Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0216, 1946-01-23.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0894

call-number: DS801 .S85

(View Page Image)
No. 894 Date: 23 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Election Pledges By Parties - Yomiuri-Hochi - 21 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
Taking various factors Into consideration the general election will apparently be held about 20 March. The Japanese people should, beyond all doubt, be conscious of the fact that the coming election will he the basis of the fulfillment of the POTSDAM Declaration imposed on defeated JAPAN. Especially in view of the granting of women's suffrage and the lowering of the voting age to 20, neither the Nation nor the political parties should forgot for a moment the grave responsibility in that the realization of a democratic JAPAN depends upon the result of this election. Viewed from this point the policies and platforms which the various parties are advocating are questions which do not permit a moment's neglact for the people who now confront a crisis of the greatest magnitude in the form of insufficiency of food, inflation and the hardships of unemployment.
Now, viewing the various parties and their policies we find the fallowing opinions:
The Emperor System: Against the curtailment of the Emperor's prerogative, maintained by the Progressive, the Liberal and Social Democratic Parties, the Communist Party concludes that the complete fulfillment of the POTSDAM Declaration lies in the overthrew of the Emperor System.
The Control of Inflation: In contrast to the passive display of technicality as of old by the Progressive and the Liberal Parties recording the Property Levy and the Wartime Profits Tax the Social Democrat defines his position by urging the wholesale confiscation of war profits the establishment of a high rate property levy, raisins exemptions, etc.
Food Measures: While both the Liberal and the Progressive Parties decry bureaucratic control, they have no fundamental policy to show as their own; it is noteworthy that the Social Democrats are considering the solution of the agrarian land question from a broader viewpoint.
Unemployment Measures: All the parties are unanimously advocating its solution by virtue of the 100 billion yen obtainable through the Property Levy and the Wartime Profit Tax, but though it is acceptable as a principle, there is a lack of concrete measures. In contrast to the Progressive, the Liberal and the Social Democratic Parties which are making certain assertions as to present imminent problems, each with the supposition that political power will fall into its hands, the Communist Party alone is claiming that without the establishment of a real people's government, the suspension of payments of indemnities to munition factories, and of interest on national bonds, progress is impossible. The party

(View Page Image)
ITEM I (Continued)
believes the coming general election will produce the formation of a democratic front and the expansion of the Party.
The Social Democratic Party, by MIZUTANI, Chozuaburo, a member of the Standing Central Executive Committee: Because of unstable living; conditions, the masses are now acutely aware of the reality of complete defeat. In spite of this, the SHIDEHARA Cabinet, ignoring the people's opinions, has made a mess of its inerim government which is outragious. whoever participates in politics now should solemnly investigate himself regarding defeat. The return of Mr. NOEAKA, Sanzo at this juncture is very significant, and apart from the difference of policies we cannot overlook the fact that he will be implemental in unifying the democratic front
The Agrarian Land Question: The reform of the Agrarian Land System put into force by the SHIDEHARA Cabinet is no more than the suppression of the will for work, and bourgeoisie legalization for the protection of landowners in that the original three chobu changed to five chobu and the right of appeal by the landowners is admitted. The most pressing problem is an immediate distribution of fertilizer which must be delivered to the farmers cheaply in proper quantities according to the districts, by the Government.
When staple food is under state control there is no reason why manure must be bought at black market prices. My Party demands the nationalization of fertilizer and the delivery of famine tools by the state. In order to carry out these plans a banking agency for the farmers should be established. Regarding KYOSHUTO (T.N. Sales of agricultural products to the Government agencies at official prices) we back the motto "Production with total effort and KYOSHUTU with total sincerity". We want to make the Agricultural Associations which are closely allied to my party responsible for KYOSHUTSU.
Next, we pledge to give the farmers a sense of security by confiscating the rice hidden at the end of the war. It is impossible to do so without establishing a people's Government with my Party as the center as we are in a position to ask the farmers for sacrifices. The present ration system must be done away with, and instead fair distribution must he made through labor unions, cooperative societies and people's committees.
Inflation: The present stop gap measures are absolutely no good, a viperous program is needed. We should like to put into effect the wholesale confiscation of war profits and the cancellation of all debts pledged by the Government during the war. The Government intends to appropriate 100 billion yen by the Property Levy Tax to indemnify the munition works, but my party strongly maintains that this huge amount should, he applied to funds for the restoration of the ravaged areas, relief of unemployment, and the stabilization of the people's livelihood. It is not only the Zaibatsu that must be stripped but the people at large must prepare for sacrifices to a certain extent. I have heard that in KOREA some Japanese residents, when they learned of the termination of the war burnt the national bonds they possessed. If all the people are prepared to give away what they have they can save themselves from a vicious inflation.
We are against the 20,000 yen limit of the Properry Levy. The maximum levy of 70 per cent should he raised to 80 while the exemptions should also be raised. The method of collection must be on a basis of immediate payment based on a rough estimate, otherwise it will not be very effective. It was governmental inefficiency not to have immediately restricted the banks payments; the only reason we can imagine is that it was for the protection of the privileged classes. To assure its success, it is necessary
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 216 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
to place the banks, the trusts and the insurance companies end other such agencies under state operation.
Unemployment: Regarding the unemployed who number ten million, the crisis must be tided over by shortening working hours. It is necessary to work out come means for their relief at the expense of the Property Levy Tax, in view of that fact that these unemployed were the victims of misgovernment, A thorough, economic democratization is essential for the purpose. Send those who can farm to agrarian districts, at the same time set up civil engineering enterprises for reconstruction and through government media find jobs according to the applicants' capacities. Unemployment insurance is also necessary. As the Welfare Department is shortly to he abolished, it should be reformed either as the Labor Department or the Unemployment Insurance Department, but we are against its transfer to the Home Deportment.
Democratic Polities: The attainment of democracy lies in the formation of a popular front and a revision of the Constitution. If the provisions in Articles one to four pertaining to the Emperor's sovereignity are left as they stand, the faithful fulfillment of the POTSDAM Declaration is impossible and also democratized politics depend on this point. The deletion of these articles is necessary in order to seal the fate of the militarists, the bureaucrats and other privileged clashes.
The Government's hesitant attitude concerning Constitutional Reform indicates the privileged classes' last struggle. We mast strongly assort that in a new Constitution something like a Greet Charter of Labor should be inserted.
The Communist Party, by TOKUDA, Kyuichi, the Chief Secretary
The coming election has an historical meaning in the light of the extension of suffrage and the first participation of our revolutionary JAPAN Communist Party. The present conditions are heightening the general publics concern in polition and the result of the election will greatly influence the democratization of JAPAN. Therefore, attaching extreme importance to the result, we are to face the election with the following duties:
Measures for the Election: 1. We must thoroughly overwhelm the reactionary powers on this occasion. 2. We will propagate democratic political education and urge the people's participation in politics. 3. We rust continue the party's activities hitherto carried out; for example, our daily battles on the food measures, improvement of living conditions, the increased production of coal, an increase in wages, management control, along with the election campaign; and 4. The election shall be run along a united front with other parties and an effort will be made to build up this front.
Food Measures: There can be no other fundamental solution than by voluntary means through conferences composed of the labor unions, farmers' organizations, and the Citizens' Food Control Committees. The firm establishment of voluntary organizations is the very first step toward saving the country from a deadlock. In order to increase production for the reconstruction of the nation's livelihood, We must break up capitalistic sabotage and for that purpose it is indispensible to practice for the time being the control of management and exert efforts toward the production of daily necessities:
Without encouraging a "will to produce" among the laborers and working masses it is impossible to extricate ourselves from the present
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 216 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
critical decline in production. The cancellation of the indemnity to munitions works, thorough collection of the wartime profit taxes and fair imposition of the property levies must, of course, be put into effect, but for the real execution of these policies a democratic front formed by the combination of the real democratic elements in JAPAN is indispensable. As regards unemployment measure and housing measures, nothing of the construction of a new JAPAN can be materialized by the Government under the old militaristic and anti democratic influences.
The existing critical situation does not permit a moment's hesitation. The measures to be taken up at this stage are obvious to the people; it is the immediate formation of a body which will act vigorously. This is the objective we are trying to attain.
There are two extreme attitudes toward the election. One is to rake up as many votes as possible, as is seen in the established parties; while the other is to utilize the election for propaganda purposes only and not attach much importance to the number of ballots. Our Communist Party sides with neither. Hy party, while attaching importance to the significance of propaganda and to the education of the people, takes serious view of the number of votes to be acquired as a result of the election. Should a member of the Diet of my party act against the electors' will and thereby incur the demand for resignation by the election, the party will support their demand and take proper measures against the offending member.. The Diet members of the party must act according to the party's orders and are not allowed individual actions.
In short, in the coming election the contest is between democracy and militarism or anti-democratic elements which still retain sufficient influence. The best way to overcome the present crisis is through the evolution of a common front among the various democratic elements in JAPAN.
The Progressive Party, by TSURUMI, Yusuke, the General Secretary
Whether the Nation is thoroughly conscious of the defeat or not depends on their self awakening. As to my party, with the conviction that in order to clarify the reality of defeat and work out a means of national reconstruction it is most rational to ask for the people's solemn verdict; we have been urging the immediate execution of a general election. Criticisms are being heard to the effect that the reorganization of the SHIDZHARA Cabinet is contrary to the people's will, but in carrying out the general election, which is to become the foundation of JAPAN's reconstruction, it's necessary that the Government should, be favorably regarded in the international spheres and untainted by any party colors. My party which retained an absolute minority until the dissolution of the recent Diet would like to pledge itself as the first party, on the following points.
Food: These days farmers are conservative. They greatly doubt whether or not the rice they produce with the sweat of their brows has really been fairly distributed throughout the Nation; at the same time, they are dubious of the proper distribution of farming implements. They are also desirous of fostering a co-operative and autonomous spirit in the agrarian districts. My party is planning to relate the towns and agrarian villages and to arouse the farmers' co-operative and autonomous spirit, rejecting bureaucratic control so that the farmers may exert themselves for production and sell their produce to the Government without suspicion.
- 4 -

(View Page Image)
POLITICAL SERIES: 216 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Peace and Order: Our second point is the maintenance of public order. We aim at the realization of the wholesale dismissal of undesirable officials and at improving the conditions of the better ones. We went to improve the living conditions of the lower rank officials, in order to enable them to willingly offer their services for the maintenance of order. Only with such improvements can we prevent the chaos which is threatening many villages.
Unemployment: It's thought essential that a grand socialistic policy be put into force making use of the new funds arising from the Property Levy Tax.
Inflation: Whether one be a nubile official [illegible]not one should entirely give up dissolute living and curtail his consumption of vital commodities. It is a good example and worthy of our consideration that the English Peers above all others changed their mode of living during the war to which upper strata in AMERICA paid great attention.
Property Levy Tax: We approve of this tax but the point is how to spend it. We must lay stress on the fact that the money should be appropriated for food, the unemployed, maintenance of order and other important necessities. The capitalists who have cash which they suddenly acquired during the war are thinking of ways to conceal their assets by all means conceivable, which means blocking production on one hand and accelerating inflation on the other. Special measures must be devised in this connection.
Emperor System: Taking an example from Christianity, in the Roman Catholic Church, no comment on God is allowed, but in the, Protestant Church just comment is permitted. The conception we took up in the past is the same as that of the Catholics but we must go ahead along the Protestant way in the future. Our policy is for the absolute protection of the Emperor System under just criticism based on rationalism.
Liberal Party, by ANDO, Masazumi,
Chief of the Investigation of Political Affairs
As the Nation is now suffering psychologically and economically we must study means of relief from all sides.
Emperor System: The psychological aspect is the uncertainty of the Emperor's position which has been up till now the center of National reverence. The Social Democratic and Communist Parties are maintaining the view of placing the Emperor outside the pale of the national system but we take an opposite stand. It is quite a logical measure to curtail the so called Emperor's preogatives in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of militarists or bureaucrats and we see the necessity for constitutional reform along such lines, and at the sametime enlarging the Diet's authority.
Economics: Measures against inflation: (l) Freezing the indemnities to the munition factories; (2) Postponement of the payment of wartime bonds and the reduction of interest; (3) absorption of currency by split sales of the Government assets and enterprises; (4) Thorough revision of the tension system; and (5) The curtailment of expenses by a big scale reduction of Government personnel. Immediate execution of the policies is necessary.
- 5 -

(View Page Image)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Food: Modify the quota of KYOSKOTSO (TN KYOSHUTSU is the sale of certain quotas of rice to the Government at fixed rates) of the allotment and raising the purchasing prices, at the same time giving sufficient distribution of these commodities to the farmers who completed KYOSKUTSU and allow them to sell the balance on the market. Means must be devised to accelerate the importation of rice.
Unemployment: As a positive policy, we must institute on a big scale public works and while thus absorbing some of the unemployed, improve labor conditions by setting up a social and unemployment insurance system in order to strengthen and fulfill the working spirit of the masses.
- 6 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0216, 1946-01-23.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only