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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0253, 1946-01-31.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1052

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1052 Date: 31 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The First Session of Ex-captain FUKUHARA's Case; HONDA Case Asahi Shimbun 29 Jan 46. Translator: K. Murakami.
Full Translation:
The trial of captain FUKUHARA, Osamu (then first lieutenant), ex-commandant of the 17th detachment of the OMUDA Prisoner of War Camp, a successor to YURI, Kei, who was sentenced to death by hanging on 7 January, was opened in the third hall of the YOKOHAMA Local Court at 0700, 29 January.
In reply to the inquiry of Colonel CLENDENEN, Chief Judge, "Do you think you are guilty?", FUKUHARA, clad in regimentals, insisted upon his innocence. Then, Prosecutor Captain KAUFFMAN stated the reason for accusation as follows: "During his tenure of office, namely from May 1944 to September 1945, two prisoners were killed as a result of cruel treatment; the majority of them suffered from pneumonia. Moreover, they were brought under compulsion to work in the mines. Such brutalities on the part of the defendant must cost him his life."
After this, Attorney, Major PHILLIPS stood up to claim that the evidence of the affidavits was slender, all to no avail. The prosecution struck off the 17th charge, mass restraint, on the ground of insufficient evidence. Next, the Prosecutor, Captain CAPTS, read 12 affidavits on beating atrocities. The court went into recess at noon.
It was re-opened at 1330 and, Prosecutor CAPPS continued to read the affidavits, most of which, gave grim facts about the death of Corporal JOHNSON. After being severely beaten with clubs or other objects, he was left outdoors in the cold wind for several days, and sprayed with cool water. What is more, he was compelled to kneel with bamboo applied to his knee-joints.
Thus, the first day for FUKUHARA was spent in the presentation of affidavits by the prosecution. Then the court was adjourned at 1600. Charges against FUKUHARA are: (1). Beating Corporal JOHNSON, an American prisoner, to death; (2). Beating MOI, an American prisoner, and causing him to lose the sight of his right eye. Items three to eight accuse him of various other brutalities; (9). His responsibility as commandant to control his subordinates with regard to illegal detention and cases of mistreatment numbering 17 incidents, including killing NAITO* (TN presumably KNIGHT), an American Soldier; (10) - (12). These items blame him for withholding Red Cross supplies, and permitting poor equipment in the camp and hospital. (13) - (17). These five items point out cruel measures, that is, such as forcing sick prisoners, to work, insufficient protection during air-raids, decrease in food and prohibition of smoking.
The 7th Session of HONDA Case.
The seventh session of the trial for HONDA was opened at 0900, 29 January in the second hall of the YOKOHAMA Local Court. Continuing from the preceding day, the prosecution continued questioning

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ITEM 1 (Continued)
Mr. ISHIKURA, Kazuhiro, physician attached to the IWAKI Mining Company, who appeared in the court as a witness. Technical questions and answers were put forward concerning the 'paralysis of the heart' cause of prisoner's death, which was entered in a death certificate by Mr. ISHIKURA. He attested that he only approved the judgement of Mr. DE WORUTSU*, a Dutch physician. In addition, he gave testimony, which was favorable to the defendant, that the diagnosis of Dr. WORUTSU* for the prisoner was very cursory.
The defense proposed and obtained a recess at 1100 as another witness was delayed in appearing in court. It was re-opened at 1330. Mr. SAITO, Makoto, head of the current distribution section of the YOSHIMA Mine of the FURUKAWA Coal Mining Company, who was called up by the attorney, was questioned on labor conditions of prisoners in the shafts.
After a short recess, at 1500, HONDA himself stood in the witness-box, according to the United States Military Court Regulations. After taking the oath, in the reply to the attorney's questions, he told of the circumstances before and after he was summoned to the colors, and his term of office as the commandant of the camp. The court closed at 1600.
On that day, Miss OTOMO, Toshiko, HONDA's pupil when he was a teacher at a primary school in his native town, MATSUOKA-Machi, TAGA-Gun, IBARAGI-Ken, came up to YOKOHAMA to see the trial. Mrs. HONDA, the defendant's wife was also anxiously gazing at her husband while he testified.
ITEM 2 Roundtable: How to Accelerate Formation of Democratic Front? - Yomiuri Hochi - 30 Jan 46. Translator: K. Onishi.
SUZUKI (Head of our Editing Bureau): Today, we have asked you, the leading men of the principal political parties to hold a roundtable discussion to clarify the following points; namely, in spite of fervent public wishes for forming a democratic front (which were clearly seen in the success of the mass welcome for Mr. NOZAKA at HIBIYA Hall on 26th), no positive progress has been made in this direction. What is the reason? And, what are the obstacles? How can they be eliminated if any exist? Furthermore, how is a democratic front to be formed? The objective of a democratic front is to mobilize the masses to destroy reactionary influences, but, which political party is to become the central force? Is mere coalition of the Communist and the Social-Democratic Parties sufficient for this purpose? Or, is it necessary that the liberal Party as well as the Progressive Party also join the front? The latter two have their own policies; what do they think of the democratic front?
Among the social Democrats, there are some persons like Mr. MIZUTANI who are vigorously striving for the formation of a democratic front, but on the other hand there are the so-called "rightists" who are said to have full confidence in the Social-Democratic Party's winning the majority at the general election and are already assuming the airs of ministers. These men hate the communists and that is the reason the Party is refusing the united front offered by the Communist Party; so goes the rumor which is now prevailing among the people, and we should like to know whether or not it is true.
We ask you to express your frank opinions and candidly reveal the latest information on these points. When HITLER first seized power I was in GERMANY. The German workers tried to fight fascism jointly by forming a common front of the communist and Socialist Parties, but the Social-Democratic Party refused to join in spite of the repeated proposals of the others. The situation was so urgent that they were
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finally forced to resort to a united front in order to prepare for the general election of 5 March 1933. Seeing this probability, HITLER crushed the scheme by setting fire to the REICHSTAG and on this pretext, he destroyed, first, the Communists, and thonic the Social-Democrats. Thus, I personally saw the downfall of the German democratic front.
The present circumstances in JAPAN are different from those in GERMANY; we are crying for a democratic front to eliminate feudalistic influences. we must not lose this opportunity. We must form a democratic front at once and strike down the reactionary regime and solve the food problem and ether questions, and finally re-establish a New JAPAN through a democratic revolution. We therefore ask you, Mr. YAMAKAWA, to discuss the democratic front or popular front, as you call it.
YAMAKAWA: There seems to be generally no question of calling JAPAN's present political change a democratic revolution, because it is an abnormal revolution being almost devoid of any principal faction. As it is propelled from without, it naturally has certain limitations. The present democratic revolution may stop half way unless we, ourselves, set in motion a movement that will force a democratic revolution in JAPAN.
The people should be freed from feudal systems and feudal thoughts by achieving a democratic revolution. Their energies must be concentrated to form one strong political power. Military and financial cliques no longer exist and militarists have been expelled, but in reality the old reactionary influences are still entrenched. Protecting democracy from them is another reason for the necessity of a popular front. Five months have elapsed since the end of the war, but not even one step has so far been made toward establishing a democratic JAPAN, either in the economic sphere or in regard to the food problem, which is the moat urgent question.
Further, JAPAN must revive as an industrial country and become a link in the world's economy in the future. Old influences cannot achieve this. In order that JAPAN may be allowed to join the group of democratic countries of the world, a great central force must arise from among the democratic elements and guide the Japanese Nation. In Present JAPAN, the Government is almost entirely impotent and the country is only one step from ruin. In order to rescue the Nation from its present plight, we must by all means establish some central force. This was the reason I proposed a popular front which was the term I used purposely, not knowing under what name this movement would go in the future.
SUZUKI: As Professor YAMAKAWA has stated, the democratic revolution of JAPAN can hardly be achieved without concentrating widely separated democratic elements into one main body. In order to do so, I think political parties which are democratic in policy must, first of all, become the pivot of activity. Then, what kind of roles should the political parties play? I want to ask your opinion, Mr. MIZUTANI.
MIZUTANI: (Standing Committee, JAPAN Social-Democratic Party's Central Executive Committee): Mr. YAMAKAWA has just summarized the principles. It seems to me, there are two aspects in the movement toward a democratic revolution in JAPAN. One comes down from above and the other from below. Unless the movement comes from below, the thorough achievement of a democratic revolution is impossible, because that which comes down from above is abnormally strong. In this sense, I quite agree with Mr. YAMAKAWA in saying that the main body must be as wide in scope as possible, but as for
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us who are members of the existing political parties, I think the question lies here; How should the political parties deal with this problem? It is essential, as Mr. NOZAKA said, that a policy as comprehensive as possible and endowed with elasticity should be established so that anyone who cares for a solution and considerations of the people's livelihood, whatever his party, will find no objections to it. Both theoretically and objectively, the formation of a democratic front is necessary. The question lies in the method.
Our party is acting with great circumspection in handling this problem but nevertheless wants to achieve a united front as soon as possible. The communist Party has proposed a joining of forces three tines. The Social-Democratic Party will join hands not only with them but also with the Liberal and Co-operative Parties, or, if possible even with the Progressive Party, and will call on non-party democratic elements in generals. After the mass meeting of the 26th, men belonging to the Progressive and Liberal Parties intimated to me their objection to joining a democratic front to which the Communist Party is linked and stated that they were of different breeding from those men; that is to say, their aims differ. I think, however, this is due to their misinterpretation of the common fight and the democratic front. There will be some differences on basic problems even between the Communist Party and our Social-Democratic Party which are said to be most closely related. In the common fight each must recognize the other's divergent views and respect them and by drawing a line of demarcation wherein they can join hands a democratic front must be achieved.
ITEM 3 The Formation of the Democratic Front Has Made Great Advances - Tokyo Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: H. Naoji.
With the return from abroad of Mr. NOZAKA, the formation of the democratic united front of this country is eagerly anticipated in all domains of the country, as is evident in the political and social affairs of late. However, notwithstanding the success of this movement for the formation of the united front, it depends entirely on the success of the formation of a popular front by the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party, and this is not expected to be realized in the near future.
One of the chief reasons for the failure of the formation of the united front among these parties can be ascribed to their difference of opinion towards the popular front; namely the Social Democratic party intends to form a united front with their [illegible]wa-power in the same manner as their power which dominated the Diet; while, on the other hand, the Communist Party is maintaining its attitude that the popular front should be established on the basis of a realistic struggle in life.
Those men who are the leading elements in the Social Democratic Party are very critical about the fundamental stand of the Communist Party and are expressing their opinions that the joint struggle will be impossible, as long as the Communist Party remains under the leadership of Mr. TOKUDA or Mr. SHIGA and the like. Although some elements such as Mr. YAMAKAWA and Mr. AKAHATA, who wore once attached to the Laborers' and Farmers' Party are actively endeavoring to establish a popular front, there are many obstacles in the way of its establishment.
However, such opposition between the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party is supposed to be more attributed to sentimental reasons rather than to the decisive differences between the organizations of the two parties. Therefore, the national attitude con-
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cerning this problem will also effect a great influence over the future of the movement of the popular front. Namely, those men who are working in the mines, transportation, industry or agriculture are, on the whole, hoping for the realization of the united front of the two parties. So, the Social Democratic Party must participate in the struggle of the public masses. Such an attitude of participation is the most important point in the political sense of the word for establishing a united front in spite of the difference of the opinions on the fundamental platforms.
As to the attitude of the Communist Party, it must first of all co-operate with other political parties in uniting the masses into democratic political parties and in mobilizing the people for sweeping away all reactionary influences rather than gather the public under the influence of the Communist Party. This is the most urgent problem assigned to it.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0253, 1946-01-31.
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