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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0179, 1946-01-13.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0750

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 750 Date: 13 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Mr. YAMAKAWA, Hitoshi, Advocates The Popular Front - Yomiuri Hochi - 12 Jan 46, Translator: K. Murakami.
The democratic revolution in this country has made rapid headway since the end of the war—disbanding of the Army, abolition of the military and secret police, dissolution of the ZAIBATSU, reform if the mysterious Emperor system, and [illegible]shuent of militaristic leaders. However, as yet, we are still lacking a powerful combination of democratic elements to compensate for the vacuum caused by the abolition of these systems, which still leaves national authority in the hands of reactionary forces.
The Communist and Social-Democrat Parties, which were legalized after the end of the war, are not as yet sufficiently powerful. The recent movements by labor and farmer unions as well as the progressive, cultural movements by the intelligentsia are separated and lack the necessary unification; consequently, they cannot be powerful promoters of revolution.
Under such circumstances there are many who demand the formation of a popular front. Mr. YAMAKAWA, Hitoshi, one of the eldest Socialists in the country, who has been silent since the war's termination, on 11 January advocated the immediate formation of a popular front. He called upon democratic political parties, labor unions, farmers' unions, cultural bodies, organs of expression, and fellow thinkers throughout the country, thereby creating quite a sensation. He aims at forming a solid organization of the above bodies as well as of democratic individuals, thereby avoiding dominance by a single party or clique. It is expected to be in operation soon. Initiated by his advocacy, the movement towards democracy in this country will make rapid progress under the hammer of a popular front.
ITEM 2 Moves Behind the Scenes - Tokyo Shimbun - 12 Jan 46. Translator: T. Kitayama.
Full Translation:
In the mist of the present political confusion when speculation abounds about the next political leaders, the President of the Liberal Party, HATOYAMA, stated that a secret promise to co-operate with the Social-Democrat Party was made before the inauguration of the Liberal Part; Being confronted with the issue of alliance with the Communist Party, the Social-Democrats have been placed in a complicated position. In answer, the Social-Democratic Party has stated that at present the problem of co-operation with the Liberal Party is now settled, and that the sudden release of HATOYAMA's statement was motivated by a desire to bring over the Social Democratic Party to his side, as his party is incapable of gaining political power on its own strength. Thus the Social-Democrat Party denies the rumor about co-operation with the Liberal Party.
According to HATOYAMA’s political view, SHIDEHARA's interior Cabinet

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POLITICAL SERIES: 179 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
has lost its "raison d'etre" so long as it has no positive measure to relieve the present social instability. It is a misfortune for the nation. It is most desirable that the Liberal and Social-Democrat Parties should he united in an efforts to overcome: the present political crisis.
But this view of HATOYAMA's is not the one decided upon by the majority of the Party. Some of its members are opposed to his beliefs.
MIZUTANI, HIRANO, and NISHIO of the Social-Democratic Party met HATOYAMA at a dinner party. HIRANO informally interviewed him during the New Year's holidays. If the two Parties are to join, and if HATOYAMA is nominated by the Emperor as SHIDEHARA's successor, there is no meaning to the unification of the two Parties, unless HATOYAMA is magnanimous enough in his attitude to give such positions as relate to the people's welfare to the Social-Democrat Party. If he is not liberal in the true sense of the word, confluence of the two Parties can never be achieved.
But even if this problem is settled, the Liberal Party, cannot give all welfare positions to other parties, having commitments of its own within the party. There is great difficulty lying in the way of the settlement of the problem, but in case the SHIDEHARA Cabinet should collapse, the succeeding Cabinet cannot overcome the present political difficulty without the co-operation of other parties. This is the view supported by everybody with political common sense. Moreover, the Progressive Party is now in a chaotic condition, and the possibility of a joint Cabinet of the two will be possible if a rapprochoment on various political issues can be realized.
ITEM 3 The Government Opines that the last directive of the Allied Powers does not affect the prefectural governors.- Asahi Shimbun - 12 Jan 46. Translator: S. Ono.
Full Translation:
It is reported that the Government is of the opinion that the prefectural governors, who concurrently headed the local branches of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, are not to be affected by the last SCAP directive,. The basis to support this Governmental view is that since the proper function of the governor is to serve as the chief administrator of the Ken, his holding additional status as chief of the local branch of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, etc. is to be considered as merely nominal.
ITEM 4 The Wife of Lt. General HOMMA Starts for MANILA As The First Women Defense Witness In The War Crime Trial - Asahi Shimbun - 12 Jan 46.
HOMMA, Fujiko, wife of Lieutenant General HOMMA, Masaharu, who was commander of the Japanese forces in the PHILIPPINES, will leave ATSUGI Airfield on 12 January for MANILA, where she will serve as a defense witness at the war crimes trial of her husband. She is the first women to appear before a military commission in the war crimes trials and to stand as witness for her husband. She discussed her resolution on the trial as follows:
“Defense Counsel, Captain Frank CORDES asked me to honestly tell the court that Lieutenant General HOMMA is a good family man. I told him if I could be of any use on this matter, I would gladly help him. I have not the slightest intention of asking for mercy for nay husband. I should like to have all the world know truly what sort of man HOMMA is I have faith in the trial and am not thinking now about the verdict. My husband left us his will, saying that he has committed no act unworthy of a military man. I trust the words of my husband, and he is neither a jingoist nor a
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POLITICAL SERIES: 179 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
rash militarist.
"'Armanent is for defense, not aggression.' I was told that my husband made this his motto during the Chinese Incident as well as, 'Don't burn, violate, or plunder.' I can't see why reliable men under the command of lieutenant General HOMMA committed the alleged, atrocities. It was because I believed HOMMA was always gentle and sincere that I remained at home with pride and ease. But now I keenly feel my duty and must contribute what I can at the public courtroom. If I myself lose face as a Japanese women, I shall apologize heartily. I am fully prepared to appear as the first woman witness at the trial, which is attracting world attention.
"About 12 years ago when he was in LONDON as the military attache to the embassy, I made a three-hour trip to PARIS by air with him. I don't know how long the coming trip is, but I am fully confident of appearing at the trial even the day after my arrival to MANILA. Though I am only a women in a party with some persons from SADO, my home, I feel certain that Marquis TOKUGAWA, Yorisada, former military administration adviser in the PHILIPPINES and KON, Hideomi, former correspondent with the Japanese forces in the PHILIPPINES, will stand as defense witness with me. I would never plea for my husband's life. If there were any effeminate conduct whatsoever at the trial, my husband would hate it and never allow me to be the wife of a military man."
ITEM 5 The Ministers' Activities in regard to the Premier - Asahi Shimbun - 12 Jan 46. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
Various Ministers visited Premier SHIDEHARA at his sick bed very frequently on 11 January to confer on the problem of reorganization or general resignation of the Cabinet.
First Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA visited the Premier at his private residence. Foreign Minister YOSHIDA visited him after he reported to the Throne on the political situation. During the noon recess of the Cabinet meeting Justice Minister IWATA also visited him. The Cabinet meeting was reopened at 1300 with Foreign Minister YOSHIDA joining it.
In order to ask the Premier's attitude toward the opinions of the Cabinet Ministers, Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA visited the Premier at 1405, and Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA, too, visited him at 1410, reporting to him on the progress of the Cabinet meeting. These three conversed for an hour and a half. In consequence of the discussions the Premier decided to reorganize the Cabinet. The two Ministers left the Premier's residence at 1550.
The third Cabinet meeting was opened at 1625, when the Chief Secretary reported on the Premier's decision, and all the Ministers agreed with it. The meeting adjourned after a ten-minute session.
ITEM 6 Events up to the Reorganization of the Cabinet - Asahi Shimbun -
12 Jan 46. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
The directive issued by SCAP on 4 January has exerted a serious influence upon the political situation. Consequently, activity took place in regard to discussions on reorganization or general resignation,
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POLITICAL SERIES: 179 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
but finally the Government decided to reorganize. There were three phases in the process of arriving at the decision. The Government leaned toward reorganization for the first several days, then favored the general resignation from the night of 10 January to the morning the 11th. It swung back to reorganization again in the afternoon of 11 January.
At first Premier SHIDEHARA made up his mind to change those ministers who came under the directive and to face the political situation by reorganization. Furthermore, he intended to clean up some doubtful points in the directive and decide on a concrete plan. In this way the SHIDEHARA Cabinet had intended to reorganize itself, but the reorganization did not go on smoothly because Foreign Minister YOSHIDA's visit to SCAP did not materialize and liaison went awry on account of Premier SHIDEHJRA's illness. On the other hand, some ministers urged general resignation in view of the present situation, and the deli[illegible]became more acute. As time went by, the Premier began to feel that the only thing left for him was to tender his resignation in view of the various conditions and on the ground that he did not have the heart to blame the ministers who came under the directive for their guilt by expelling them from the Cabinet. Thus he clearly expressed his desire for general resignation to Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA, who visited him on the morning of 11 January. The Chief Secretary reported on this at the extraordinary Cabinet meeting on 11 January.
Hearing this, all the ministers who came under the directive said, "It is not proper that the Cabinet should resign because of our retirement, It is useless to confuse the political situation by causing a change of Government. We demand that the Premier make up his mind to face the present conditions by reorganizing the Cabinet." Many Ministers agreed with this opinion.
Chief Secretary of the Cabinet TSUGITA with Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA visited the Premier at his home and reported to him on the opinion of the Cabinet meeting. Consequently, Premier SHIDEHARA changed his mind again and. determined to ease the situation by reorganizing the Cabinet. The Chief Secretary reported this to the Cabinet meeting at once. In this way the political situation, which has been unsettled for a week, is likely to be settled by the reorganization of the Cabinet.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0179, 1946-01-13.
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