Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0004, 1945-11-10.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0023

call-number: DS801 .S82

(View Page Image)
No. 23 Date: 10 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Plan for Arbitration Committee - Yomiuri Hochi - 4 Nov 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full translation:
Mr. ASHIDA, Minister of Welfare, disclosed at the prefectural-governors' conference, held on 2 November 1945, that intended to establish a permanent arbitration committee for the reasonable settlement of labor disputes which are expected to increase.
It seems likely that most labor and unions on receiving this information, will be critical of the attitude of the government for fear it will again establish an arbitration policy. It has been proved that past arbitrations of labor disputes were such in name only, and that they were substantially nothing more than interference of the Government, favoring the capitalists.
It seems, however, that the Minister contemplates the role of the arbitration committee as strictly excluding the old bureaucratic interference. According to his statement, the committee aims "to exclude strictly the forcible controls and oppressive arbitration exerted by police power" and also "to settle conflicts as autonomously as possible between those concerned."
If his policy is followed as the government policy, the laborers had better present their proposals or demands as to making the operation of the committee fair and impartial, and abandon their old attitudes toward the government.
Be that as it may, we must here note the fact that his declaration is only a simple denial of arbitrary action and forcible control or oppression. Nothing is said about the concrete plan for the basic amendment of the arbitration law, not to mention the operation of the arbitration committee which is to be the pivot of the law.
The declaration that the new committee is to be composed of public spirited men instead of being composed of three persons from each party representing the workers, the capitalists and the public, as in the former organization, shows how much more the government intends to stress the public member.
But the presence of a public member does not imply the performance of fair arbitration. On the contrary, if the government picks "men of public spirit" through the conventionally bureaucratic manner, there will surely be a strong possibility that they will become spokesmen for the capitalists.
Consequently, in order to prevent government arbitration from changing into government interference, we must formulate distinct provisions as to the role of the arbitration committee. Of all these provisions, we must first prescribe the role of the arbitration committee to the effect that the committee, although not of labor, will promote the

(View Page Image)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
objects of labor unions; namely, collective bargaining and participation in the management of industries.
Since the government has already decided on the promotion of the growth of labor unions, any oppression by the government should be abandoned, whatever labor conflict it may be exerted to settle.
The committee, therefore, must work on the assumption that it should support and promote the right of collective bargaining and, if necessary, that of participation in the management of industries.
Should this assumption be missed, the committee, would surely turn out to be an obstacle to the growth of labor unions and conflict between the labor union law and the arbitration law would be unavoidable.
Labor disputes, because of the loss of the war, should not be considered as "labor's aggressiveness." They may in every case be attributed to that fact that labor generally is on the brink of starvation. So it is natural to say that the laborer's demands should be approved to the fullest extent that the management of the industries can possibly afford, and the inclination of capital to pursue profit must in these circumstances, be restricted.
The new committee will be aide to play its historic role in full only as an organization for the promotion of the growth of the labor unions and the re-education of capitalists. We are bold enough to say that it must never be merely opposed to the labor unions.
ITEM 2 "Too illogical" - Tokyo Shimbun - 6 Nov 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
''Recently, things around us have become chaotic. I have, been unable to think of then as logical," remarked a certain teacher, in his shed in the suburbs of TOKYO. He went on, "With the termination of the war, the newspaper world has changed its tune. In radio, the same voices that had been broadcasting in support of the TOJO military party have changed to abuse it violently. The terrified girls are now enjoying jeep rides with American soldiers. Those who use the black markets are punished, but those who have not bought black market priced foodstuffs lack nutrition. Actually, hasn't a high school professor died of malnutrition? He trusted the Government too much to go to the black market.'
"The political world is in chaos too. Mr. HATOYAMA has formed a free party. It may be well, but I remember that trouble arose in KYOTO Imperial University when he was the Minister of Education. Mr. SHIGEMASA, former Vice-Minister of the Agriculture Ministry, and Mr. SHIOBARA, former President of the Communication Board, are said to have joined the party. These bosses of the controlled economy, without a word, are now powerful members of the party which is insisting on free economy and the abolition of control. The representatives, who have been suspected to be followers of General TOJO, are loudly crying, "Push out the war criminals." But I think they themselves should be regarded as war criminals of the fifth grade at least.
"Such a conversion may be good, Rapid progress may be better. I do not intend to hinder others' progress, but I wish them to move wisely and feel shame where they should."
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
IIEM 3 Election of Prefectural Governors - Mainichi Shimbun - 6 Nov 45. Translator: J. [illegible]ada.
Full translations:
The public election of prefectural governors and the reform of the civil service system should be put into practice at the same time. The question as to whether public election or examination will place the right man in the right place must be studied carefully. In any case, the election and the political party cannot be separated and the forthcoming election of governors will undoubtedly bring many party men into office.
The frequent shift of prefectural governors, which is very harmful to the stabilisation of local politics, cannot be avoided under the present bureaucratic system because of the desire for promotion on the part of the bureaucrats who dislike keeping a post for any length of time.
Governors elected to office will be free from this desire for promotion. Able men of high caliber will be willing to accept public office. The tentative plan presented by the Departure of Home Affairs to make the prefectural governors government officials will not free them of rank-consciousness, and childish vanities as men of the minister's rank. Therefore, no better individuals can be found under the present system as they will still be obsessed with the desire of being a governor of a larger prefecture than a smaller one.
But there are many impudent "freshmen" who were elected representative with the support of the militaristic party, who are now attacking their patrons. We must be careful to discriminate true "freshmen" from these false one.
The formation of local political parties is a pre-requisite for the public election of governors. The first class politicians from local parties are more desirable as governors than the second or third class politicians from national parties, though we don't mean by this that a local politician is always inferior to a national one.
One of the evils the governatorial elections may bring about is prefectural sectionalism. This would make difficulty in dealing with national problems. In this respect we must favor central parties. For example, the solution of the food problem will need the strong control of the central government over local governments.
ITEM 4 "Demands for a sufficient food ration" - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 6 Nov 45. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full translation:
Equal distribution is the chief object in distributing food and other necessities. It has been a fundamental idea that shortage must be endured, but that inequality must be rejected. However, this idea must be regarded as a question of degree, so far as food is concerned. If the food shortage should be severe enough to cause starvation, we must request more food rather than an equal amount. The distribution of foodstuff assures an equal share but it becomes meaningless if the amount distributed cannot keep the nation alive.
As a Practical problem, when the nation has too little to live on, and the people are obliged to supplement the deficiency, the system can hardly be called fair. Simply to divide the collected foodstuff and
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
ITEM: 4 (Continued)
distribute it equally has little significance. It is the duty of the authorities to secure the full amount necessary for living, not merely to maintain a mechanical or formal equality of distribution. To repeat the conventional phrase "fear not for shortage, but for inequality" without securing the necessary food ration, indicates that the officials attempting to cover their irresponsibility or inefficiency.
The government decided, after taking consideration the present condition of staple food rationing, to make a qualitative increase by distributing rice and barley exclusively, though fixing the present quantity. Considering the present ration, which includes more than half substitution, the improvement must be assured by supplementing the present ration with rice and barley exclusively. Since the problem of importation has not materialized, we recognize the efforts of the authorities. But this is still half-way measure so far as securing the necessary amount for living is concerned. The consumers will still be unable to live on the daily ration and will be obliged to supplement the deficiency by buying food directly from the farmers or by some other means. Such amounts as 2.1 GO or 2.3 GO are derived from the official figures as a result of a comparison of demand and supply, and one not sufficient to maintain the public health. All of the plausible objections that the officials my raise will only be deceptive. The consumers still claim a definite shortage in the necessary amount of foodstuff. The authorities ought to increase the ration to sufficient amounts, such as 3 GO per day, without calculating the impractical figures or advocating mere endurance. In this case, however, due to the present increase, the important problem would arise of how to supply future deficiencies. It is obvious that we must import some foreign rice in this year, for without it, we cannot continue even the present ration. It is a matter of course that we must endure privation as a defeated nation, and use every possible means of production before we can import foodstuff.
But we think the Allied Powers will not let us starve without doing anything. Under such conditions we cannot take any measures to save ourselves from hunger and cannot secure exports to be exchanged for imports. Either we await death from starvation by doing nothing or we secure the necessary ration suitable to a defeated nation by doing our duty to the Allies.
The assurance only of a subsistence ration comprised of rice and barley will satisfy the consumers little more than the present ration. Furthurmore, it is desirable to distribute polished rice, rather than unpolished rice. As to the distribution of the unpolished rice, the authorities claim it is nourishing. But it is obvious that, in reality, they planned to curtail the ration because the weight of unpolished rice is greater than that of polished rice.
In practice, considerable waste is caused by the distribution of unpolished rice. Few men eat it unpolished. Besides the waste of labor in polishing, various difficulties may arise in requesting the rice-polishing mill to do the work. However, it is certain that the distribution of polished rice is much more, effective both in improvement of' the ration and in saving individual labor. While the value of a plain diet should not be denied, it is a mistake to force it on the people. Some express the opinion that the nation should persevere in this crisis even to the extent of eating tree buds and weed roots. As the defeated nation, such measures may be necessary for us, but if such a condition should come, the country will be ruined. As the so-called ''courage with bamboo spears" developed by mistake
- 4 -

(View Page Image)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
into drill with real bamboo spears, foolish men who think that we must actually eat weeds among the authorities concerned. If even one man should be obliged to eat weeds, the responsibility must be attributed to the authorities. It is the duty of these authorities to prevent such a danger. To reject palliative measures and to resolve the food question is the key to the solution of all other problems.
ITEM 5 What is most important - Mainichi Shimbun - 6 Nov 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full translation:
Though the war is over, JAPAN is still stumbling on the brink of ruin and stands helpless at the cross-road of life and death. The nation is now face to face with the most severe threat of starvation it has ever experienced, after having been menaced by furious bombing during the war.
The Japanese nation should make its way toward the construction of a peaceful JAPAN with a renewed determination and conception, effacing all the past from its memory. It must settle the present food problem before any other problem is met.
Though it may be very important that we investigate and make clear the causes of defeat in the war, or that we should renovate drastically the whole nation, we must quickly settle the food problem we are now confronted with before either of the others.
The defeat and its incidental calamities had made the problem serious. The fact that air raids have destroyed and burnt 2,500,000 houses and buildings, and that 10,000,000 people suffer therefrom, has aggravated the difficulties resulting from the shortage of foodstuffs.
It is clear that we cannot live on the 2.1 GO of staple, foodstuffs which is allotted as a day’s ration at present. Even to maintain this ration, we must import 300 tons of additional food. The government should by all means try to secure the necessary amount.
In order to fulfill the provision of the POTSDAM Declaration perfectly, or to reconstruct a peaceful JAPAN, all must make every effort to settle the food problem in time.
If this is not done, all plans will turn out to be desk-plans and it is sure that a deep uneasiness and a terrible confusion will visit JAPAN and its people. We must, in this respect, request adequate counter measures of the Allied forces, leaving the plight to their clear judgment.
At the same time, on our part, every class of the Japanese people must understand clearly what is the most important of all problems we are facing. There is nothing which requires a more rapid settlement than the food problem, which every Japanese must co-operate in settling or JAPAN will fall into a bottomless pit of confusion and ruin. We, upon getting distinct cognizance of its serious nature, must restrain ourselves from any heedless undertaking.
As mentioned above, the democratisation of JAPAN is the most important problem in politics, although it is far behind the food problem in importance, for if the Japanese nation dies of hunger, its existence, as a member of the nations of the world, comes to an end, the basis for the reconstruction of a new JAPAN will collapse.
- 5 -

(View Page Image)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
Even if we are able to tide over temporarily these difficulties with the aid of the Allied Forces, there will appear a population problem which must be settled and a food problem which is closely connected with the former.
If these problems are not completely settled, JAPAN and its people will be left in a most critical condition. We have a right bestowed by God to cry loudly for the settlement of these problems. The circumstances of the war's end may have put some limit on that right, but unless the right of existence of the nation is secured, it will be impossible to establish a true democratic system having liberty and equality as its pivots.
For this purpose only, there can be no delay in the settlement of the food problem. It must be settled in such a way that we will have enough food, not only to keep alive, but also to lead active lives, so that we may work hard to fulfill the requirements of the POTSDAM Declaration. Of all things, we dare say, nothing is as important as this.
- 6 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0004, 1945-11-10.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only