24th June 1945

Reshaping the administrative structure of Japan to conform with the emergency and the new summary authority demanded by the emergency, Suzuki announced at the present session of the diet that the empire was being divided into eight practically autonomous and self-sufficient regional governments-general. The first conference of their new heads was held in Tokyo last week and today the Times takes the opportunity to summarize the significance of the system. The trend has always been toward larger administrative units, it notes. The 305 prefectures set up in 1871 to take the place of feudal fiefs had been reduced to 46 by 1906. War necessities however have shown that even these 46 are still too many and too small. In partial response to the need for greater coordination regional administrative councils were established in 1943 but the system did not prove successful because it was fundamentally a conference of [illegible]. Under the new system of Governors-general with ample centralized authority will take the place of the councils. They will have cabinet rank, be responsible directly to the cabinet, and will exercise authority in their districts on behalf of all the ministers. In other words, they will be one-man cabinets for their respective regions. The system seems to be similar to that of the commissioner for different regions in the Philippines, established in the closing days of the Laurel regime.