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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0119, 1945-12-26.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0514

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 514 Date: 26 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Do Away with the War Guilty Representatives: Establish a New Party Government: - Tokyo Shimbun - 24 Dec 45. Translator: R. Ochiai.
The coming general election has two missions: first, to reject completely candidates tainted with war responsibility, sweeping them out of politics, and bringing a fresh political party to the front which really represents public opinion; and second, to make the majority party become the parliamentary government. Though Premier SHIDEHARA stated that whether or not the majority party would form a Cabinet depends on the state of affairs, we think the present non-partisan ministry should hand over the Cabinet to the majority party, for, as Lincoln said, democracy is "a Government for the people and by the people." This will be realized only when the parliamentary government is in the hands of a majority party which represents for the people's will.
Since next election is the first chance in 15 years for a party to take over the Cabinet, the parties have all earnestly started their campaign. But, whatever high-sounding platforms they may adopt, and however much they may display the sign-board of "democracy, we cannot see sincerity in ready-made political parties.
The revised election law established large electoral districts and restrictive plural balloting. One should, in principle, vote for candidates from one political party, so that a party policy, rather than the individual personality of a candidate, becomes most important. We must closely examine what policy each party has and decide which is most urgent for us. If we do this, we can select the right persons who will work for us in the Diet.
When a party platform comes first in an election, the members of a party must be united by that policy more closely than they are now. A political party, hereafter, must have a strong organization that unites all its members. An electorate, its representatives, and a political party, which are all closely united by a common policy—from this union only can a real national party exist.
ITEM 2 Constitutional Reform: Toward a parliament controlled government." Round Table - Asahi Shimbun"- 24 Dec 45. Translator: Paasche.
ANDO (Liberal); "The necessity of Constitutional reform as such is a matter of course. As to its scope, the sovereignity of the Emperor must be maintained although its dimensions must be some what restricted.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 119 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The reform must be undertaken on the understanding that the center of gravity of government will henceforth be with parliament, and it is with this goal in view that an adequate committee must be put to work. There is no need to rewrite the Constitution in toto. However, the responsibility of reform must be shouldered as the Government itself. Since the present Cabinet is unequal to the task we must wait until a new government, reflecting the will of the people, emerges from the elections. However, we do not know, in what measure the elections will give expression to popular feeling. If we want to rebuild JAPAN thoroughly we should not hesitate to dissolve the government several times after the elections and I think this is what will actually happen. In order to attempt to prevent this, we must hammer the importance of these elections into the masses so as to reap good results."
MIZUTANI (Social Democrat): "Democracy-building and the reshaping of the Constitution can not be treated under different headings, they belong together, "Whether we can put up with mere reform or have to insist on a brand new constitution depends on future developments. Around 25 September the Emperor remarked to an American correspondent that he was in favor of a constitutional monarchy of the British pattern and Premier SHIDEHARA has expressed similar beliefs. Now it is incumbent on the Parliament to discuss just what is meant by the term "British-style Constitutional Monarchy," since no such discussions have as yet taken place. It appears from such terms as "King on Parliament" that the British king is a structural part of parliament and a symbol of the greatness of the state rather than a wielder of actual governmental power. According to the Constitution he holds a part of such power, for example, the right to veto, but he has never actually used it. Although scientists disagree on the subject, it is a fact that the King of ENGLAND.and the Emperor of JAPAN are very different persons; the Emperor has said so himself, as has the Government. Now, what is the stand of the Government on this question? Minister without portfolio MATSUMOTO, in the Budget Committee, has proposed the following principles for constitutional reform: expansion of parliamentary prerogatives, preservation of the people's rights and duties, and maintenance of the Emperors' sovereignity. But this is absolutely different from the above views of the Emperor and SHIDEHARA. Should a setup corresponding to English conditions be worked out, we need a new constitution, reform is not enough."
ANDO (Liberal): "The position of the Lower House must become predominant, and responsible government must be brought to maximum efficiency, that is, the ministers must be responsible to both parliament and people."
KOYAMA (Progressive Party): "We want to bring about democracy and to prevent autocracy, but democracy does not mean that the sovereign power must lie with the people, it means that it lies strictly with the Emperor who rules in consonance with the general will of the people. Our traditional form of government is "KUNMIN ITCHI," that is, the will of the Emperor and of the people are one; our constitution places sovereignity in the hands of the Emperor and, owing; to it's elasticity, autocracy or democracy may result according to whether autocratic or democratic politicians are at the helm. The Government
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POLITICAL SERIES: 119 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
can dissolve the Diet as often as it sees fit without committing an unconstitutional act. This enables the Government to rule without any parliament or with an enslaved house of their feet, thereby going against the will of the people. If the budget is not passed, the old budget will do, and in the absence of laws, government can be carried on through Imperial ordinance. All this provides a breeding ground for autocracy with all it's dire consequences of militarism and abuse, and must be reformed, but the right of the Emperor to declare war must not be tampered with by the people or the parliament. The Government must be in harmony with the popular will, thereby promoting democracy. We oppose the communists' desire to abolish monarchy."
SHIGA (Communist). "The Communist Party is disregarding the question of a revised or a new constitution and leaves it to be decided by the democratic parliament. If some kind of revision were undertaken in a hurry now it would not fit into the coming state of things and is therefore absolutely out of place. The answer to the question why SHIDEHARA and the Ministry of the Interior have started work on the Constitution is that they anticipate a rising tide of democracy and want to carve a Constitution suitable to them out of the present document. Our political adversaries, the militarists, capitalists and bureaucrats have always accused as of outlandish ideas, so we think it laughable that the very stronghold of our foes is now the British Constitution. Even though Japanese monarchy may adopt the guise of British constitutionalism it will always remain the rallying point of reaction. Japanese monarchy, by the way, differs greatly from the English type because of it's entirely different historical background. The live of Japanese rulers is said to be unbroken for countless generations, whereas the English Kings are derived from a German family, were deposed and beheaded by Parliament, etc. To prevent future anti-democratic scheming by the militarists and the reactionary groups we need a constitution which makes no mention of the Emperor whatever and denies his right to the throne. Sovereignity must lie with the people; the cabinet must be elected by the Parliament. The privy Council, the House of Peers and even the Diet must be abolished. There must be a single Democratic Chamber. The constitution must also clearly state the people's right to live and work."
KUROZAWA (Independent): "The abolition of the Emperor is unthinkable because of the nature of the Japanese race. The Emperor System has become part of our blood and is part of our true conception of the state."
ITEM 3 Present Day Government Politics - Tokyo Shimbun - 24 Dec 45. Translator S. Ono.
It is a matter of great misfortune that the leaders of our national politics, having lost their self-confidence to lead the nation, and yet unwilling to give up power, have led us to the present chaos. That the military has lost its old power is true. However, the bureaucrats and the political parties, who gained their power under the protection of the militarists still remain safe and sound, striving at nothing but the maintenance of their old influence under the new era with utmost shamelessness, pretending that they had nothing to do with the militaristic government. The people have been awaiting, with the same obedience shown during the war days, for the last five months, the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 119 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
appearance of a government which will bring about a now life. In spite of the general expectation, there is no evidence of the advent of a savior. The present Cabinet, succeeding the HIGASHIKUNI Cabinet, has wasted time since its formation last October, realizing no solution of the problems now menacing our national life.. Yet, we must admit that this is what we can expect from such a Government as the present one whose sole reason for existence is due to the fact that Premier SHIDEHARA has been a man of popularity among political circles in the UNITED STATES and GREAT BRITAIN. Sad to say, in view of the stern reality facing our country, popularity and freedom from suspicion of war crimes does not mean qualification for leadership in the democratization of our country.
Hundreds of problems are at hand, each demanding solution. For instance measures for the food shortage are of urgent importance. The harvest of the current year was anything but satisfactory, and then is nothing but a pessimistic aspect left. The farmers completely lock the desire for increased production, owing to their disappointment and dissatisfaction with the ruling class. The Government, on the other hand, knows no other policy but to repeat the formal lectures of empty words which are utterly useless in stimulating the farmers.
Fundamental problems such as the farm land reform and farm-rental problem are put aside. We can not help being surprised at the negligence of our Government, when we hear that the statistics concerning staple food, submitted by the imperial Japanese Government to Allied Headquarters, were rejected as totally incorrect. Let us take a few more examples. The Government elevated the official purchasing price of rice to 150 yen per koku, but this is yet too low a price to achieve the original aim of encouraging increased production. As yet the Diet has not abolished the official price ceiling of perishable goods, resulting in the rise of black markets WHERE prices are too high for the average citizen. In connection with the rehabilitation problems everything is still in the paper plan stage. In short, the Government lacks definite ideas as to how to guide the nation.
This is quite understandable, if one thinks of a derivation of the current Government. This Government has no connection with national life, hence their inactivity and inability to reconstruct the nation. They purposely avoid facing reality as they are the representatives of the old interests. Now, the Government is busy following the directives of the Allied Powers which contain the important means of realying the democratization of the country. The fact is that no national reconstruction has been carried out through the hand of the Allied Powers, while our Government shows hesitation to take the necessary measures voluntarily.
Our country also lacks will in politics. For the pursuit of war guilt, the Government created an inquiry body to do research on the history of the war, leaving much more important points in the matter untouched. Although the thoroughgoing purge of the evils connected with the war is a sine qua non condition in rebuilding JAPAN.
According to Supreme Headquarters' directive, issued shortly after its formation, the current Cabinet was ordered to accomplish the following five items: (1) liberation of the Japanese women through women's suffrage; (2) Promotion of the organization of labor unions; (3)
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POLITICAL SERIES: 119 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Adoption of an open-door policy in the educational field so as to promote democratization of education; (4) Abolition of the secret police system and other institutions which kept citizens under constant terror; (5) The democratization of industrial organizations to check monopolistic control in the economic field.
ITEM 4 Election Conditions of TOKYO-TO - Tokyo Shimbun - 24 Dec 45. Translator S. Sano.
As the election date is not yet published, there is no report on the list of candidates, but the aspirants, both new and old, are preparing for their election campaigns. In spite of the people's feeling that the old Diet members, who have been subservient to militarism during the war, should withdraw, it is apparent that the majority of these members will be elected despite the adoption of the major electorate district system, women's suffrage, and the lowing of the age limits. Even [illegible]candidates for the Communist Party are not so attractive to the people who have been under the pressure of defeat. Generally speaking, people are little concerned with women's suffrage and many women candidates are not expected. Every political party is very active and the candidates' names are being decided on now. All tickets are being closely watched.
The election districts of TOKYO-TO were changed by combining the First, Second, Third, fourth, and Sixth Districts into the First district. The fixed number of 23 seats was changed to 10 and a considerable campaign is expected in the coming election. Candidates of the Progressive Party number eight, of the Liberal Party, seven, of the Social Democratic Party, five, and the Communist Party, too. Others are also expected to appear. However, the following men are reported to be favored to win in the First district: For the Progressive Party, NAKAMURA, Umekichi and NAKAJIMA, Yadauji. For the Liberal Party, HATOYAMA, Ichiro, ana ANDO, Masazuru. For the social Democratic Party, ASANUMA, Inajiro, and HARA, Hyo.
The new Second District of TOKYO comprised of the old JŌNAN Fourth and Sixth Districts, in addition to various islands and the SANTAMA Mountain District. The fixed number of eight seats has been increased to 18. The restricted plural balloting system is to be adopted; thereby the appearance of newmen is expected. The main candidates for the Progressive Party are YANAMI, Takeji, SAMATO, Ittukaku and OHASHI, Seitaro. For the Liberal Party, Hara, Tamashige, HANAMURA, Shiro and OKUBO, Tomejiro. For the Social Democratic Party, KAWANO, Mitsu, NAKAMURA, Koichi, KAMAHANA, Hideo, and HOSOKO, Michio. Other various parties one also expected to run candidate.
As for the woman candidates, Dr. TA[illegible]CHI, Sh[illegible], of the Liberal Party, and TSUKUMI, Fusako of the Communist party, are expected to be run.
In addition to the above mentioned, various small political parties are under formation in TOKYO throughout the First and Second Districts and many more candidates are expected to run in the election. Because of the birth of various new political parties fairly severe competition is anticipated in the forthcoming general election in TOKYO-TO.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0119, 1945-12-26.
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