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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0250, 1946-01-31.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1039

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 1039 Date: 31 Jan 46

POLITICAL SERIES: 250

ITEM 1 Significance of the General Election - Asahi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
Full Translation:
Success or Failure of the Democratic Front
Promotion of National Political Consciousness
The general election of the members of the House of Representatives has been finally set for 31 March. Nothing is more significant than the forth coming general election. Success or failure to construct a democratic JAPAN depends wholly on the result of the forthcoming general election? The people must consider seriously the significance of the coming general election which is the first step towards extricating ourselves from the confusion and decay that has followed the defeat.
Let us look at the significance of the general election from four angles. Firstly, whether or not a United democratic, front, which at present, has become the great, world-wide aim in politics, can be formed in JAPAN, depends entirely upon the coming general election. The basic solution of various matters which menace many fundamental needs of the nation such as the problems of foodstuffs, the problem of unemployment, and the measures against inflation, can not be carried out except through the formation of a democratic front. The nation can not be rescued from starvation and embarrassment unless a real, democratic, political and economic organization is established, and a united democratic front is formed by which really courageous measures can be effected. The general election will decide within this democratic front can be well and truly formed or not. It whole depends upon the promotion of the political consciousness of the nation.
Secondly, at the special session f the Diet after the general election, the revision of the Constitution will be discussed. The revision of the Constitution will be the critical turning point for JAPAN along the read to her reconstruction based en democracy. The coming general election will determine the members who will form the House of Representatives and who will carry out the revision of the Constitution. Through the election campaign, various political parties will express their opinions on the revision of the Constitution; and will also reveal clearly their opinions concerning the continuance of the Emperor System to the nation. The people can carefully investigate these matters and express their wishes on the revision of the Constitution by voting for the candidates of political parties which support the policies which the people particularly want. For this reason, the coming general election has great significance in relation to the problem of fundamental legislation for the country.
Third, judging from the original plans for the revision of the Constitution indicated by the Government and from various circumstances, the rights of the House of Representatives will naturally

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POLITICAL SERIES: 250 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
be extended through the revision of the Constitution. The present two house system of the Diet will be maintained as it is now. However, it is natural that the formation and the rights of the House of Peers be changed by reform. Furthermore, the responsibility of Ministers of State to the Diet will be fixed. Accordingly the House of Representatives will have extensive rights and powers in national politics as the actual representative of the people. Therefore, from this point of view as well, the general election can be said to have a far more important function than it has had in the past.
Fourth, it goes without saying that the great majority of the former members of the House of Representatives dissolved at the end of the 89th Extraordinary Session of the Diet, were members chosen by the Government who were elected at the recommendation of the Government; and almost all of them had been succeeded by militarists and bureaucrats during the war. Nowadays, as the construction of a democratic JAPAN is beginning, the number of new candidate returned in the forthcoming general election will show the political awareness of JAPAN at the present time. These four points state the significance of the coming general election. It is desirable first of all that both the political parties and the people should clearly grasp the historical significance of the coming general election, and make it a great step towards the reconstruction of JAPAN.
ITEM 2 General Election to be Held on the 31 March - Asahi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
The Government decided at a regular Cabinet Meeting on 29 January to hold the general election on 31 March. The public announcement will be made on 1 march. Previous to this, in order to eliminate those who come under the purge directive of 4 January, the Government is to promulgate today a Home Office Ordinance in connection with the qualifications of the candidates, so that nothing will be amiss in the preparations for the election. The Government at first scheduled the election for 22 January but on account of various circumstances this could not be carried out. Meanwhile having received a directive from Allied Headquarters that it might hold the General Election after 15 March, it has ultimately decided to name 31 March as the date. It took into consideration the various preparations needed for the election. The day falls on Sunday, but the Government purposely chose a holiday in order to prevent abstention.
Thus the first general election since the revision of the Election Law is to be conducted under the epoch making law embodying the major electorates, restricted plural system. After the election, an extraordinary session will be convened on or about 20 April when the revision of the Constitution, property tax, wartime profit tax and other important bills will be introduced to the newly elected and completely transformed Diet.
According to the purge directive the Government has decided to assure smooth operation of the general election by making precautionary investigations as to whether or not they are liable under the directive. With this in view the Home Ministry will promulgate an ordinance and supplementary rules on the 30th.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 250 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The Ordinance provides for the following 3 points. (1) Persons who intend to be candidates in the forthcoming election may undergo previous investigations as to their qualification for public offices. (2) The Minister of House Affairs may clear the qualified persons. (3) In case of a false statement or concealment of fact in the investigation, the clearance will be invalid and the offender will be penalized. The Supplementary Minute rules provide for the items which the applicant must describe (for the investigation). This method will save unnecessary confusion caused by the election campaigns by unqualified candidates. Candidates will know their standing beforehand. The Home Minister is expecting to complete the above investigations during February. It will hold a meeting of the Chiefs of Local Sections of all the Ken where the purport will be fully communicated to the officials concerned. In view of the possible necessity of keeping in touch with the Allied Headquarters on particular individual questions, a sort of Liaison Committee is expected to be set up in the Home Ministry.
In the above connection, the Homo Minister NITSUCHI published on the 29th the following statement. "Regarding the date of the general election, we have taken into account various circumstances., based on the directive of 12 January and we have been considering a proper date, and at last decided to hold it on 31 March. The purport of the Home Ministry Ordinance to be promulgated on the 30th is to investigate beforehand a person who wishes to be a candidate. This will save the trouble of making investigations of each case on accepting the report of candidature or recommendation. It is required of those who wish to be candidates, to send in applications in quadruplicate, in both English and Japanese, on appropriate form, to the Home Minister through the local governors who control the districts where the candidates reside. And as the investigation must be completed before the end of February, the applications must be sent to reach the Home Minister by 10 February at the latest. As the English text is necessary for contact with the Allied Headquarters, care must be taken not to omit it.
I must call the attention of the applicants to the fact that should there be a false statement or a description concealing a fact in the paper, not only the confirmation loses its validity but the offender will be penalized. The report on a candidate or the recommendation of one who has a valid confirmation will be accepted without any difficulty. The papers of persons for whom other arrangements have been made, will require scrutiny or it may happen in some cases that such reports may be refused acceptance. Therefore, it is hoped that those who wish to be candidates will adopt the prescribed procedure as early as possible.
A conference was held at the Premier's official residence at 1600 on the 29th by Chief Cabinet Secretary, NARAHASHI, Chief of the Legislative Bureau ISHIGURO, Chief of the Police bureau TANIKAWA, Chief of the Local Affairs Bureau, KORI, and Vice-Chief of the Legislative Bureau IRIYE, in connection with the practical operation of the Home Ministry Ordinance for the investigation of candidates' qualifications.
The Government's intention is a thorough investigation of the antecedents of each applicant and it appears to insist that, where an applicant was a candidate in the 1942 general election and recommended by the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, he must declare the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 250 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
amount of campaign expenses end their sources. Besides, in case of a false declaration not only will such an applicant be barred from candidacy, but a criminal punishment will be inflicted.
The process of the investigation is that firstly an applicant must describe in detail his personal history, the number of speeches he has made, the books he has published, and so on; and must on; and must submit the papers to the local Governor who, where possible, will decide on his case. Otherwise he will forward it to the Homo Ministry for an investigation. The final decision rests with the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.
A pre-election campaign is prohibited in the revised Election Law as it was in the old one. In the original bill of revision, the Government, in the sense of moderating the restrictions on a campaign adopted the policy of permitting pre-election campaigns, but because of the amendment made by the Lower House it has been prohibited as formerly.
Election Campaigns are therefore only permissible when the report of candidacy or of recommendation has been officially made, after the announcement of the date on 1 March. The violation of this will bring the offender a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year or a fine of 500 yen or less.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0250, 1946-01-31.
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