740.00119 Control (Japan)/1–3146: Telegram

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


68. For period 24 January through 31 January—Political Summary Government.

The Premier made his first public statement since the reorganization of the Cabinet and declared that constitutional monarchy would have to be maintained regardless of the cost, that it is not contemplated that the peerage system would be totally abolished and that a change in the constitution will be made prior to reforming the House of Peers. An earlier statement of his was repeated when he said that after elections power ought to be transferred only if a majority party emerges that is capable of exerting effective control. The committee investigating the constitution is reported to be making [Page 128] final changes on the final revision. The first four articles are unchanged except that the Emperor is no longer sacred but is declared supreme (Shison). The peerage seats and the imperial family’s seats are abolished and it was reported by Mainichi that the House of Peers would be redesignated the State Council or Sangiin. It has been decided by the Cabinet that elections should be held on 3 March and that the new Diet would meet about 20 April. An ordinance was approved that requires that prospective candidates fill out prescribed forms that would be examined by a special agency which is under Home Ministry supervision. These forms would have to be submitted not later than 10 February in order that the eligibility of all candidates may be determined by 1 March under 4 January directives. Fourteen imperial princes have decided to resign and 69 House of Peers members are affected by the purge. The appointment of 28 prefectural Governors was made but the Home Ministry only supplied 7.

[Here follows report on other subjects.]