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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0160, 1946-01-09.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0678

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 678 Date: 9 Jan. 1946


ITEM 1 Discussion between BABA and HASEGAWA-Yomiuri Hochi-7 January 1946. Translator:[illegible]Y.
Full Translation:
BABA. "It was generally believed when the Land Reform Bill hade its first appearance that the agrarian class was a social class heavily exploited throughout the ages and accordingly weakened. However, conditions are much better now than they were half a year ago. Farmers have more money now, so much so that they can easily and light heartedly pay for goods with several hundred yen notes".
HASEGAWA: "The fact that farmers are rich is an evidence of social security. Social insecurity always springs from the formers, and this is true in JAPAN as in CHINA, for they are both agricultural countries. Farmer political parties do not become leftist nor rightest, which accounts for the prevalence of social security. But as witnessed in European history, the time will come in the near future when city dwellers will constitute the center of social unrest and disorder. In the modern history of Europe, revolutionary movements were initiated by city dwellers, therefore, they should be considered as urban riots and not peasants riots. We must seriously consider this tendency. Besides, the current farmers' security is in no way genuine, for it is the result of the satisfaction of their desire for a possibly unjustifiable right. If government officials continue to make table plans and satisfy themselves with such falsified conditions in farm villages, it would be impossible for us to be supplied with the rice ration of 3 go."
BABA. "Therefore, it will be appreciated if political parties, which are expected to extend into farming villages as a result of the forth coming Diet dissolution, establish measures for saving the country, including cities and towns, by uniting the farmers powers. There may be some farmers who are sneering at the city dwellers difficulties and while in ancient days the farmers rose in revolt, we now hope they rise and by their power save the Country."
HASEGAWA. "If the farmers belong to a class which holds such an important position as to assume responsibility for the national life by reason of their maintaining Japanese economy, more precisely food economy, it will be quite natural from a democratic point of view that they should become possessors of political power. If they are placed in a responsible position, participating in politics, they cannot remain idle being satisfied only with their personal stability. However, what is the actual situation? The Government and people are still demanding that farmers be faithful and obediant as in former days. This is not good. If the agrarian class forms such an important part of the social struatun that they destroy country of unfaithful, they must take political power into themselves, instead of it being given. In Europe where bourgeois politics are now prevalent, a so-called modern bourgeois has come to occupy

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POLITICAL SERIES: 160 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
the positions of sustaining, the state. The Japanese bourgeois would, by reason, be obliged, to hand over political power to the farmers. For an agricultural country, it would be reasonable to make the farmers take the reins of goverment. However JAPAN seems to be lacking the courage and scientific or moral mind to realize it."
BABA. "If it is necessary, politicians will do so".
HASEGAWA. "Things will be carried in that direction through democratic channels if the press and leading classes endeavor to introduce a favorable situation. But still a bad practice remains in Goverment circles as well as among the leading classes who demand that farmers and laborers be loyal and obedient as in feudal days. It is not democratic unless those in authority are ready to relinquish, the reins of government when they lose support by the majority of the people. No such transfer of power exists in a feudal system, where the possessor of power is constant and executed administration, both beneficially and otherwise. It is absurd to ask him to always execute positive administration, as in democratic countries; the class actually responsible for the maintenance of the country must assume its political responsibility".
BABA. "While in NAGANO Ken the other day, a roundtable meeting was held by a newspaper office, at which various persons of agricultural circles gathered. Leaders of agricultural associations were unamimous in demanding a rice ration of three go. Aparliamentarian disclosed that there were some officials in the Agricultural and Forestry Ministry, who believed in the possibility of a three go rice ration. The absentmindeoness of the Japanese community at present is caused by the fear of hunger. Men are occupied in hunting, food. When wives and children complain about the insufficiency of food it is quite natural for us abandon our work to seek rice. On the one hand there is plenty of work to be done in reconstruction, while on the other there are tens of thousands of unemployed. Lack of food is responsible for this bettleneck, which would be relieved by the increased ration of rice to three go.
HASEGAWA. "Of course, I have no objection. I hope such a policy is firmly established. The Government is now striving to have the people satisfied with present conditions through the influence of popular amusements. Such measures are reminiscent of the Government attitude during the war, when it stirred people in the execution of the war by music etc. We could not help it when the war was going on, but it is of no value for peaceful reconstruction. We must new consider the stabilization of the livelihood of the nation as a sole means of putting the people's mindat rest. If the people have the bright prospect of obtaining an increased rice ration of three go, they will surely work, feeling assured even before the arrival of rice. I hope that the press takes steps to instruct the Government and the Nation on the possibility of the distribution of a three go rice ration by establishing concrete plans through the cooperation of severed capers."
BABA. "In such a critical moment, the Government, having no confidence in itself to enable JAPAN to stand up, must retire as soon as possible and hand over the Government to any one with a firm belief as to the policy to be enforced in saving the country."
HASEGAWA. "Such a question is thought to be settled easily if the class, forming the nucleus of the country and possessing power to sustain the country not by force of arms, but by economic or cultured power is given the reins of Government. Society must be led in a way so as to make up
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POLITICAL SERIES: 160 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
such organization and institutions. If the Nation with no guiding power and no fixed public opinion, to draw in with the Government by those who have a background of so-called armed force, the nation itself is to blame and their wholesale penitence has significance. Though they say militarists and bureaucrats are wrong, I believe the people are likewise wrong. The people are responsible for the domination and high-haudedness of the former, and the lack of guidance by the press must be particularly considered. In view of the above, I think it would be better to increase the number of newspapers and force them to compete with each other".
BABA. "Newspapers now are increasing rapidly".
HASAGAWA. "I hope they are left to spontaneous development as in the past. However, magazines have been issued rapidly and are too numerous. I would rather restrict their issue".
ITEM 2 Extraordinary Cabinet meeting held yesterday-Asahi Shiimbun-7 January 1946. Translator: Shigeo Ono.
The Government held an extraordinary Cabinet meeting yesterday morning to deliberate on the issuance of two decrees in compliance with the Allied directive on the dissolution of reactionary organizations and the dismissal of military leaders from the public service. The meeting, however failed to reach final decision and it is reported, another meeting will be held soon to complete the draft. The two decrees are to be put forward in accordance with the urgent decree concerning the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration.
Of the two decrees, one concerns the dissolution of the reactionary organizations and is expected to be enacted in a few days. while the promulgation of the other dcree, concerning the dismissal of militaristic leaders from public service, is expected to be delayed two to three days, owing to the necessity of taking certain legal procedure to attain the ratification of the Privy Council, since it is connected with the House of Peers Act, the Election Law of the members of House of Representatives, and the Ordinances of limitation an id Nomination of civil officials.
ITEM 3 Directive comes as great shock-Tokyo Shimbun-7 January 1946 Translator: S. Kido.
Full Translation:
The recent Directive from MacARTHUR has given a great shock to Houses and to officials and financial circles, because it deprives them of their leading positions and prerogatives. within the Government at least four to five Cabinet ministers will be affected by the directive, or nearly all the ministers, if it a range is enlarged. About 40% of the members of the House of Peers and 30 to 40% of the members of the House of Representatives will lose their present positions. The directive gives the severest blow to the Home Ministry officials, the Premier and other leading officials of the central Government as well as the prefectural governors and others in the provinces, because more than half of them will be removed from their post as a result of the directive. The Government is scheming to shield the Cabinet ministers concerned as far as possible from the provisions of the new directive. Since its issuance Foreign Minister YOSHIDA has tried in vain to get a concrete explanation of the directive.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 160 (Continued)
ITEM 4 Cabinet Reconstruction Is Likely-Asahi Shimbun-7 January 1946. Translators: Shigeo Ono.
There was a rumor that the Government, in conformity with the Allied directive issued on 4 January would try to reconstruct the cabinet by expelling those members who came within the sphere of the directive. If the reshuffling were impossible, they would tender their resignation en bloc, or else continue with the present members asking the allied Powers to give special permission for the aferementioned cabinet members to remain in office.
At the extraordinary cabinet mating held yesterday however a decision was reached for the reconstruction of the Cabinet by requesting that unsuitable members retire; this was the opinion of the premier and all the members unanimously agreed. It has now become clear that the Government has decided to remain in power until the forthcoming election is held. The extent of the cabinet change in personnel is expected to be cleared up after official visit of the Foreign minister General Headquarters to discuss the subject.
The following are the names of the cabinet members who will probably lose their posts:
HORIKIRI, Home Minister, former chief-executive of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association;
MAEDA, Education Minister, former provincial chief of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association;
MATSUMURA, minister of Agriculture and Forestry, former head of the research bureau of the Imperial Rule assistance Political Society, former chief-executive of the Political Party of Greater Japan;
TANAKA, Minister of Transportation, former head of the Association of the members of the Lower House, who are members of the Greater JAPAN Political Association;
TSUGITA, chief-secretary of the cabinet, former executive of the political Party of Greater Japan.
ITEM 5 A purified Emperor System (Strengthening and developing democracy, part 5) Mainichi-7 January 1946. Translator: Paaschie.
HAMADA, Tensaburo (Imp. University): Under present conditions it is useful to cling to the emperor system, which has proven as practical at the end of the war as it was harmful when the war broke out. Had there been no Emperor it would probably have been impossible to end the war. At the beginning of the war the system was badly misused.
It is now certain that the Emperor or did not want war. His personal views were never published: The people were suddenly confronted with his war rescrip, approving the opening of hostilities from which they naturally crew the conclusion that he wanted war, and the militarists and bureaucrats left no stone unterned to confirm this belief, because, if the Emperor so desired, there would be nothing but blind obediance from the people. Without an Emperor public opinion would have been more free. At present it is relatively easy to maintain public order in the name of the Emperor, but I wish to stress that I am referring to present conditions only. It is certain that the mental attitude toward the Emperor or is undergoing a change.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 160 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
While there are still many people who think along the old lines regarding the Emperor, the number of those who think differently is on the increase. Of Course no one knows whether this increase will continue or where it will stop, or whether anti-monarchists will ever hold a majority in this country. We must leave that to the future.
MIZUTANI (Social Democrats): I do not believe in the Communist method of fighting the Emperor system by nationalistic moans; neither do I approve of the Liberals and the other conservatives, who want to reserve the traditional Emperor setup. Prince KONOE's statement in his diary that the old structure of the state (KOKU TAI) must be kept alive for the sake of the Country as well as for the house of KONOE is deeply significant. The unpleasa[illegible]fact emerges that the privileged classes and their mouthpicies take the same stand almost without exception. I think the Emperor question should be used as little as possible as a political weapon. In the final analysis the question should be decided by popular vote. Mr. SHIGA'S view that the Emperor system might become a breeding ground for militarism, bureaucracy, and other reactionary intrigues is not without foundation, but will Mr. SHIGA's fears be allayed if the Emperor goes? Any reading of Western history reveals the fact that in such a case a movement for restoration will develop as soon as circumstances become ripe for it. Therefore, it is better to strip the system of its harmful qualities, and give it a new lease on life. Tests have shown that even among the intelligentia, 95% support the Emperor, but it is very doubtful now long such a high percentage can be maintained. The economic situation and the growing disgust with the war may bring about a situation where powerful pressure is brought to beer in JAPAN and outside, in favor of a decision by ballot as to whether or not the Emperor system should continue. Only through such a popular decision can the system be freed from its mythological shell and a true alliance be brought about between the Emperor and the nation. If, furthermore, the economic power of the Imperial family is broken and the religious foundations of Emperor worship chattered by the abolition of state SHINTO, the Emperor will not be of a kind to inspire veneration or fear; particularly if his [illegible]vereignty is legally transferred to Parliament. We are in favor of a popular Vote; if Mr. SHIGA will use it to get rid of the Emperor, we will use it to protect his.
MUROFUSHI, Takanobu (author); The Emperor setup is all right as far as its religious aspect is concerned, but it should be kept away from politics. I am against the Social-Democrat idea of a popular vote on the subject. A party which is not in a position to supply the nation with real leadership cannot aspire to hold such a plibiscite.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0160, 1946-01-09.
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