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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0273, 1946-02-04.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1117

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1117 Date: 4 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Manslaughter Trial - Provincial Newspaper Hokkaido Shimbun (Sapporo) 24 Jan 46. Translator: S. Kawasaki.
The military trial of TAMURA, Katsunori, the principal accused Charged with the murder of a military policeman, was held at the Chamber of the Municipal Assembly Hall of SAPPORO from 22 January. The accused was sentenced to death by hanging and his two accomplices SAITO, Sadaji and SHIMIZU, Tatsuzo each to 30 years penal servitude on the afternoon of the 23rd. At 9 o'clock on 23 January the court was opened. Continuing from the previous day, Detective OKADA of the SAPPORO Police Office was questioned as a witness. The public prosecutor then insisted that both SAITO and SHIMIZU were both accomplices to the murder, while the chief accused was TAMURA. The defendant objected to this saying that this was not a case of manslaughter. As a result of this statement, there followed much serious discussion.
Firstly, Captain BULLOCK, counsel for the defendant, said, "This is a case of accidental manslaughter and not murder. From the wound the victim received, it is clear that no accomplices were involved. From the investigation and the statements of witnesses, blood stains are said to have been found by the gate. TAMURA stated, "I struggled with the victim in the neighborhood of the bridge." Moreover, the defendant argued there is no evidence that the murdered man fought with the accused in the warehouse." The Captain added, "The Police Bureau has pointed out that the defendants form the only source of evidence. However, the document has been written in official language. It is not written in the words of the defendants. The policeman has written the statement as though he regarded them as having the mentality of children. Besides, the statement was written by the accused at a time when they were experiencing mental suffering, when no defendant is at his best. If all three defendants had planned the murder, they would have had weapons. There are no witnesses to this. It is because TAMURA intended to break open the box that he stole a knife from the table. Under the laws of the U.S.A., and also Japanese laws, if there is one wound and no trace of co-operation, it is agreed to be the act of a single murdered. If all three had intended murder, SHIMIZU would have committed murder when he was first siezed. However, he did not commit murder.
Major WARD, public prosecutor rose and addressed the court, "The statements are not only those taken down by the Japanese, but also some of them by Military Police. It is clear that the combined intention of the defendants was to return to their boarding-house, therefore, the actions of the three from the end of their stealing to returning to the boarding-house, were actions which they had all agreed upon. Murder which removed the obstacles, in order to fulfill their end, must be admitted to be a joint action. Moreover, when first of all SHIMIZU was captured, it is clear that it was cooperation that caused TAMURA to come to his rescue. The Major insisted that SHIMIZU and SAITO were accomplices. The court took a recess at 1130.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 211 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The court was opened again at 1420. Colonel WALSH, presiding judge, declared, "I pass sentence." The accused TAMURA, SAITO, and SHIMIZU who were standing before the Colonel were sentenced as follows: "'The military jury, as the result of secret voting, determined by more than a two-thirds decision that TAMURA, Katsunori was guilty. The accused is sentenced to death by hanging." There was a sudden stir among the women in the audience. TAMURA showed no signs of surprise. He lowered his face to his breast. Then, the presiding judge continued, "The Military Court are agreed that SAITO, Sadaji and SHIMIZU, Tatsuzo are guilty; and they are sentenced to 30 years penal servitude.
Captain BULLOCK, counsel for the defendants, is making arrangements to appeal and take the case to a higher court.
ITEM 2 Question of Employees' Control of Production -Asahi Shimbun - 3 Feb 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
The four Ministers' announcement issued on 1 February in connection with acts of violence and threats to infringe upon the rights of property which may happen in cases of labor disputes, is an expression of the Government's determination to put under control any riotous behavior in view of recent disputes, which have been assuming serious proportions. The crux of the question, however, is production controls by the disputant employees.
As is later pointed out, the present extremely stagnant state of production is greatly influenced by capitalistic sabotage, although the prevailing bottleneck against production and the mental collapse of the people must be taken into consideration. It is thought that the aim and the meaning of the disputes by the employees is that, while accomplishing their demands by disputes on the one hand, they are trying on the other hand to prevent any decrease of production caused thereby and, if possible, going a step further to seek even an increase in production.
It is a most question as to whether such a method is lawful or not, but it is also a question as to whether or not the general legal concept alone can cope with the new situation arising from the current violently changing times. Therefore, should the capitalists or managers make a stubborn resistance, serious friction is naturally to be expected. Under such circumstances, if the Government is to embark upon positive control of the situation, the capitalists will be stiffened in their attitude, thus making future action in disputes very delicate. The opinions of the various political parties on this question so far revealed are that while the Progressives and Liberals are unconditionally supporting Government control, the Communist Party is altogether against it. On the other hand, the Social Democratic Party is calling for grave reflection on the current aspect of disputes and considers the control of the employees' illegal acts inevitable for the purpose of conciliation between Capital and Labor and also for the protection of bona fide capitalists and managers
The Communist Party. NOZAKA, Sanzo.
My Party's order to the Labor Unions is to act within the bounds of the existing laws in cases of labor disputes and to obtain the capitalists' agreement in production control. But what we must note is the fact that the capitalists' sabotage of production is so far-reaching that if let alone neither a rise in production nor an improvement in labor conditions can be expected. All the same, the present
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POLITICAL SERIES: 273 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Government lacks the zeal to solve the problem positively. Rather, it has become more reactionary, recently. Its plan to exercise strong control in securing rice from the farmers reflects this tendency.
As far as we can see there has been no particularly riotous conduct in the disputes. In our opinion, the four Ministers' announcement at this juncture is no more than the manifestation of one of the trends caused from the present Government's real quality. If we make one concession to the Government's reactionary policy it will soon demand another. The Communist Party will handle the question as being of vital interests to the workmen in the whole of JAPAN and will resist oppression to the bitter end.
Liberal Bench and Bar Association (JIYU HOSODAN) OKABAYASHI, Tatsuo.
There is a provision in the Labor Union Law that Article 35 the Criminal Law, which reads "An act performed according to a law or ordinance or just business shall not be punished", will be applied in case a union acts for the attainment of an objective. Therefore, be it a violent act or threat, the same should be legally admitted in case it is regarded as a just action. Here the question arises as to the meaning of "just" (SEITO), but I should like to assert that an action performed in the spirit of the POTSDAM Declaration or for the democratization of JAPAN is just. The interpretation of "just" hitherto generally conceived of in society cannot lightly be applied in this case. The issue rests with the fact that, owing to the capitalists' sabotage, JAPAN's reconstruction is delayed thereby rendering both the nation in general and particularly the employers concerned destitute. There is no other method than the control of production for forcing just wishes on the authors of the sabotage. As there is no other way than control of production it is just.
The demand of a minimum standard of living for the workmen supercedes the law. The saying that even a bad law is a law is an ordinary conception which is all right for ordinary times, but in the social revolutionary period, as at present, a bad law cannot be considered as a law because it is against the revolution. As the laws which are contrary to JAPAN's democratization are invalid, they should at once be repealed; nor is their application permissible. From this viewpoint, the assertion of production control and actions for that purpose should be considered just.
The Social Democratic Party. MATSUOKA, Komakichi.
We often hear of unlawful acts in the current disputes and are afraid lest our just claim be stigmatized as illegal and may give an excuse to those who want to repress the workers in a reactionary manner. If we adopt a wrong method in the dispute, while opposing the reactionary force, the result will be to assist that very force.
Suspicion is felt that there may be something behind the four Ministers' declaration, but to me they simply issued a warning in view of the deplorable state of the disputes, and nothing else. Consequently, as far as my Party is concerned, it does not interpret the Government's attitude as engaging in an indiscriminate oppression. In any case, the employees should pay more consideration to adopting a discreet attitude. Only by making due allowance for the capitalists' stand may the employees expect en advancement in their status. If they resort to extreme measures now, the Labor Arbitration Law, now being drafted and discussed, will be framed to their disadvantage.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 273 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The KANTO Labor Union
The KANTO Labor Union is diametrically opposed to the Four Ministers' announcement.
The Executive Committee for the expansion of the KANTO Local Labor Union's conference held a meeting at the SHINAGAWA Factory of the OKI Electric Co. at 1300 on the 2nd and discussed measures to overcome the food crisis. An emergency motion was brought up and it was unanimously resolved that the KANTO Union is totally opposed to the Four Ministers' announcement on the grounds that it is a tyrannical statement, and they demand the immediate resignation of the present Cabinet. At the Preparatory Meeting of the KANTO Metallic Industry Labor Union, held at the same place on the same day, a similar resolution against the Four Ministers' statement was made.
ITEM 3 The International Millitary Court; Prosecution of Individuals: by YOKOTA, Zensaburo. Part 1. - Tokyo Shimbun - 3 Feb 46. Translator: Paasche.
The War Crimes Tribunal to be established in TOKYO is creating many new perplexing questions because there are almost no precedents for calling instigators of war to account. For instance, are people in leading Government and military positions responsible? Some think that individuals bear no responsibility because war is en inter-state phenomenon, so that the states themselves are responsible. Then there is the question of how to deal with the man who has executed an unlawful act on orders from a superior. It is argued that the superior alone is responsible since his inferior is unable to question the act and regards the order as absolute. Everything depends on how much weight is given to these reasonings. We must counter them by saying that it is the men in the leading jobs who wage war, since the State is too abstract a thing to do it. If we do not get hold of these men, aggressive war will become too easy in the future. We are here facing the very existence of civilization rather than a mere juridical moot point. The same is true of the submissive inferior who must be taught a lesson if he knew that the act was unlawful. A superior has no right to give unlawful orders. Therefore such orders are null and void. Furthermore, if it becomes possible to dodge responsibility on the ground that orders were acted upon, it will be practically impossible to enforce respect for the Law. By countenancing such means of escape the Law would exterminate itself. Justice JACKSON has paved the way for this new conception of Law at NUREMBERG: "The state cannot answer our charges . . . . ." This puts a stop to all flimsy excuses. The sane principles will apply to General TOJO and other Japanese war culprits.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0273, 1946-02-04.
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