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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0008, 1945-11-14.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0036

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 36 Date: 14 Nov 45


ITEM 1 The legalization of Birth Control - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 7 Nov 45. Translator: S. [illegible]Inoue.
Full translation:
Once a foreign scholar commenting upon the JAPAN'S policy of population said that although she is anxious about over population on one hand, she is proud of her numbers on the other hand.
At a result of defeat in this war the militarists who insisted upon the glorious necessity of increasing the population have fallen.
Thus the Japanese people must solve this problem by recognizing frankly the danger of an over population. JAPAN'S population in the latter part of TOKUGAWA eras reached from 25,000,000 to 26,000,000 and today we live in the same area of territory with a population about three times this number.
Even though the arable area has been broadened and the industries have been thriven greatly, the general leve1 of livelihood has accordingly been lessened and we cannot afford to hold this swollen population. Frankly, if we do not wish to lower the general standard of living, we must positively use reasonably modernized methods birth control.
There has been enacted here in JAPAN a National Eugenics Law to prevent malignant heredities, but even the enforcement of this law was greatly hinderec during the war by the large-population policy of the militarists.
The birth control from the augenic point of view has been established by this law, but what about the birth control the economic sense?
JAPAN is notorious for her high death rate as well as her high birth rate, but the death rate has always been increased by infant mortality.
Infant mortality is 10.6 per cent of children born, which percentage is more than two times as high as that of AMERICA. The death rate of the younger generation of both sexes at the ages less than 20 is about 23.8 per cent respectively which percentage is twice as high as the 11.1 per cent male rate and the 9.1 per cent female rate in AMERICA. Such a high death rate must be the result of both the poor social sanitary conditions and bad living conditions.
At the result of the loss of the war, national power and national living conditions will rapidly become worse and the death rate will surely take an upward trend. However, should nature take its own course, the birth rate may be expected to become correspondingly higher because of the physical causes; such as, lowered food ration and consequent deterioration of morals as a result of the lowered standard of livelihood.

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ITEM 1 (Continued)
Thus in addition to the deterioration of national economy, there will occur a strong deterioration in the people, through the birth of both mentally and physically inferior children and malnutrition. If such is to be the case, the children thus horn will probably be roughly brought up and poorly educated. It is evident that the people are contemplating birth control as a result the food shortages and bad living conditions.
Unless we encourage birth control, taking advantage of this chance, the people may not be concerned with the results of over-population, and racial degeneration and ignorance, crime, poverty and disease may inevitably result and replace honesty and ambition. Some circles may object on the grounds that birth contro1 will bring about the emancipation of sexual actions and throw social morals into confusion, but we must decisively exclude such objections.
It is fundamental not to increase quantity but to improve quality of the population and in order to obtain this purpose birth control must be legitimatized.
Some years ago, the Population Food-stuffs Investigation Commission under the cabinet led by General TANAKA took up the problem of the birth control but the circumstances of today are more serious than then in his days and so birth control must be immediately legitimatized and must be well regulated "by the Government.
Birth control according to the general conception of means the control of pregnancy by means of implements or medicines but it is necessary to include the artificial abortion and medical operation. At any rate we must positively put the birth control into practice.
ITEM 2 For the Democratization of Economy in Japan - Asahi Shimbun - 8 Nov 45. Translator: K. Nobunaga.
Full translation:
The problem of dissolution of the ZAIBATSU, that is to say, the financial clique which has been sensational was calmed down by a communication on 6 November of Headquarters of the Allied Army. The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers gave permission to the Japanese Government to a plan of dissolution of four financial cliques.
General MacARTHUR says "It is the first time in the history of JAPAN that the way to economical liberty was opened for the Japanese."
It is worthy of our notice that the ZAIBATSU, like MITSUI, MITSUBISHI, SUMITOMO and YASUDA, who governed the economical circle in JAPAN, was dissolved in a moment. Incompetence of the government, which hesitated in dealing with the ZAIBATSU until then, must be fully reproached. But it is very pleasant for the people to know that such a policy has been decided.
The object of dissolution of the ZAIBATSU by the suggestion of the Allied Nations and our plan is the following:
Dissolution of the cartals which have totalitarian monopoly power.
Confiscation of the benefit of grants given the ZAIBATSU In the wartime.

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ITEM 2 (Continued)
Democratization for possession and benefit distribution.

Breaking totalitarian monopoly power is insufficient by means of exclusion of control rights or by dissolution of holding companies. Industrial control of the ZAIBATSU in JAPAN is done not only by possessing shares, but by directors and personal affairs.
Capital of the ZAIBATSU, banks, trusts and insurance companies very often exercise their strong control rights by investment. Consequently, it is an urgent necessity that the ZAIBATSU be checked in their affairs in industry by publicizing of their banking organization, of their holdings and of their staffs.
Secondly, the question of confiscation for the benefit of this class in war-time. This should be studied specifically and carefully. As to this point, Colonel KRAMER replied to the newspapermen that this is to be studied separately. We have many questions to study before a report may be made.
Thirdly, democratization for possession and benefit distribution seems to be accomplished by alloting shares and property, first of all, to the employees of the relative companies. However, we have a question to study on economic democratization. That is, does a national concern affect the economy. For instance, be sure a national management or national business is not contradictory to democratization.
Lastly, we have a question how to readjust the economy of JAPAN, caused by dissolution of the ZAIBATSU. What organization and function will be born after the disappearance of the ZAIBATSU. The greatest obstacle to the democratization of economy in JAPAN has been swept away by the dissolution of the ZAIBATSU, and it is our duty to reconstruct the economy in JAPAN from the present confusion.
ITEM 3 Training for Democratic Administration - Tokyo Shimbun - 7 Nov 45. Translator: K. Nobunaga.
Full translation:
The democratization of the administration which is determining the development of a democratic JAPAN is being carried out in various ways. But, in spite of the rapid change in appearance, the substance itself does not always move at the same place. The reason for this is that the nation is wanting in administrative training. If you glance briefly at the condition of internal affairs, this can be understood. Though the confusion which existed at the termination of war has already been settled, the reaction of the nation against new circumstances, docs not yet indicate an organized direction. The people in general, have a feeling of distrust and antipathy toward the militarists and governmental officials. While they interested in their personal affairs, they view the reconstruction of a new JAPAN as of secondary or less importance.
For instance, citizens are interested only in homes or food, depending on transient money, or pensions, and feeling no uneasiness because of unemployment. On the other hand, the farmers are reluctant in KYOSHUTSU which is to say selling to the government, having decided that they will no longer be deceived. It is a temporary reaction against the depressing administration of war-time, but the positive intention to meet difficulties appears less cleanly than expected.
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ITEM 3 (Continued)
Most of the nation so lacks training in administrative technic as to be unable to study the problems brought about by the above complaint. Therefore, they do not attempt a correction by democratic measures, which the administrative power provides and by which they can turn the complaint into administrative action. This would provide a government such as they want and through which they could accomplish their own administrative desires.
This fact is now more important, as the women's privilege to vote has just been decided. The shortage of administrative training not only concerns the women in our country, but the nation generally. We cannot but feel it more keenly, particularly in the case of the women, because in the general election to come, the number of male votes, even if new male votes are included, is about 2,000,000 less than the new women votes. When the 5,500,000 male voters who abroad, and undemobilized are excluded, women [illegible]voters whose number is about 26,000,000 are twice or so as many as that of the men. Therefore, the political situation of a new JAPAN will be overwhelmingly dominated by women's influence. Women's interest however, in administration [illegible]much less in comparison than that of men. Consequently much more effort should be put into the political training of women.
Some women say that women's suffrage is indeed nice, but 1 shō of rice would be far more thankfully received. This is not necessarily insensibility to administration but it shows the necessity of training women to realize what their political potentialities are. In the case of men as well as women, their political sense has become dulled through the suppression of politics for the past ten or more years. After the Manchurian affair, restraints on free speech causes the political sense of the people to degenerate in spite of themselves. Now the way to reform and relief of this condition has been opened.
Though we have only to advance in that direction, we should not forget that a systematic approach is necessary. In spite of the fact that all kinds of freedoms have been assured and the Key to democratic administration has been given us, if each person were separately engaged in complaining about trifling matters the result would be negative and the purpose would not be achieved in a hundred years. Organizations formed by small groups of people with similar views or within professional circles, will, through actual practise, promote democratic administration without reliance on political parties.
ITEM 4 The New Mission of the Press (Editorial) - Agahi Shimbun - 7 Nov 45. Translator: J. Wada.
Ful1 translation:
The newspaper, which is alleged to be a public organ, must make clear its own war responsibility, if it is willing to continue to be the leader of public opinion. This is the reason why the ASAHI made the first move to clarify the war responsibility of the press. The clarification of war responsibility is now the prevailing tendency in press circles.
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ITEM 4 (Continued)
We went farther to declare that the ASAHI was an organ of the nation, apologizing for the errors the ASAHI had committed during the war. But a declaration is not enough for a renovation. The future of the press will be as full of difficulties, as the future of JAPAN herself. Putting the declaration into practice will need constant training and much courage. But the declaration is an expression of the general will of all the members of the ASAHI, which is a proof that the members have come to realize by profound reflection the important mission of the press in future JAPAN.
The real aim of our declaration is to democratize the management of our newspaper. The employees of a newspaper are a portion of the working people, and are all powerful under a democratic system. Without this interpretation, the rejuvenation of the press will be nothing more than a farce.
In other words, what we aim at is the democratization of the press and the contribution of as much as we can to the movement towards democracy in JAPAN. The present JAPAN hag nothing except starvation, unemployment, vagrancy and political chaos. The government takes no action. It remains a spectator. New political parties are still in preparation. Thus a serious social crisis is approaching.
Under these circumstances the nation has no means for the expression of its emotion, thought, and claims. We are afraid this absence of a means of expression will induce a terrible upheaval. The most urgent mission of the press is to guide and speak for the people in this period of political chaos. Then, what is the meaning of "nation"? What class will we speak for? There are still influential remnants of the military party, peers, bureaucrats and financial cliques. The "public" we will speak for is not the ruling classes. In a word, the public, which we intend to represent is the worker in the factories, offices and fields.
The New JAPAN can be built only by those working people. We journalists are of this vast working class. "It is very probable that thoughts and ideals common both the press and the worker can be found. The revival of JAPAN can be attained only the democratic rejuvenation and a clean sweep of the militarism and feudalism which are deeply rooted in JAPAN, Democratization must be carried out because it is an absolute necessity for JAPAN'S revival and not because it is a directive from the Supreme Allied Headquarters.
In this time of turmoil, the mission of the press should be to serve as spokesman for the Democratic Front, supported, by the working people at large. Needless to say, a newspaper should not be the spokesman for one party or one family, exclusively. Since the mustering of all the power of the working classes the key-note of democratization of JAPAN, we believe that our mission and our role in the future is to be the spokesman for the national democratic front.
ITEM 5 Is it Possible to Reform the Official System? - Mainichi Shimbun - 9 Nov 45. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full translation:
The plan for the reform of the official government system is inadequate. It proposes simplification by dividing the higher branches into four ranks in place of the existing nine rank division.
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ITEM 5 (Continued)
The necessity of retaining the rank system, however, is questionable since it's purpose has been merely to establish a salary scale. It follows, then, that the system of official rank and salary is regulated simply by Imperial Edict. Since the reform bill proposes to divorce rank from salary, there remains no reason for retention of the rank system. Salary should be fixed according to the responsibilities of the position, and by length of service. The very same thing should apply to subordinate officials. As a matter of fact, the line of demarcation between higher and subordinate officials might very well be eliminated, and a policy substituted whereby all officials gain recognition by ability rather than rank. Under the existing system, higher officials are presumably appointed by the cabinet and minor officials by the minister. In actuality, however, the minister appoints the higher officials as well. If this were not the case, it would be impossible to secure the services of the most capable men. Reform of the appointment system as planned by the government is inacceptable since it proposes to reinstitute civil service examinations for the higher poets. Abolition of the monopolistic practices of the law faculty and substitution therefore of a system recognizing ability have long been matters of discussion. It is better to secure the proper man for a given post at any given time rather than hold special examinations. As an example, it is the practice in various companies to give examinations befitting a particular position in place of general examinations which qualify all those who pass. An official should be accepted for his ability and experience, not simply because he has passed an examination. Those passing the examinations who at the same time lack the necessary qualifications should be used only as apprentices. It has been the practice to accent those who have passed the examination as qualified officials. As a consequence, well experienced men are not as much in evidence as in other institutions. Reform of the official system will never be accomplished so long as the present method of official rank is maintained. The same problem applies to the public choice of prefectural governors. Whether the prefectural governor's rank be "Shinnin" or "Chokunin" (TN Both terms designate Imperial appointments,) is of little consequence; but it is of importance to determine the extent to which self-government of a prefecture is to advanced. In regard to this issue, it is reported that the government proposes to set up a group of officials headed, by vice governors appointed by the Central Government. It is evident from this plan that the government intends to further the government of officialdom by officialdom since the position of the duly elected governor will thereby be substantially weakened. Friction between a powerful governor, and the vice governor and his subordinates will inevitably develop. If the purpose of the government's plan is to utilize the vice governor and his staff of officials as overseers of the democratic prefectural government, it is an ill advised policy, and one which will obstruct the progress of true self government. If limitations to the powers of the prefectural government are required, they should be imposed by some other agency such as national law rather than through, so vague a medium as a vice governor. Hence, the services of a vice governor are not needed. The power to administor the affairs of a prefecture should be placed within the popularly elected governor, duly controlled by law of by regulations enacted by the local Diet. As already noted, the basis for prefectural self government is the public choice of the governor. In the present situation we believe it proper to give complete control to the prefectural body. It may be stated that the granting of complete self government is premature. Certainly such a nation will never advance the ability of the people to govern themselves. In the present situation it is necessary that the people of
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ITEM 5 (Continued)
the country be made aware of the responsibilities of self government, and if local self government is bridled, democracy can never be attained. The demand for the prefectural district system is still strong, even though the government has indicated that it does not favor a policy of the abolition of the local governor-general, system. This in affect bears out the necessity of the prefectural district system. However, the bureaucrats of the Home Department oppose it since they fear a transfer of autonomy from the present prefectural government to the prefectural district system. However, the prefectures have gained the experience of in one way or another governing themselves for several decades. The reorganization of the local administration with completion of prefectural self government and transfer of administrative powers to the prefectural district system must now be executed. Without a complete reorganization of the existing bureaucracy, reforms in official circles can not be accomplished.
ITEM 6 Zaibatsu and the Government - Tokyo Shimbun - 8 Nov 45. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full translation:
The dissolution of Japan's leading ZAIBATSU is carried on in accordance with the order of the Allied Forces. A certain minister declared that it was not the old ZAIBATSU but the newly rising ones which successfully reaped a mint of profits through the war. The government authorities concerned showed no very create zeal for dissolution. As for financial combines themselves, they appeared earnestly to have desired to keep the forthcoming dissolution at a minimum and to keep up appearances. But now that all their crafty, foxy efforts have proved in vain, they must be filled with deer emotion.
In this regard our attention must be focused on the fact that the whole nation as well as the employees of the ZAIBATSU families should pave their way towards dissolution. A firm grasp of the reason why the ZAIBATSU should be dissolved now should be attained. Dissolution of the ZAIBATSU families through mere discontent with them would have no more meaning than the fact that new directions have taken charge of deputies representing the IWASAKI, MITSUI, SUMITOMO, YASUDA and other families. Similarly, putting the stocks on public sale would also bring no change in the existing situation of monopolistic combines if the majority of those stocks to be sold were cornered, under numerous different names.
In scrutinizing the conditions current in various monopolistic companies connected with ZAIBATSU, to our great regret we perceive such a tendency in the recently revealed personnel of new directors. We have no need to mention the names of the directors one by one. For your careful investigation of the newly appointed list of directors would be enough for your comprehension. Such an unfair attitude can also be perceived in government personnel. For example quite recently Mr. SHIGEMASA, former Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, was appointed chief manager of the JAPAN Manure Company, Ltd., (NIHON HIRYO KAISHA) in defiance of the fact that responsibility of all government officials for the war is much discussed today and that the appointment of superannuated government officials to important seats in big private companies is becoming a public scandal. The impertinence of Mr. SHIGEMASA knows no bounds.
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ITEM 6 (Continued)
On the other hand there is something wrong on the part of the manure company. If the company could not refuse his appointment in the face of governmental influence, it proved too weak for power. If this appointment was made voluntarily by the Vice-Minister, we can only feel doubtful regarding his political wisdom.
ITEM 7 Dissolution of the Zaibatsu - Mainichi Shimbun - 9 Nov 45. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full translation:
General Headquarter's announced that General TOJO had received a large sum of money amounting to ten million yen as well as a residence from the MITSUBISHI. A rumour was widely current that he preparing for the worst had registered his real estate for division among the members of his family. Until he became a lieutenant-general, he was known only among military circles. If he had money, it was nothing to speak of. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he was criticized because he built a house which was in violation of the building controls which prohibited houses covering more than thirty TSUBO. But he was not criticized as to cost of construction.
So far the public has been generous enough but now we understand how he was forced to readjust his estate because of his great fortune. Since he resigned his post as Prime Minister, we have heard nothing of him. The writer remembers how he once talked in his better days as Prime Minister. He said, "I am enjoying His Majesty's confidence and may appear to be Number One in all JAPAN, but when I retire to private life, I shall be nothing but a simple subject." To our surprise, the general was busy adjusting his estate at that time. We hear that Admiral NELSON was presented with a great sum of money from the Parliament after his death, which was sufficient to pay off his debts. Needless to say, there is no comparison between NELSON and TOJO, but that both received large sums of money.
It seems that the dissolution of the four big ZAIBATSU had a remarkable effect upon some quarters. For all assets of the ZAIBATSU, transferred to a liquidation organization, are receipted for and will be paid, for with Japanese public bonds maturing in more than ten years. And the sale, purchase, delivery and hypothecation of these bills and public bonds is prohibited. In short, all the assets of the ZAIBATSU will be changed into mere sheets of paper and also will be the object of heavy taxes.
But the sacrifice will be negligible in comparison with that of DAIMYOS (feudal lords) who surrendered their domains to the Emperor as a result of the abolition of clans and the creation of prefectures in the early days of MEIJI Era, In surrendering their domains, the four big DAIMYOS (feudal lords), SHIMAZU, MORI, NABESHIMA and YAMANOUCHI, presented an "Address to the Throne", the text of which reads in part as follows: "Although these domains of ours have been handed down from our ancestors, yet from our point of view they are not different from such treasures they took from government storehouses when they broke into and protected at the risk of their lives. Those who break into storehouses are called robbers, still more, those who robbed land and people must be great robbers."
Indeed they thought of their own ancestors as land robbers. This enthusiastic spirit of theirs for renovation is worthy of our admiration. The writer wants to know how the ZAIBATSU men are feeling.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0008, 1945-11-14.
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