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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0175, 1946-01-12.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0733

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 733 Date: 12 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Outline of the House of Peers' Law - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 11 Jan 46. Translator: S. Sano.
Full Translation:
The revision of the House of Peers' Law is strongly demanded by all quarters. It is to play an important part in democratizing politics. Important opinions on the revision came out of the House of Peers itself at the last extraordinary session of the Diet.
The Government planned the revision of both Houses, and the outline of the revision of the House of Peers' Law, which has been studied since last December mainly by the Board of Legislation, was decided on at the Cabinet meeting on 8 January. The Government will base the bill for revision on this outline.
The present measure is not a fundamental revision of the Peers' system. After the resolution on constitutional revision at the extraordinary session of the Diet, which will be formed by two new Houses (the Lower House by the revised Election Law and the House of Peers by the ravised Pairs' Law), the fundamental revision of the Peers' system will be accomplished.
The main points of the present revision are as follows:
When men of the Imperial family came of age they used to be given seats in the Upper House; this system is revised, and members of the Imperial family old than 30 can be given seats by Imperial order.
Princes and marquis used to become members of the House when they became 30 years old, but this system is revised, and 30 seats of the five ranks (prince, marquis, count, viscount, and baron) will be proportionally distributed.
Nominated members of the Upper House were life members, and their number was 125, but this is revised as shown below:
100 Imperial subjects over 30 years old, who have rendered great services to the Nation or have profound learning, will be appointed by Imperial order, having been selected by a special selective organ. They must be retired from membership when they reach 65.
Four members will be chosen by mutual voting among the Imperial Acadamy members.
Imperial subjects over 30, who have been engaged for more than 10 years in agriculture, forestry, livestock raising, marine product Industry, commerce, mines, industry, transportation, medical or legal professions, etc., will be appointed by Imperial order, having been selected by a special selecting organ. The tenure of

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POLITICAL SERIES: 175 (Continued)

ITEM 1 (Continued)

these is six years, and half of each category will be reappointed in the middle of each term.
Imperial subjects who have broad views and high intelligence in the local assemblies will be appointed by Imperial Order, having been selected by the people. The memberships of these will be distributed according to population, and the tenure will be six years. In the middle of each term new members will be appointed. The "high tax" members' system will be abolished.
Article 8, the House of Peers, in answer to the Emperor's inquiry, decides on matters regarding the Peers' privileges, will abolished.
Article 13, "When articles of the Imperial Ordinace have to be rivised or enlarged, it is necesseary to pass a resolution thereon in the House of Peers," is "to be revised to "It is also necessary to pass the resolution in the House of Representatives."

ITEM 2 Twelve Imperial Princes will be purged from public offices - Minpo - 11 Jan 46. Translator: H. Naoji.
Full Translation:
It is assumed that at least 12 Imperial Princes will come under the categories of the purge directives issued by General MacARTHUR. The influence of the purge directives is so grave that the authorities of the Imperial Household Ministry are desiring measures related to them.
Following the custom in the Imperial Court since the MEIJI Restoration, all Imperial Princes, when reaching maturity, enter military careers, either in the Army or the Navy. Hence, they all came under the category of the purge directive issued by General MacARTHUR.
Twelve Imperial princes, including Prince CHICHIBU, will be dismissed or excluded from public office. Among these princes, Field Marshal Prince NASHIMOTO is now in Allied custody as a susppected war criminal, so the other Imperial princes who are to come under the category are as follows: Prince CHICHIBU, Prince TAKAMATSU, Nobuhito, Prince MIKASA, Takahito, Prince KAYA, Tsunenori, Prince KUNI, Asaakira, Prince ASAKA, Yasuhiko, Prince ASAKA, Takahiko, Prince HIGASHIKUNI, Noruhiko, Prince HIGASHIKUNI, Moviatsu, and Prince TAKEDA, Tsunenori, To these 11 Imperial princes, may be added two royal princes of descent, Prince RIO, Kon, end Prince RI, Ken Ko, so the number of the princes reaches 13.
Following the dissolution of the Army and the Navy last year, they were dismissed from their military positions. Under the latest directive they have been excluded from public office, so they will become jobless if the present condition continues. These Imperial princes have never been in military service for a living, but their living has depended upon the distribution of Imperial Household largesse. Moreover, they don't own large tracts of land, and some princes rent their palaces from the Imperial Family. Hense, if the Imperial Household assets become the object of the capital levy tax ore reparations, and the Imperial Household expenses are not taken up and disposed of in the Diet, the problem of employment of the Imperial princes will become one of the social problems in the picture. If the Red Cross and other social workers are not included in the above mentioned public offices, the Imperial princes will find their room for activity in those circles. Beside
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POLITICAL SERIES: 175 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
these facts, the Shinto priesthood is no longer a public office so it is doubtful that the Shinto circles will be suitable for their activity, especially in view of the Emperor's statement saying that he is not divine.
ITEM 3 The Revision of the Constitution (3) - Tokyo Shimbun - 11 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
Our duty in revising the Constitution lies in making it the Nation's basic law by wiping out the nationalistic religion and the militaristic atmosphere, which surrounds the Constitution, and by drawing a sharp line between politics and religion. By such a revision our Constitution, after stripping off its medieval attire, will become a modern and rational instrument. Its popularization will have far more important significance than if mare additions or deletions of individual articles are carried out.
Next in this rational basic law of the Constitution, people's rights according to the real meaning of democracy, must be firmly set forth, and for that purpose it must be stated that the power of the Nation arises from the co-operative mass of the people. The authority and function of every national organ, such as the Diet, the Government, and the judiciary, should be derived from this viewpoint. As to the details, I should be glad if you refer, as an example, to the draft by the Society for the Study of the Constitution. (KEMPO KEKYUKA), of which I am a member.
The revision of the Constitution, as stated above, cannot be put into effect unrelated to the Emperor system. I cannot, however, side with an abstract and idealistic attitude, such as exalting the Emperor system. Unless the Emperor problem is settled, the question of democracy cannot advance a step forward. Just as it is a mistake to form a fixed conception of politics and to try forcibly to fit democracy into it, so it is historically wrong to base the realization of democracy on the overthrow of the Emperor system. By dragging down the system from divinity to an abject of rational and realistic politics, a certain point of coincidence will be formed between the still deep-rooted irrational national sentiment and the rational demand of realistic politics. The readers will find a tentative plan in the draft I referred to before. At any rate, unless such a rational settlement is reached, we may tread the path of internal strife and interventions by the Occupation Forces.
The firm establishment of democracy stated as above is in itself a great cultural advance in the history of mankind in that it ensures the dignity of character and liberty for the people. At the same time we attach importance thereto, because it is an efficient method which enables a spontaneous and. lawful turn toward a new social organization. As is universally known, the present age belongs to the second stage of the development of constitutions, and the formost in the group is the SOVIET UNION's socialistic Constitution, based on "the declaration of the rights of the working and exploited peoples". Against the French Constitution which sanctifies and protects property and leaves labor to capital's exploitation, the Soviet Constitution guarantees the rights of labor and lives of the working people. This epochmaking Russian Constitution has produced a distinctive influence on the new constitutions of a chain of bourgeois neighboring countries.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 175 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The WEIMAR Constitution, which was the forerunner of the democratic constitutions, while proclaiming the public nature of economic order, put a certain limit on private property and economic freedom and admitted, though imperfectly, the people's rights of existence, labor, and culture. It provided, for agencies to dispose of labor problems on an equal footing for both labor and capital. In drafting the Constitution, in our country, which is not a socialistic nation, we cannot, of course, introduce the Russian model, but on the occasion of a revision we should at least study as a reference the WEIMAR Constitution.
Anyway, if the rivised Constitution in the present stage is devoid of the people's social and cultural rights, there will be no greater failure in the age. It would mean that we were to repeat today the errors inherent in the Constitution granted by the Emperor. Therefore, the proposed revision proclamation must be made for not only the working people's social rights but for the cultural rights appropriate for a civilized Nation. The establishment of these rights is not to supplement the deficiencies of the capitalistic society and to uphold it, but to develop a peaceful socialistic society, the seed of which will now be planted. Only when this historical social evolution is peacefully and lawfully executed by the self-determination of the masses, will the democratization of the Constitution be achieved.
ITEM 4 The announcement of the Date of Election - Nippon- Sangyo Keisai - 11 Jan 46. Translator: S. Ono.
Regarding the date of the coming election, the Home Ministry is reportedly preparing necessary steps for that announcement. The last directive of the Allied Powers, banning the militaristic leaders from surging for the election, is said to include, according to a foreign dispatch, more than twenty thousand persons. The compilation of the list of the persons to be exiled from the public service, as stipulated in the directive, is expected to take at least a month. The announcement of the date of the election, therefore, is likely to take place after 1ihe completion of the list, so as not to allow objectionable persons to run for the election.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0175, 1946-01-12.
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