Another important reform which we were ordered by the Occupation authorities to initiate was the reform of the nation's police set-up and the establishment of two separate police systems -- one national-rural, and the other based upon local autonomous forces -- each independent of the other. This development occurred while the Liberal Party, of which I was president, was out of power, and even after my return to the Premiership and the formation of my second Cabinet. I was for some time not certain how the new system worked in practice until a succession of events which called for police action caused me to become aware of the peculiar nature of the new set-up.
According to the new police system sponsored by the Occupation authorities, each city, town and village in the country had its own police force, while, in addition, there existed the 'national' police. I was originally under the impression that the latter had jurisdiction over the whole country, but learned this, was not so; the national police had authority only in those districts where there existed no local autonomous police. Furthermore, the Government possessed no powers of any kind over either the national or local police forces.
Such a system contained weaknesses, a fact which G H Q no doubt thought would contribute towards the democratisation of the nation's police system. It did, but as Communist disturbances attained ever more serious proportions, the inefficiency of the new police system made itself increasingly felt. For instance, cases were reported where Communists in small towns and villages took possession of police stations and occupied municipal offices and the local police were powerless to deal with the situation. Strikers occupied factories in the same way and began operating them for
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Publication information: Book title: The Yoshida Memoirs:The Story of Japan in Crisis. Contributors: Shigeru Yoshida - Author, Kenichi Yoshida - Translator. Publisher: Heinemann. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1961. Page number: 176.
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