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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0196, 1946-01-17.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0808

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No.<strong> </strong>808 Date: 17 Jan 46


ITEM 1 MITSUCHI Clarifys his Intention Regarding Reorganization of Officials Affected by the Allied Directive - Asahi Shimbun - 16 Jan 46. Translator : S. One.
MISSUCHI, Home Minister, who disclosed, at a press conference, his decision for the swift carrying out of the latest directive of the Allied Powers concerning reorganization of personnel within the Ministry, clarified his intentions at a Cabinet meeting held yesterday. He stated that he would leave it to the voluntary judgment of his subordinates whether or not they resign from the jobs they now hold. This is expedient due to the difficulty of drawing a clear line as to how many of them are to be affected by the directive; other Cabinet members agreed with this. Accordingly, instructions to this effect were sent to the quarters concerned.
The Minister, directly after adjournment of the Cabinet meeting, held a press conference to clarify his attitude with regard to the problem, the gist of which is as follows:
(Q:) Why does the Government hesitate to announce the number of officials to be affected by the directive?
(A:) The directive could be interpreted in various ways. We find it difficult to reach a definite conclusion.
(Q:) Are you going to accept all the resignations if tendered?
(A:) Yes, if some one who is not affected should resign we may re-nominate him at a later date.
(Q:) What are you going to do when some one definitely affected is reluctant to resign?
(A:) We can not go into that just now.
(Q:) How many have resigned up to now?
(A:) I was informed that a certain number of officials have already submitted resignations.
ITEM 2 A Woman's Voice on Enabling Women to Vote - Provincial Newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (Nagano) - 14 Jan 46. Translator: S. Sano.
Full Translation:
The first general election since the recognition of women's suffrage i now at hand. The woman who is busy with the everyday affairs of life, despite the fact that she is interested in the election, will be inclined to abstain from voting because of the distance of the polling place or the complicated formalities of voting. To prevent this, I want to

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POLITICAL SERIES: 186 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
advocate a new measure. That is, a voting box, which is locked like a money savings box, would be taken from house to house by a member of the Neighborhood Association and every woman could out her vote into the box.
Policemen and village or town heads should keep a vigilant eye on the voting for at present it is merely a scene from the feudal ages. I sincerely look forward to prompt judgement on the part of the authorities on this problem.
ITEM 3 The Mission of the Reorganized Cabinet - Provincial Newspaper Niigata Nippo (Niigata) - 14 Jan 46. Translator: N. Tachibana.
The SHIDEHARA Cabinet experienced difficulties in its reorganization, but it must be remembered that all parties demanded the general resignation of the Cabinet. Now the Cabinet, more than ever before, is required to know its own status and mission in order to win the confidence of Allied Headquarters and to carry out urgent policies without hesitation.
The Government must first faithfully carry out Allied directives for a political clean-up. For this reason it is necessary to prevent those who are affected by the directive from standing as candidates in the general election and to definitely determine the next Cabinet. Together with the measures for the general election the Government must change the prefectural governors, who are affected by the directive, and therewith democratize local administration. We rely on Home Minister MITSUCHI's ability. We also demand that the Government quickly draft laws for the election of prefectural governors and bring them before the forthcoming special Diet.
Second, the Government is urged to take up fundamental measures for dealing with the food problem, because we shall face a critical situation because there is no rationing of foodstuffs and also because only 23 per cent of the allotted quantity of rice was provided upto 31 December. It is impossible to remove political and social uneasiness and to habilitate industries without solving the food problem. Former agriculture Minister MATSUMURA submitted the draft of a scheme for obtaining rice from the farmers at the Cabinet meeting and asked for its approval. We expect the new Minister, FUKUSHIMA, to take more positive measures along this line.
Third, we demand that the Government take drastic measures against an inflation which is causing social uneasiness. Indeed, the Government discussed urgent measures for dealing with this problem at the Cabinet meeting on 5 January, but it is necessary to take urgent and appropriate measures by doing away with the lukewarm attitude of the interim Cabinet. We reply on Finance Minister SHIBUSAWA to take appropriate measures.
Fourth, the problem of the revision of the constitution is the important mission of this Cabinet. In view of the fact that State Minister MATSUMOTO, who is said to be affected by the directive, is remaining in office, we take a serious view of this problem because of the pledge that the Cabinet made, both at home an abroad.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 196 (Conitinued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Fifth, as this Cabinet is destined to hand over the reins of Government after the general election, at must decide on a body to advise the Emperor in appointing the next Premier. Moreover, we demand that the Government reform the higher political organizations by disposing of Grand Chamberlain FUJITA and President of the Privy Council SUZUKI, who are affected by the directive, and that they carry out the general principles of reforming the House of Peers Ordinance, which was agreed upon at the Cabinet meeting on 8 January.
ITEM 4 "The Truth About The Surrender" - Diary of SAKOMIZU, Hisatsune, Secretary to the SUZUKI Cabinet ( Part 3 ) - Asahi" Shimbun - 16 Jan 46.Translator: Paasche.
I was of the opinion that the SUZUKI Cabinet should seek peace through the good offices of the SOVIET UNION. Since this failed, the Cabinet could, theoretically, retire, leaving their successors to handle the situation. But this would have entailed a delay which would probably be harmful for the Nation. So I decided to ask the Premier what should be done. SUZUKI called the Foreign Minister who wanted to settle matters through the Cabinet now in office. I now foresaw two possibilities from which we had to choose: declaration of war against RUSSIA, and fighting to the bitter end, or peace through acceptance of the POTSDAM Declaration.
SUZUKI pondered this deeply and said he would report to the Emperor, which he subsequently did. But the Foreign Minister was there shortly before him and had made an overall report of the situation. The Premier returned at about 0900 hours (9 August 45) and said he was resolved to end the war. Accordingly a Supreme War Council was convoked at 1000. Because of it's great importance it was attended only by six important persons and appeared to be a rather quiet affair, lasting three hours. Afterwards I learned from the Premier that there were two opinions, one of which favored acceptance of the POTSDAM Declaration; the other insisted on the following conditions for peace: 1. No occupation army should land in JAPAN; 2. Instead of the Japanese armies overseas surrendering formally, troops should withdraw and demobilize by their own effort; 3. JAPAN should try her own war criminals.
However, both disagreeing groups were in accord in assuming that the POTSDAM Declaration contained no provision for changing the position of the Emperor's sovereignity. Incidentally, the atomic bomb was dropped on NAGASAKI during this conference.
At 1300, a Cabinet session started, during which the Navy Minister clearly stated that the situation was hopeless, while the Army Minister asserted that the first onslaught of the invading enemy could be warded off. As to the next stage, victory was not certain not could certain defeat be anticipated. He stressed the possibility of snatching victory from defeat. The other ministers (Interior, Armaments, Finance, Agriculture and Industry, and Transport) were very pessimistic about the outlook for continued warfare. The Minister of the Interior stressed that the cessation of hostilities would endanger the country's political and social stability. Most Cabinet members were for accepting the POTSDAM Declaration, but some insisted on the above three conditions, or at least on the first and second. Many, however, held that the negotiations would not get under way if conditions were brought forward. One section of the Cabinet thought the Cabinet should resign en bloc, but the Premier
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POLITICAL SERIES: 196 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
was definitely against it. All of us were impressed by the way the Premier was presiding over the discussion.
At 2000 the session ended without reaching an agreement. Since the matter permitted no further delay, it was agreed that the Emperor must decide. The supreme War Council was to be convened again, this time in the presence of the Emperor, with president of the Privy Council HIRANUMA, attending. The meeting took place at 1130 of 9 August in the palace air-raid shelter (the so-called First Meeting in the Emperor's presence). The Premier, the Ministers of Army and Navy, the Foreign Minister, the Chief of the General Staff, the Chief of the Navy General Staff, Baron HIRANUMA, the Chief Secretary of the Cabinet, the Chief of the Military Affairs Bureau of the Army and Navy Ministry, and Chief IKEDA of the General Planning Office attended. The meeting dealt with the text of the POTSDAM Declaration and the two opposing views at the foregoing Supreme War council. I had to read out the Declaration, but was so awed by the Imperial countenance that I cannot remember having read aloud. Thereupon the Foreign Minister stated that this was the appropriate time to end the war. Therefore, he was for accepting the Declaration unconditionally, provided there should. be no change on the position of the Emperor in the national structure. The Minister of the Army voiced dissent on the ground that the country's ability to wage war had not yet been completely destroyed. It was, therefore, possible to administer a strong bating to the invading enemy. After that there would still be time for ending the war. He was for continued fighting but would accept a peace based on the aforesaid conditions, if it could be had. Navy Minister YONAI said he agreed with the Foreign Minister. HIRANUMA asked the Army and Navy Minister for detailed information and then stated he agreed with the Foreign Minister. The Chiefs of Staff were for fighting unto death.
ITEM 5 Joint Front of Political Parties - Asahi Shimbun - 16 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
Many small political parties in TOKYO, numbering more than 40, are now hastening to form a new party alliance (SHINTO-REMMEI) before the forthcoming general election, taking advantage of the trend towards a joint front. The first meeting is to be held at MAINICHI Hall, KOJIMACHI-Ku, on 18 January. The alliance wants various political parties to participate, basing their plans on the downfall of the old political powers, "thereform of the TENNO system, the public election of a Prime Minister, et cetera.
The 14 united political parties at present, are as follows: the independent Social Democratic Party (DOKURITSU-SHAKAI-TO); the Constitutional Youngmen's Party (RIKKEN-SEINEN-TO); the National Republic Party (KOKUMIN-KYOWA-TO); the Social Productive Party (SHAKAI-SEISAN-TO); the JAPAN Rising Sun Party (NIPPON-ASAHI-TO); the JAPAN Republican Party (NIPPON-KYOWA-TO); the autonomous Imperial Nation Party (NIPPON-KYOWA-TO) the Youngmens' New-Progress Party (SEINEN-SHINSHIN-TO): the JAPAN Good Life Society (NIPPON-MEISEI-KAI); the Constitutional Labor Party (RIKKEN-KINRO-TO); the JAPAN Nation Party (NIPPON-KOKUMIN-TO); the JAPAN Labor Party (NIPPON-KINRO-TAISHUTO); and the New JAPAN Reform Party (SHIN-NIPPON-KAKUSHI-TO).
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POLITICAL SERIES: 196 (Continued)
ITEM 6 Explanation of the Emperor System (Part 6) by SUZUKI, Yasuzo - Mainichi Shimbun - 16 Jan 16. Translator: J. Weiller.
Hundreds of thousands of young men offered their lives simply on the belief that it was for the good of their Emperor. As the Emperor's children, they willingly sacrificed themselves in absolute unity and reverence.
On the other hand, the Peace Preservation Law, which was promulgated in the name of the Emperor, was mercilessly put into execution by the ignorant and cruel civil and military police in the belief that torture, sometimes death of innocent, was for the protection of the Emperor System. All the labor and farmers' movements to alleviate destitution were ruthlessly suppressed in the name of the Emperor. How many brethren were put to indescribable hardships, how many excellent brains and spirits were ruined, and how many noble lives were lost, in such a manner?
For the men who have not the remotest idea of such tragedies, especially the Zaibatsu, parasitic landowners, bureaucrats, high-ranking soldiers, and the political parties, which are connected with and represents these strata, it is natural to protect the national organization and order under the Emperor system.
On the other hand, for those who belong to the classes which were humiliated and tortured, or robbed of their livelihood, it is natural to cry for the abolition of the system.
How to consider the Emperor System and what attitude is to be taken toward it is now a fundamental question which we must not neglect.
Unless theoretical analysis and free debates, quite separate from all the personal feelings about the Emperor himself, are thoroughly carried out, JAPAN'S democracy can never attain the desired development.
Are democracy and the Emperor System compatible? At least the system as hitherto operated (since the MEIJI Restoration but more especially from the Manchurian Incident to the end of the War), is absolutely incompatible with democracy in the real sense. It is incompatible, so long as it retains the present substance as a constitutional monarchy, which is a compromise between democratic republicanism and a absolute monarchy.
The independence of the supreme command is based on the Army's conception that the fighting forces are directly connected with the Emperor, and therefore the right of command is vested with the Emperor alone, and only the organ which is under His direct command can utilize the right. In other words, it is neither the People's nor the Nation's, but the Monarch's own right.
Contempt or disregard of personality, character, and rights, and the lack of independence, which are the fundamental shortcomings of our politics and national life, are due to the idea that we find our happiness and raison d' etre in being loved by the Emperor as his subjects, obeying him and submitting to the various trappings which nourish and strengthen such ideas.
The restriction of the authority of the Diet, unparalleled in other countries' constitutions, the national institutions, such as
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POLITICAL SERIES: 196 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
GENRO, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, the Privy Council, and the House of Peers (which is aloof from the people's will and interests, very often ignoring thorn entirely), and the arrogant and privileged bureaucrats who despise the populace—all have grown and been maintained to support the Emperor's prerogative. They have all originated, not from the people's will or interests, but from the fundamental principle based on the Emperor's will and dignity.
The cause for the repressions of freedom in the scientific and cultural development of the Nation's speech, literature, arts, religions, at cetra, whereby the cultural development was made stagnant, lies in the fact that the highest discipline and virtue was regarded as absolute obedience to the Emperor, and any sort of discussion of the Emperor was forbidden. Furthermore, a society and a moral and political system which regards reverence for the Emperor as the highest virtue must necessarily bring into being the submission of the masses to the oligarchal strata, from the Emperor down to the Government officials.
The collapse of the so-called Imperial Army's spirit in the practice of terrible immorality in the occupied countries was pathetic indeed, but it was nothing but a natural outcome.
People speak of the attainment of democracy under the monarchial system in ENGLAND, but they disregard the process through which ENGLAND has arrived at its present stage. There the will of the Parliament and the Premier could force the abdication of the reigning King, if necessary. Such a phenomenon, with the hitherto conceived position and dignity of the Emperor, is unimaginable in JAPAN. And yet, those who were nearest the Emperor has always utilized him for Forcing the people's blind obedience to despotic rules.
Apart from the question of the Emperor as an individual, and the action or merits of the Imperial Family, the characteristics of the Emperor System in our political organization and constitutional system is far more absolute than the Prussian Monarchy in the Constitution of 1851; it is equal to Tsarism in Imperialistic RUSSIA of 1905.
The Imperial Household is a stupendous landowner whose estate covers approximately 1,350,000 CHOBU (T.N. 1 CHOBU - 2.45 acres). Its members are, also, independent plutocrats possessing assets to the extent of 1,500,000,000 Yen. Considering the democratic revolution we are now facing, which naturally includes the elimination of the parasitic and feudalistic land system, Zaibatsu and war profiteers, it is self-evident that the extinction of the Imperial property, and the Family defendent on it, is quite inevitable.
It is quite natural that the Imperial Family, surrounded by landowners, Zaibatsu, and bureaucrats, cannot take in the people's ardent desires and sentiment as their own; nor can they practice politics for the people as representatives of the masses. Moreover, as long as the Emperor System is based on a theory contrary to that of liberty, equality and personal rights, and so long as it may be utilized for the protection of a reactionary and despotic political order it cannot but contribute to the stagnation and distortism of democratic principles.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0196, 1946-01-17.
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