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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0219, 1946-01-23.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0904

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 904 Date: 23 Jan. 46


ITEM 1 Elucidation of the Emperor System-Mainichi Shimbun-22 January 1946. Translator: WEIILER, J.
Full Translation:
It is not an exaggeration that for the past few weeks not a day has passed without some sort of discussion appearing in daily papers regarding the Emperor system, and the pressing gravity of the question can be detected in that the discussion is not limited to a certain section of individuals, as was the case before, but is being made in all the strata of society. In fact we are now faced with the necessity of taking up some attitude on the question whether or not we the Japanese people, are to support its raison d'etre. There were some presumptuous individuals who schemed to depose emperors, but even those [illegible]ebels did not think of reforms of the Emperor system itself.
Now that the question has become an issue among the millions of the Country, it indicates that the Nation is facing the greatest problem since the down of Japanese history. The Nation is now made to stand at the gates of death and has to look around to see if it can stand up to this great test of laying a foundation for the reconstruction of JAPAN. Let us seriously consider the meaning of the question so that we may come to a just conclusion to enable us to deal with this unprecedented and extraordinary situation.
The arguments regarding the Emperor system can roughly be divided into two classes-those from the present stand point and those from the historical view point. The direct motive of the discussion is due to the idea that it should necessarily be made an issue in the process of realizing democracy, and its settlement should be arrived at according to the current objective circumstances. However that may be for the precise grasping of and proper dealing with the question, a historical examination concerning the origin of the Emperor system is imperative. Herein lies the importance of historical examination, armed with science in a real sense, but we have no room to explain anew the method of the historical researches. To put the matter more definitely before you, however, I must point out that in considering historical phenomena in relation to the present, not only to elucidate the already accomplished phenomena and compare it with the existing forms, it is necessary also to comprehend the process of their formation. If we apply these premises to the Emperor system, we should not stop becoming intonicated, singing praises of the sanctity of the uninterrupted Imperial lineage in the past, we must probe deeply into the combined will of the Nation, which has been protecting the lineage and has perfected the system. This will enable us to obtain a prop in deciding our attitude toward the question of the preservation of the national polity.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 219 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
There is fear of inviting misunderstanding if we say that the Emperor system is a manifestation of the Nation's combined will. According to classical records, the Imperial family originated from gods and is thereby sanctified, which is, of course, a myth. Mythology is a record written with peculiar religious sentiments by the ancients who looked upon the Imperial destiny with deep reverence, and to such ancient people who were deeply steeped in such sentiment the mythology had perhaps the same meaning as historical facts. The intellect of modern people, however, draws a line between mythology and history, and by appraising the meaning of the mythology, it tries to discover, in a view of the ancient people handed down such myths, the spirit which praises the sanctity and perpetuity of the Imperial lineage. Furthermore, it speculates on the connection between myths and history in that this sentiment, wrapped in antique color in the development of history; has at last emerged as the noble cause of the protection of the national polity.
We should take notice of the temperament of readily deifying things deeply rooted in the national characteristics, based on the spirit of sanctifying. How many testivals we have in our daily lives! Innumerable gods are everywhere as the objects of worship in the forms of guardians of districts as well as provisions. If we survey historical phenomena, bearing in mind the national characteristics of reverence and worship, we cannot but help perceiving that this sentiment has appeared transforme, as the motive newer for forming our history. Of course it contains naive as well as occasionally vulgar sentiments, but, anyhow, by reverent demeanors people display on the occasions of festivals, we can discern the spiritual foundation which deifies the Emperors who are the sovereigns of the Nation. When we find a portrait of the Emperor MEIJI probably from a newspaper, pasted side by side with a charm and an image of an ancient high priest on a soot-stained wall of a farmer's house, we feel it has an indomitable hold in the Country.
Moreover, in the newspaper report on an interview with the Emperor which appeared on New Year's Day, it is said the pressmen involuntarily lowered their heads when the Emperor came near them. Such was not caused by reasoning, but reflect. By this involuntary act, they sincerely felt that they were mere nameless subjects. This description deeply impressed the writer. The state of mind of even the pressmen, who are leaders of the time, is a real tie between the Monarch and his millions.
In order to clear the suspicion that the thoughts of gods' dignity are based men's will being partial to the current interpretation, I must point out the old conception of the mutual relation between gods and men. It is that gods augment their dignity by men's reverence while men improve their fortune by gods' virtue, it is noteworthy that gods' protection on one hand and men's reverence on the other are expounded. While it extols gods' absolute quality, it says that unless they are revered by man they lose the meaning of being anshrined. In short, the conception that gods only exist in relation to men is shown as the fundamental formula of the mutual relationship of gods and men. This formula can also be applied to the case between the Emperor and the people. There is no need to repeat here historical events except that in the New Year Imperial Rescript His Majesty stated to the effect that he is always with the people, and he and the people are tied by a mutual confidence, respect, and love.
Furthermore, as a link between the two, family sentiment must be pointed out. Family life as a natural human sentiment is most universal and is specially stressed in this Country. This state then spread to persons
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POLITICAL SERIES: 219 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
who had no blood relations with the idea of stabilizing society by embracing many outsiders into a family. Of all human groups, family life retains the most stability, and the traditional characteristics of our social life is based on the above idea. This state of affairs is formed in the whole national life as well as between the Imperial Family and the people.
I have cited two examples as the spiritual foundation of the relation between the Imperial Family and the people. There are many other factors besides these, of course, but the reason why I specially pointed out these two is that besides the guiding meaning they possess, would like to make clear the substance of the Emperor system as it is now regarded as a hotbed of feudalistic influence.
As the feudalistic societies differ in their forms according to the conditions of the countries of the world, it is difficult to outline the general conception. The features of cu[illegible]medieyal SAMURAI society which is comparable with the feudalism of other countries, were the absolution of the master, self-effacement of the servants, and ex-ploitation of the farmers. At the sane time the sense of dependency of those below or those above was very strong and they even tended to deify the latter. In the national life the feudalistic relations are easily acceptable. If the existence of arms in not conditional, the relationship can be farmed in almost all the sections of society throughout the ages.
Such feudalistic relations widely surround our present daily lives, and in this atmosphere we must train our sentiment in order to step forward for the construction of a democratic nation; adaptable to the objective state of affairs. We must make ourselves conscious of the fact that we are predisposed to be infected by the residue of feudalism, like being utilized by the fanatic militarists and ultra-nationalists. We must be constantly watchful so that our devotion to it may not run to self-denial nor our confidence in those above us become entire dependence. In the social life which is spontaneous and therefore, really cooperative, we must reject all the feudalistic influences and heighten the feeling of love and respect to the Supreme one, and thus firmly establish a system which is equal to any tests for the purpose of opening the way to perpetual peace.
ITEM 2 The Formation of a Joint Front is Urgent to Cope with the Food Problem Minpo-22 January 1946. Translator: Shigeo One.
In face of the grim food situation, according to the research of 1 January, (7.320,000 koku, or 27 percent of the official allotment, which is a decrease of 25 percent compared with that of 12,000,000 koku for the sane period of last year) the Government has recently declared its intention of taking steps to enforce an increase in the KYOSHUTSU by producers. The distrust of the farmers towards the Government, and the execution of its measures to enforce the KYOSUTSU, have contributed greatly to aggravating the situation. The various political parties have announced their policies for easing the food crisis. The following is the gist of what they say:
The Communist Party: This party proposes to form a co-operative association, both in town and province. The products of modern industries, such as fertilizers, agricultural tools, clothes, and daily utensils, are to be sent to the rural districts to be distributed among the farmers through channels of consumers co-operatives. The rural products would be collected through the producer co-operative

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POLITICAL SERIES: 219 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)

and sent to the urban districts to be distributed among the citizens. Thus, the direct intercourse of the working classes, both in towns and provinces, will promote the smooth distribution of daily necessities and conveniences. This will encourage an increase in production at the same time.
The Social Democrat Party: The policy addopted by this Party is, in general, similar to that of the Communists. They propose to bring about the smooth cir [illegible]ulation of commodities, both in towns and provinces, by the autonomous control of food by the fawners' co-operative association.
The Co-operative Party: The Party program aims, at the realization of the autonomous control of the delivery of food through the creation of a food control committee which will control the price of food and aid food production. It proposes to establish consumer co-operative associations in urban and rural districts.
The Liberal Party: Its program is to adjust the price of rice and other rural products to keep them in harmony with those of other commodities. It would publish, at the same tine, the exact figures of supply and demand.

In short, the claims of the Co-operatives and the Liberals, though disguised under the slogan of the democratic control of food, still remains in the stage of bureaucracy, The Co-operatives are satisfied with a slight change of the organization of the agricultural association, while the Liberals are vaguely supporting official control. The programs of the Communists and the Social Democrats are what we most welcome.
There exists, however a possibility, so far as the food problem is concerned, of an agreement being reached by the first three of them.
In view of the inopportune statement of the Government which will adhere to the enforced control of food, we most earnestly desire the formation of a united front of the communists, the Social Democrats and the Co-operatives, to draw, up concrete measures for the solution of the problem.
ITEM 3 Democratic Strife in JAPAN: How it is Organized and Being Fought The Min-Po-22 January 1946. Translator. HIRATA, Shazo.
It is remarkable that a substantial change has taken place in the Japanese struggle for democracy, and we should like to emphasize that, in the epoch-making work of establishing democracy, the working class is creating a new form of democratic strife by its own great efforts. Laborers began to realize that striking is not the best policy to expedite the solution of a problem. On the contrary, they came to understand that only by direct participation in production and management could the rehabilitation of the Japanese Nation be realized.
Recently, employees of the YOMIURI Press carried out en epoch-making revolution. As is widely know, this democratic rew[illegible]lt fought for three reasons, namely, the prosecution of war responsibility, the establishment of the right of collective bargaining and employees' participation in the management. During the strike, the entire management was placed under the control of the strikers' committee, but the press was run without a day's loss, and its editing became better then before.
It has become necessary for the democratic revolt to include all classes
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POLITICAL SERIES: 219 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
of people, such as industrial workers, engineers, petty bourgeoisie and democratic entrepreneurs. In the democratic strife, leaders should esteem the creative will and action of the masses.
The Japanese proletariat, when they confronted the new state of affairs at the termination of the war, perceived that a change should take place in the method of revolt. Especially, after 10 October, when they acquired extensive political freedom, did they realize clearly that the so-called revolution by violence in the past became absolutely unnecessary, and that it was only the military clique that expected riots to break out spontaneously among the unorganized masses. This revolution by violence became [illegible]eces, because the bureaucratic structure under the Emperor System was disarmed, the police power was weakened: and political [illegible]reedom was acquired. Besides, it is possible for us now to [illegible]y out thorough democratic change by uniting various classes of the Nation, and by utilizing existing organizations. For this purpose[illegible]the battle for control of-the Diet po[illegible]an. Important meaning, and the Nation [illegible]demanding the establishment of a coalition Government [illegible]upon democracy.
The democratic s[illegible]within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, or among the policemen has an important meaning from this standpoint. The democratic common front comprises many classes of people. This may be explained by present conditions in our society.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0219, 1946-01-23.
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