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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0213, 1946-01-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0879

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 879 Date: 22 Jan 46

POLITICAL SERIES: 213

ITEM 1 Trial of HONDA at YOKOHAMA - Asahi Shimbun - 20 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
The trial of war crime suspect Captain HONDA, Hiroharu, 27 years old, of SAKAMOTO-Mura, KUJI-Gun, IBARAGI-Ken, was opened in the Second Courtroom at YOKOHAMA under the supervision of Captain COLEMAN, UNITED STATES Navy, at 0900 on 19 January,
After taking the oath, Captain HOWARD, head of the prosecution, read a written accusation against HONDA, containing the following item: The reason for the prosecution is HONDA's responsibility in neglecting the actions of his officers at the time when he was in charge of the KOMA Branch of the YUMOTO prison camp.
The defense submitted a motion eliminating item one and three cases which are not directly concerned with HONDA. The prosecutor made no concessions, saying that the above-mentioned item is regulated by international law, and it is natural that HONDA should be held responsible for them. There were indications of a rather stormy atmosphere. However, the President of the court decided that there was no reason for eliminating this item. Consequently, the prosecution and the defense began to produce their evidence.
The court took its recess at midday and was reopened at 1330. In the seats for the defense, chief of the defence section, Lieutenant Colonel DICKINSON, appeared, and the courtroom became very active. The evidence submitted by the prosecution caused fierce arguments between the prosecution and the defense concerning the legality of copies of notes by Captain FRANKEN, Dutch prisoner, and the legality of interpreting documents concerning the origin of the notes, which were written in Dutch. No decision was reached, and it was decided to postpone the arguments until the second trial, to be held on 21 January. The court adjourned at 1540.
The crimes for which the prisoner is to be prosecuted are as follows:
Responsibility in neglecting the supervision of his officers and men in the prison camp. Example of neglect: (a) His subordinate, TSUDA, Koju, maltreated to death corporal SCOTT; (b) Several officers of the KOMA prison camp assaulted and maltreated many Allied prisoners; (c) Many prisoners died because of poor medical treatment and inadequate living quarters; (d) Many prisoners died because of being forced to work; (e) HONDA's subordinate, TSUDA, Koju, maltreated and insulted Captain STEWART. (f) His officers and men put to their own use Red Cross supplies and articles belonging to the prisoners; (g) Captain FRANKEN, Allied war prisoner, was compelled to give false evidence on the death of Prisoner VANRYN.
As head of YUMOTO prison camp, HONDA, Hirotsugu, forced prisoners, who were suffering from illness to work as coal miners.


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POLITICAL SERIES: 213 (Continued)
ITEM 2 The Sixth Day of HIRATE's Trial - Asahi Shimbun - 20 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
The sixth day of HIRATE's trial was held at Court One at 0900. The council for the defence called defendant HIRATE as a witness. In reply to questioning, HIRATE answered, "I know of the Geneva Convention, but I had heard that it had not yet been ratified in JAPAN. I did not receive an order from my superior officer to observe it."
After replying to questions on food, clothing, and recreational facilities in the prison camp, the witness was carried out of the courtroom. It was then admitted that prisoner ATEIN* was ordered not to wear his overcoat for two weeks.
The court recessed at 1130. On the grounds that witnesses had to be called in, the council for the defence asked for an afternoon recess. It was decided that the court would reconvene at 0900 on 21 January.
ITEM 3 From Emperor's Officials to People's Officials - Tokyo Shimbun - 21 Jan 46. Translator: Paasche.
Summary:
During a recent conference of vice-minister, the subject of a change of attitude among officials was under review. The atmosphere of carelessness spreading among officials is evoking much criticism. What are the psychological reasons for this? Doubtless the uncertainty created by the MacARTHUR -prescribed purge and the impending big reduction of staffs is a contributing factor, but of still greater importance is the fact that the officials who have sworn fidelity to the Emperor are losing their morale because of the set backs suffered by the Emperor System. To cope with this situation, the Government now plans to broaden the scope of the reform of the administrative system.
The proposal for reforms made by the Bureau of Legislation was approved by the Cabinet. It also provided for retraining, but the necessity of establishing a new philosophy is now stressed more and more. It is true, this is reform from above, but it fits well into the movement coming from below as a result of the purge orders.
The present service regulations take it for granted that the officials belong to the Emperor and owe allegiance only to him. The new regulations would have to stress that officials, being public servants, belong to the people. As regards their relations with the Emperor, it must be kept in mind that the monarchy, though battered, is still giving concern, and that the constitutional reform forwarded by the Government, proceeds on the assumption that there will be no change in His Majesty's sovereign rights. Hence the new Government regulations cannot and will not over look the Emperor's existence. But can the idea of being a servant of the Emperor and of the public be reconciled? Here lies the greatest difficulty for a revision of the regulations. There is a current of thought trying to avoid complete revision, at present, on the grounds that this is not an opportune time.
According to this view, the old rules should remain in use along with additional "special post-war rules" to be drafted now. This would smack of the special war-time rules of the TOJO Cabinet. The officials will hardly be spared a mental shock by so temporizing a measure. There is also the danger of final lukewarm compromise as in the case of the Government-sponsored constitutional reform. The upperstrata of officialdom is not satisfied with the prospect of such a half-hearted solution.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 213 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
It is to be expected that more radical plans for reform will come to the fore as soon as the people take the matter in hand, just as more thorough suggestions for constitutional reform, clearly opposed to the Emperor and influenced by party programs, were made from among the people. During a bloodless revolution, the people are always influenced by party programs, and we expect corresponding popular activity also in the reform of officialdom.
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