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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0146, 1946-01-06.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0637

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 637 DATE 6 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Japanese Bar Association Is Preparing for the Coming Trial of the First Class War Criminals - Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Jan 46. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Full Translation:
Three hundred war criminal suspects detained in SUGAMO prison are to be tried soon in the American Military Court. It is in the case of the so-called first class war guilty that the people are most interested, for the responsibility of our defeat rests on their misdeeds. Criminals who ill-treated war prisoners are now under trial, in justice-producing American courts, not in our own, unfair Japanese courts. In these free trials, under a common law, prosecutors as well as lawyers can freely debate so that we can rely on them for justice.
On the other hand, however, how many miscarriages of justice were there on the part of the Japanese prosecutor's side? Even now our Japanese lawyers are of no help to the prisoners. There are restrictions in the problem of interpretation, but how foolish it is that the accused cannot thoroughly express what he wants to say.
Let us examine, for instance, the trial of TSUCHIYA. Since he had no power to engage counsel, the head of the YOKOHAMA Bar Association, Mr. WATANABE, took steps to defend him voluntarily, but the authorities indifference was such as not to try to gather useful evidence for the prisoner at the bar. We could not help but feel very sorry at the contrast between the earnestness of the American lawyers and the indifference of the Japanese.
Although undecided, future defense counsels will be selected from the TOKYO DAIICHI Law Association, the TOKYO DAINI Law Association, the SHIHO KAIKAKU DOSHIKAI (the club of those who are planning judicial reform) and from the Imperial Lawyers' Association. They are, of course, not to be chosen by the authorities, and beside the American lawyers, two Japanese counsels are permitted to plead in each case, although only one is allowed in the third class war-guilty trials. Every bar association is preparing and undertaking to negotiate with Allied Supreme Headquarters for appointing an excellent lawyer who has a thorough knowledge of English.
Concerning this matter, Mr. TAKAHASHI, Yoshitsugu, the head of the TOKYO Lawyers' Association, said, "Bar associations have correspondence with each other and although we are carefully looking for those to plead in the coming trials, they are not decided on yet. We must first of all collect evidence and then work on an analysis of the war, expecting to reveal the war's true features. To study the procedure in the YOKOHAMA Court, we will have a preparatory meeting. The Japanese legal system,

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POLITICAL SERIES: 146 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
its view of righteousness, and its customs, will provide good material for use at the trial. Language is our great problem, but we are adapting a careful policy, pleading thoroughly with evidence and materials. We hope to fulfill our missions as private counsels, and we hope to obtain the Allied Powers' understanding on other problems, too."
ITEM 2 View on New Administrative Reform - Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Jan 46. Translator; N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
Following the policy of the former HIGASHIKUNI Cabinet in reforming administration, the present Cabinet has continued investigation chiefly through the administrative readjustment committee, and subsequently has already decided to reform the official system and reduce the number of officials on a large scale. With regard to the fundamental reform of administrative organizations, too, the Government devised a definite procedure, and as a first step, in December dissolved the Information Bureau which had been playing an active part as the central organ for controlling speech for the past five war years. Furthermore, the Cabinet meeting on 21 December decided to elevate the Board of Communications to the status of a Ministry. Moreover, it is presumed that abolition of the Welfare Ministry and the establishment of the River Improvement Ministry will be introduced at the Cabinet meeting early in January.
The administrative reform this time aims at the following points:
The greater part of our productive resources were ruined by the war, and will continue to be affected by indemnities. In view of such conditions, in order to rebuild our economic system completely, the only method left is to develop hydroelectricity and build dams similar to those of SOVIET RUSSIA, which survived the destruction of the Revolution after World War I by building dams on the River DNIEPER. The Government is determined to back the plan announced last fall by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the construction of more than 80 dams throughout the country. It further intends to reestablish the" River Improvement Ministry by merging the Public Works Bureau of the Home Ministry and the Electricity Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The Labor Union Law marked a turning point in labor administration. The labor administration will actively continue to encourage the organization of labor unions and support their actions as well as removing restrictions on labor union activities. Therefore, urgent demands exist for the re-establishment of the Labor Ministry as a controlling organ. Moreover, as the housing administration was transferred from the Welfare Ministry to the Rehabilitation Board, founded last year, the Welfare Ministry will take charge of only labor and sanitary affairs. So one stands on firm ground if one asserts that the Welfare Ministry should be incorporated into the Labor Ministry.
Regarding the raise of status of the Board of Communications, when the Munition Ministry was abolished, the sane Board planned

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POLITICAL SERIES: 146 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)

to re-establish the former Communications Ministry by taking over the administration of electricity from the Munition Ministry. However it was thought premature. Taking advantage of the administrative reform this time, the Board of Communications negotiated with the Cabinet on this problem. Consequently, administration of electricity by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry was transferred to the newly established River Improvement Ministry, and shipping administration remains in the Transportation Ministry as before. However the Board of Communications forms a Ministry by combining communication and insurance affairs, affairs of the Pension Bureau of the Cabinet, and meteorological affairs of the Transportation Ministry.
As a result of the termination of the war, the Information Bureau ended its mission as the organ controlling speech, and it was naturally considered that it should be abolished. The organization was curtailed last October owing to the necessity for a transitional medium to establish freedom of speech under the guidance of SCAP, and reorganized in order to aid free speech. But its goal had already been reached, so it was abolished on 31 December.

Nevertheless, progress of the new administrative reform has been already distorted and hindered by the foolish sectionalism and reaction of the bureaucracy. Consequently, the reestablishment of the Labor Ministry was refused as being premature. Moreover, it would fill the vacancy in the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry, which resulted from the transfer of public works administration to the newly established River Improvement ministry. The advance of the labor movement is threatened since it conflicts with the current idea that the Home Ministry, headquarters of the bureaucratic clique and police control, should take charge of labor administration.
Regarding the establishment of the River Improvement Ministry, too, the fundamental principles of its establishment had been already approved by the administrative readjustment committee before the Diet session. Nevertheless, the actual transfer of affairs was prevented by the sectionalism of the Home, Agriculture and Forestry, and Commerce and Industry Ministries; hence, it was not realized last year. On the other hand, it was decided to raise the status of the Board of Communications, a rather incidental problem.
Thus, the new administrative reform is to be effected and is on the agenda of the early January Cabinet meeting. But we fear that it would result in the reactionary strengthening of the Home Ministry and useless increase in administrative offices, because although the primary intentions seem to be progressive and constructive, the narrow-minded sectionalism of the bureaucracy has been exhibited in the course of debate. The present Cabinet established the Coal Office to meet the critical coal shortage, the Importation Office for reopening trade and imports of foodstuffs, the Rehabilitation Board and the Great East Asia War Investigation Association. Indeed, the Cabinet established many offices at every opportunity, but the national need of coal, food, and housing has not been gratified at all. Elderly officials holding high posts have been making the best of these offices for their own protection and prosperity. Furthermore, the Government announced that it would carry out the unprecedented reduction of central officials by 58 percent, and 27% of prefectural officials. Yet in readjusting the existing offices, it only reorganized the Army and Navy Ministries into the Demobilization Ministries, and the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 146 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Foreign Ministry has still not been reorganized in spite of its loss of diplomatic power. Reduction of the number of officials has been limited only to low officials. Though high officials of each Ministry, who had direct responsibility for carrying on the war, retired temporarily, they have returned to the important posts in many offices established at random. These offices seem even to have been established just to rescue these high officials. It goes without saying that organization reforms alone are not necessary for national life. Therefore, without ending the domination of these bureaucracies which increasingly promote sectionalism and abuse power, administrative reforms cannot benefit in the least. What is more, they will do harm to the reconstruction of democratic government. The sweeping away of this reactionary bureaucratic tendency to form into cliques, and sectionalism is strongly emphasized as being the first step toward administrative reform. At the same time, the reform of administrative organizations must not result in fruitless reorganization and reckless establishment of new offices which are not related to national life. An overall examination of the organization of the present Cabinet is required from the high political point of view for the reconstruction of JAPAN. We demand that the authorities concerned reflect deeply on the New Year during which JAPAN is to set out anew.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0146, 1946-01-06.
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