Page 3

Parent I.R.A.A.
Date 11 March 1947
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 4
Folder General Reports and Memoranda from March 1947
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
#3 11-3-47 FSTavenner were held occasionally. One of these meetings was held on 8 December 1941 and at one time it was thought that this might have have had something to do with the fact that the attack on Pearl Harbor took place on the same day. However, the meeting seems to have been surprised by the news of the new war and disbanded immediately without attending to the business for which it was originally called together. All funds for the I.R.A.A. were provided by the government. In 1941 these funds amounted to eight million yen to cover expenses for that year. The regulations of the I.R.A.A. provided also for funds from other sources but these sources are not specified. They would presumably consist of voluntary contributions from well wishers. 3.Development After the establishment of the I.R.A.A., when it became clear that it was not a political party with a specific program but more than anything else a government organization to keep everybody in line with the government's policy, there arose considerable disappoint¬ment in some political circles. The army also seems very soon to have withdrawn its support. In February 1941 when the new budget was dis¬cussed in the Diet the disappointment of the Diet members, who were now without any political party whatsoever, became clear and various Diet members requested an explanation as to what the I.R.A.A. really was or purported to be. Home Minister, Hiranuma, explained that it was not a political party and he illustrated this by pointing out that it did not fall under the category of political associations as defined in the Public Peace Police Law but under the category of public associations without a political purpose. This was quite contrary to the expectations of the Diet members and consequently the original Government budget for the I.R.A.A, of twelve million yen had to be cut down to eight million yen. Konoye once again tried to explain the real purpose of the association but did not succeed in bringing any more light on the sub etc. The most relevant passage in his speech is probably "This movement has sprung up out of the necessity of establishing a strong national defense organisation of the state. It is a movement, which, standing aloof from any special interests of political parties, aims to remove all internal strife in all fields of national life and to concentrate all the activities of the nation upon faithful discharge of national duties. It is a truly totalitarian national movement based on mutual cooperation between the government and the people." General dissatisfaction seems to have continued but nothing more noteworthy happened until a year later when the Tojo Cabinet decided to hold general elections. The Pacific war had then been in progress for some three months and the enormous Japanese victories made the government highly popular. An entirely new system was followed in these elections. The government announced its candidates for all of the 466 Diet state. As there were no political parties there was no real opposition to the government but independent political candidates could oppose the government's candidates. However, the government's candidates were backed by the I.R.A.A.