Militarist 'super-party' seen in Japan

By JOE ALEX MORRIS, United Press  |  May 16 1932
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A 'super party' government in Japan may grow out of the assassination of Premier Tsuyoshi Inukai by a band of Fanatical Militarists.

The creation of such a super-government has been widely discussed in Tokyo in recent months of political confusion. Intensified by the Japanese military occupation of Manchuria and the welfare at Shanghai.

In the main, such a move would be a step toward full power for the reactionary right wing factions favoring a form of state Socialism, which comes under the loose heading of "Fascism."

For many years--since the rise of Liberals to a prominent place in Japanese politics--there has been a struggle between the so-called military faction and the civilian faction. But these groups are general definitions in which there are many minor cliques of varying political shades. During such crises as the present Far Eastern conflict the factional differences have been submerged in the broader struggle of militarists against civilians.

The militarists have held a lion's share of power except at intervals when such governments as the late Yuko Hamaguchi's cabinet commanded enough respect to modify extremist policies. In the wave of nationalistic sentiment which arose during the conflict with China, they came back into a stronger position than ever.

Economic conditions have been severe in Japan. The nation's finances have reached a serious point. Unemployment has risen to terrific figures. The result in Japan, as in various other nations, has been to foster extremist political groups. Some have been Communistic, but the great swing was toward nationalistic or so-called Fascist policies.

There are perhaps a dozen organizations of some weight, which vary from moderate nationalist tendencies to extremist or terrorist societies.

The terrorism which broke out in Tokyo this evening was led by one of these ultra-nationalist groups. The leaders were militarists and, in a general way, support the powerful military faction against the so-called civilian faction. But these assassins were merely a small group of fanatics. Their violence indicated the tendency toward reactionary policies but apparently they failed to win any important amount of sympathy by their methods.

In the last few weeks, the most reliable opinion in Tokyo had been that the Inukai cabinet was bound to fall because of internal disputes and that the most likely outcome would be a super-party regime. This would be a cabinet supposed above political parties, with a probable tendency toward so-called Fascist principles.

It might affect constitutional and parliamentary government, but certainly it would be strongly in support of the emperor. The Militarists would be more strongly entrenched and the most likely choice for premier would be Baron Hiranuma, chief justice of the Supreme Court and vice president of the, Privy Council. He is pro-Militarist and leader of certain Nationalistic factions which have been labeled Fascist.

The demand of the Fascist-like groups in Japan for power has been similar to that of such ultra-Nationalists in other countries. They say the rivalries of "politicians" are ruining the country and that firm rule is necessary to save the nation. They have taken the attitude that splits among the present political leaders have destroyed the nation's confidence in their regime and that a violently patriotic government is essential.

How far any such government as the proposed super-cabinet would go toward state Socialism would be uncertain, but presumably it would be designed to overcome the present political strife and unite the nation in a firm program of reconstruction.

The so-called Fascists -- which include several Nationalistic groups -- favor such policies as severance of the administrative system from politics; limitation of private property; state ownership of utilities and banks; guaranteed wages for laborers, and withdrawal from the League of Nations.

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