Documents with Commentaries

5-1 Correspondence between Yoshida and MacArthur on General Election

 These are the letters exchanged by Shigeru Yoshida and MacArthur concerning a general election. In his letter dated February 6, 1947, MacArthur requested that a general election be held to install a new Diet to coincide with the enactment of Japan's new Constitution. Yoshida sent a letter in reply on February 10, in which he expressed his understanding that holding a general election would be the proper step for the nation in embarking upon its new career under the new Constitution, and promised to hold a general election quickly. It was around this time that the country found itself at a very unstable juncture, when MacArthur ordered the general strike planned for February 1 to be cancelled. It is thought that MacArthur intended the election to ease the increasing strength of labor problems, and that with the threat of the general strike looming, he wanted to have the people determine the political accountability of Yoshida, who had not in fact been driven into a corner by the threatened strike.

Actual Title of Source Letter from Douglas MacArthur to Prime Minister, dated 6 February 1947
Date 6 February 1947
Document Number Diplomatic Records A'"Correspondence and Records of Meetings of SCAP and his Staff with Japan Prime Minister and Other High Japanese Officials" <GAI-1, Roll No. A'-0055>
Repository (reproduction) National Diet Library
Repository Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Note Microfilm
Actual Title of Source Letter from Shigeru Yoshida to General MacArthur, dated February 10, 1947
Date February 10, 1947
Document Number Justin Williams Papers, "JW-128-26"<JWP, Roll No. 013-0203>
Repository (reproduction) National Diet Library
Repository McKeldin Library, University of Maryland
Note Microfilm
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