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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0275, 1946-02-04.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1121

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1121 Date: 4 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Attack on Government's Revision Draft of Constitution - Mainichi Shimbun - 2 Feb. 46. Translator: T. Kijayama
Full Translation:
The revision of the Constitution has been and is being investigated deliberately by the Government, political parties and eminent schoolars. The Government's draft of the revision has just been published, and the ideas of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet concerning this problem are now clarified. The Liberal Party which advocates the joint rule of the State by the Emperor and the people, the Communist Party which says that sovereignty rests with the people, and the Social Democratic Party which stands by the judicial function of the State, all criticized the Government's revision draft of the Constitution, each from its own standpoint.
MIZUTANI, Chozaburo of the Social Democratic Party said: Our Party is fundamentally against the Government's revision draft which maintains the status of the Emperor on the same principles as before. It is doubtful whether the fulfilment of the POTSDAM Declaration and the revision of the Constitution can be realized by such a draft. If the Emperor occupies the position of a superintendent, there is danger that those who really hold the power will in the future rule the nation in the name of the Emperor against democracy, though in other ways limitations to sovereignty may be provided. The Emperor himself stated to a correspondent of the NEW YORK Times that he desires the English sytle of monarchy. If the status of the Emperor is as above-mentioned, it is far different from the English monarchy. The adoption of the Chamber of Councillors (SANGIIN) in place of the House of Peers, and of the provincial representative system in conjunction with the professional representative system is all very well for the downfall of the feudalistic character of the House of Peers. But I can't understand why it is that a session of the House of Representatives which holds the actual power in politics is limited to three months. The Diet should be made a standing body. As this is a fundamental part of a democratic government, we should like to make it so by all means. We also disspaprove of that portion of the draft which states that the power of dissolving the Diet rests with the Cabinet. I think the proceedings for the appointment of a Premier should be determined by the Diet. "I cannot understand the Government's intention in making a draft revision of the Constitution at the present time. Such an important task should not be undertaken in such unsettled times as these.
Is the Government attempting the task in anticipation of it's being revised again in the near future? Or does it feel that the present revision will last for a tolerably long time to come? Whichever it may he, the main purpose of the Constitution revision depends on whether changes have be n made in Articles One to Four. It is essential that the Emperor be prevented from ruling. Why is it again that the abolition of the Privy Council is not touched upon in this revision? Does the Government intend to allow it to continue to exist? If so, the principle of not allowing the Emperor rule in practice is not established firmly. It is also necessary I think, that the nation's rights and obligations to labor, the right of workers to unionize, the right to strike, the right to "go-slow", etc. should be granted."

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POLITICAL SERIES: 275 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
SHIGA, Yoshio of the Communist Party said: 1. "It is impossible to carry out revision of the Constitution under the present Government which is as far behind the times as any Government has ever been. 2. In the Government'e draft, the Emperor still holds all sovereignty. This really obstructs democratic reconstruction, and is quite contrary to our party's ideology which advocates that the sovereignty rest with the people. 3. This draft intends to maintain all of the Emperor System prerogatives as in Article Ten, while the bureaucrate continue to monopolize Government machinery under the Emperor System 4. Why is it that the Government, in the articles treating of the rights and obligations of the people, has reaffirmed the limitations on their rights as before. 5. The Diet alone has the right to approve the power of the Emperor System. The idea of representing the people is ignored. It seems to be [illegible]lated to maintain the status quo. 6. As for judicial rights, the Government seems to intend to leave them as they are now, and arbitrarily to suppress the people's democratic rights. It is absolutely essential that judicial bodies be chosen which represent the people. 7. We cannot understand why the present Government which cannot even stabilize the living of the people, is in such a hurry to revise the Constitution, and why at this early stage of democratization, it forces the people to accept a Constitution of their making, and not one which reflects the will of the people."
KITA, Reikichi of the Liberal Party said: "Our party, as has already been announced, adopts the policy of the sovereignty of the state. We stand on the ideology of joint rule by the Emperor and the people. In the Government draft, the Emperor is to exercise sovereignty. What sort of rule does the Government intend to make the Emperor adopt I wonder? We support a system in which the state ministers use the sovereignty to assist the Emperor. The Government's draft does not clarify what sovereignty is. In the matters of judicial rights, our idea of the independence of judicial rights means the administering of justice with the nation's support. We have already clarified this point in writing. All in all, the Government's revision draft shows nothing progressive in it."
ITEM 2 Government Bill on Constitution revision to be Settled Next Week - Mainichi Shimbun - 2 Feb 46. Translator: S. Sano
Full Translation:
An extraordinary Cabinet Meeting was held after the regular Cabinet Meeting on 1 February, and Minister without Portfolio MATSUMOTO, delivered a detailed explanation, article by article, of the Constitution Revision based on the deliberations of the Investigation Committee for the Revision of the Constitution (KENPO MONDAI CHOSA KAI), which were continued at the last two extraordinary Cabinet Meetings on 30 and 31 January.
The Government is scheduled, to hold another Cabinet Meeting at 1330 on 4 Feburary and the final detailed explanation will be concluded with that Cabinet meeting. The seventh general meeting of the Investigation Committee for revising the Constitution is to be held at the Premier's official residence at 1000 on 2 February and the final decision on the draft of the revision is to be made at that meeting. The contents of what is decided on at that meeting are conjectured to be nearly the same as the A and B drafts upon which the Minister without Portfolio will elaborate.
Government policy regarding the revision of the Constitution is to the combined opinions of the Cabinet on the draft made by Minister without Portfolio MATSUMOTO, to consider the opinions of other Cabinet Ministers during the following week, to obtain the consent of MacARTHUR's Headquarters or that of the Far Eastern Commission during February, to submit the draft to the Deliberation Committee which will be organized at the beginning of March, and at the same time to Publish the contents of the draft and deliberate on the bill after hearing the comments of the public.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 275 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The Bill will be brought before the Privy Council after a decision is reached and will finally be submitted to an extraordinary session of the Diet convoked after the gerneral election.
Regarding this Constitutional revision the Minister without Portfolio spoke on 1 February as follows: "At the Cabinet meeting I shall be chiefly concerned with explaining the A draft, as the B draft is dependent upon it, and with adding 8 other necessary remarks which are not in either draft. I think no change should be made in the essential spirits of Articles One through Four though some changes will be made in the wording. However, it cannot be immediately concluded that it is a conservative constitutional monarchy simply because articles One through Four are not to be revised. As is clarified by Article Four, the Emperor presides over the administration as given in each article of the Constitution. Therefore if each can be democratized, the spirit of articles One through Four are also perfectly democratized. The main object of the present revision is to make as few changes as possible and at the same time fulfil perfectly the POTSDAM Declaration. The Investigation Committee for the Revision of the Constitution concluded a general meeting on 2 February. In the future, general meetings or committee meetings are to be held when necessary.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0275, 1946-02-04.
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