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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0172, 1946-01-12.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0723

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 723 Date: 12 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The General Resignation of the Cabinet is Inevitable - Yomiuri Hochi - 10 Jan 46. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
The political situation, which narrowly escaped collapse on 1 January, suddenly began to move actively on the evening of the 8th and 9th, and is continuing to develop formally.
Chief of the Legislation Bureau, NARAHASHI talked with ACHESON, political advisor of SCAP, on important business for four hours on the afternoon of 8 January, spoke with commerce Minister OGASAWARA at his house till about 2200 hours the same night, and visited Premier SHIDEHARA at his private home in SETAGAYA at 1310 hours on 9 January. He also deliberated with Foreign Minister YOSHIDA and Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA, who visited the Premier almost at the same time, sitting with the Premier, who was ill in bed, for two hours. Moreover, Home Minister HOPRIKIRI visited Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA at the Premier's official residence at 1015 hours, and the Agriculture Minister also visited him at 1620 hours.
With the frequent visits among Ministers, it is felt that a decision on the future of the Cabinet has been reached. How reorganization has become impossible because of circumstances, and the emphasis of the problem has been transferred to whether or not it is possible that the Emperor will order Mr. SHIDEHARA or Mr. YOSHIDA to form a new cabinet again after the present Cabinet resigns. Thus, the unsettled political situation continued for six days since the directive was issued on 4 January, but at last the general resignation of the present Cabinet is imminent. The date of the resignation is likely to be soon, whether or not Mr. SHIDEHARA receives an Imperial mandate to form a new cabinet again, as he expects. Considering that the Premier needs a rest for a day or two, the date will be after 13 January, it is thought.
Chief of the Legislation Bureau, NARAHASHI, plainly urged the Premier twice to have the Cabinet resign in a body, and Welfare Minister ASHIDA, who returned to TOKYO in haste from KANSAI, also advised general resignation, believing that reorganization vas impossible. In such situation Messrs. SHIDEHARA, YOSHIDA, and TSUGITA, who stuck to reorganization at first, have softened their attitude and believe that they can not help out resign.
However, Messrs. SHIDEHARA and YOSHIDA are still sure that SCAP favors them, and that it is unfair to have a cabinet which consists of one party, or two execute the forthcoming general election. Besides, Prince KONOE died, Marouis KIDO retired from office, and chief retainers at the Imperial Court such as Messrs. SUZUKI, ISHIWATA, HIRAKUMA and OKADA are affected by the directive. Consequently there are no reliable persons around the Emperor. Therefore, Premier SHIDEARA sticks firmly to his intention of giving his advice

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POLITICAL SERIES: 172 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
to the Emperor. This is said to be why he planned to receive an Imperial mandate to form a new cabinet.
Messrs. NARAHASHI and ASHIDA, who advised resignation on the ground of moral obligations, do not oppose this opinion of the Premier's; and the Liberal Party, which backs Messrs NARAHASHI and ASHIDA seems to have no objection to sending Ministers from that Party to a new Cabinet if the Emperor should order Mr. SHIDEHARA to form a new cabinet. Other Ministers, such as Finance Minister SHIBUSAWA and State Minister MATSUMOTO support it as a most appropriate and wise policy to reorganize the cabinet through the form of re-issue of an Imperial command, if possible.
Thus, it has been decided to resolve the crisis by general resignation and reorganization of the cabinet by combining new influences from all circles. Only one problem is left, on the attitude of three Ministers, MATSUMURA, TAWATA and OGASAWARA from the Progressive Party. Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA says that it is possible to reorganize the cabinet as it is. If an Imperial mandate is issued, what happens to Commerce Minister OGASAWARA, who does not come under the directive? This problem is delicately related to that of whether only Liberal and Social Democrats should be asked to enter the new cabinet or not, in the case of an Imperial mandate.
Another related problem is whether the Progressive Party, too, should be asked to do so in spite of its collapsed condition. In that case, should the Liberal and Social Democratic Parties permit this? How are these problems to be regulated? This is an important problem for the future, and it is said that Messrs. MARAHASHI and OGASAWARA, laid emphasis on this problem at their talk on the evening of 8 January.
ITEM 2 Plot To Maintain Emperor System; Intentions of General Douglas MacARTHUR Not Reflected by Educational Authorities - Mimpo - 10 Jan 46. Translator: K. Onishi.
Full Translation:
On 8 January the Ministry of Finance sent a ministerial order to the presidents and principals of the schools under its direct jurisdiction, and private universities, high schools, colleges and local governors, indicated that the Imperial Rescript on "Democratization of JAPAN" announced on New Year's Day" should be reverently observed without fail" as the guiding principle of education. However, the contents of this rescript, both the denial of divine nature of the Emperor and the repetition of the Five-article Oath, are nothing but a major premise of democracy. It does not go beyond the scope of a truism, for example, that man breathes air.
The reason for the approval of this rescript by the Allies lies in the fact that "The Emperor has made clear his future position in line with liberty", as indicated also in General Douglas MacATHUR's statement, and that is all. This is as if it were his self declaration. The major premise of democracy mentioned in the rescript is of no importance, but the historical signifance of the rescript as pointed out in General Douglas MacARTHUR's statement must be deemed important.
The establishment of democracy in JAPAN should begin with the denial of the Emperor's divinity and finally with his passing out of the political sphere. This, we think, is "the Emperor's future position" meant in the General's statement. In spite of the fact that the rescript implies only historical program for the establishment of democracy, the Ministry of Education illustrated it as the guiding principle of education based on the policy of "Infallable observance of Imperial Rescript". We fail to understand the reasoning.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 172 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The Imperial Rescript should have a very strong retarding effect in school education. It is entirely wrong to adopt this rescript, which is no more than the Emperor's self-declaration, as a policy of education. If it must be taken up, after all, as one of the materials for teaching a thoroughgoing democratization of the present teachers and educational system ought to precede it.
The fact that the spech of Mr. TOKUDA, Kyuichi, a Socialist in HOKKAIDO was interrupted by the violence of students and pupils at the instigation of teachers is a good example for showing how reactionary are the present educators and educational system. The educational authorities' indoctrination into school authorities of the "infallible observance of Imperial Rescript" having such weight reveals they have no recognition of the true meaning of this rescript; on the contary, it shows nothing but the fact that they are trying to indoctrinate students with the maintenance of the Emperor system by availing themselves of the weight of a rescript.
ITEM 3 Problem of Revising Constitution - Yomiuri Hochi - 10 Jan 46. Translator: H. Naoji.
The progress of the Investigation Committee of the Constitution, dealing with one of the most important problems faced by the SHIDEHARA Cabinet, has become very important in view of present delicate political situation. That is to say, the above mentioned Committee, headed by MATSUMOTO, Minister-Without Portfolio, has endeavored to make its draft as expeditiously as possible, because of the rapid changes in the political situation. The committee held general meetings seven times since its foundation at the end of October 1945. It is likely that as a result of these deliberations the Committee made general preparations so as to be ready for future circumstances.
The outline of the draft is as follows: Chapters one through four of the present Constitution, namely those dealing with the status of the Emperor as the superintendant of sovereignty, are unchanged except the Imperial prerogative is altered in that it must be put in motion through the approval of the Diet, and that the ministers of state will be responsible to the Diet. Ambiguous points, such as the true location of sovereignty are still being discussed. However, this is nothing but the outline of the revision and the Committee is still making datailed, inquiries, about the Constitution.
Now the problem of the revision of the Constitution can be expected to develop hereafter in the following way: In the event of the resignation of the Cabinet en messe, the problem of whether or not the management, personnel, and contents of the Investigation Committee should be opened to the public, and the date of the petition of revision to the Throne will be handled by a succeeding Cabinet. However, as long as the problem of the Constitution is one of the most important problems, any succeeding Cabinet will not be permitted to procrastinate in its deliberations like the present Cabinet, even though the formal Imperial order for discussion of the Constitution is not issued.
In the event of the reorganization of the Cabinet: In case Minister MATSUMOTO remains in the Cabinet, the formal petition to the Throne for revision will take place after the submission of the recommendation on the constitution to the Privy Council. Whether the petition should be presented to the Throne at the special Diet session after the general election or at the extra-ordinary Diet session thereafter, will be decided then with reference to the general situation at that time.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 172 (Continued)
ITEM 4 Election Chief To List Prefectural Candidates - Yomiuri Hochi - 10 Jan 46. Translator: H. Naoji.
Full Translation:
The purge of the militaristic elements from the Government or public offices by General Headquarters has caused great confusion in the localities in which the existing political parties have great influence. Since eligible men are quite unknown in these localities, it is very difficult to find out who is qualified to stand, as a candidate. At the regular Cabinet meeting on 8 January, there were discussions on this subject.
As for the government's attitude on this matter, the decision that will probably be made is that election chiefs will be placed in every prefecture to decide which candidates have been made ineligible under the directive.
A list of candidates will be made and it will be sent directly to the Cabinet, without going through the Home Ministry, so that the Prime Minister can reinspect it and make the final decision. Consequently, the object of concern of the candidates is the judgment of the election chiefs and the final right of dicision which has come into the jurisdiction of the Cabinet.
ITEM 5 Conversation Of TSUGITA, Chief Secretary of the Cabinet - Asahi Shimbun - 11 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
With The Present trend of Affairs The Cabinet Will Resign en bloc.
Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA said on 11 January: "As matters are going at present, we will have to decide on every thing ourselves. What is to be made public on the evening of 10th, may not be able to be announced due to the existing state of affairs. If the circumstances are unsuitable, the Cabinet may resign in a body on 11 January."
Furthermore, Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA, in reply to the Cabinet secretariat who asked, "Will an important conference be held on the 11th?", answered, "It will be held."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0172, 1946-01-12.
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