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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0121, 1945-12-26.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0525

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 525 Date: 26 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The proposal of the Communist Party on a joint Campaign against the food problem.Yomiuri-Hochi-25 Dec 45. Translator: S. ONO.
It is reported that in view of the critical food shortage in big cities, the JAPAN Communist Party is going to propose a joint campaign with public representatives to meet the current crisis by their joint effort. SHIGA, and KUROKI, both leading members of the Party, will call tomorrow, for the third time, on the Social Democrats to propose the formation of a united front of the two Parties to assume the necessary initiative in solving the food problem.
According to the opinion expressed by the Communists, negligence and failure of duty on the part of authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Transportation, and the TOKYO Metropolitan Police Board, are held to be responsible for the present food shortage. From this point of view it is further reported that the Party will, in a few days, file a strong protest against the aforesaid quartors, requesting further efforts on their part to accomplish their duties.
Meanwhile, it is also said that the Party will further extend its efforts to organize a People's Council for food Control which, purportedly, consists of the representatives of labor unions, the farmer's cooperative, and a citizens committee on food control to which the leading figures of journalism, as well as members of political parties, are welcomed.
In connection with a rumor, now prevailing, that the Communist Party is purposely conducting agitation to encourage food riots, KUROKI, chief executive of the Party, flatly denied such stories, saying that before long the facts will show that the Communists are trying to meet the food problem upon the most sound and practicable principles.
ITEM 2 Facing the General Election - Asahi Shimbun - 25 Dec 45. Translator: J. WEIIJER.
Full Translations:
General Election Round Table Conference Roster:
TSURUMI, Yusuke Progressive Party
KOYAMA, Kuranusuko Progressive Party
ANDO, Masazumi Liberal Party
MIZUTANI, Chozoburo Social-Democratic Party
KUROSAWA, Torizo Independent
SHIGA, Yoshio Communist Party

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POLITICAL SERIES 121 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Chairman: The Progressive Party has a platform upholding the national polity. What do you say to Mr. SHIGA'S Argument?
KO[illegible]: I am against Mr. SHIGA. "We must know our history and tradition. If we make the most of the people's faith, mintaining the tradition of one sovereign over all the people, and conduct politics for the people and by the people, there will be no difficulty in perfecting dimocracy. There is no change in our conviction that we must uphold the Emperor System.
[illegible]DO: The upholding of the national polity is a cherished objective of the Liberal Party. Consequently, abolition of the Emperor System is out of the question. It is not only our own, but the people's faith that JAPAN should be ruled under the Emperor. The Communist Party contends that the System is bound to stand in the way of future democracy, but I do not see why we can not thoroughly eliminate obstacles without touching the fundamental system.
It is not a political, but a religious faith pulsing through our veins. Whatever change may be brought about in other matters, we firmly believe the Emperor System is absolutely immutable and that it must be upheld at any cost. But what I must call to your attention is the difference between upholding the Emperor System and keeping the present Emperor. That is, one must draw a line of distinction between the question of the reigning Emperor's abaicatron and the Emperor System. It is necessary that the theory of the System must be made clearer so that the Nation may fully understand it. Also, for the benefit of the coming generation, we must have a faith based upon a definite theory. At present, the study of the theory is lacking. The present, generation is to be blamed for negligence in not being able to convince either the Japanese or foreighers of the value of this faith.
The reason that the System has become the center of the controversy of late is because the Japanese national character, which is closely related to the Emperor System, has been distorted in its interpretation, expecially since the CHINA Incident. A certain group of Shintoists were responsible for the distorted view that the national polity is the source of the nations morality. While such opinion prevailed only among certain groops, the evil was not noticeable, but when it was taken up as a fundmental moral education, grave damage was wrought. The interpretation of the Imperial Edict on education must be altered. At any event, we must uphold the system with firm national faith.
[illegible]ZUTANI: Why does the Social Democratic Party advocate the protection of the Emperor System? Judging from various opinions on the question, it appears that there is confusion between the Emperor and the Emperor System. According to the Constitution, JAPAN's Emperor System is composed of two important factors: one part is given in the first two Articles of the Constitution, which state that the Empire of JAPAN is ruled by a line of Emperors unbroken for ages eternal according to the provisions of the Imperial Family Law and, therefore, the Emperor may be called the Superintendent of sovereignity.
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POLITICAL SERIES 121 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Mr SHIGA worries that if the Emperor System is left intact it will become an instrument for the revival of militarists, ZAIBATSU, and bureaucrats and consequently, the return of a dark age in which the communists and progressives will again have to suffer from oppression. Of course, I do not say this is impossible. But at the same time, I must ask him if the end of the Emperor System will bring an end to his worries. According to European history, a monarch may be dethroned, but when conditions are ripe, conflicts revive, mornach or no mornach. So, in our case if we overthrow the Emperor System we can not be sure that we are entirely free from worries over the possible revival of the militarists, plutocrats, and bureaucrats. It is the Social Democrat's idea, therefore, to maintain the Emperor, though the system must be freed of all its evils.
I do not know if it is a proper example to cite, but I heard that an English Communist not LENIN in [illegible]OSCON and asked his opinion as to whether the monarchy should be done away with or not. LENIN asked, "What is wrong with the King?" "Nothing is wrong with him", was the reply. "If he does not stand in your way why not leave him alone?'' asked LENIN. So I think that the communists should put their worries aside and agree to maintain the Emperor System.
One more thing which we must consider is that the upholding or abolition of the Emperor System should not be decided on by one or more parties, but by the people themselves. As the problem living conditions becomes acute in the first half of next year, the people will ask themselves who is responsible for all these hardships. They will realize that if certain persons had been sensible enough this would never have happened. Then, both world opinion and Japanese opinion will see that the Emperor Sustem should be decided upon by referendum. Should public opinion go against the Emperor, there is no reason why the Social-Democratic Party should oppose the will of the majority. An Emperor System accepted thusly can be kept without misgivings.
SHIGA: I see no necessity for believing such a thing. According to my view those who take up clear stand on this question will suffer in the coming election. I cannot get away from the impression that some people are using this issue primarily for the vote getting value.
ANDO: Mr SHIGA is right in some respects, but it is not our intention to try to collect votes by utilizing the Emperor question. Even if the Emperor is responsible for the war, this does not constitute grounds for the abolition of the System. These may be fears that if the System is left untouched, democracy will be lost, or the system abused; but if the Constitution is revised so as to make the State Ministers wholly responsible instead of the Emperor, I am sure such dark feelings can be wiped out. On the other hand, if it is decided to settle the question by referendum, we must follow the national decision.
MIZUTANI: According to Mr SHIGA, the Emperor System should be abolished if democracy is to be attained. Consequently it may seem strange that our Party is upholding the system. Even in our party however opinions vary on the question. But on the whole, the party,
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POLITICAL SERIES 121 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
although opposed to the complete overthrow of the Emperor System, is not in favor of protecting a fudealistic and despotic monarchy. We did not express our opinion on the question before because we wished, to avoid using the Emperor question as an implement for political recovery. However, the present situation has compelled us as a party to make public our opinions.
Mr SHIGA may say that since the Emperor System is a political tool, we might as well abolish it. My reply is that it should be left alone for the same reason.
SHIGA: Mr ANDO says that 99 per cent of the Nation is in favor of the Emperor System, but who could guarantee that it will be so a year or two hence. Actually there are some who are in favor of its overthrowal. Opinions arc always changing and no situation remains unchanged, in[illegible]efinitely. Since the Emperor is the symbol of the Emperor System, unless you take a more definite stand, there is danger of the Social-Democratic Party falling into disrepute.
[illegible]ZUTANI: That may be so, but the question can not be solved by more reasoning. It must be decided on the basis of Japanese tradition and national sentiment as well. Mr ANDO refers to"99 per cent", but the first half of next year may change that figure. If the country approaches starvation there will be much outspoken criticism of the Emperor. I am against Justice Minister TWATA's opinion that such critics should be charged with lise-majeste. Criticism of the Emperor System should be entirely free. Only by correcting that which is criticized about the System is worth retaining.
"Social factors decide" said MARX. If we are to be fairly certain of eliminating the seeds of evil, we must uphold the System. I can well understand Mr SHIGA's cry for its overthrowal because he has been forced to spend 18 long years in prison. As an individual sentimant, it is quite natural, but the question ought to be considered from an objective point of view as well.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0121, 1945-12-26.
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