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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0151, 1946-01-07.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0651

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 651 Date: 7 Jan 46.


ITEM 1 Issuance of Imperial Rescript - Mimpo - 5 Jan 46. Translator: T. Kitayama.
At the beginning of 1946, an unprecedented Imperial Rescript was issued. General MacARTHUR made commendatory remarks on this Rescript, saying that "the Emperor difines his status henceforth along a democratic line, and is expecting to play a guiding role in the democratization of the Japanese people". Then, what does this Rescript mean at the present stage of Japanese democratization, and what sort of a role is it going to fulfill or will it be able to discharge? The first question concerning this is the consideration of the general Political situation which led to the issuance of the Rescript at this particular period.
Toward the end of last year, Allied Forces Headquarters, after it had issued the directive to abolish State Shinto, announced that the outline of the democratization of JAPAN had been completed. Prior to this, HIROTA, KONOE, HIRAEUMA, KIDO and other leaders besides Prince NASHIMOTO were arrested as war criminals. Headquarters, at the time when it issued the directive of the abolition of State Shinto, made an important statement that "the present Emperor System will disappear." We need to remind ourselves of this significant fact. On the other hand, discussions on the problem of the Emperor's was responsibility are becoming more heated among the Allied Nations as well as among the Japans people. From the objective viewpoint, it must be understood that the issuance of the Rescript is the result of the present political situation. This is also true of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet, which, under the rigorous super vision of General MacARTHUR, is obliged to carry out the rivisions of the Labor Union Law, the Revised Election Law and the Farm Land Law, The contents of the Rescript comprises:
Denial of the Government's political aim of uniting the Emperor with the people merely by means of mythology and tradition.
Denial that the Emperor is divine.
Denial of the concept that the Japanese are a chosen people of the world's nations, and in consequence their right to rule over the world.

These three points coincide with the conception of the Allied Nations, and therefore with the directive from Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. It is natural that General MacARTHUR feels satisfied in this connection. He is, so to speak, a drafter of a bill, and the Emperor is an andorser of it. Only this bill is negotiable without endorsement. The Nation is indignant with the

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POLITICAL SERIES: 151 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
fact that such a negotiable bill has been kept from circulation by the hitherto predominant military clique and bureaucratic classes, and the people are prepared to impeach such circles. The mythological, militarisic, and feudalistic Emperor system was nothing but an arbitrary structure. The Emperor himself intends to break down this structure. The Emperor in his Rescript ordered the Government to take every possible measure to alleviate the sufferings and hardships of the people. We are, however, in great doubt whether the SHIDEWARA Cabinet is capable of meeting the Imperial demands when cast a glance on the shilly-shallying of the Cabinet authorities in connection with the post-bellum administration. They have been and still are virtually sabotaging various fields. Their mental inertia is notorious. They said, that they would, guarantee the security of the people's livelihood, and yet what have they done in this respect? They have done nothing to save the people from hunger caused, by inflation.
In order that the Japanese people may be "united in their civic life and arouse a spirit of tolerance by mutual help," they must, first of all, discriminate between their friends and enemies by punishing war criminals. There are some people who are apt to think that the war criminals are those who committed criminal acts against the Allied States only, and not against the Nation itself. Such people are easily utilized by the old governing circles for the concelment of war criminals. We must keep a constant watch Government authorities to prevent lukewarm political measures and activities.
ITEM 2 A Proposed Plan of New Constitution - Tokyo Shimbun - 5 Jan 46. Translator: P. R. Aoki.
The following, article is a report on a study of the constitutional reform published, by Mr. SUZUKI, Y., of a constitution study group organized on 6 November by such scholars as Dr. TAKANO, Nessrs, SUGIMORI, MORITO, ITWABUCHI and MUROBUSE. The study group sincerely invites criticism and revision of its outline draft by the general public
I. The Sovereignty
A republic is the ideal form of national constitution for a government based on democratic principles. For JAPAN the present moment is a God-given chance to get free from the Emperor System. If left as it is, there is danger of its becoming the play ball of reactionary influences again. Moreover, the decisive change of national construction will be an important, moment of mental awakening for the Japanese people who have long been accustomed to more or less despotic rules. But the final result of discussions among the members was that the time is a little too early for the abolition of the Emperor System, and as a transitional step the group arrived at the following conclusions:
The sovereign right of the nation shall rest on the people.
The Emperor shall not direct the political and administrative affairs of the nation. The cabinet shall be charged with the final responsibility of political administration.
Inspired by trust of the people, the Emperor shall conduct ceremonial affairs of national interest.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 151 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)
The accession to the throne of the Emperor shall be subjected to the approval of the Diet.
A regency may be institued with the approval of the Diet.

II. Rights and Duties of the People.
In the present constitution there no term like "people", but it treats them singularly as the "subjects". Such feudalistic ideas must be abolished. Similarly, other feudalistic survivals like the peerage system must be prohibited by the constitution.
In the new constitution the free right of the people must be guaranteed without reservation. Under the presents stem reservation are attached to all rights. Also, freedom of speech, study, artistic work and religions belief must be assured with expressed constitutional remedies against violations.
Likewise, the people's right of petition, drafting laws, and that of referendum must be assured. Such actions of the people are necessary for protection against injurious actions or inactions on the part of the Diet.
The new constitution must assure the right to work, and the right to enjoy a healthful, comfortable life. For this purpose the constitution may establish the eight hour day and industrial and old age compensation systems. At the same time, the new constitution must embody the duties of the people to work and co-operate for the establishment and maintenance of an amenable, democratic society.
ITEM 3 All Hopes for the Election Swept Away The Progressives on the Verge of Total Collapse - Yomiuri-Hochi - 5 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weillar.
Until a moment ago some, were trembling in their shoes while others were acting boldly. The partymen's psychology, facing the general election, is complicated and mysterious. The directive struck the regressive Party a heavy blow as this party, among all the others, was most ambitious in expecting a majority, and dreamed of being the major political power in the new Diet. At the party's recently opened office at GINZA NISHI S, Messrs. TOGO, Miroru, KIYOSHI, Hiroshi, KOYAMA, Kuranosuka and MATSUMURA, Kozo, were making plans. If the directive were put into execution, the party would be on the verge of total collapse.
"If even the leaders of the former NIPPON SEIJIKAI were to be included in the 'cleansing', nearly all those who were scheduled for candidates would have to be changed. Until something concrete is know I cannot say anything", said Mr. TOGO, looking at the directive's memo shown by our reporter. And he added: "I should like 'Revision of the Civil Code' placed on the party's platform."
Mrs. YOSHIOKA, Yayoi and Mrs. KORA, Tomiku, who care into the office, turned pale at the news, and asked, "Can politics be possible if so many man are dismissed?" These ladies are going forward as women candidates of the Progressive Party, now on the point of disintegration. Acting bravely, Mrs. KORA remarked,
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POLITICAL SERIES: 151 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
"If the master of the house is bankrupt, the wife must work instead. If men are excluded, women will take their place." Whether she spoke ironically or not nobody knows. Going over to the members' list she read aloud, "Those who have no hope since they are professional soldiers are YASAMI, Saburo and KANWA, Kenwa. If councilors are effected, then YORIMOTO, Yoshiaki will also be included, and KANEMITSU is connected with the JAPAN Political Party. There are so many others that I cannot count them. At any rate, there are 22 men who were there at the foundation of the association." Then she abruptly stopped counting.
At the Social Democratic Party's headquarters at the back of SHIMASHI Station, Mr. HIRANO, Rikizo, who is in charge of the election was in high spirits. He said, "Now that the Progresses are going to pieces and the Liberals collapsing, our Party will advance steadily. There may be a few who are affected because belonging to the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, but as a whole the Social Democrats will win through. There may now be a chance of our becoming the majority party."
Mr. FUJIWARA, Shigetaro and YOKOYAHA, Kenkichi, came in just then. "What will be our fate as we are officers on the reserve list?" they anxiously asked. The office was full of laughter, everybody saying that the time has come for the Social Democrats to gain nation-wide advancement.
ITEM 4 Reaction of the parties to SCAP directives concerning nationalistic bodies. - Yomiuri Hochi-5 Jan 46. Translator: Paasche.
TOKUDA (Communist): "The Allied Headquarters' directives mean that a war of extermination has started against war criminals who were still holding out in all strata of Japanese society. This implies that the claims of our party were justified. I believe the range of application for the present directives is extremely broad and the persons affected are to be found in the Privy Council, the Cabinet, both houses of parliament, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and among prefectural governors and district heads. Since practically the entire police personnel were tools of the Special Police, all of them must go, to be replaced by new men. Outside the big cities, groups representing what remains of militarism are still firmly entrenched and must be weeded out. Not only the Allied Army but all the Japanese people must watch over the execution of the new order. In the interest of the birth of a new country, subtle government sabotage must cease."
KATAYAMA (Social Democrat): "Owing to the new orders, people who have been politically active in the past will leave the political limelights although they should have resigned of their own accord after the way ended. Since the Imperial Rull Assistance Association men in the Diet had become thorough by government stooges during the war it is only natural that they now be disposed of. Prefecture governors, etc., are another sat of people who find themselves on the list. They co-operated with the police in stifling the voice of the people, and misused their special powers for governing their districts like so many bosses. Their bad deeds, therefore, equal those of the national authorities. The fact that the present government harbors people who are on the list and that the same government is in charge of the general elections is a stain on the shield of democracy."
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POLITICS SERIES: 151 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
KAWANO (Liberal): "I am unable to appraise the situation objectively, but it is certain that this directive has cleared that atmosphere somewhat. For JAPAN, it is absolutely necessary that the old gang who led the country in war be swept away. Our party arbors very few of such persons. It is very regrettable that the government has waited for action to be taken by the Occupation Army for measures that were called for from the outset. The responsibility for this must be laid at the door of the present cabinet.
MACHIDA (Progressive): "We have to sea to what extent the term 'national official' in the directive will be applied. When that is cleared those of our party who remain should carry to our party platform. The majority of the party nucleus will probably be unable to be active politically, but I believe the spirit of our group will be carried on by new men."
ITEM 5 Voices on the Street on the Allied Directive - Mainichi Shimbun - 5 Jan 46. Translator: K. Murakami.
On 4 January, a newspaper extra appeared on the street announcing an important Allied directive. Girls were dressed in gaudy colors and mobs swarmed around black markets; everyone was in high spirits. However, they all were much surprised at the extra. As they read it, growing calmer, they thought, "What should come has come."
At UAEO Station, a man in a sack-coat in a line of people waiting for the 4:40 afternoon train for OYAMA, was reading the sheet over again. Asked for his opinion, he said nothing. When further asked, "What is your, profession?" he pointed to the item concerning professional soldiers, smiling in a melancholy way, and said, "A professional soldier cannot occupy any public post, you see. If he can enter village offices or agricultural societies, I will become a tradsman."
An official of a certain ministry standing near said, "All higher officials will resign, leaving young, steady persons in their place. This is very good, but I am doubtful whether young people can cover such a big vacancy caused by the mass resignation of the old of officials. No", he continued, "I am sure they can. Old statesmen cannot get away from feudalism. This directive is just what we need for rebuilding a happy ration under the leadership of new cultural persons. This is a problem which should have been settled in the last Diet before the directive was issued. Statesmen who could not do so are now being dismissed. Now in the general election, we will be at a loss as to whom to select. Young statesmen will, however, endeavor to re-establish a new JAPAN, and should overlook the mistakes they will make in the beginning."
Listening to his words, a man the way home from CENTRAL CHINA murmured with an expressionless face, "I dislike war. I will, lead a farmer's life." People around him suddenly became quiet.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0151, 1946-01-07.
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