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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0128, 1945-12-29.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0553

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 553 Date: 29 Dec 45

POLITICAL SERIES: 128

ITEM 1 Prince NASHIMOTO May be Released—Tojo's Case will be Heard in February - Provincial Newspaper-Chubu Nippon Shimbun (NAGOYA) - 23 Dec 45. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Full Translation:
According to information received in certain quarters, Prince NASHIMOTO and some other Japanese detained in SUGAMO prison as war criminal suspects will soon be released. Asked whether this is true or not, Mr. Joseph KEENAN, the Chief Prosecutor, answered as follows, though he did not say definitely if this measure would be taken or not. He said, "Unless we can have some trustworthy evidence which provides us with reasons why a person is guilty, we ought to release him. We are, therefore, closely examining Prince NASHIMOTO's case."
Another convincing report tells us that among important trials which will be opened at the begining of next February, is the case of ex-Premier TOJO and his Cabinet Ministers. It is said that SOVIET RUSSIA, ENGLAND and CHIHA have taken steps to give the Department of State in the UNITED STATES notice that they will appoint their court members and public procurators in the near future.
Some asked, "Will TOJO and his Cabinet Ministers be charged with the death of sailors at PEARL HARBOR?" Mr. Keenan Answered, "They will be prosecuted for violating an international law, and for promoting, planning and projecting the aggressive war. If they are prosecuted for the crime of murdering a certain sailor the trial will no longer be on the level of their international or universal crime. Their guilt encampasses not only a certain sailor's death, but it envolves the death and destruction of many people who were far away from JAPAN. In order to prove their guilt, we must go back to the time before the PEARL HARBOR incident, to those responsible for the occupation of CHINA and the conclusion of the Tripartite Paot, together with those who made the UNITED STATES take retaliation measures in commerce. These people will be named as war criminals responsible for the outbreak of war."
ITEM 2 People Angry Over Handling of Constitutional Revision - Tokyo Shimbun - 27 Dec 45. Translator: S. Sano.
Full Translation:
A controversy arose between the Government and the Imperial Household regarding the revision of the constitution. The Household Minister, ISHIWATA, said that the revision of the Constitution has already been turned over to the Government, but the Government asserts that it was not ordered to do so and that KONOE's draft of revision has not been accepted formally. Therefore, various conjectures are being made

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POLITICAL SERIES: 128 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
on this problem. It was realized in the discussions during the extraordinary session of the Diet that the Constitution should be democratized. But since the revision was started with such negative steps, it will be inevitable that we have a conservative revision by the Government.
Fair fundamental principles of constitutional revision, disclosed by Dr. MATSUMOTO in the Diet, were negative ones, as expected, and no changes were made on the sovereignty of the Emperor. Such negative revisions planned by the Government will not be agreed to by the people. The rebirth of democracy which is now progressing, is the result of defeat and not that of the general people's will. Theoretically, it will be well for the revision to be carried out on the Emperor's initiative, according to the provisions of the Constitution.
However, what are the facts on the Emperor System? The immense wealth of the Imperial Household, which is the material foundation of the Emperor System, was frozen as part of reparations. The Shinto-system, which is the national religion and the mental support of the Emperor System, was forbidden. Thereby, the Emperor was stripped of all his mystic veils and is truly revealed to the people. Almost everyday, we hear and read scathing criticism by foreigners on the Emperor System, Prince KONOE, was close to the Imperial Household and made every effort to defend the system, but he finally committed suicide.
It is noteworthy that opinions against the Imperial System have appeared among the people, and the combination of these opinions will be shown in the influence of the Social Democratic or Communist Parties. Justice Minister IWATA declared in the last Diet that the opinions against the Emperor System would be opposed by public opinion, but, at the same time, he also declared that opinions against the System would be punished by the provision of the lese-majesty laws. What poor logic is shown in the above!
Now the living conditions of the people grow worse daily. What government plans are being carried out to meet the people's needs? Not only are governmental officials inactive, but they retain their positions even after losing the people's trust. The capitalists aware of the urgent necessity of producing the necessities of life, are sabotaging production. Because of the shortage of coal, the Government takes all measures to recruit laborers but the most important bottleneck is the intentional sabotage by the colliery companies. Yet no measures are taken against them by the Government!
The Government is still endeavoring to revise the Constitution with the above situation as a background. What relation does the problem have to the people's living problems? The present controversy arose between the Government and the Imperial Household regarding the issue of whether an Imperial Ordinance was issued on constitutional revision or not. This is a matter deeply resented by the peoples, who feel insecure about tomorrow's problems.
ITEM 3 Japanese Military Sanctions Violating International Law - Mainichi Shimbun - 28 Dec 45. Translator: A. Kido.
Summary:
TSUCHIYA, Tatsuo, who was sentenced to penal servitude for life by the American Military Tribunal has parents, a wife, and a child, and is
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POLITICAL SERIES: 128 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
28 years old. This man, short in stature, with an entirely sunburnt face, gives at first sight the impression that he could not have done such things as he is accused of. A bodily injury resulting in death and beatings which are the crimes of TSUCHIYA, are ascribable as Japanese military sanction. This assault and battery is, from Japanese habit and ideology, apt to be made light of. The fact of TSUCHIYA's having beaten prisoners of war has been confirmed, and this assault by TSUCHIYA accelerated the death of the prisoner, though not directly. This is the point the American Military Commission could not condone. The case before us concerns not only TSUCHIYA, but the whole Japanese people, reminding them that they were quite ignorant of international laws and that the past militaristic age was quite a dark age.
ITEM 4 "JAPAN's Past on Trial" (War Crimes) - Asahi Shimbun - 28 Dec 45. Translator: Paasche.
Full Translation:
The American Military Court has decreed lifelong penal servitude for TSUCHIYA, thereby letting forth the principle underlying future trials of war criminals of this type. This lends a grave significance to the present decision. There were doubts, at first, as to how carefully the court, a military tribunal, would go into the matter, and proceedings were handled in an unexpectedly free and lively fashion. Originally defense counsels had spoken of a "paper trial", criticising a procedure based on documents, but the efforts to meet general American Court standards made a very good impression. Said Chief Counsel DICKINSON, "Not the Japanese as such are on trial here, nor the Japanese Army, but solely the defendant as an individual." Inspite of this, the fact remains, that in the judgment, the tragedy of by gone JAPAN is set off for all to see on the background of general humane morality and treaty laws. It is unknown so far, whether special prisons will be built for such convicts or whether the old buildings will serve the purpose.
ITEM 5 The Prosecution Asserts YURI's Guilt at the Second War Criminal Trial - Asahi Shimbun - 28 Dec 45. Translator: H. Kato.
Summary:
The military trial of first Lieutenant YURI, Kei, former prison commander at the ONUDA Camp in FUKUOKA-Zen was started at 1330 on 27 December in the courtroom of the YOKOHAMA District Court. Major Louis GEFFEN, prosecutor at the TSUCHIYA trial, and Colonel DICKINSON, chief defense attorney at that trial, now attended as spectators. Defendant YURI, who appeared in court followed by Military Police, wore a dark gray uniform and took a seat with composure, as military officer. Defense counsels were American, in conformity with the wishes of the defendant.
In opening the case before a packed courtroom, Major E[illegible]O[illegible]DS, chief defense counsel, successfully demanded the removal of Colonel BALL, a member of the military tribunal, on the ground that he would be unable to give a fair verdict because he had been a prisoner himself. After the oath was taken by the defendant, Major DAVIDOW, chief prosecutor, stood up to read aloud the reason for his prosecution. The defendant also stood at attention in the center of the courtroom,
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POLITICAL SERIES: 128 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
while an interpreter translated from English into Japanese. He declared himself not guilty of the prosecution's allegations, and prosecutor Major DAVIDOW, in the argument of the State, demanded the death sentence for the defendant and planned to prosecute him for the following crimes:
He committed cruel and inhuman atrocities to American war prisoners from 1943 to 1945-
1. The defendant beat an American soldier in the presence of other war prisoners; 2. The defendant allowed the war prisoner camp to become unsanitary and neglected hospital accommodations; 3. The defendant did not protect the camp against the cold and misappropriated sad withheld Red Cross supplies intended for the prisoners of war; 4. The defendant struck an American sailor until he lost consciousness and sent him to a guard room, where he starved to death.
After a recess, the trial reopened at 1520. After the exchange of documental evidence, the defense counsels demanded fair consideration for the defendant, not simply one-sided pursuit of war criminals. The day's session then closed.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0128, 1945-12-29.
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