740.00119 Control (Japan)/1–846: Telegram

The Acting Political Adviser in Japan (Atcheson) to the Secretary of State

14. Tokyo vernacular press not only gave unprecedented news coverage to January 4 directives but departed from usual practice of waiting day or two by making immediate editorial comment on January 5. Tone ranged from favorable to enthusiastic.

Points of general agreement: Revolutionary changes required are necessary for democratization in Japan; failure of Government to take step voluntarily clear indication its weakness and lack of understanding of democracy; balance of power and political leadership now rests with Social Democrats and Communists; Cabinet seriously affected, will probably fall; Home Ministry practically wiped out.

Asahi. Directives issued because Government, to its shame, neglected its duty. SCAP has advanced democratization Japan. Future leadership must be found [not?] in the individuals but in democratic social organizations of the people, such as labor and farmers’ unions. Importance next elections increased.

Mainichi. Directives welcomed by great majority people. Old parties dependent on militarists had merely repainted signs. We do not have a new starting point for Japan. Parties must retain their policies and people exercise their franchise with care.

Yomiuri. Downfall of Cabinet inevitable. Now is time for people to erect new government with their own hands. New directives now complete. Prosecution of those responsible for war and infringement human rights must be carried on by people. Emperor cannot avoid responsibility. Directives are a warning, we must rush on road to democracy.

Sent to Department; repeated to Chungking as our 93 and to Moscow as 3.