Political Reorientation of Japan, September 1945 to September 1948; Report

Political Reorientation of Japan, September 1945 to September 1948; Report

Political Reorientation of Japan, September 1945 to September 1948; Report

Political Reorientation of Japan, September 1945 to September 1948; Report

Excerpt

Japanese representative government results from opposition originating without Japan to the system of society and government existing within when General MacArthur set foot on Japanese soil on August 30, 1945.

Under that system Japan was governed by an emperor claiming absolute power by divine right as a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess. His power was derived nominally from a formal Constitution which was protected from liberal reform by so-called secret and patriotic societies (which were neither secret nor patriotic) and the established state church of Shinto.

The emperor was the state. The slightest criticism of this theory of the emperor system, such as proposing the mild thesis that the emperor was the organ of the state, was regarded as sacrilege and lèse-majesté.

The mass of the people, chiefly workers, peasant farmers, and small merchants, were exploited and suppressed. Fundamental civil and political rights, including freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and academic freedom did not exist. Even "dangerous thoughts" were relentlessly sought out and ruthlessly suppressed.

The individual had no safeguard against arbitrary arrest or imprisonment, no right to speedy trial or arraignment, no practicable protection against search of his home or workshop, or the summary seizure of his possessions by police or procurators, and no dignity of being.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.