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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0268, 1946-02-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1101

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1101 Date: 3 Feb 46


ITEM 1 New Constitution is of an English Pattern Minister without Portfolio MATSUMUTO Peaveals Yomiuri March 2 Feb 46. Translator: J. eiller.
Full Translation:
As a result of study and deliberation, we obtained two revision drafts - A and B. The A draft is the one I am now explaining at the Cabinet meetings while the B draft is a collection of various plans in detail in order to be of reference value when studying the A draft but in some case more than three drafts are brought into discussion. At the cabinet meetings we are not studying the two drafts as the final ones and making a choice between the two, but as far as draft go A draft is the basic one from beginning to and while the B draft is no more than the material for my explanation. Neither draft, however, has anything in common with the one rumored to be the Government draft, except for one of the tentative revision drafts sent from various quarters at the end of last year which has some resemblance to one of them. The explanations I am now making at the Cabinet meetings are not on such article but only on the outline of the whole; we intend to go into detail after that.
We intend to make decisions at the Cabinet meeting early next week regarding the important points which will be the essential part of the final draft which is expected to emerge from the Investigation Committee on 2 February.
The Constitutional Question Investigation Committee is not a resolving organ but is an investigation organ. Consequently study is being made at Cabinet meetings from various angels. The investigation conducted by the committee extends over a very wide sphere and studies are carried out in anticipation of various contingencies. As it is, even in case of divergence of opinions in Cabinet meetings there is no need to call the committee hurriedly and it is not scheduled to be convened until a decision is arrived at by the Cabinet, when supplementary rule, etc will be submitted for study.
As a matter of fact the revision will leave the heads of the Investigation Committee tomorrow and in the future a draft decided by the Cabinet will be submitted to the Deliberation Committee to be set up in the Cabinet. The committee will be composed of the organization according to an Imperial Ordinance, and the draft, after being duly passed for deliberation, will be forwarded to the Privy Council for Imperial ratification and from there he submitted to the Diet. I think the suitable time for the publication of the draft is immediately before submitting it to the Deliberation Committee. Of course it would be more democratic if the draft were studied by various other bodies than the Deliberation Committee and also if the draft were published before the announcement of the date of the election so that the candidates might face the election and expres their respective views on the proposed revision, but I am afraid, owing to various circumstances, it will be difficulty to obtain a timely publication. If, however, it can be done before the announcement of the election date it would be a comparatively easy matter to map out the supplementary rules etc, before the extrordinary session after the general election.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 268 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
As I replic to the questions at the last extraordinary session of the Diet I do not feel the need for changing articles 1 to 4 in view of their meaning. Some people may take my attitude as very conservative or undemocratic, but it is quite natural to leave room for political and legal debates in the Constitution and it is not proper to conclude that I am adhering to a Constitutional Monarchy because of my attitude of not revising articles l to 4. The question whether the subject of sovereignty rests with the polity or the people should be left to political or legal debates and it is wrong to expect such definitions from the articles of the Constitution. It is dangerous to measure such a question with a definative conception and I hope the public will discover the quality in the draft to be published. Needless to say, it is our intention to fulfill the purport of the POTSDAM Declaration, and the proposed constitution as whole is anglicised, with as few articles as possible but embodying the fulfillment of the POTSDAM Declaration.
ITEM 2 Constitution Reform Investigated; Ministers Discuss Consus Question - Tokyo Shimbun 2 Feb 46. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Full Translation:
The Cabinet, having its daily meeting with regard to Constitution revision, is seriously investigating the bill which MATSUMOTO, Minister without Portfolio, presented. The ministers are frankly expressing their opinions especially on the articles that provide for the Emperor's position and his sovereignty, and are in a hurry to draft the original plan after thorough and careful consideration.
Therefore, at an ordinary Cabinet meeting on 1 February, the point of their discussions will cener on the Constitution revision bill. Before the meeting, Foreign Minister YOSMYA, Finance Minister SHIBUSAWA, Minister without Portfolio MATSUMOTO, and the Cabinets Chief Secretary NARAHASHI had an informal talk a 0930 in the secretary's official room.
Besides the revision bill, they are going to decide the details on the census which must be carefully taken during the week after the general election, according to the directive issued by SCAP.
ITEM 3 Constitutional Reform Draft Expected Ready Next Week - Social Democrats and Communists Express Opinions on 4-Minister Statement - Nippon Sangyo Keizai (Japan Industrial Economy) - 2 Feb 46. Translator: K. Onishi.
Full Translation:
For a speedy solution of the problem of constitutional reform, the Government is holding Cabinet meetings every day to study the subject mainly in the light of the tentative draft drawn up by the Constitution Investigation Council and it is expected that the Government's interim draft will be ready during the next week at the latest, and the Constitutional Reform Council as a Government organization will be established where the representatives of the Government and the people will discuss the draft.
When the Government draft is presented to the Council, it will be simultaneously announced to the public to ask their opinions. The day for this is expected to be about 1 March which is the day the announcement of the date of the general election. As a result, coupled with the election campaigns the people's discussion of Constitution reforms will become active and the attitudes of all the people will gradually cone to light. At the Council, there will be revisions of the Government's original draft, but there will be also fairly warm discussions at the Privy Council. After the draft is approved by the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 268 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Privy Council, the Government for the first tine appeals to the Emperor for his proposal to reform the Constitution, and by Imperial order the draft will be presented to the Imperial Diet for discussion.
For two months, from now on to the end of election, and among both the Government and political parties, the problem of Constitutional reform will be the center of public opinions. Further, the opening of the special Diet session is expected to be about 20 April, and the Government will study the revisions and abolition of appended regulations for simultaneous presentation. The reform draft discussions will be continued at the Cabinet meeting to be held on 4 February at 1330, it was decided.
Mr. MIZUTANI (Social Democratic Party) says, "No objection, but we object to its capitalistic application. As for our party, it is our policy that we direct it in conformity with the spirit of the Labor Union Law, and we have no objection in principle to the Government's statement, but in actual practise it is a serious question as to how to dispose of violence, threats, and encroachment upon ownership. To be blunt, the labor dispute itself is a sort of threat, which, if the law is to be applied strictly, may forbid the labor dispute itself, but this way of thinking does not apply in the case of labor disputes even when considered from an academic standpoint. Besides, during the war, didn't the capitalists maltreat the laborers with violence and threats? We object to any unilateral application that disregards the long cherished sentiments of the workers. Therefore, a big question lies in where to draw the line of demarkation between impunity and violation. On the other hand, the capitalists ought to behave themselves in such a way that they be held in affection by the workers and so be free from violence and threats."
Mr. KUROKI (Communist Party) says: "It is the supression of the workers'. The Government's statement or labor disputes suppresses the workers' management control. There is no infringement upon private ownership by the workers' management control; it is contrary to the facts, because there are even instances of increases in their profits as the result of the increased output by the workers' control of management. As for violence and threats, the party is not leading them in that way at all; we are leading them to proceed in peace. The Government's attitude ignores the right of labor based on the POTSDAM Declaration, and it exercises suppression, standing on the view-point of the Emperor system. It is a violation of the treaty following the POTSDAM Declaration, it obstructs the democratization of JAPAN and such a Government must be overthrown at once."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0268, 1946-02-03.
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