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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0255, 1946-02-01.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1054

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1054 Date: 1 Feb 46


ITEM 1 NOZAKA and KATAYAMA on the Joint Front - Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: Daasche.
Full Translation:
The formation of the democratic front is the most important political talk of the day. The key to success or failure is in the hands of the Social Democratic Party. This party is now taking the stand that they will be the nucleus of the new setup after the general elections, regardless of the trend of outward circumstances. But the importance of these circumstances cannot be overlooked. It is evident that the intended undertaking is slow in coming. We have invited NOZAKA of the Communists, and KATAYAMA of the Social Democrats to give their opinions on the shape that the democratic front is to have and the difficulties standing in it's way. We started the discussion by pointing to the historical and global significance of the democratic front problem, as borne out by the Nazi and anti-Fascist role of the Front Populaire in EUROPE.
NOZAKA, Sanzo: "It is true, the popular front is the result of bitter historical experience, as well as searchings of heart. When HITLER took over, in 1933, the Communists and Socialists had to ask themselves what had enabled him to do so. After all, before he seized power, GERMANY had The World's Greatest Workers' Unions, the world's greatest Socialist Party, and, apart from the SOVIET UNION, the world's greatest Communist Party. The Third International should seriously ponder over the question of how HITLER could win despite all this. The answer is, that HITLER won because the Communists, Socialists and the Democratic anti-Nazia did not join hands. From this bitter experience the united front idea was born and we must keep taking this hard lesson to heart. In JAPAN militarism is not yet completely destroyed. It lingers in various disguises. Should our strength weaken, there is no saying what will happen. The militarists might get on their feet again. Our task is democracy but it has only begun and is, as a matter of fact, still without tangible results. It is for this reason that all popular forces with identical aims must join in a common front.
Even in FRANCE the power of Fascism had begun to show its teeth before war broke cut, but the Communists and Socialists reacted by bringing about joint action. A joint committee was established and a democratic front got under way to a certain extent. Yet, in the meantime, war broke out and the situation became more threatening each day, with the result that the enterprise was temporarily smashed. However, a front with a new goal was springing up through the co-operation of communists, socialists, and patriotic groups striving together for liberation from the HITLER yoke. This was the so-called National Front. After the war, as the elections clearly show, a democratic front has resulted in communists, socialists, and DEGAULLE- supporting Catholics. This setup in a position to form the present French Government and to carry through a rather daring political and economic revolution.
I believe, we Japanese should take a leaf out of the Frenchmen's book despite differences of general environment. The French Rational Front

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POLITICAL SERIES: 255 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
was largely the result of foreign domination (HITLER'S Nazis), an experience not shared by the Japanese, since the American Army may be regarded as an army of liberators. At the present moment we are faced by two problems, the liquidation of old JAPAN's feudalism and militarism, and the task of building a new democratic JAPAN."
KATAYAMA, Tetsu: "We have to take JAPAN's peculiar situation into consideration which, during the war, made it very difficult to oppose the war frontally. It was, therefore, necessary for all anti-militarists to unite in bringing about an early end to the war, to foster pacifism and to check the activity of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. But it seems hardly possible to continue this sort of co-operation, under post-war circumstance, in its old form, because the level of political intelligence in JAPAN is relatively low. The people do not as yet sufficiently understand the difference between the policies of the Communists, Socialists, Progressives, and others. If we want to have results we cannot plan intimate co-operation without thinking twice, because things have changed since the war. All of us feel the urgency of rooting out militarism by joint action, as stressed by NOZAKA, but as for suitable methods and the right time, much caution is required."
NOZAKA: "Your party, the Social Democrats, say that the situation must become ripe before a united front can be set up. What does this mean in so many words?"
KATAYAWA: "When we speak of the situation, we mean the political conditions in the country, the food question, inflation, unemployment, and, last but not least, the trend of options inside our own party. The first requirement of co-operation among the democratic parties would be complete understanding and true friendliness. Otherwise the scheme would never work, because the mere fact that we are facing the same necessity is not enough."
NOZAKA: "I would like to know what we communists can do to win your confidence."
KATAYAMA: "For instance, you say we should jointly talk over the food issue but there seems to be no definite plan as to how we should go about it. The newspapers publish proposals for food administration by the people, but an adequate method is yet to be known. We Socialists have our own plans about farmers' unions and rice supply, but there are still many unsettled points. Equally, there are many fundamental points in the communist program which I do not understand. We social democrats are like the middle path standing between you and the liberals, but as a political party we came into being only recently. On the other hand, many of your people we came into being only recently. On the other hand, many of your people have been in prison for communism for a long time and have only recently re-joined you. Therefore there are naturally a great many questions which need thrashing out by you end by us."
NOZAKA: "I admit there are certain basic problems, like JAPAN's future form of Government of long-term economic policy which it takes time to settle, but there are other questions, concerning food and livelihood, which brook no delay. Instead of having different plans worked out by both parties it would be more practical to set up a joint committee for shaping a common policy, because this would yield earlier results."
KATAYAMA: "The differences in outlook are still in the way of a joint organization."
NOZAKA: "If we are unyielding on the different issues, things will become very difficult, but we should meet to dispose of the food question, tentatively, because that may be a beginning. If there is a plan, so much the better, and if not, we might find one. If you have a good plan we will, of course, accept it, and if the joint
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POLITICAL SERIES: 255 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Committee offers a workable blueprint, we will likewise accept it."
KATAYAMA: "This would be all right if the food question were very easy to solve. For instance, we did not approve of the way you handled the case of the ITABASHI food cache, which is only a symptom showing that there is a considerable difference in outlook. Furthermore, there is the question of how far you and we will go in democratization. We socialists wish to handle each and every thing in a democratic way, but what about you?"
NOZAKA: "We can discuss such basic question occasionally. If we disagree on this point, it does not matter. We should act jointly whenever we agree on certain issues, particularly on urgent problems like the food dilemma. Both proletarian parties will then thrive despite basic differences of ideas. The ITABASHI event was probably largely a misunderstanding and is frowned upon by the communist party. It runs counter to our policy."
KATAYAMA: "I think the time for removing our differences will come as soon as the elections are over."
ITEM 2 The People's Preparations for the Forthcoming General Election - Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: M. Kajima.
Full Translation:
The general election by which the people's will is to be clearly shown was decided to be held on 31 March. In this general election, the people must cast a vote with the intention of making our fatherland happy, and unoppressed. Concerning the people's preparations for the forthcoming general election, two famous, persons, Mr. HORI, Makoto, a professor of the HOSEI University, and Mrs. ICHIKAWA, Fusaga, a member of the New JAPAN Woman's League, had the following to say:
"In any case, after strictly examining the policies of each political party, we must poll for candidates belonging to parties which are able to realize the people's will most honestly. But, in general, voting is apt to depend upon private consideration. There can be such occasions as the likeable personality of a candidate but the party to which he belongs is bad, or policies of a party are good but a candidate belonging to the party is not attractive. But I think that on such occasions, too, attaching great importance to the policies of parties, we must poll for a candidate belonging to the party we support, irrespective of our slight discontent with him. For that purpose, each political party should explain its won policies simply and clearly to all the people.
"It is reported that the Progressive Party and the Liberal Party have been hit a considerable blow by the purge directive issued by SCAP, but their constituencies are still solid. Especially in rural districts, even if a leader cannot offer himself as a candidate, his followers being members of prefectural assemblies or the former members of the House of Representatives will try to maintain their constituencies. Farmers may think that the former political parties are hopeless, and in fact private considerations still have great influence. We must remember well that it is the responsibility of the people themselves to let bad members of the House of Representative appear and to create the Cabinet contrary to the people's will.
"According to the result of general election held in 1930 in GERMANY, most candidates for whom women polled were persons belonging to the socialist party and the communist party in cities and persons belonging to the conservative party in rural districts. Therefore, the moderate tendency towards the selection of candidates was influential among women in rural districts. At that time, the words crisis
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POLITICAL SERIES: 255 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
began to arise in GERMANY, but our present narrow circumstances can not be compared with her circumstances at that time. Women must soundly exercise their rights to vote in accordance with their ways of living. The forthcoming general election must aim at the sweeping away of old influences. The result of this general election must reflect the people's will which has done away with the pressure of old influences.”
Mrs. ICHIKAWA's talk:
"It is most important for us women to decide on both the person for whom we are to poll and the political party which we are to support. We must support such a political party as sincerely considers the food, housing and sanitation problems. It is also important that we select a party with a basis of democracy. It is only a few months ago that women acquired from such sources in information as newspapers, wireless, magazines and lectures.
"It is good that we critize candidates together with our fathers or brothers in our own homes. But, for instance, if we find the best candidate, we must decidedly poll for him, irrespective of our fathers' recommendations of other candidates. We must poll for a candidate on the basis not only of his political ability but also of his personality and behavior. A man whose wife and children are unhappy in his home is not qualified as our representative. Not a few women seem to be candidates for members of the House of Representatives. All women must not necessarily poll for female candidates. At any rate, I think that we must poll for a respectable candidate, regardless of sex."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0255, 1946-02-01.
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