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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0163, 1946-01-09.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0685

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 685 Date: 9 Jan 1946


ITEM 1 Powerful Development of Democratic System (6th of the series) - Mainichi Shimbun - 8 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
The following, men took part in a round table conference on the development of democracy:
ABE, Yoshishige - Director of the First High School
MIZUTANI, Chozaburo - JAPAN Social Democratic Party
SHIGA, Yoshio - JAPAN Communist Party
MIYAZAWA, Toshiyoshi - Professor at TOKYO Imperial University
MIROBUSHI, Takanobu - A Critic
MINOLE, Pyokichi - Associate Editor of the MAINICHI Shimbun
SHIGA: I ask Mr. MIZUTANI, what is your concrete idea of the adjustment and curtailment of the Emperor's prerogative?
MIZUTANI: Speaking of the existing constitution it means the deletion of Articles one to four. Article one should be amended to read that the Emperor of JAPAN holds an honary position and supervises national ceremonies in this country.
SHIGA: Then What about the question as to Who has the supreme authority?
MIZUTANI: The Social Democratic Part, adopts the view that he is the personification of the nation and the supreme power lies with the Nation, We have made it clear that it rests with neither the Emperor nor the people but with the nation. However, personally, I should like to take the view that the prerogative rests with the Emperor and the people.
SHIGA: And in what praportion?
MIZUTANI: I can hardly express it in a percentage, but like the words of "King in Parliament" of the English Constitutional Monarchical system, it means that His Majesty becomes a constituent of the Diet.
SHIGA: In ENGLAND in the operation of the Constitution the prerogative rest with the people, but where in JAPAN?
MIZUTAMI: Nor instance, the Emperor's veto has never been exercised and in substance the prerogative is in the people's hands, but I understand in form it lies with both the King and the Parliament.
SKIGA: But I doubt the advisability of separating the form from the substance.
MIZUTANI: In ENGLAND, though the supreme power lies with the people, since she is not a republic but a monarchy, according to the English interpretation of the Constitution the supreme power is in the King and the people. It is so Then the King commissions the cabinet, convenes the Parliament and internationally represents the country. With these

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POLITICAL SERIES 165 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
points in view I do not take it that the prerogative rests wholly with the people as you say.
SHIGA: Then do you really consider that the English system, where the supreme power is in form in the King but in substance in the people, should be applied to JAPAN so that the supreme power lie in substance with the people but in form with the Emperor?
MIZUTANI: As my own personal opinion, I think the prerogative both in form and substance lies with the Emperor and the people.
SKIGA: Then it is inconsistent with transplanting the English Constitutional Monarchy since you said that the form is in the King, and the substance in the people.
MIZUTANI: I ought to have said that in the case of ENGLAND too, the form and substance are found in both.
SHIGA: I have never heard that they are in both.
MURUBUSHI: In the Belgian Constitution, it is written to that effect.
SHIGA: But in Artical 25 of the Belgian Constitution it is provided that the rights are vested in the people.
NUROBUSHI: It is a legal theory and immaterial whether or not the prerogative belongs to a judicial person called a nation. The prerogative originates from the people, but, in the case of ruling, the Monarch and the people are separated and both are responsible. In ENGLAND, there is no such written constitution, but the prerogative rests supposedly in the House of commons. It has been so understood from early days so that in that country where there is no statutory constitution, the prerogative rests with the people. If it is thought proper to apply this to JAPAN, this separate principle will not do.
MIZUTANI: In actual operation the English Government is playing the role as I mentioned before but, it must be admitted that the greater power lies with the Lower House. However as long as the English political system is a constitutional Monarchy both in form and substance, I do not consider that the supreme power lies with the people.
MUROBUSHI: In the future JAPAN, it will be a question of what to do with the Emperor in a democracy. The promise of Democracy from the beginning has been the consideration of whether or not the Emperor system should, be continued.
MIZUTANI: I am entirely of the same opinion on that point. In the present revision of the Constitution, instead of revising here and there, the whole thing should be entirely rewritten from the start. That is, instead of working out how to realize democracy, under the Emperor System, I personally take the view that we should decide what should be done with the Emperor Under the democratic system. What is your conclusion, Mr. MIYSAWA?
MIYASAWA The practice of stating in the constitution that the prerogative lies with the people is a mere idea. If it is written that it rests with a Monarch, there remains no means to restrain him from grasping all the power in his hands or if it is provided that the people retain it, what can they do by merely carrying out elections once in several years? It is a mere political idea whether' it is written so or not in the Constitution, is not worthy of much attention. If it is so stimulated in the
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POLITICAL SERIES 163 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Constitution, such a provision, like a political party's platform, is no more than a declaration of an ideal. Coming to a political question, it is very hard to define the political prerogative and we cannot tell Where it actually lies.
In democratic countries like AMERICA and ENGLAND the term is rather ambiguous and it may rest with the people. But from a legal point of view it is almost impossible to say definitely where it lies in modem countries. For instance, in a monarchy, they say the monarch has the prerogative, but the Court of Justice is conducted in JAPAN in the Emperor name; so the constitution provides for it but actually the Emperor never gives a judgement. The Court of Justice discharges its function independently so that it can be said that jurisdicture is in the hands of the Court. At the moment the Emperor enacts legislation and the Diet simply participates in it. It can be said therefore that its function is only negative, but if it says no, legislation cannot be put into effect. My opinion may sound all too legal and may not meet with your approval, but as far as I am concerned I cannot say definitely where the prerogative lie:
SHIGA: Mr. MIYASAWA says that legally then the Diet says no they cannot force them to-change their vote, but actually the TOJO; Cabinet politically did so. Therefore if the question is interpreted legally
MIYASAWA: If considered in that light the prerogative is politically shifting from time to time, so that it is difficult to judge who has it in JAPAN. Roughly speaking up to now it can be said that it rested with the militarists and ZAIBATSU.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0163, 1946-01-09.
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