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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0208, 1946-01-20.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0858

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 858 Date: 20 Jan 46


ITEM 1 HONDA Sheds Tears at the Kindness of United States Soldiers; HIRATE Case At YOKOHAMA - Mainichi Shimbun - 19 Jan 146. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full Translation:
The UNITED STATES Court-Martial of HONDA, Horoji, former commandant of the ONAHAMA Prisoners of War Camp in SENDAI District, which was scheduled to open on 18 January in the second hall of the YOKOHAMA Local Court, was adjourned until the following day for Captain Coleman's own reasons.
When HONDA noticed the faces of acquaintances from his native place, he thought that he would not be permitted to talk with them, as is the custom in Japanese trials. He only gave a brief salute to his friends, thereby expressing his utmost gratitude.
A young American second lieutenant defense attorney for HONDA, quickly observing this scene, asked him, "Are they your family?" HONDA replied "Oh, yes! They are my family and friends."
HONDA and his comrades were separated by the paling of the court. His stiff face was flushed with excitement. His visitors, who thought it could only be a dream to be able to talk with him, were so greatly moved at his realization of their dream that they could scarcely utter a single word. Moreover, when this second lieutenant told SAITO, Katsu, HONDA's stepmother, (66 year's old), "Captain MARCH is a famous lawyer and a Congressman in the UNITED STATES and is a very good defense attorney for HONDA."
The old woman, shedding tears of joy, murmured, "Alas! how glad his wife and baby will be when I tell them this!"
Captain MARCH, listening to this conversation, presented cigarettes to the group, saying with a smile, "How do you like cigarettes?" A military police standing behind him, kindly offered a lighter to them. Everyone in the hall was deeply impressed with the unspeakable kindness of UNITED STATES soldiers.
When on duty in the court, they are indeed very business-like and do their duty with determination, but when off duty, all officers and men are as kind as is shown above.
Since HONDA is tried and defended by such persons, the verdict must absolutely be just, even if it is a sentence of death. The cheerful countenances of HONDA and his group, were seen, to be illuminated by the setting sun, shining through the window.
The 5th session of the trial for HIRATE was opened at 9 a.m., 18 January. Commander EMOTO, Shigeo, former commandant of the HAKODATE Prisoners of War Camp, who appeared in the court as a witness

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POLITICAL SERIES: 208 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
for the defendant, emphatically testified that HIRATE made efforts to improve the facilities of the camp after he came there. Then, Mr. SAKANASHI, Hitoshi, head of the Labor Section of the MITSUI ASHIBETSU Mining Company, testified that none of prisoners were made to work in the shafts, on HIRATE's own request, and that a man named HIRADO of the Company had once struck a Dutch prisoner, but, Lieutenant HIRATE was not authorized to punish the man. After this testimony, the court went into recess.
In the afternoon, after several questions had been put by the judge to Mr. SAKANASHI, the defense asked Second Lieutenant RABINOWITZ, staff of the American Prisoners of War Information Bureau, and ex-Major TAKATSUTA, (TN: possibly misprint of TAKADA) counsellor of the Japanese War Prisoners Information Bureau, to appear in the court. He presented a report of Dr. BERNARD, attache to the Swiss Legation and representative of Japan's interest, when he inspected, at JAPAN'S own request, the HAKODATE Prison Camp on 31 August, 1944. After Second Lieutenant RABINOWITZ had testified that this document was genuine, the defense questioned Mr. TAKADA, on many points about conditions at the camp, based on the report. The court then closed 1600.
ITEM 2 Actual Situation At the Time of Surrender (6) - Asahi Shimbun - 19 Jan 46. Translator: J.Weiller.
Admiral ONISHI suddenly appeared at the above mentioned interview between the Foreign Minister and the two chiefs of the General Staff at about 2300 on the 13th, in order to report the result of his interview with Prince TAKAMATSU to the chief of the Naval General Staff.
After reporting that the Prince had declared the Emperor's opinion had been so decided that there was no hope of changing his mind, the admiral added that if the Army could work out tactics which would be worthy of His Majesty's trust, there might be a chance of asking him to reconsider; therefore, he hoped that the decision for the termination of war might be postponed for some time in order to devise a definite strategy.
The Admiral continued by saying, "Since the beginning of the present war I have considered day and night what the best ways are for dealing with the situation, but during the past few days I discovered that my ideas were far from worthy of real consideration. I have meditated these past few days as I have never done before. Though we did not notice the fact, we have never given the war our serious thought and it may be so with the whole nation in that respect. If we review the war with this in mind, I am sure we can work out some excellent tactics that may put His Majesty at case."
He stated this slowly and with tears in his eyes. All present were struck by his sincerity, but the two chiefs kept their silence. The Admiral stayed after the conference had ended and grasping my hand, asked me if there were no bright ideas and left the room looking forlorn, My heart is filled with emotion concerning the Admiral since he took his own life soon after the end of war.
On 18 August, the Prime Minister, after making arrangements with me retired to the Imperial presence and reported the process to the Throne. Soon after the Premier returned to his official residence, Imperial summons were issued to the Cabinet, Ministers, Chiefs of the Army and Navy General Staffs, the President of the Privy Council,
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POLITICAL SERIES: 208 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
the Chief Secretary of the Cabinet, and four others who were the directors of the Supreme War Guidance Council.
As a Cabinet meeting was scheduled for 1000 hours, all the members of the Cabinet had already assembled at the Premier's official residence, and as there was no time for them to change their clothes for the special occasion, they proceeded to the Palace in ordinary dress and were seated in the same room in which the previous conference was held. With the Emperor's entrance, the first conference called by Imperial summons was about to begin.
The conference began with the Prime Minister's report on events since the previous conference. This was followed by statements from the two Chiefs and the Minister of War to the effect that according to the Allied Countries' reply, it looked as though the situation would be difficult and that inquirees should be made to ascertain just what the surrender terms would be. Rather than terminate the war in such an uncertain way, it would be advisable to carry on the war, in the hope of finding the one lucky chance in a hundred. Everyone spoke with sob-filled voices; the gathering presented a solemn scene.
After listening to a opinions of the three, His Majesty said that if there were no other opinions he would express his own. He said that his opinion was the same as that which he held at the conference on the 9th and that he considered the present form of the Allies reply satisfactory. In the short interval of silence the Emperor wiped his glasses with his white gloved hand and then resumed his speech expressing his deep sympathies toward those killed and wounded in the war, their families, and those suffering as a result of war and bomb damages, "But", he went on, "since there is no other means of preserving the Nation, I must make this decision in spite of unbearable humility."
Soon after the Emperor began to speak all those present began to sob. The scene in the room can never be discribed by ordinary phraseology. When, however, the Emperor went on to touch upon the reconstruction of the country, those present felt the dawn of a new era for JAPAN.
All the Emperor's words are in the rescript and I hope the public will read it once more. In preserving JAPAN, the Emperor considers that only the people are dependable and hope that those who tried to resort to rash acts will live to serve the country. Not a trace of contemplated revenge can be detected in his speeches. With his immeasurable mercifulness, he only desires the people's welfare and a chance of JAPAN'S contributing to world peace as a member of the family of nations. That is why he directed the carrying out of the POTSDAM Declaration with the hope that the country might be rebuilt as a peaceful nation based on democracy. For the attainment of this objective, he made up his mind to end the war without giving the slightest consideration to his own interests. After the withdrawal of the Imperial Presence all the ministers, in their ecstacy remarked to one another that they had descovered that His Majesty lived in his subjects, more than they had ever realized before.
The Emperor proposed to announce to the Nation this decision by radio, as he anticipated the shock it would cause to the people who had been kept from the truth till then. He also intimated that he might pacify the soldiers and sailors by radio broadcast, for to them, the shock would be even greater. But both the ministers of War and Navy respectfully stated that they would undertake the task themselves as they deemed it inexecusable to trouble the Emperor over this matter. The Emperor ordered the Government to draft a rescript at once regarding the termination of the war and submit it to them.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 208 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Premier To Name Directive Victime - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 19 Jan 46. Translator: S. Sano.
Full Translation:
Definite measures we being planned by the Government to expel the militaristic leaders who fall under MacARTHUR's directive issued on 4 January. The outline of the Imperial ordinance regarding the prohibition of holding posts, as based on the Imperial ordinance which deals with the fulfilment of the POTSDAM Declaration, (The 52nd Imperial ordinance 1945) was taken up at the Cabinet meeting on 18 January.
As the bill was given a detailed explanation by the chief secretary of the Cabinet, NARAHASHI, it is to be referred to the Privy Council for deliberation after gaining the consent of Allied authorities. The points for which consent must be gained are as follows:
The persons who fall under the article of dismissal from public posts are named by the Premier, and are excluded from holding the position of mayor, or member of the House of Representatives; at the moment they are to retire from all posts higher than that of official appointed by the Emperor (CHOKUNIN-KAN), and will lose their position as members of the Imperial Diet.
The persons who come under the directive can not run in the mutual voting election and have no right to be elected as a "high tax" member in the House of Peers.
The reports of the candidates for membership in the House of Representatives or their recommendations as election chiefs can not be accepted unless it is obtain that they do not full under the directive. Furthermore, after gaining the consent of MacARTHUR's Headquarters, the presentation of lists of names, deliberation by the Privy Council, and the decision of the Deliberative Committee Meeting, the persons affected by the directive are to be named by the Premier. Therefore, because of the various processes, a month more will be necessary to decide on the persons who fall under the directive.

Articles decided on at the cabinet meeting on 18 January are as follows:
The revision of a section in the Law of the Marine Products Association. (Law 59, 1945.)
The revision of a section in the regulations of the Law of the Marine Products Association.
The prohibition of international agreements, as laid down in the POTSDAM Declaration. (Imperial Ordinance 542, 1945).
The revision of a section in the regulations concerning the supply of clothing to officials in prison.
Measures regarding the making of metal goods in the mint.
Doing away with the custody of the money contributed for the defense of the country at the time of the Great EAST ASIA War. (Imperial Ordinance 585, 1937.)

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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0208, 1946-01-20.
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