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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0352, 1946-02-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1407

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 1407 Date: 18 Feb 46

POLITICAL SERIES: 352

ITEM 1 Emperor System and Democracy by Fujito, Sachio - Magazine: Shinjidai (Monthly) - Jan. 146 Issue. Translator: T. Iwasaki.
Summary:
Ever since the founding of JAPAN, all successive emperors have been honored and respected by the people as living gods, and they have always maintained sovereign rule over this country. As the people have always hold the Emperor in high esteem, mostly because of the intense fostering of SHINTOISM, there always existed a gap between the Emperor and his subjects. As we glance through the history of JAPAN, we see various influences such as the SHOGUNATES of the past, and the militarists, bureaucrats and capitalists of the present generation securing complete political and economic control over the people. These groups, through their feudalistic and aggressive policies, and monopolistic capitalism, misled and exploited the people to further their own selfish interests, thereby bringing upon this country the disastrous conditions of today. Now we realize that the Emperor system, as it stands today, tied down with feudalistic principles, cannot be brought under a democratic system without certain democratic modifications and changes designed to give the people a complete republican government.
Of course, democracy was not entirely unknown in JAPAN as was apparent in the sweeping HEIJI Restoration of a generation ago, which resulted in a revolutionary step toward a democratic JAPAN. But what was the element which checked its full development? It was the survival of feudalism. Now this raises a question as to the part that the Emperor system will play in the future of JAPAN.
At present, there exists two schools of thought concerning the present Emperor system: (1) Complete abolition of the emperor system, as advocated by the Commnuists; (2) Retaining the Emperor system, but combine elements of the Democratic and the Emperor systems along the sane lines as under the Parliamentary system of ENGLAND. It is the opinion of the writer that the latter course should be pursued in establishing a democratic government in JAJPAN. Four major changes should be made to accomplish this: (1) The Emperor will actually participate in administrative affairs. He will head the executive branch; the Diet will head the legislative; and judicial matters will be in the hands of the supreme court. Responsibilities of the respective branches should be well clarified, and though each will act independently, they will function in close harmony with one an- other. (2) Cabinet appointments will be limited to Diet members to counter act any future militaristic and capitalistic influences as well as to keep the emperor in touch with public opinion. (3) The Emperor's Advisory Board (JUSHIN), composed of ex-premiers whose main task was advising on cabinet appointments, should be abolished, for the reasons mentioned above. (4) A unicameral parliamentary system should be established. However, if the present bicameral system is to be retained, a sweeping reformation

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POLITICAL SERIES: 352 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
should he made to equalize the powers of the two houses. With these four basic changes, and with the people working in close cooperation with the Emperor, who will no longer be sacred, but will be the guiding hand of the nation, the writer believes democracy can prevail, and a harmonious Democratic - Emperor System can be maintained in JAPAN.
ITEM 2 The People's Last Resort MIYAMOTO, Kenji - Magazine: Shiniing Feb '46 (Monthly). Translator: Pfc. M. Yonomitsu, S. Kumada.
Summary:
Today, the Japanese people are confronted with conditions more disastrous than they have ever faced before. The majority of Japanese are suffering severe privations, from want of food and from inadequate housing. This state of affairs is the direct result of the policy of aggression that was embraced by the imperialistic government, a policy whose primary purpose was to achieve Economic and political gains for capitalists and land-owners . Without further room for development on the homeland, they sought to exploit labor and to find markets in the neigh-boring countries. Armed might was used to pave the way for further gains. It was the ruling clique that made the war, and misled the people into believing that it was a sacred war.
The first step in the government house-cleaning should be to eliminate from positions of authority the people who were directly responsible for the war, the war criminals and the tyrants who made life unbearable, including the Emperor, the militarists, and the ZAIBATSU. And there is still another element which should be elimenated. It is composed of reactionaries who are constantly endeavoring to suppress communistic activities and who are impeding democratic progress. As tensibly they are maintaining national integrity by retaining the conservative level. They charge that the disapproval of the TENNO system is tantamount to disrespect for a sovereign power. This same group intends to re-establish the imperialistic system, with the TENNO system as its nucleus, when the actual occupation has been ended. On the other hand, our democratic bloc intends to root out radically all the causes of this war, to change the nations' political and economic structure and to prepare the way for a society which will guarantee everlasting peace and good will.
Let us examine the measures in the Communist Party's proposed solutions to the problems that endanger the very life of our nation. First of all, because at the present time the people do not have a truly representative government, a democratic front must be established, and an earnest attempt must be made to acheive Perfect political freedom. The present government is one of the organs which advocates the TENNO system, and yet to is a denial of individual freedom. Therefore it is necessary for the Japanese people to grasp the true nature and origin of the TENNO system.
At one time, in the earliest stages of Japanese history, there was a certain primitive type of communism among clans. Gradually, however, the more aggressive clans expanded at the expense of the other clans until only one predominant one remained. The chief of that clan is purported to be the forebear of the present Emperor. The notion of an unbroken lineage, however, is entirely mythical. Furthermore, it was only in 1868, at the very beginning of the MEIJI Restoration, that the sovereignty of the Emperor was established. The theory of the Emperor's divinity was asserted then only for the purpose of unifying the nation. The interests of the wage earner and those of the Emperor, moreover, are clearly incompatible, for the Emperor is, himself, a great landowner-capitalist.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 352 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
No one can deny that direct responsibility for the war lies with the Emperor. Within the vast structure of the TENNO system, the military clique was only a part; it was the Emperor who gave his approval when the war plans were first disclosed on 8 December, 1941. He also wrote letters of appreciation for the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Those facts are clear, and his guilt is indisputable.
The second step in the reconstruction of JAPAN is to adopt measures immediately to solve the shortages in food and housing. There must be a radical improvement in living conditions. Surplus land owned by the Emperor, and the various shrines and temples must be confiscated. Outright grants must be made to the people. The Land Reform Bill is wholly inadequate to solve the problem. There must be national unemployment insurance, sickness and accident insurance, and old-age benefits; the entire expense must be borne by the capitalists. There is an immediate need for alleviating the sufferings of the unemployed. This can be done by confiscating the entire war time profits of the capitalists. There must be a progressively higher tax levied on wealthy men, in proportion to their wealth. All food taxes, on the other hand, must be abolished.
The logical solution to the problem of food is to break the bonds of bureaucracy, and to establish a new Food Control Commission. All uncultivated and idle land must be cultivated. This and other necessary steps can be carried out only by a thoroughly democratic process. Immediate housing for the homeless can be provided, in part, by opening up unused castles, villas and residences. Only a peoples republican government, clearly, will be able to carry out this plan.
Heretofore, the people have been led to believe in the Emperor's absolute sovereignty and inviolability. Non-criticism and servitude together became a kind of moral obligation, which was vigorously encouraged by the ruling groups. Thus the tenets of the TENNO system were propagated in all aspect of our culture, e.g., in law, education, and the arts. Countless lies and deceits disguised the answers to questions that people put in search of truth and justice.
The historical significance of present-day conditions is shrouded and hidden from the eyes of the people. After 1931 and the Manchurian incident, the TENNO system and militarism gained in strength together. An extreme nationalistic ideology was born, which, though cleverly camouflaged, had as its purpose the establishment of Japanese leadership over the whole of East Asia Anti-alien ideas were encouraged, and any good that resulted from foreign culture was considered inconsistent with Japanese nationalism.
In spite of the insistence that the present Government is a democratic one, other nations know that it is still basically the same bureaucratic system. A people's republican government is the only government which can guarantee freedom for the people and receive support from the other democratic countries. By making a strong joint effort with the other labor movements in the world, the Japanese labor unions hope to find a common place among the workers of the world.
ITEM 3 President HATOYAMA of the Liberal Party Clarifies Standpoint Jiji-Shimpo - 16 Feb 46. Translator: S. Hirata.
Summary:
President of the Liberal Party, Mr. HATOYAMA, Ichiro who is now making a canvassing tour of SHIKOKU and KYŪSHŪ, arrived at the
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POLITICAL SERIES: 352 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
port of BEPPU from MATSUYAMA on the l4th. In reference to the general election policy, he made a statement as follows: "As even the Communists and the Social Democrats themselves are still in a vacillating state of mind as regards the formation of a united front, the Liberal Party will not join the Democratic Front. At the party conference which was held on the 5th, Mr. KIMURA proposed, on the ground that the true character of the so-called Democratic Front lies in the overthrowing of the Emperor System, that it is but right that we should make common cause with the Progressives.
"Now, I believe the greater part of the Progressives are responsible for the war. Therefore, it goes without saying that [illegible]have no mind to act in concert with them. Consequently, we'll drive an election campaign from an independent standpoint. There are about 326 recognized candidates. As to their nomination, we go on the principle of 'return first'. As the election of 200 is expected, we are confident of becoming the majority party in the Diet."
Mr. HATOYAMA assisted at the formation ceremony of the Ō-ITA branch of the Liberal Party. Leaving BEPPU on the l6th, he is to start for FUKUOKA.
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