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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0278, 1946-02-04.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1126

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1126 Date: 4 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Superintendence of Candidacy Qualification - Mainichi Shimbun - 3 Feb 46. Translator: S. Kawasahi.
Full Translation:
The date for the forthcoming general election has been decided. Applications for certificates of qualification by the Home Office Ordinance were first received by various prefectural offices on 2 February. The attitude of the people toward the general election has become an urgent problem in political circles.
The coming general election is the most important factor in deciding whether or not the democratization of JAPAN can be attained. The rise or fall of our country really depends upon the general election. Nevertheless, the Home Office Ordinance has not laid down any positive principles for the promotion of a national, democratic, and political sense. The Home Office Ordinance has no legal, restrictive power. Those who believe they are not liable under the directives of SCAP may run for election as candidates, even if they do not have written certifications of the Home Minister.
Those who write false facts in their personal careers will be punished. It is a provisional measure which was made in haste by the authorities. It can not be said to be a perfect counter-measure. However, in the near future, the applications for candidacy will be legally restricted by the promulgation of "prohibitions of employment and candidacy" under the directives of SCAP is an Urgent Imperial Ordinance. It is a lukewarm ordinance which attempts to indicate that the directives of SCAP are the direct-understood. The Ordinance regulates that all candidates are to obtain the certificates from the Home Minister. The Home Office authorities forecast that the delivery of certificates will be ended by the end of this month.
Under the present conditions in which the number of candidates is estimated at more than 2,000 persons, it is doubtful whether the delivery will be carried out as expected. Here is a problem on which the nation should make cool judgment with perfect control. It is a problem of whether or not only those who have the certificates of the Home Minister will be real democrats and the representatives of democratic political parties. In practice, the written certificates will become the bills promising qualification by statesmen who carry on their backs the new JAPAN and are not liable under the directives of SCAP. Negatively, the written certificates will become recommendations by the Government.
Such a fact only confuses a nation which is in the course of developing democratic ideas. Namely, under the directives of SCAP, the Government has not taken a positive attitude with which the authorities can draw the line with regard to prohibition of candidacy. The above policy of the Government can be said to be due to the fact that their own weakness in politics is feigned ignorance; and the preservation of the old powers and former political party members will be permitted.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 278 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The Government has not yet any definite measure for restricting the candidacy of undesirable persons, though the fixed date of the general election has already been decided. The nation is feeling dissatisfied with this incompetent attitude. The coining general election should be supported by the free will of the people. If the bill calling for written certification should be undemocratic, unreactionary and preserving the old influences and power, then some observant individual should expose the situation.
ITEM 2 Women's Frank Views about the General Election - Mainichi Shimbun - 3 Feb 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Four elementary school teachers expressed their views that they will not pass up their right to vote, and will do their own choosing of Candidates. The candidates of their choice will be men of firm conviction and know the real situation that teachers are in. When voting, their first consideration will be for the party and then individual members; they are well-disposed to the Progressive Party because it supports the Emperor System, but in view of the party's past conduct, they will think twice before voting for it. Therefore, they believe that the Social Democratics and the Liberals seem preferable to the progressives in view of the formers professed policies. The Communist Party is out of the question because it clamors for the overthrow of the Emperor System, but they are interested in NOZAKA. They do not count much upon women representatives.
Three Waitresses of the DAIICHI Hotel hope women candidates will be elected so that they will work for the emancipation of Japanese women who are placed in a disadvantageous position both at home and in society. They are not going to cast their ballots for men who are against the Emperor System; they like the Social Democratic Party but do not know why. They would flatly refuse to be bribed.
Five Nurses of the NIPPON University's No. 1 Hospital think the women are better off without suffrage and do not want women running as candidates; especially they dislike their own sex associated with the Communist Party, because they are losing their feminine qualities. They know nothing about the parties, nor have they ever thought of voting. As they are always handling patients they want men who are seriously considering the food question. They do not pay much respect to the Communists because of the party's cry for the downfall of the Emperor System, but toward NOZAKA they may have good feelings in spite of his being an outstanding member.
Two housewives in ZOSHIGAYA, TOKYO are of the opinion that women alone can understand women so they want women representatives who understand homo life. They think the Social Democratic Party shows concern for the welfare of the poorer people.
Three students of the JAPAN Women's University will not cast ballots merely because of a favorite candidate. The personality of a candidate being a secondary question, they must study the parties. They are not hopeful of the Progressive or the Liberal Parties because they fear that these parties will not be able to cope with the prevailing situation. Until NOZAKA's return they could not approve of the Communist Party since it looked is if it was not rooted in real socialism. As for to the Party,s future attitude, they may think favorably of it. They do not have much expectation for women candidates.
Two open-stall merchants at AWAJI-Cho and KANDA-Ku know nothing about parties, but they dislike men who, when elected, do not show the slightest interest in the electors. They want men who are well versed in
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POLITICAL SERIES: 278 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
the hardships of their class, and if they are women so much the better as they do not like to be dictated by men even in the matter of election.
A hostess of a tea house in SHIMBASHI hopes that women representatives will be elected to protect the oppressed women. Her profession is apt to invite misunderstanding, she says, but even in such a society there is hope and honor. If a candidate is a man well versed in the situation of the lower classes, she asserts, she does not mind if he belongs to the Communist Party.
A geisha at SHIMBASHI states that inasmuch as the times are different she would not vote for a candidate if she were asked to do so. She does not approve of the women candidates so far put forward, and would prefer new men to old politicians.
A farmer's wife in TOCHIGI-Ken hopes that women candidates will be elected who will hold their own against men. Being in the country, she deplores the fact that she has little chance of acquainting herself with various parties' policies and wishes to be more enlightend in simple language. Most of the old women are apathetic to the election, she adds.
Two girl clerks in MARUNOUCHI believe women representatives will understand delicate points which are beyond men's comprehension, but the present women leaders give the impression that they are of a leisured class, so that they want working women and housewives for their representatives. Lecture meetings seem best to advance our political knowledge and we hope our employers will pay attention to our political education as we have so such time taken up at work.
The Paper's comment.
Throughout this investigation four notable points are perceived:
(1) Women are not so apathetic to the election as is generally supposed.
(2) Irrespective of ages, they clearly stated their opinions to the questions.
(3) Women are desirous of having representatives of their own sex, and that tendency is more strongly felt among housewives and women in less favored circumstances.
(4) However, their political knowledge is poor after all, and despite their will to take advantage of suffrage, they give an impression that it is premature because their knowledge of and comment on the parties were entirely pointless.

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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0278, 1946-02-04.
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