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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0194, 1946-01-17.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0801

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 801 Date: 17 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Elucidation of the Emperor System (5) - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Elucidation of the Emperor System by OSATAKE, Takeshi
When the "free people's rights" movement spread over the Country at an early period of the MEIJI Era, and the demand for constitutional politics vas great, the first question that arose was the relation between the Emperor system and constitutional Government.
ITO, Hakubun, recalls in his memoirs that two diagonally opposite ideas were prevalent; one asserted the divine right of the Emperor and regarded the attempt to restrict his sovereignity as high treason, while the other favored the extreme liberalism of the NANCHESTER School. The leading persons in those times subconsciously held the opinion of the indispensability of the Emperor system whether or not it conflicted with the ideologies they zealously maintained: this is proved in the various tentative drafts of the Constitution as put forward by individuals and organizations, all of which were in accord in emphasizing the uninterrupted lineal succession of the Emperors. Those politicians or editors who ventured suggestions in drafting the Constitution, quite unlike the present progenies, had an ardent fighting spirit, undaunted by repeated imprisonments, so that it is unthinkable that the Emperor system was upheld by either the oppression of a strong power or by currying favor with the power.
Though there were many radical politicians and writers, opinion in Government circles was for the support of the Emperor system. In a memorial to the Throne, presented in 1882, IWAKURA, Tonomi, a leading statesman of the time, feared that if the people's powers were too much extended, the Emperor would always be influenced by the Diet, consequently, the Throne would be ignored and would, in the end, be detrimental to the national polity. In a subsequent memorial he went so far as to suggest that the Imperial property be made about equal with that of the Nation, so that in case the Diet went to extremes, the Imperial family might defray Army and Navy expenses from its own treasury and thus maintain the Emperor's prerogatives. Were [illegible]WAKURA to come back to this world and see the freezing of the Imperial property and dissolution of the fighting forces, he would be shocked to a second death.
When ITO, Hakubun, who was more advanced politically than IWAKURA, was ordered to EUROPE to study the constitutions of various countries, he doubted his own ability to accomplish successfully the important task assigned to him because the constitution of the day had never

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POLITICAL SERIES: 194 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
been dreamed of in JAPAN, and, naturally, the majority of the people had not the slightest idea what it was like. Besides, a constitution without democratic elements is unthinkable; such elements are not to be found in JAPAN's history.
At last he directed his steps to GERMANY, which was then noted for its strong Imperial structure and powerful military forces, where he personally looked into various matter and listened to STEIN on the subject of JAPAN's Emperor system. It seems strange, but the fact was that STEIN was surprisingly well acquainted with Japanese history, and many well-known Japanese listened attentively to what he was to say about their own country's history.
After his return from EUROPE, ITO at once set about drafting a constitution. His central idea was that during the past seven centuries sovereignty had been usurped by the successive SHOGUNATES, and now it was restored to the Emperor; but if we were to follow the English system, this sovereignty, which had been restored to the Emperor after so much effort, would again be lost in the people's hands; this vas the people's wish. Therefore, at the very beginning, of the Constitutional Conference at the Privy Council, he stated, "In European countries, where Constitutional politics are practiced, not only are the people accustomed to it, but Christianity stands at the base of it. In this country constitutional politics are entirely a new creation, while religion has no influence in sustaining popular feelings. However, we have the Imperial Household, which is not comparable to that of any of the other countries in which we must find a base for our Government."
His idea was that the basis of the Constitution should be the Imperial Family, and the Constitution vas a means to strengthen the Emperor's sovereignty. This idea was not only his own but the prevailing one at that time.
None ever dreamed that this would become the center of a debate on the Emperor system at the present time.
ITEM 2 Allied Commission Opens The Prosecution Action Against HIRATE on Atrocity Charge - Yomiuri Hochi - 15 Jan 46. Translator: H. Kato.
The trial of Captain HIRATE, Kaichi, former commander of the Prisoner of War Camp at MURORAN, in HAKODATE, HOKKAIDO, was begun by the First American Military Trial Commission, with Colonel Oliver E. TRECHTER presidency, at 0930 on 14 January in the second courtroom of the YOKOHAMA District Court. Major EVANS, chief prosecutor, revealed the charges against the Japanese guard commander and asked for the death penalty. Major EMMONDS, chief defense counsel, protested against the prosecutor's allegation of the defendant's "uncertain criminal acts." After a recess, to a query by Colonel TRECHTER, HIRATE pleaded 'not guilty" to all charges against him. Prior to the revelation of affidavits from American liberated prisoners by the prosecution, the defense counsel asked for a little time to discuss them, due to insufficient examination. The procedure by which the trial will be conducted was discussed by the prosecution and defense in a separate room. The session was reopened, and the Chief Prosecutor Major EVANS and First Lieutenant HUMPHREYS submitted to the president telephotos shoving war prisoner's treatment in JAPAN. The list of Japanese employees at the HAKODATE camp
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POLITICAL SERIES: 194 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
and ten affidavits from liberated Allied prisoners after the termination of hostilities were also submitted. These were objected to by Chief Counsel EMMONDS and Second Lieutenant ROGOL. The Commission overruled the objection by the defense and permitted the affidavits to be presented for evidence. Crime specifications were as follows:
Beating, starvation, and freezing of Allied soldier (SHATTORU);
Forging of a false official document for a death certificate.
Torture of an Allied prisoner, RATHCLIFF (26 counts).
Beating of a prisoner, WEYMOUTH (UEMISU) *
Several cases of beating of American and Allied prisoners.
Deaths of soldiers caused by lack of medical treatment.
Non-delivery of Red Cross Supplies (food, medicine, cigarettes, etc.)
Condemning of cruel acts by underlings.

ITEM 3 A United popular Front - Mimpo - 15 Jan 46. Translator: Paasche.
Great things are expected of NOZAKA of YENAN. Now, when the waves of the democratic people's front are surging skyhigh, his leadership is anticipated by all sides. The Social-Democrats turned down the Red proposals to join in a united effort, which brought them a reply to the effect that they are clearly petit, bourgeois and reactionary, and that their leading men were fascist collaborators during the war. Because of this reactionary attitude of the socialist leaders, the rank and file everywhere is up in arms against the Party center, shaking hands with the Communists. The latter encourage "the masses who wish to support real democracy to join the Communist Party," and "those who remain in the party to oppose the real reactionary policy of the leaders by establishing dissident groups all over the country for the abolition of the Emperor system, creation of a people's republic, union with the Communists, and establishment of workers' unions in all industries.
To this the Social Democrats had the following to say (KATAYAMA): "We Socialists will be able to master the situation in our own fashion. Since our outlook is different from yours, there is no need to unite for a common front. Friendship and mutual trust is needed, but the Communist stactics do not inspire these qualities."
From this it appears that unity is impossible and that, at most, co-operation between some strata of the parties is attainable. But this is not so. The goal to be fought for, a democratic revolution, is the same, therefore, unity should still be possible, Unity must come first; differences can be settled later. The fight against the reactionary nucleus of the Party can be delayed until after the real battle has been settled. Although the SCAP directives have swept away the reactionaries and militarists, we have still to put up with the same sort of bureaucratic Government because there are not enough democratic politicians to take over. The explanation is that the revolution is chiefly carried on by outside interference, whereas the people are still weak. It is all the more necessary for all democratic forces to swing into line; only then will the people themselves feel the urge to become revolutionaries.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 194 (Continued)
ITEM 4 New Chief Secretary of the Privy Council - Asahi Shimbun 15 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
Chief Secretary of the Privy Council, ISHIGURO, has been appointed Director of the Board of Legislation. Ex-Director of the Board of Legislation, MURASE Chokuyo, Member of the House of Peers, is considered the most suitable person to succeed him.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0194, 1946-01-17.
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