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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Far East and Australasia (in two parts)

Northeast Asia: Japan,   pp. 601-939 PDF (132.7 MB)

Page 607

quarters. The Prime Minister's conservative attitude, his refusal to
participate in a coalition government with the Social Democratic
Party in 1947, his insistent demands for an election, and his general
effort to resist advice and pressure from General Headquarters have
made Mr. Yoshida unpopular and the subject of criticism. Interven-
tion, however, not only undermines Mr. Yoshida's position, but in the
present political situation primarily benefits the extreme left. As dis-
cussed at length in this Mission's despatch No. 813, the broad socialist
middle group, from which we believe it would be desirable for a gen-
uine labor party to emerge, is at present disintegrating. Much of this
disintegration is represented by an increasingly large movement of
left-wing socialists into the communist party. The extreme left wing
in Japanese politics is therefore gaining strength at the expense of the
more stabilizing middle element, while the conservative forces are
being undermined by the intervention of General Headquarters.
  While, discounting certain of the points reflected in Mr. Ichimada's
comments, this Mission does wish to emphasize its concurrence in the
view that Headquarters' action vis-a-vis the Yoshida Government
in a number of instances may well work to our long-term disadvantage.
It is our belief that the most desirable and practicable pattern for
democratic development in Japanese political life rests in a change
of governments between a conservative party and a labor party as their
majorities fluctuate in the National Diet, with the communist group-
ings at the extreme left remaining always a small minority. At the
present stage of Japanese political development, however, there ap-
pears a tendency toward alignment between the extreme right and the
extreme left. The more conservative elements are endeavoring to form
a single conservative party, while the communists are exerting formid-
able leadership to organize an extreme leftist group. The important
middle political area, from which a future labor party should develop,
is unfortunately in a state of disorganization and disintegration.
  In these circumstances, the intrusions by General Headquarters into,
Japanese politics can cause a particularly undesirable effect. Without
the presence of a strong, sound labor party to serve as a political bal-
ance wheel to the conservative forces now represented by the Demo-
cratic-Liberal Party and the Democratic Party, we should avoid
weakening the conservative position at a time when the only element
which can profit by this action is the extreme left under communist
leadership. Such intervention therefore is thus far having the effect,
of building up a communist-organized left as the only effective counter-
weight to the conservative right.
  Respectfully yours,                                W. J. SEBALD
     201-136 77  2

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