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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0207, 1946-01-20.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0857

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 857 DATE : 20 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Letters To Editor Show Lively Interests in Vital Subjects - Yomiuri Hochi -19 Jan 46. Translator. K. Onishi.
Full Translation:
Letters to "The CRIES," our readers' column, from all parts of the country amount on an average to some fifty or sixty a day, and they directly reflect the trend of public opinion. However, because of space only a very few of them appear in "The Cries" column and many heated discussions worth reading are left out, for which we make sincere apologies to the readers who send them.
We intend to make the best use of our readers' opinions as far as possible here by classifying 369 letters which we received between January 1st and 11th, and we will show you the new year trend of public opinion.
The majority of these letters is concerned with the problem of the Emperor System, numbering 62, that is about 20 per cent of the whole. Many of them expressed pros and cons stimulated by the radio round table talks on this problem, but they show how the problem of Emperor System is attracting more and more attention among the general people. Of these those for the Emperor System number 26 while those against it number 25. This approximate parity between those for and against when compared with the fact that those for amounted to 90 per cent in the public opinion investigation made by TOKYO Imperial University some time ago, shows how to the foundation of the Emperor System is rocking with the progress of time.
Of those for, 21 support the Emperor as the object of traditional belief, five support the Emperor System democratized, and two wish for the present Emperor's abdication and for the installation of the Crown Prince on the throne. Of those against 13 conclude that the Emperor System hinders the development of democracy eight state that the Emperor is responsible for the war, two deny the System on historical grounds, and two are opposed on the grounds of sentiment against the prerogative powers of the Imperial Household, Five are neutral; four of them propose a plebiscite to decide whether to maintain the Emperor System or not; and three others withold criticism until the problem has been studied more scientifically.
Second place is taken by letters concerned with war responsibility and they total 51. 20 of them blame the financial and military cliques, the bureaucrats and others for war responsibility, and a good many of these letters even go as far as to give the names of particular individuals, of which 14 accuse the men around Mr. KAN KIKUCHI, two the Emperor and two, Admiral YONAI. Some of them discuss men of letters and also women.
Third comes those involved with the problem of the treatment of demobilized soldiers and the account for 21 letters. Eight of them warn the public that they should not be resentful of those demobilized. Five wish to get information concerning the demobilization of men abroad. In connection with the purge directive for professional soldiers, three

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POLITICAL SERIES: 207 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
student-soldiers filed complaints end they disclose serious problems present here.
Fourth is the group of letters complaining of the difficulties of living and numbering 20 in all. Seventeen of them complain in general about the difficulties of living due to the soaring prices of goods. Five bombed-out, four repatriates and three families that have lost soldiers, respectively wrote of their difficulties.
The fifth group consists of 19 letters dealing with the problems of the education system. As many as 13 of them discuss reform of the education system, making such propositions as the restoration of the five year system in middle schools and the abolition of the system of principals' and secret reports on those pupils applying for higher-grade schools. One of them treats the problem of improving teacher's conditions and another urges measures for aiding bombed-out students. One letter made a curious proposal for the abolition of square caps for college students "to clarify the responsibility of university students".
The sixth class consists of a group of letters blaming the incompetence of the Government and numbers 18 in all. Six of them demand the resignation of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet, and another six eagerly desire the resignation of high-ranking government officials, and these two items occupy the greater portion of this group.
The seventh is the problem of farming villages and consists of 17 letters. Of these, the overwhelming majority comprise letters complaining of the unsatisfactory method of rice distribution, and next come attaking the staffs of agricultural associations.
The eighth group consists of 14 letters concerned with food rationing, eight of which blame men engaged in the rationing business and its organizations, and five of them censure the Government is measures for dealing with food problems.
Among others noteworthy topics, 13 letters deal with problems about women; two of which advocate birth-control, and five demand the emancipation of women. Of 12 letters arguing about politics, eight supported the Communist Party and four opposed it. In addition to these, seven letters deal with labor problems such as demanding improvement in conditions, etc, and five advise the necessity of intensifying measures to prevent the aggravation of inflation; eight treat of the problem of a national language and letters, and recommend vertical writing from left to right; three proposed the revision of the national anthem. In view of the present transport difficulties, five find fault with the railway men's attitude towards passengers.
Generally speaking, it is a wonder that not a single one of them has taken up unemployment which is an extremely large social problem, and we feel much interest in this, because it reflects the state where the unemployed have become [illegible]of their own unemployment. (Investigated by our Investigation Board)
ITEM 2 Reform of the House of Peers - Yomiuri Hochi - 19 Jan 46. Translator: S. Ono
Owing to the Allied directive which directs that a general election be held at a date later than 15 March, the regular session of the next Diet will begin about the middle of April.
The reform bill of the House of Peers Act, which formerly was scheduled to be submitted to an extraordinary session of the Diet, prior to the presentation of the bill for constitutional revision, can now he passed with drastic changes, owing to the expected prior enactment of constitutional reforms.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 207 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The formulation of a reform bill, providing for the abolition of members of the Imperial Household titled personages, and high tax papers, together with a charge in the fired numbers and method of collection of the members by imperial nomination, is expected to be carried out. Change of the name of the House if necessary, is also expected.
According to the provisions of the former bill of reform, princes of the Imperial Household, on reaching the age of thirty, were qualified to a seat by Imperial Command, while titled nobles, on reaching the same ago, were eligible for the seat on nomination by their peers. Their entire exclusion; therefore, from the House is welcomed as a most effective step toward the elimination of feudalistic elements.
ITEM 3 The Allied Headquarters Favors Voluntary Pursuit of War Criminals - Yomuchi [illegible]- 19 Jan 46[illegible]. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
Lately they voluntary pursuit of war criminals or movements for banishing them are being means in Government [illegible]companies [illegible]publishing world and many other [illegible]. At an interview with a group of reporters on 18 January, a [illegible]of [illegible]Allied Headquarters admitted this tendency being very [illegible]and suggested the following:
"We think it a very [illegible]that the KODAN Publisity Company and others have [illegible]begun to [illegible]and [illegible]war criminals voluntarily. We know that in many fields [illegible]has lately been a general inclination to do nothing will Allied Headquarters issued the necessary directives. The government, economic, and social fields are that way, too. Some serious Japanese people very much regret such a tendency a Allied Headquarters is very satisfied with the attitude of positive and voluntary reorganization by the Japanese people themselves, It is good for the Japan so people ho begin to act voluntarily before Headquarters issued directives to them. Superficial actions, however, are useless and reforms must be thoroughgoing. Allied Headquarters will be favorably disposel only towards a truly voluntary clean up of war criminals.
ITEM 4 Formation of A New Party Union - Asahi Shimbun - 19 Jan 46 Translator: S. Kawasaki
Full Translation:
Among many minor political parties numbering more than 40, a tendency to form a new party union has appeared recently. As its first step, the representatives of 14 parties including the Constitutional Young Men's Party (RIKKON [illegible]-To), gathered at MAISICHI Hall, YURAKU-CHO at 1400 en 18 January and formed a new party union. They resolved the following four items as a slogan for a joint compaign. Overthrow of the former power; renovation of they Emperor's System; public election of the Prime Minister: and the [illegible]to of systematic economics. The league, from now on, will call for the participation of each minor political party, Moreover, the league has row been arranging the procedure; with which the formation of the row united party will be promoted.
The following officials have been appointed. 1. A representative manager YAMATO, Kadoshigo the Constitutional Young Men's Party (RIKKEN - SEINEL[illegible]TO). 2. Standing secretaries KAWANO, Rinjiro (the Japan Republican Party); TAKAHASHI, Kensuke (The Japan Good Life Society (NIPPON - MEISEI-KAI): YOKODA, Shunzo, The Social Industralists Party (SHAKAI-SEISAN - To); and RITEI, Yutaka, The Social Democratic Party (SHAKAI-MINSHU-TO).
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POLITICAL SERIES: 207 (Continued)
ITEM 5 Hopeful Advancement Toward Popular Front - The Mimpo - 19 Jan 46, Translator: S. Kawasaki
Full Translator:
In answer to the denial of a popular front by the Central Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party, the Communist Party made public its reply on 17 January and emphasized the necessity of a united front. The Social Democratic Party again declined. Judging from the asserations of the two parties, it is remarkable that the Communist Party has changed from its former attacks on soma leaders of the Social Democratic Party, and now gently insists on the main objective of a united front.
The Communist Party agreed to the formation of a united front which has been advocated by Mr. YAMAKAWA, Hitachi, and to a plan for an intermediary meeting. The Party is of the opinion that a development of the ideas of Mr. YAMAKAWA should made rather than a united front advocat [illegible]Communists [illegible]. It may be called a faithful attitude towards [illegible]formation of a united front. Lodging from the statement of the Social Democratic Party with regard to its agreement with the views of Mr. YAMAKAWA the problem of a united front, which was becoming very difficult sense to be finding a method of being a settled by having Mr. YAMAKAWA stand between the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.
In reply to the Communist Party the Social Democratic Party has not denied the existance of the about compaign of the [illegible]branch offices of the two parties. The present Central [illegible]of the Social Democratic Party should be [illegible]from [illegible]classes. Due to the rapid formation of the party. From the viewpoint that the party has been organized mainly [illegible]members of the House of Representatives, the question is whether or not the intentions: of the Central authorities will be the intentions of the whole Party.
Therefore not with standing the denial of the Central authorities, the joi front wil become mere active through the actions of its lower sections. With Mr. YAMAKAWA as the [illegible]the union the two parties should be made by the leaders, and should be fairly satisfactory. Apart from the fact that the Social Democratic Party has new urged the announcement of the principles and tenets of the Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party says that "'Waiting for the full growth of subject and subjective conditions, the Party will go hand with the Communist Party as soon as possible." It will be letter to say that it is a very interesting expression of the Social Democratic Party with regard to the ones with the present united front rather than to say that the attitude of the party is equiveal. In spite of the denials of the Social Democratic Party, it may be said that the prospect of the united front are not unfavorable.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0207, 1946-01-20.
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