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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0143, 1946-01-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0626

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 626 Date: 5 Jan 46

POLITICAL SERIES: 143

ITEM 1 "The New Japan Woman Party" Has Been Formed To Solve Woman's Problems - Provincial Newspaper, Niigata Shimbun (Niigata) - 29 Dec 45. Translator: H. Kato.
Summary:
With the passage of the Women's Sufferage Bill in the last Diet, enthusiasm for participation in Government by Women is rising steadily. With the slogan of "woman's problems solved by women themselves", the New JAPAN Women's Party (SHIN NIPPON FUJIN TO), the first political association of women in this country, was formed at SEIYOKEN, UEKO, on 27 December. It is led by MIYABARA, Katsuko, 27 years old, master of the TOKYO-KUDAN School and MATSUDAIRA, Toshiko.
MIYAHIGASHI, Katsuko, was recommended for the post of president of the party, and Vicount MIMUROLO, Yoshimitsu, former Court Councillor, MATSUDAIRA, Toshiko, and YAMAMOTO, Tyuji, vice -president of the New JAPAN Party, were recommended as vice-presidents, while Prince ITIJO, Sanetaka is to be an adviser.
Meanwhile, MIYAHIGASHI, Katsuko the president, is expected to run for a TOKYO seat in the House of Representatives; at least one woman member of the party is to run from each electoral district of the country. Local branches of the party will be formed before the end of the year and candidates of the party will be formally selected. Judging from the first political party formed by women in this country, the activities of the Now JAPAN Women's Party are thus far noteworthy in all their aspects.
ITEM 2 Round Table Discussion on Democracy in JAPAN - Mainichi Shimbun - 3 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Akabane.
Summary:
Mr. YOKOTA, Kisabure: I think it is necessary to make clear the nature or fundamental idea of democracy. Although very popular, LINCOLIN's definition is succinct and precise: "Government of the people, by the people and for the people." "Government of the people" means the Government belongs to the people; that is to say, the subject of administration or Government is the people, or, in other words, sovereignty rests in the people. "Government by the people" means that the people function in the operation of state administration. In large establishments, such as modern countries, it is impossible for the people to function directly in the work of state administration, so they elect representatives in whom state administration is entrusted, parliamentary politics being a typical example. In this case, state administration is conducted by the parliament consisting of the people's representatives and a cabinet responsible to the parliament. "Government for the people" means administration conducted for the welfare and security of the people.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The first and second items are most important for the establishment of Japanese democracy. The first point is necessarily related to the Emperor system, and if the system is continued, there may arise the question: Wherein does the sovereignty lie? But the question is only of theory; there may not be much difference in practice, whatever decision is reached in this connection.
The second point encompasses many important practical problems such as the system of electing representatives, the structure and competence of the parliament, the relation between parliament and the cabinet, and their relations to the Emperor. For future JAPAN, the first point is theoretically important while the second is important in practice.
MAINICKI: What is the real nature of communism considered as a type of liberal democracy? What is the difference between democracy and democracy demanding the abolition of the Emperor system?
Mr. SHIGA, Yoshio: Japanese communists contend that they cannot do anything without considering JAPAN as a country of the world. I believe that in order to instruct the Japanese in democracy, and direct them toward creating a new Japanese history by collective effort, it may prove more important to teach them how to deal with the actual conditions in JAPAN than to start from such academic questions as the difference between democracy and communism. In short, communists contend that they are always realists.
There are the three stages in the world history of democracy. Modern democracy originated in the development of capitalism. In the nineteenth century capitalism developed rapidly, bringing about a period of transition toward the end of the century. Monopolistic capitalism was introduced in the twentieth century. Bourgeois democracy became in reality a kind of bourgeois dictatorship, which is thought to have assumed a new form due to the victories of fascism in GERMANY and militalism in JAPAN.
In regard to the second point, laborers, farmers and other workers excluded in reality from democracy in JAPAN, have risen to demand their rights. Moreover, democracy developed in the advanced countries, but the masses in colonies and semi-colonies have been oppressed racially by imperialism. These people have also risen to demand democracy for themselves. These facts constitute the contents of the new development of democracy after 1930.
Thirdly, we often hear people say that JAPAN is a special case, posing the questions of protection of national polity, or the Emperor system. But democracy in one country must have something in common with democracy in a historical sense, A "special type" of democracy has been proposed for JAPAN; therefore, true democracy has been distorted to a large extent, with the result that the historical meaning and role of democracy has been utterly ignored. For democratization of JAPAN in the full sense of the word, JAPAN must first establish the common elements by herself.
MAINICHI: Professor MIYAZAWA, please outline how Japanese democracy should be advanced.
Mr. MIYAZAWA: I believe human history is, roughly speaking, in a moral sense the process whereby rational forces conquer irrationalities In other words, irrational and unscientific forces become gradually changed into rational forces. Viewed from a broader sense, democracy is thought to be the product of such a rationality, so it may be said to be a product of scepticism. The ideas of respect for individual rights, liberty, and equality in democratic politics are thought to come from the above conception. The advancement of democracy in general, even that of JAPAN, will be propelled by rational or scientific forces.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Realization of Five Great Principles.
Mr. ABE,Yoshinari: It is doubtful whether social or political justice can be relied upon.
Mr. MIYAZAWA: Democracy is thought to offer some hope.
Mr. ABE: We must begin with the hope that democracy may be realized.
Mr. MIYAZAWA: If there is no hope, it means extreme individualism; that is to say, an attitude entirely denying the state, or politics.
Mr. ABE: Who is most conspicuous in expressing such skepticism toward modern democracy? What about MONTAGNE of FRANCE?
Mr. MIYAZAWA: I suppose such a way of thinking underlies the idea of enlightment in the eighteenth century.
Mr. ABE: Then, what about American democracy?
Mr. MIYAZAWA: Philosophically, at least, it stands opposed dogma, being, rather, a kind of skepticism.
Mr. ABE: Then it may be skepticism as a means to rationalism. Does'nt rationalism appear without denying skepticism?
Mr. MIYAZAWA: Rationalism polishes itself, keeping skepticism always at its side.
Mr. MUROBUSE, Takanobu: It is quite clear that people demand social justice. I think there can be no democracy if such self-evident concepts are not accepted.
Mr. MIYAZAWA: Even if there are several political parties, for instance, they will all insist on national justice. But even in this ease, their positions may vary on declaration of war, for instance. One party will say that starting a war is right, while another may not. The opening of war is not a self-evident fact in this case. If it is self-evident that the opening of the war is just, there is no necessity for a democratic political structure nor of any discussions, for that matter.
MAINICHI: Now let us discuss concrete means for advancing democracy.
Mr. MIZUTANI: Advancement of Japanese democracy must be made in accordance with the October Supreme Commander of Allied Powers' directive relating to human rights, in which 5 items are listed: (1) emancipation of women; (2) right of labor to organize; (3) freedom of education; (4) abolition of systems which have led to terror; and, (5) democratization of the Japanese economic structure. I think the starting point for Japanese democracy is in the faithful accomplishment of these five items.
Mr. YOKOTA: The difficulty is that under cover of the name "Japanese democracy", the essential nature of democracy may be distorted and its fundamental concepts emasculated. For example, JAPAN accepted the POTSDAM Declaration. The Allied reply to JAPAN's proposal arrived on 12 August, when deliberations were made at the Cabinet meeting, at which the following opinion is said to have been predominant:
"The reply does not demand changes in national constitution and can, accordingly, be interpreted as an acceptance of the Japanese demand.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Besides, it says that the form of government is to be decided by the free will of the Nation. There is no question on this point, as the Nation's will is always in accord with the Emperor's august will."
However, this interpretation is very arbitrary and unilateral. The difference between the national constitution and the form of government is pointed out by some constitutional scholars and can not be understood by scholars of other countries, so the above interpretation is meaningless to foreigners. Moreover, the idea that the popular will is in accordance with that of the Emperor is also meaningless. Even if it is true, the decision must rest with the people.
It is thought very likely that the above interpretation was made as an expedient with the political intention of suppressing opposition at the termination of the war. But if Japanese democracy be established similar to the "Japanese" interpretation mentioned above, it is a serious affair, involving many evils from which we have suffered much in the past.
Mr, MINOBE, Ryokichi: In regard to economic democracy, the development of labor unions will serve to realize fair distribution of income. It seems that Supreme Commander of Allied Powers is emphasizing liquidation of feudalism from the standpoint of economic democracy. But from various points of view, the actual intention of Allied Headquarters is not clear on matters pertaining to economic democracy. However, aside from Allied Headquarters intentions, it is very difficult to determine theoretically what is meant by economic democracy. Particularly, at this time when JAPAN is facing the danger of inflation and famine, fair distribution of income and property is the gist of economic democracy. But this must be performed after economic stability is regained. The creation of a property tax is considered an economically democratic measure, but even this will entail many problems. Political democracy is comparatively understandable, but economic democracy is a rather dubious point. Clarification is necessary since it influences the direction Japanese economic policy should take in the future. What is the Communist opinions on this point, Mr. SHIGA?
Mr. SHIGA: The five principles listed by Allied Headquarters are the basis for democracy in JAPAN. They suggest methods of dealing with impending inflation and imminent famine. Those problems will always trouble us in the course of democratizing JAPAN. The obstacles preventing the realization of the directive are the people who contributed to the prosecution of the war. The fourth principle is interpreted to indicate what must be removed. We Japanese must do our best to realize these five principles faithfully. The food crisis we now face will not be solved satisfactorily unless we have the co-operation and systematic participation of the people, because the Government is impotent and idle.
ITEM 3 Creation of a National Land Ministry - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Jan 46. Translator: S. Ouo.
Extracts:
The Government, with the creation of the Administrative Adjustment Deliberation Council, has been making a study of administrative reform to realize a complete reshuffle in officialdom. As the first step toward the objective they announced, late last year, the drastic reduction of the fixed number of public officials, together with the abolition of the Board of Information. The following items
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POLITICAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
are, it is said, now being taken up by the joint meeting of the Council and the Cabinet members:
1. The abolition of the Board of Information; 2. Elevation of the Board of Communication to the status of a Ministry, affiliating the Bureau of Pensions of the Cabinet and the Central Meteorological Observatory of the Transportation Ministry therewith; 3. Creation of the National Land Ministry (KOKU DO SHO) to handle public works such as the maintenance and improvement of rivers, levees and irrigation, together with matters on agrarian land reform; 4. Abolition of the Ministry of Welfare; the labor and the sanitary administrations, which the Ministry now handles, are expected to be transferred to the Home Ministry; 5 . Public roads, which at present are under the control of the Home Ministry, are to be put under the Ministry of Transportation so as to strengthen the transportation administration on land and sea.
Item one was realized through the announcement of the Government on 3 December last year, while the execution of item two should be effected before long. The difficulty lies in the creation of the Land Ministry and the transfer of the labor administration to the Home Ministry. The Administrative Adjustment Council is reportedly taking a careful attitude, insisting an avoiding disturbances and frictions. The bureaus of business affairs of the ministries concerned are eager to support a drastic reformation to give a completely new start to officialdom.
The establishment of the Land Ministry is strongly supported by some quarters in the Government in order to promote the industrial revival of our country through the concentrated power of the ministry. Meanwhile, the structures of the Foreign Ministry and the Liaison Office will be taken up for further consideration, in view of the recent trend of international politics, so as to make them suitable to the new situation. Thus, the Government is expected, early this year, to start its deliberation on the reform of these administrative structures.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0143, 1946-01-05.
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