Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0169, 1946-01-11.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0714

call-number: DS801 .S85

(View Page Image)
No. 714 Date: 11 Jan. 1946


ITEM 1 Premier's Official Residence Calm-Mainichi Shimbun-8 January 1946. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full Translation:
The nation is keenly interested to see whether the SHIDEHARA Cabinet will resign en bloc or be reorganized a result of the directive issued by Supreme Headquarters to expel from service all the war leaders.
On 7 January, four days from the day on which the directive was issued, I called at the Premier's Officials residence at [illegible]GADA-machi. Contrary to the external uneasiness here at the residence dead silence reigned over the grounds, and no sign of activity was evident except for tw[illegible]three pressmen's [illegible]tercars.
On this day the Cabinet meeting was not held. These was made their appearance at the residence were Transportation Minister TANAKA at about 1300 he [illegible]rs, State Minister with at Portfolie MATSUMOTO at [illegible]t 1330, Chief of the Legislation Buread NARA[illegible]ASAI, Chief secretary TSUCITA. At about 1500 hours, States Minister MATSUMOTO preceded to the Imperial Palace at the Emperor's request. He said nothing except that he reported to the Emperor about matters coming his nothing supervision. At the lonely entrance, the [illegible]sher had nothing to [illegible]but to yawn repeatedly.
In an interview with the Cabinet pressmen, Chief Secretary TSUGITA replied to their importunate questions, "The Cabinet is not thinking of resigning en bloc. In order to discharge his duties, the Premier, even though he be left as the last Minister will still strive to reconstur[illegible]t his Cabinet. "He continued by adding that the Premier had been suffering from pheumenia since the 26 December, and would be unable to leave his sick bed for several days to come. During the afternoon of this day, Foreign Minister YOSHIDA called on the Premier at his sick bed, and had an interview with him. But the intended visit to Supreme Headquarters was not decided on at their discussion.
The evening twilight was fast coming ever the Premier's official residence which stood silent amidst the nation's watenfulness, as still as if it were quite ignorant of the two sides to the political situation, the bright and gloomy. On the hand the political parties were taking advantage of a fair wind and on the ther the old political leaders were trembling with fear before the storm of the directive raging from Supreme Headquarters.
ITEM 2 A[illegible]alcy[illegible] [illegible]ys or Cyclons?-Tokyo Shimbun-9 January 1940. Translator: Onishi. K.
Full Translation:
On the afternoon of the 7th, when the fr[illegible]st had molted away under the mild Indian summer sunshine, I visited the private residence of the sick Prime Minister SHI[illegible]HARA, which stood at no, 1219 OKAMOTO-Ch[illegible], S[illegible]TAGAYO-Ku near the YOGA Villa of form[illegible]Minster TOJO. At the end of S[illegible]TAGAYO-

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 169 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Ku were thickets of cryptemeria and living quarters sparsely dotted the cultivated farm-land.
Within the earth-mounded nedger[illegible]covered with sunbacked grass, a row of cryptemerias of medium height serenely basked in the sun. No s[illegible]und could be heard: the calmness of the place made me chilly. The two nameplates were hanging side by side and read "Higasniyama Industry Co., Ltd", but I could not find any nameplate for the SAIDEHARA family.
His house had been burned down in an airraid. It appears that his family new accupies the whole house though they had probably just asked for shelter in some portion of the house If that is the case, the absence of his name-plate may be a token of his humble respect for the land-lord or if not, it may be due to the own character. Before [illegible]he pebbled porch a person in civilian cl[illegible]tness, but looking like a demobilized soldier, was strolling, and no one else was to be seen. What a comparison with the case of the potentate TOJO, the ex-Prime Minister. The calm simplicity made me wonder whether this was really the private residence of the Prime Minister of JAPAN.
This flat single-storied house with but a few rooms reflected nothing of the threatening cataclysm in the political world where the storm of democratic revolution was raging as the result of the militarist-purge directive of SCAP, which might lead to the downfall of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet momentarily.
In answer to the bell, the door was opened, and Mrs. HITSUKO, wife of his eldest son MICHI[illegible]RO, appeared. "Are you the Lady of the House?" I asked.
"No, I'm one of his relatives and knew nothing. Who are you? What can I do for you?" She co[illegible]terred with these questions in series as if annoyed.
I intimated that it was my desire to see the Prime Minister. To this she replied, "He has been sick in bed since the 26th of last month, and interviews are absolutely declined. I asked her his condition and she said "ask that of the secretary at the Official residence. We have some guest and I must be with them Excuse me".
She was already on the point of going in, and I hurriedly asked "[illegible]are the guests?"
She said, "None of them are of any concern to you. I need not reveal their names to you," and disappeared in a hurry. She may be loyal to her father, but there was no freedom of speech more.
My water told me it was a 1445, when we heard the screen of brakes and the sound of an [illegible]gine. In the next moment I saw a car of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stop this side of the peron. The Minister of Foreign Affairs YOSHIDA, clad in a brown over-c[illegible]at alighted from the car.
In order to decide whether the cabinet be dissolved or not he had called on the Supreme Headquarters. What was rhe result? Were prospects good for the present cabinet? His energetic face under his slouched hat MICHITARO, he hurriedly took off his sh[illegible]as.
When I accosted him saying "Minister!", he said "Not now, I've come about an important matter."
With these word he rudely kicked off his s[illegible]s several feet back and wont in. In his place, Mr. MI[illegible]HITARO replied to my questions, but while
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 169 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
we were talking Mrs. MASAKO, wife the Prime Minister, after called him away.
"Father is getting much better and there need be no more anxiety. His pheumonia[illegible]is n[illegible]w quite all right and no will b[illegible]able to leave his bed soon. He cats as usual. His temperature may be normal for a person of middle age, but as he is n[illegible]w 75 year old it is just a bit high for his age. I think. As for an interview, it is strictly pr[illegible]nibited by his chief physician, Dr. HASHI[illegible]OTO, Kambin of St. Luke's Hospital, and I ask you to refrain from seeing him".
Like the mistress of the house he tried to take refuge in the doctor's [illegible]rder.
Still, I persisted, and began again, "If I cannot be allowed to see him I request replies to my written question", I produced my written questions which were:
What do you think about the significance and effect of the Cyclone directive" given to JAPAN?
Every political party is demanding the general [illegible]esignation of the cabinet. What views do you hold against this?
What are our future prospects with regard to the political situation in JAPAN?
Michitaro went into his father's room. I waited for a few s[illegible]c[illegible]nds. He came back to me with my questions in hand as before.
He said "Father says he cannot reply."
I proposed, "I want to get a snap shot of your father now that he has regained his health."
He replied "He is still ill. How would you feel if you were asked to be photographed while sick in bed? He refuses, and besides as a courtesy to a sick person you will please refrain". He went on pontification while I was wondering "He should have recovered".
Accompanied by my photographer, I went into the back yard to see the garden. The crimson ivies looked very fine as they clung to the with concrete water-tank rising over 10 feet on the [illegible]thorn side of the plat.
On the western side of the house was the central room, [illegible]ight-mats wide, and the paper screens were opened a little, and I caught a glimose of the sick Prime Minister lying in bed. He seemed to be talking with the Foreign Minister. It was only momentary glimpse, for the nurse, most probably because she noticed us, closed the sliding screens. Mrs. MASAKO was peeping through the wire-netted glass-window of the Japanese styled room leading to the parlor on the southern side. The shadow of what appeared to be elderly maid came to the sliding deer, and opened it on finding the writer and his friend she ran into the room. By this time, a jeep had stopped before the parch, and ut came Mr. Jean LANQUET(?), and AVAS correspondent, and Mr. CHO, Jin-chu, a special correspondent of the Central CHINA Daily News for an interview with the Prime Minister.
In fluent English Mr. MICHITARO told them, "I have just declined [illegible]t admit these gentlemen, though I may take your cards". He brought back his bather's reply in the negative once again.
The talks between the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister seemed still to be continueing. The Foreign Minister's driver had opened a news paper and began to read as if he were picking [illegible]ut characters signally.
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 169 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Amendment of House of Peers Ordinance-Asahi-10 January 1946. Translator: D. Paache.
Intending to provide a basis for democracy-building, the Government has not only facilitated the election [illegible]f new [illegible]en through the revised election law but has like wise taken up the issue of the House of Peers reform. Discussions within the bureau of Legislation were speeded up and on 8 January a bill for upper House reform was laid before the Cabinet providing for a fixed number of members and periods of tenure. More fundamental preplans such as the eventual abolition of members belonging to the [illegible]bilit[illegible]or a change [illegible]f appellation of the House must be left to the new constitution for solution: Considerable reduction in the number [illegible]f peers, establishment of an organ reflecting the[illegible]niews of the people on members to be nominated by Imperial appointment, abolition of representative of the highest tax payers and appointment of members representing districts and professions; appointment of the president of the Supreme Court through Imperial nomination as a result of the enhanced importance of the course following the Imperial reforms; abolition of the one-sided Upper House prerogative by a[illegible]cendin article 13; henceforth the sanction of the Lower House is required for amendments to the Upper House Law.
The Upper House will [illegible]ceforth consist of the following groups of members: 1. over 30 years of age, Imperial family members to be appointed by the Emperor; 2. Not more than 30 members belonging to the nobility to be elected by the peers; 3. Imperial [illegible]miness; of 125 members outstanding for Government service of or scientific accomplishments, to be selected by a special organ. This organ may consist for instance, of the presidents and vice presidents of the Upper House, the Diet and the Privy Council, two ministers with at p[illegible]rft[illegible]lie and the president of the Suppre[illegible]Court. The persons selected by this committee will resign from office when their age exceeds 65. If they are over 60 at the time of appointment. Their tenure will not exceed five years. The same applies to [illegible]eappointment. b) The Imperial Academy will nominate four persons for six years. c) persons who have been in professional life over 10 years. d) 120 members for six years to be recruited from the city Council of TOKYO and the councils of the prefectures and other administrative units down to the villages in proportion to their importance in terms of inhabitants. 2) The members of the Upper House cannot concurrently be officials and members of district councils. 3) Art. 8 of the original House of Peers Act concerning the privileges of the nobility is abrogated the on the request of the Emperor. 4) Article 13 of the original Act concerning the procedure for amendments of the Act will be amended in so far as that in the future apart from the decision of the Upper House a corresponding decision by the Diet will be required.
ITEM 4 House of Peers Reform-Asahi-10 January 1946. Translator: P. Peacne.
The present Government plan for upper House reform is not exceeding the bounds of the Constitution and is consequently provisional. It must be admitted that the Government has made an effort to ingratiate itself with public spinion. Since article 34 of the Constitution expressly mentions Upper House members belonging to the nobility, it was not possible to crop them altogether and some had to be retained for display purposes. Nor could the appellation of the H[illegible]be changed. Therefore, more fundmental Amendment must be postponed until constitutional reform is completed. Henceforth, since the Diet will have a share in legisla
- 4 -

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 169 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
tion affecting the Upper House Law, the people will be consulted on matters which were hit[illegible]rte reserved for the House of Peers Members belonging to the Imperial family must hence forth be over 30 years of age. Members belonging to the nobility are restricted to 30 (from about 200), so that the very name of the Rouse will be obsolete. Members representing the professions will number up to 24 (so far 6) and those from the districts up to 120 (so far 100). The establishment of an organ controlling selection of Imperial nominees is very remarkable. These persons were formerly life members but will now cease to be so. The tenure of the four members nominated by the Imperial Academy thus far restricted to one year; it will now be 6 years. It is surprising that only 24 members will represent the professions, considering the fact that public opinion is demanding an upper House consisting solely of members representing the professional life of the country. These point will have to be investigated again. The total number of members is reduced to 303 from the present 396. As regards the course a future more par reaching Upper House reform should take, it should be kept in mind that total abolition of members representing the nobility is desirable as well as limitation of Upper House prerogatives which exceeds the limitation imposed on the Diet.
- 5 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0169, 1946-01-11.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only