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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0184, 1946-01-15.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0768

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 768 Date: 15 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Prompt Formation of the Popular Front is the Present Emergency - Mimpe - 13 Jan 46. Translator: S. Sano.
The SHI[illegible]RA. Cabinet has taken the step of reorganization by means of changing some ministers who have fallen because of the SCAP directive. Since its formation, the Cabinet has displayed no suitable policy on the problems of starvation, inflation, and unemployment, and have taken no appropriate measures for the general election.
In spite of the fact that it has exposed its inability to cope with current politics in JAPAN, thereby, leaving the people to conclude that the cabinet would set in, it did not resign en bloc as expected. What are the reasons for the appearance of the second reorganized SEIDEHARA Cabinet?
Premier SHIDEHARA, who was on his sick bed, did not consider reorganizing the Cabinet at first. This was clearly seen from the fact that more than a week was necessary to decide on reorganization, and that there were frequent movements in political circles pending the decision. We con conjecture that among the elements which prevailed in the Premier's mind, there was the pressure of circumstances surrounding the international political state in which JAPAN is now placed, but what must be considered more important is the people's lack of a political force in opposing the SHIDEHARA Cabinet. At the retirement of this Cabinet, considered to be the last Cabinet under feudalistic and bureaucratic control, a platical vacuum was feared. Definite popular sympathy for revolution is lacking, so the SHIDEHARA Cabinet is permitted to carry on. This indisputably gives force to the need for a popular front (JIMMIN SENS[illegible]).
The Social Democratic Party and Communist Party have been negotiating for some time on uniting. The Social Democrats have refused, and the Communists have charged elements of the social Democrats with fascist proclivities.
The Social Democrats have stated, in defense, that Communist proposals for a united front were merely political expedients, the objective of which is to increase the strength of the Communists. But now that the Cabinet will carry on, both parties have cause for retrospection.
It is reported that Mr. YAMAKWA, Hitoshi, famous Social Democratic leader, proposed the prompt formation of a popular front to each body, and to individuals of the democratic parties, labor unions, agricultural unions cultural bodies, and organs of public opinion on 11 January. Meanwhile, Mr. NOZAKA, Sanji, who has been in YENA[illegible]and has been conducting activities for peace and the emancipation of the Japanese people, is on his way to JAPAN to take part in the people's revolution. We can expect from his recent speechs as well as from his knowledge and experiences, the formation of a popular front.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 184 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
We say with conviction that the above mentioned are the first steps toward a people's revolution in JAPAN. To concentrate all the strength for the formation of a popular front is the responsibility of the progressive organizations to the working classes.
ITEM 2 To the Social Democratic and the Communist Parties - Mainichi Shimbun - 13 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation;
The new directive by SCAP has given both the Social Democratic and the Communist Parties a good chance to be more influential in the Diet, but they have begun to criticize each other severely instead of censuring the Progressive and the Liberal Parties.
Members of both parties - you owe this chance to SCAP. It was not gained by yourselves. It is as if larks fell ready roasted into your mouths. A man must be humble before such good fortunes.
Social movements by socialists and communists in JAPAN have not been severely tested. The value of left wing parties depends upon the policies you will take and the means you use to put them into practice. We think that you should stop censuring each other and show us the ideals of each party and your methods for carrying them into effect.
No one will think very much of you even though you may be successful in denouncing the other party. As I have said, the value of a party depends upon its ideals and the means of carrying them into effect. The difference in value depends upon which is more successful in moving people. You try to get a majority of votes through the negative method of making the other party lose popularity, without trying to elevate the value of your own party. This is indeed the bases method of the old parties.
You should not attract the attention of people by skillful political campaigns. You should do so be high political ideals and eagerness for putting them into practice.
(KOYAMA, Noboru)
ITEM 3 Explanation of the Emperor System - Mainichi Shimbun - 13 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
The Japanese people have never had any connection with successive Emperors. In the Japanese histories, the KOJIKI and NIHON SHOKI, the people during Emperor JIMMU's regime are described as the objects of conquest, during that of the Emperor SUJIN as the objects of tax levies; and in the subsequent ages, as impoverished people wandering about and revolting under the heavy imposition of taxes. The lord and subjects (KUN-SHIN) of the successive Imperial Families had nothing to do with commoners. The word "subjects" when used in connection with the Imperial Family meant in ancient times the officials who received fiefs from the court. It is written so in the constitution of SHOTOKU TAISHI, writes Dr. TSUDA.
The Buddhism in the NARA Era entirely excluded the people from religion, the propagation of which among the populace was strictly prohibited. In Shintoism, too, even as late as the YEDO Period, "despised people" were not allowed to be disciples of the Shrine. The people's direct worshipping of the Grand Shrine of ISE is not officially recognized even yet.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 184 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The Japanese people, despite the armed conquests and atrocities of the Imperial Family and Noblemen, quickly tilled and weaved, groaning under excessive taxes. In MANYOSHU, a song describes how the farmers while carrying rice to NARA as a tribute, died of starvation on the road. Arms, intellect, and, organization were all monopolized by the Imperial Family and nobility so that the people were unable to resist and if they wandered about they were dragged back and punished cruelly.
Lords and temples possessed vast numbers of slaves. The Japanese people of those days were either the Emperor's or noblemen's slaves or the nation's serfs and in such remote districts as the Northeast, they did not know even of the existence of the Emperors, according to what is described in NIHON SHOKI and other works. The Emperors viewed from the country as a whole were no more than the most powerful local noblemen.
In the Middle Ages an Emperor was a mere feudal lord. As the feudal lords had a king above them and they oppressed the people beneath them, so the Emperor who survived the system of slave-owning noblemen was made the head man among the feudal lords. Strife among the Imperial Houses frequently occurred resulting in warfare which fill pages of history books. The loyalty of KUSUNOKI, Masashige was nothing but his attempt to maintain the land he held as his fief, as is pointed cut by ARAI, Hakuseki.
Before the MEIJI Restoration it was the TOKUGAWA shoguns who ruled the country instead of the Emperors, as can be seen by the historical fact that the decision and enforcement of closing the country against foreigners was made by the Shogun; also on the occasion of their accession, KOREA sent special envoys of friendship but, when the Emperors were enthroned no such gesture was made.
The sense of loyalty toward the end of the Shogunate sprang up on account of a spirit of dissatisfaction among the lower classes SAMURAI against the TOKUGAWA Regime and did not much influence the merchant or farming classes. TOKUGAWA, Keiki (TN The last Shogun) in his autobiography mentions that not only the Shogun's but also the Emperor's position was jearpadized at the Restoration. This view is endersed by Sir ERNEST SATOW in his memoirs who said that there was a movement towards the abolition of the Emperor System arising from the abolition of the Shogunate. In fact a republic was set up for a time being in HOKKAIDO.
The provision in the Constitution for the divinity of the Emperor's position was worked out in extreme secrecy without the knowledge of the Japanese people. If the prople had desired it, there should have been no need of such precautions. Actually demand was high among the public for a constitution on the democratic lines of FRANCE, ENGLAND, and AMERICA.
The present question of the Emperor system is not to be solved by historians but by the Japanese people themselves. As a matter of fact, by the acceptance of the POTSDAM Declaration, the Emperor System of JAPAN has ceased to exist whether temporarily or otherwise, since the Empire is now under the rule of the Supreme Command of the Allies. If the Emperor did not know in advance about the attack on PEARL HARBOR, it means that he denied his own divinity by his own admission. The militarists, ZAIBATSU, and bureaucrats are responsible for the ruin of JAPAN and the degeneration of the Emperor System into its present state. We must look at the historical facts. The so-called upholders of the national polity have degraded JAPAN'S polity before the worlds eyes.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 184 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
In order to succeed in achieving independence and extricating ourselves from the present decay, the only way opened for us is that of democracy. Whether or not the Emperor System is most beneficial for the establishment of democracy and whether or not it is for the honor of the Emperor himself to maintain the system after plunging the country into this catastrophe, are now no longer historical and academic questions.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0184, 1946-01-15.
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