it be re-examined. Matters which are referred to the Privy Council at present, should be submitted to the Upper House.
The session: The session of the Upper House and the House of Representatives, should open at the beginning of the year and finish at the end of the year.
Generally speaking, my opinions concerning the reformation of the House of Peers are those mentioned above.
ITEM 2 "The Trend of The Times" by OZAKI Yukio, Part 2. - Mainichi Shimbun - 21 Dec45. Translator: Paasche.
It happens again and again. Election candidates try to flatter and coax the voters into supporting them with that power and money they have. In other owrd, candidates tend to be come dependent upon those whom they expect to vote for them. This will never do.
As long as this political disease (prevalent in other countries, too) is not cured, there will be no democracy. For this reason it is essential to raise election funds by making everyone pay, say, 50 sen a year. In western countries this works satisfactorily enough because people will send money spontaneously, but unfortunately, in JAPAN, people won't pay unless their homes are canvassed. This is another undesirable Japanese custom.
If all amounts to this: the people must rely on their representatives, not the other way round, But so for the people don't even understand what is dependent upon their representatives. Essentially it is their property and lives, so they must be indoctrinated from an early age that they elect representatives to protect their own interest. They know that their property is at stake, but they are as yet unaware that their lives are equally at issue. This must be changed, though it won't be easy. However, if whole education system is basically changed it may not take too long.
How we coming to the question of world peace. If it is to be preserved, I believe some kind of united world government must be set up by developing and improving the former League of Nations. It must be realized how small this world has become because of the progress of civilization. In five days one can travel round the earth, and in a few hours a person in any part of the world can be reached by
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POLITICAL SERIES: 107 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
the human voice. Today the world is smaller than JAPAN was to us when we were young. The world, divided as it is between fifty odd states, corresponds in appearance to an imaginary JAPAN divided into over 300 DAIMYO-ruled territories. In other words, ideological differences about nationalism and democracy must go. The world has become as small as a house, and in a house it would be foolish for brothers to wrangle constantly about their race and pedigree.
Foreigners thinking of JAPAN as a distant, inaccessible island, this prevailing opinion enhances JAPAN'S tendency to become isolated. We must learn to think more of the world and less of the state. If stress is laid on the state, war will always be the outcome, but at this stage of progress war means the annihilation of Man.
We were taught that patoriotism is a very great thing, but as a matter of fact, this is not true in a civilised age; It is true in a barbarian age only. Tribesmen rate highly love for the village, but in the course of time, the clan tikes it's place and clan worship becomes the order of the day. Around the beginning of the MEIJI Era, the clan was still the object of respect and the Nation was not yet born. There was a borderline between the SATSUMA and the HIGO clans and when the rival clans men met they came to blows. Only after the abolition of the clans and institution of the prefectures did JAPAN become a whole. Yet, the surrounding world was represented in the schools and in the homes in the same hostile light in which the clans had regarded each other, so that unnecessary wars were started in which all concerned came to grief.
Since the last war, the UNITED STATES and her Allies know that they are in for economic depression after victory. JAPAN got the worst of it, but ENGLAND and AMERICA are badly off, too. This leads to the conclusion that in the future no stress must be laid on nationalist education. During the last war people began to think along such lines, but later a virulent reaction set in, climaxed with HITLER and MUSSOLINI, because there had not been enough pacifism. We were finally caught in this net, too. But this state of things must now stop.
To belong to no nation is still held a disgrace. Formerly it was dishonorable to break loose from the clan, but the RONIN who brought about the MEIJI revolution where just such people. Getting rid of nationalism and working for humanity should enhance the honor of a man nowadays.
MACDONALD refers to "a bum who is called a patriot" in one of his books. What we need are "world RONIN". I coined the word in a pamphlet I published at LONDON. There I stated that people without citisenship have a big part to play in the shaping of the world. JAPAN, author of the Manchurian Incident, has the greatest share in the war guilt because she set a bad example. The started things and is now the villain of the piece.
The basis for the new world is economic equality for all and a thorough open door policy everywhere. Most people know that the heavenly bodies belong to everybody; but the earth is believed to be the property of various states. This is the great mistake which must be rectified.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 107 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The first task of a world union would be arbitration in all international disputes. There would come the task of selecting a world-language. Thereby money, measures, and weights would have to be unified and standardized. Money has been the source of the world's greatest troubles. These issues have to be regulated on a worldwide scale, where as questions of everyday life should be left to single national units.
ITEM 3 SCAP Directive to Restore to Released Political Offenders Franchise - Asahi Shimbun - 21 Dec 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Full Translation:
The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers yesterday issued a directive to restore the franchise to all and the right to hold public office to all political prisoners. The directive was sent to the Japanese Government through the TOKYO central Liaison Office. The content of the directive was as follows: -
The Japanese Government will immediately take necessary legal and administrative measures to carry out the following objectives. Persons falling under the following classifications shall have restored to them the franchise and the right to hold public office:
All those who have been ordered released from detention, imprisonment, protective custody, and/or protective surveillance in accordance with the memorandum issued by Allied Headquarters to the Japanese Government on 4 October 1945 under the title: "Abolition of Restrictions on Political, Civic, and Religions Liberty".
All those who, in violation of law, decree, ordinance, and/or Imperial edict, enumerated in the above mentioned memorandum, were detained, imprisoned, or placed under protective detention or surveillance and released there from prior to 4 October 1945.

According to the directive, the franchise restoration will be realized by taking such necessary measures as the investigation of the name-list, acknowledgment of late registration, removal of the conditions related to the above, and by publication of the directive.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0107, 1945-12-22.
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