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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0109, 1945-12-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0467

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 467 Date: 22 December 1945


ITEM 1 Constitution Revision-Nippon Sangyo Keizai-20 December 1945. Translator: S. Sano.
In accordance with the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, the revision of the Constitution has become necessary for establishing new democratic JAPAN.
The Government is studying the problem through a Committee for the Investigation of the Constitutional Problem (KEMPO MONDAI CHOSA IINKAI), with Dr. MATSUMOTO, Minister without Portfolio, as the head of three advisors and eleven committee men. As the investigation has proceeded smoothly and the revision is roughly outlined the Government is expected to present the rivised Constitution shortly.
The following four fundamental principles of revision were mentioned by Dr. MATSUMOTO in the recent session of the Diet:
No change will be made in the fundamental principles of the sovereignty of the Emperor. Articles in question are No. 1 and No. 4 in chapter 1. However, there is this opinion as to article No. 2. The law-relating to succession to the Imperial Throne and Regency, which is provided for in the Imperial House Law at present, would be transfered to the Constitution.
Matters requiring the Diets decision for approval, sanction, etc. will be extended. As a result, the sovereignity of the Emperor will be restricted to a certain degree. Amendment of abolition of articles concerning the extension of the sovereignty is expected to be affected on a large scale. Articles in question: Are Nos. 9, 11, 12, and 13 in chapter 1, Nos. 31 and 32 in Chapter 2, and Nos 67,69,70 and 71 in chapter 6.
The responsibilities of the State Ministers will be extended in regard to all State affairs. At the same time the State Ministers will be responsible to the Imperial Diet. There is a provision of article No. 55 in chapter 4 stipulating that the State Ministers are responsible to assist the Emperor and must bear their responsibilities, but this is a very obscure expression on the responsibility. The present revision will clarify the responsibilities of the State Ministers. They have not only the responsibility of assisting the Emperor but also must be responsible to the Diet and, indirectly, to the people.
The protection of the rights and liberties of the people will be strengthened and secured, and at the same time any infringement on the rights and liberties of the people will be corrected by relief under the law. Every article regarding the protection of the rights and liberties of the people is expected to be inserted in the revised Constitution, but it will be provided for in the rivised Eonstitution.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 109 (Continued)
ITTEM 1 (Continued)
The above mentioned is based on four fundamental principles of Dr. MATSUMOTO. He also mentioned the prolongation of the Diet session and the rivisions of the House of Peers and the Privy Council. AS to the former, he stated that the coming session of three months provided in the Constitution is too short for the full deliberation. He recognizes the urgent necessity for the revision of the House of Peers and Privy Council, but it is not clear when their revision will he effected.
An extraordinary session of the Diet, convened for deliberation on the new Constitution, will be held about next April, at the earliest. In accordance with the acceptance of the Potscan Declaration, the Constitution revision will be realized for the first time since its establishment late in the 19th century.
ITEM 2 Two Women Decided to run as Candidates-Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full Translation:
The Japan Communist Part, intends to run at least one candidate in each constituency. As women candidates, the party has decided to run Madame KUTSUMI, Fusako representing TOKYO and Madame KATSUME, Teru Representing KAGOSHIMA.
ITEM 3 Both The Government And Political Parties Forget The Crisis-Yomiuri-Hochi-21 December 1945.
Full Translation:
The war-guilty House of Representatives, which had always supported the Government policies for the execution of war, approving all the wartime budgets, was dissolved on 18 December. Consequently only the for-coming general election is left as a focus for discussions, not only for the people, but also for foreigners. It is, needless to say, a fact that the people are much concerned with the coming general election. What kind of men will be elected and to what degree can the election be the foundation of JAPAN'S new democratic policy? These are very serious questions for the people at present. Nevertheless, all the political parties, and the Government as well, are absorbed only in preparations for the general election, keeping far aloof from the helplessly disrupted economic conditions of this country. All the people are now burning with indignation at the selfish and impotent Government and its political parties.
In most of the discussions carried on in the last Diet concerning the epoch-making, legislation there, for example, the bill for revision of the agrarian system and the Labor Union Law Bill, we could not find any, thoughtful discussions based on a comprehension of the present social revolutionary situation. Those discussions dealt with unimportant problems, or were nothing but the Election Law the Diet took and anti-revision attitude, only to be warned by Allied Headquarters. On the other hand, even on the problem of food coal supply, and inflation, both the Government and political parties held only desultory discussions, leaving the problems to take their natural course.
As for the food problem, the Diet was occupied mainly by discussions on the increase of the ration of staple food and the import of foreign rise. These discussions were calculated to win the people's favor in the election. Despite the fact that the amount of new rice delivered by farmers to the authorities under the quota system has reached only 10 per cent of the official allotment the Government has not yet arranged any intermediate facilities between [illegible]and farm-villages
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POLITICAL SERIES: 109 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Starvation is almost upon us.
Besides, the Government has disclosed its impotency in the questions of inflation, black markets, and suspension of industry due to the coal shortage. In such confused circumstances, the forthcoming general election is far from free and fair. There may well arise the sentiment: "Give me bread rather than a political ticket". Even if a new House of Representatives emerges, it is very doubtful whether it would be able to take charge of establishing a true democratic policy.
ITEM 4 Supreme Commander's Directive on Election Candidates-Yomiuri Hochi-21 December 1945. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full Translation:
It is reported that General MACANTAUA, in order to protect JAPAN from the misrule of those leaders who had the worst political careers in the past, is planning to prohibit leading members of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, founded by the late Prince KONOYE, from running as candidate in the election it is understood that the extent of this prohibition will perhaps cover representatives who were recommended by TOJO's cabinet. This directive will probably be issued in a day or two.
On the afternoon of 18 December, HATOYAMA, President of the Liberal Party, TSURUMI' Chief Secretary of the Progressive Party, and NISHIO, of the Social-Democratic Party, called on the authorities at General Headquarters and arrived at mutual understanding by explaining in detail the situations of their respective parties. At that time, each of them tendered a precise report containing policies of his own party, a list of officials, and, a list of candidates. The authorities of General Headquarters will carefully examine the lists of officials and candidates in the reports.
It is predicted that those with the worst political careers, who will be forbidden to run as candidates, will number from forty to three numbered. If the number is limited to forty or so, those who will be included in it are presumed to be loading members of the former JAPAN politcal Party and staff members of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. But if the number is extended to three hundred, it will include all recommended representatives in the Diet. Almost all of them are former representatives belonging to the Progressive Party, the Liberal Party the Independence Club, and those who have already [illegible]intentions clear to run as candidates. If the issuance of the [illegible]mentioned directive materializes, all the irresponsible representatives in the past will be swept away, with the result that extraordinary changes will be occasioned in the general elections. In the recent extraordinary session of the Diet, the Japanese Nation expected that all the members of the Upper and Lower Houses, after the session was over would resign in a body and give their intentions of running as candidates. On the contrary, however, they only passed a resolution of self-reflection instead of resigning as war criminals. At the very time when the Nation is indignant with their attitude of irresponsibility, the probable issuance of MacARTHUR's directive is sure to meet the burning request of all the working classes of the Japanese Nation.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0109, 1945-12-22.
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