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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0132, 1945-12-30.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0572

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 572 Date: 30 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Women and Politics: The Jury System, by Kimura, Komeji - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku Shimbun (Sendai) - 25 Dec 45. Translator: Paasche.
The elimination of all obstacles in the way of democratic rebirth is sti[illegible]ted in article 10 of the POTSDAM Declaration. The strict observance of the Declaration is the sine qua non for the job of rebuilding JAPAN. In this connection the problem of the jury system has to be brought up.
It originated in ENGLAND and was imported into FRANCE and GERMANY during the revolution of 1791 and 1848 respectively. From there it spread to all the countries of the world. After World War I it found its way into the constitutions of such newly established democracies as AUSTRIA and PO[illegible]AND. The American constitution mentions it in article 3, as a fundamental right.
When democratic sentiment swept JAFAN after World War I, the HARA cabinet went to work on the jury system in 1919. In 1923 it was legalized by Law No. 50, but only on 1 October 1928 was the system completely put into practice. It has been in use ever since; however, around the middle of the war in Greater East ASIA, during April 1943, it was temporarily suspended and has since not been reinstated. According to the suspending ordinance, the jury system was to be renewed after the conclusion of the war of Greater East ASIA through an Imperial ordinance. This revival is now generally desired.
ITEM 2 How Will Women Vote? - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku Shimbun (Sendai) - 25 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
There are two opposing views, pessimistic and optimistic, as to how the 20,920,000 newly enfranchised women will effectively put into use their newly won privilege. Opinions wore solicited from the principal parties on this question, and the following are their answers:
NAKINO, Ryozo (Liberal Party): "Importance should of course be attached to the fact that there are more women voters than men, but under the present conditions it is doubtful whether the voters attach much importance to the ratio. It is feared that a considerable number will give up voting, especially among the farming community. As it is the first time they will vote, and because they lack political training, the abstention per cent will be high. Our party is regarding the coming election as political training for the women. Women candidates are expected to run, but have not yet been selected. It appears that women will vote for men rather than their own sex."
KUROKAWA, Torizo (Co-operative Party): "Since this is the first time women will vote, I cannot conjecture as to how many will abstain, but it is certain that the per cent will be higher in the country than in

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POLITICAL SERIES: 132 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
towns, and roughly speaking, 50 per cent will be an average. As our party was formed Late and although we have plans, we are short of help, so we are not going to campaign for women voters. When the campaign starts, we will mobilize women orators to address those of their own sex."
HIRANO, Rikizo (Social-Democratic Party): "We are expecting an adequate number of women's ballots. The stringency of our daily life is so extensive that women, who are in charge of the larder, must be feeling the strain far keener than men. Therefore, vie intend to appeal to women under the slogan of one vote from each woman, allying politics with the kitchen. As our Party is emphasizing an economic policy, we have a brighter hope for women's voting than any other party. We must hammer into their heads what effect their votes will give to the progress of our mutual life, and we must disseminate the real meaning of women's suffrage. I believe the abstention will be 20 or 30 per cent."
Mrs. [illegible]TO, Akiko (Communist Party): "In order to overcome the food [illegible], we must not depend on the Government. The control of food and [illegible]daily neccessaries must be undertaken by the public, one [illegible]of which is made up of women. So it is obvious that women must positively join organizations and be informed of the fact that their participation in politics is the only way out of the present crisis. Anyhow, through the coming election women must be made to realize that they can build and promote their own position by their own ballots. If they become conscious of this fact, abstention will automatically be minimized.
ITEM 3 Destruction of Absolute Monarchy; Constitutional Monarchy is a different question - Asahi Shimbun - 29 Dec 45. Translator: Paasche.
Full Translation:
The attitude taken by SCAP on the Emperor System in today's message is to be understood as pointing out that militaristic and bureaucratic absolutism, which hitherto ruled JAPAN, must be swept aside. The Emperor has ceased to be a god or an object of philosophic speculation.
However, a consitutional monarchy based on new, democratic premises is a different problem, as was recently pointed out by a SCAP spokesman during a gathering of journalists. Japanese democracy need not necessarily fit into a definite scheme since there are various modes of democratic government. In BRITAIN the king is without actual power, and then there are the American and Soviet types of democracy. On 28 December, it was further, made clear that the Emperor System to be eliminated is only the autocratic type, not the system as such. Also, the POTSDAN Declaration stated that the ultimate form of government in JAPAN should be decided upon by the people themselves. So far, no SCAP publication has prohibited the existence of a democratic monarchy in this country.
ITEM 4 The Formation of the Japanese Democratic League - Mimpo - 29 Dec 45. Translator; H. Kato.
The Japanese Democratic league ([illegible]INSHUSHUGI RE[illegible]EI), which has been formed to rebuild a now JAPAN by democratic means, hold its inaugural meeting on 27 December at office 5, NISHI-GINZA, KYOBASHI-Ku, TOKYO. The league will establish a free chair in alternate universities, as a definite plan, and will hold rallies and organize societies for the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 132 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
study and publishing of works on politics, economy, culture, etc, in order to improve the culture of the public at large.
ITEM 5 Possibility of a Women's Cabinet - Tokyo Shimbun - 29 Dec 45. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full Translation:
The defeat in the war has forced the Japanese men from the compulsory conscription system, and they are not responsible for services in the Army or in the Navy. Is it unreasonable to think the loss of responsibility means the loss of governing power? Though men have thus lost their ruling power, they continue to act as if it remained in their hand, and women consider such an abnormality as a matter of course.
To cite[illegible]n instance, men are allowed special distribution of sake and to[illegible] [illegible]uring the war, the Japanese men above 20 years of age had sake [illegible] [illegible]obacco specially distributed to them, while women wore not given [illegible]hing like this. Women uttered not a word of dissatisfaction [illegible]such unequal treatment by the authorities concerned. The [illegible]. I think, because men shouldered the responsibility of military service, and women had heartfelt thankfulness for it.
It is a wonder, however, that such a system continues to exist even after the end of the war, and there is no one who is ready to amend it. Unfortunately I have not heard of one instance in which men apologized to women, expressing their sorrow for having caused them great hardships. I dare say this is not the take in which women suffrage should be a problem. Men should reflect on their own failure in bringing such results to pass, and should retire from leadership. They should help organize a women's cabinet and endeavour to co-operate with women.
It is not rare in JAPAN that a family moots bankruptcy, and the master retires to be replaced by the mistress, who, by virtue of her efforts, restores the family to its for or prosperity. A family is a miniature of the Nation. If all the mistresses in JAPAN gird up their loins at this critical time and energetically put forth their strength, which they have been unwillingly forced to suppress, they will be sure to become so powerful that they can tide over the present crisis without much difficulty. There are many women who are amply qualified for cabinet members, such as SAKANISHI, Shio; YOSHIOKA, Yayoi; ICKIKAWA, Fusae; YA[illegible]ATAKA, Shigeri; KAWASAKI, Natsu; OKU, Umeo; KIUCHI, Kyo; KUFUSHIRO, Ochimi; KA[illegible]ICHIKA, Ichiko; ASAIDA, Sumiko, etc. This is all that I want of politics.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0132, 1945-12-30.
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