Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0011, 1945-11-14.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0047

call-number: DS801 .S82

(View Page Image)
NO. 47 Date: 14 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Sumo's Relation to Politics - Yomiuri-Hochi - 8 Nov 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
As the result of the decision which prohibits the teaching of war-like sports, it follows that the sports to be adopted be of the European type. Among the snorts permitted is SUMO or Japanese wrestling, and wrestling tournament will be held at the National Stadium three times a year.
In feudal days, wrestlers were first retained as bodyguards for feudal lords and were afterwards prized as athletes, It may therefore he said that wrestling is a vestige of feudalism and it is not militaristic as it developed as a sport because of its amusing character. It differs in the combative character much from the fencing and "judo".
Once there was a lobby for it in active JAPAN when political parties were at their best. Its members were physically strong and exercised great influence because they guard the president and other leaders of the party. They also acted as an organization subsidiary to the party to carry out the party's business.
But they say that the lack of this lobby is causing inconveniencing to the political parties in their reconstruction. The fact that the lobby was similar in character to the Sumomen (wrestlers) who were patronized by feudal Lords demonstrates the feudalistic character of political parties to which it can be said may be attributed their down fall.
But the reason why wrestling continues to exist should be taken into consideration before. The lobby is reestablished. Unless the lobby has glamor and attracts young people, where will be no growth of political parties as they depend on Selections. Even sport, if it fails to attract audience, will cease to exist, It is due to the charm which attracts an audience, in other word, "secures the lobby", that wrestling enjoys its existence.
ITEM 2 "Do they stand up before the Nation?" - Yomiuri-Fochi - 8 Nov 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
It is rumored that the former representatives of the so-called Japanese Political Association (NIPPON SEIJI-KAI) are moving rapidly to form a big party. Their actions indicate nothing but the final gasps of the old-time politicians terrified at the strict judgment of history. Our nation is gazing cooly at its dissolution end as well as at Prince KONOE and others.
Those who were returned on the recommendation of the TOJO Cabinet in the general election In the 17th year of SHOWA (1942) should be held responsible for the war. Consequently, more than ten of them

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 11 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
have intimated their intention to resign. But public opinion that all the other representatives should, also, take responsibility for the war by declining Candidacy in the coming election is becoming strong.
In spite of this, some of the old parties such as MACHIDA's, NAKAJIMA's and KUWABARA' have been trying to gain public favor by a show of affection and loyalty to the tenets of democracy. Their disgraceful actions are numberless. Their maneuvers are based chiefly upon their individual ambition to rise to the surface of the political world. They have no political conscience or principles. They have relied only upon the feudal constituencies. Taking advantage of their small kindnesses to the voters, which were by abusing their political privileges during their four years' term, they have been maneuvering for reelection so as to a rush the newly-formed democratic elements.
Is the nation still unaware of their ambitions? Even the Allied Powers, not to speak of the UNITED STATRS have had misgivings as to our ability to make a clean sweep of the persons responsible for the war because of our leek of political training.
If their misgivings should be realized, it would be a shame to us. In this respect, the old conventional voters, and the women and young persons who have been given the right to vote should be very careful. Today in JAPAN, a bloodless revolution has been set in motion. Persons to be excluded from office must be excluded sooner or later, and the sooner, the better. In the case of an increase in food or cloth production or in such a social revolution as the dissection of big capitalists or bureaucracy, it may be proper to take some time, but in a suffrage revolution depending upon right voting, it should be very simple. It will be possible for every voter an entire new Congress in one night by casting his vote correctly.
Since the war-responsible persons of the old Japanese Political Association have now flocked together, this may be a good chance to knock them down at a single blow. Everyone should be careful not to be blamed for his low political sense and to judge calmly.
Here, the old Japanese political Association has been criticized, but if such parties as the "free", the "social", or the "communistic" follow the easy-going fashion of the day, they can assured that they, too will be Judged by the people, They should be careful not to form a party too easily. Above all, both the "free" and the "social" parties are attempting to win in quantity rather than in quality in the coming election. We hereby give advice to thorn that as long as they do not become aware of this fact, they will not be crowned with success.
ITEM 3 Farmers are demanded for - Yomiuri-Hochi - 9 Nov 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
The rice crop for this year is estimated to be 46,000,000 KOKU, and still the actual crop will be reduced. It is determined that the amount of rice which should be turned over by all the farmers to the government is 30,000,000 KOKU. Turning over of wheat, potatoes and sweet potatoes, followed one after another. And now they must bear this burden. We know well that shortage of farming tools and of
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 11 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
fertilizer is living them serious trouble. And in addition there were labor shortages and bad weather conditions for this year. To all the farmers, who have had a crop despite these had conditions and are expected to turn over two thirds of it, the nation is grateful,
But it cannot be gainsaid that they are living comfortably, considering conditions throughout the nation and leaving out a certain privileged circle. Next to the munitions profiteers, they are a sort of privileged class, which became rich quickly through the war, and which still is profiting according to the angry words, of the general public. It is not uncommon that the daily sales of a farmer in the prefectures neighboring on TOKYO reach 500 yen or even 1000 yen because of the persons who go out and purchase products directly. Moreover, this is only in reference to sweet potatoes and other vegetables, whose free sale has what amounts to official recognition. When the results of black market operations regarding rice, wheat and meal are added to this, their gains defy imagination.
Of course, such situations are due to the impotence and negligence of the government in dealing with the food question. Yet, actually, the entire nation is on the verge of starvation. In order to live, the people are forced to pay their last penny. Due to such lack of policy on the part of the government, the free sale system cannot be done away with unless recognized prices are established. In addition, even though it is lamentable, the black market must continue. At this time, knowledge of the problem and sympathy towards the nation which is in general miserably suffering from starvation are not enough.
Let us recall the miserable conditions in which all the farmers of this country were ten years ago. Their debts had reached a colossal sum of 6000 million yen, and they had been nearly ruined. What a difference between now and then! Looking back past days, they can not help but reflect upon their former state. They say, "We do not sell in coin only. Bring us clothes or bed-clothes," Many consumers are resident of cities, the greater part of which is more or less damaged or affected by war. The farmers strip them to the last suit of clothes. We can not but say that morality has lost its hold in this country.
Such are the things which are happening in the farm-villages, which up to now have been looked upon as the purest simplest places of this country. Is the construction of a new morality in JAPAN possible as it is hoped?
Public opinion is one on the point that unfair war-profits must be confiscated. The profiteers are, needless to say, a certain group of munitions producers. As to their fate in general nothing is decided, but the four greater financial combines, which were in fact, the axis and leaders of them, are being to liquidated.
As has been shown, next to, war industrialists, the farmers are war profiteers. Public opinion is united on this point. For all that, we have no hatred but rather thank for them, who are working with every effort to feed us. But it is pointed out that a number of consumers are, in fact, at the point of death. We cannot only hope ardently that the farmers, having an insight into conditions, may reveal a true fellow-feeling, and the nation, united, make its way safely out of these difficulties.
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 11 (Continued)
ITEM 4 Important Points of the Food Problem - Asahi Shimbun - 9 Nov Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
The expected rice crop for this year is estimated at 46,000,000 KOKU. With this poor crop an absolute shortage of staple foodstuff is unavoidable. This is a sheer fact. The question is what steps are being taken to cope with this expected shortage. The ways and means the Cabinet has announced it will take, formally, to tide over this crisis are the encouragement of delivery, the extension of barley production and sweet potatoes by reclamation, and the planning of importation of 3,000,000 tons of foodstuff. These three measures are indisputably necessary both theoretically and practically.
Then why is it that the sense of crisis is still lingering in spite of repeated declarations of such measures by the Government? The reason, in a word, is that the Government has never expressed confidence and responsibility by putting these measures into practice? we have been too often deceived throughout the war by the Government and their plans. The food problem has not been an exception. The Government plans have revealed their faults and errors in almost all cases. Even if the Government has never taken responsibility for the failure of its plans, neither has the nation even forced the movement to assume responsibility. The reasons for such apathy on the part of the nation are as follows. First, important statistics hidden from the public in the name of secrecy. Second, any attempt to search out Governments responsibility was avoided, consciously or unconsciously, for fear of hampering the war.
Now the war is over, and the national attitude toward their Government is as unawakened as ever. While the government is being blamed for its unreliability, no one is willing to establish a reliable Government. With this lack national consciousness and the Government's lack of self-confidence in dealing with the food problem, the situation will force us to struggle individually for food in the black market. Moreover, the crisis is becoming more serious day by day. Psychologically speaking, it is an increasing irritation in the mind of the nation, and objectively speaking it is increasing the difficulty of living on the part of the middle and lower classes. We can not but say that it is a great shame for our country to let such a serious crisis continue. The Allied press pointed to this fact, which we already know.
Under these circumstances, it is clear that wide-spread starvation will prevail in the first half of next year. Will millions of unemployed and hungry people calmly pass away in enlightenment like a priest in contemplation, or will they die crying Long live the Emperor"? The answer is, "No". Who can deny with surety the coming of general social disorder caused by theft, burglary, plundering, plague mass unrest end the failure of social functions, one symptom of which is unnecessary closing of schools. If this social disorder comes into being, the cabinet in power will surely be overthrown whether the it is the present cabinet or not. But after the crucial moment has come, changes in cabinets will not compensate for the misfortune and calamity inflicted on the nation, just as no cabinet after the war can not compensate for the disaster inflicted. The pursuit of responsibility for the defeat is s means to the end wherein shall not repeat the same error in the future. It does not enable us to cancel the fact of defeat and recover the status quo. The case is the same with the food problem. We need a cabinet with the real ability to surmount the food
- 4 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 11 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
crisis now and at this instant, because any change in the cabinet next year will not compensate for the social calamity which will have fallen upon the nation this year.
After all, the gist of our argument is simply whether the present cabinet is confident of successfully surmounting the urgent food problem and of assuming responsibility for it? If the cabinet spends time in vain, without confidence and responsibility, and the next year comes, a calamity will be inflicted on the nation, "just as the TOJO Cabinet brought great misfortune and disaster upon the nation by starting the war. The encouragement of delivery, the extension of production by reclamation and the discussion of permission to import foodstuff do not admit of a day's or an hour's delay. The present food problem is conditioned by time. In this argument we refrain from presenting our conclusions as to the sense of responsibility and the confidence with which the SHEDEHARA Cabinet is dealing with the urgent food problem. But we warn the Government that it is the most urgent duty for it to declare to the public its concrete measures to cope with the food problem.
ITEM 5 Construction of Dams and Roads (Editorial) - Mainichi Shimbun - 10 Nov 45. Translator: S. Ota.
Full Translation:
A plan for construction of dams was revealed by the Prime Minister while on his trip by train. It is a good idea, for it will make for both employment and utilization of water power. Now that 80 million men are to live crowded into a small area, we must make utmost use of every source of power, and the construction of dams is one of the most fundamental works for this purpose. Hitherto we have had little experience in relieving unemployed on a national scale, although unemployed occasionally have been given jobs, such as clearing roads in winter in large cities. Road construction was undertaken as relief during the farming panic of 1932. But in some districts, only contractors and laborers from other districts, especially those from Korea, were relieved, and the farmers in the districts gained few benefits, such failures must not be repeated; relief must efficient. In the future, unemployment insurance and other social insurance will have to be undertaken on large scale. But at present it is difficult to begin, for the financial or economical prospective is uncertain. Then, the construction of dams, etc., is recommended to prevent unemployment. It is said that Japan has much to learn hereafter from small countries, such as SWITZELAND, DENMARK, S[illegible]EDEN, and NORWAY, Each of these has population of 2 million - 6 million, and therefore example of their economy may not always be accented as it is. We must adopt the better points of each. We must learn hydro-electrics, transportation, and exact-machienery industry from SWITZELAND. The aim in our construction of dams is, to develop hydro-electric power. In Switzerland they utilize the natural lakes, but we have few. There is no season of water shortage in hydro-electrics in Switzerland, but we are short of water every winter. we can make up for this by the construction of dams, but the use of dams is limited for this purpose, Arable land is about 15% to the total area in JAPAN, and plan has already been put forth by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, to increase the acreage under cultivation to about 3,910,000 acres (1,650,000 CHOBU). This plan, of course, must be taken into consideration in connection with the construction of dams. Then the newly cultivated area will possibly be irrigated or new villages will be
- 5 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 11 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
constructed where water has not hitherto been available. Moreover, dams can be used also for protection against drought which will result from the random cutting of forests during the war, or from future lumbering operations. As was pointed out by the premier, after the 1st world war, GERMANY constructed a net-work of roads as a means of preventing unemployment. Construction of a road net-work will also be undertaker at the same time as that of dams. There is no reason that only one of them should be done. Construction of roads needs more iron than that of dams in general, but iron will not be needed for the construction of roads in the farming areas or in the forests. We need this kind of roads first. The construction of country roads should be undertaken at the same time as the improvement of the land system; that is the readjustment of cultivated areas. There are so many things, to be done to make this mountainous country comfortable to live in and the construction of dams and road network will be the first step toward this objective. Representative of these great notional enterprises must not be from the standpoint of money, but should, be those from labor and material; for instance they may be called "work for ten-million men" or the work of ten-thousand tons of cement". Hereafter we cannot "use money" for the work. We can only undertake the national task with our own hands and materials.
ITEM 6 The Ration System has lost its Benefits - Nihon Sangyo Keizai - 10 Nov 45. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
The amount of vegetables, fish and fruits rationed, to families is very small. The suburban tram-cars are crowded with people going to and coming back from the countryside. On streets, pedlars are selling their fresh or dried fish, fruits, and steamed sweet potatoes, to pedestrians. The consumers have already given up relying on the ration system. They are rushing to the countryside for direct buying or are dealing with pedlars in the black market. Nevertheless the ration system is still in force. What are the authorities thinking about when they see those exhausted, people rushing to the countryside to buying foodstuffs? Do they think that driving the black market pedlars into more black market activity is keeping economic order? It is a fact that individual direct buying from farmers is an obstacle to planned distribution of food to cities. If the authorities concerned remain spectators at this time, they will have no policy. If they prevent direct buying, they will be foolish. If they cannot abolish the ration system, knowing abolition is the only means to cope with the situation, they are incompetent. In every case mentioned, it is the nation that suffers. Unless this situation is improved there will be an economic and social disturbance, that will push the nation into the very bottom of disaster.
If the control of distribution of vegetables, fish and fruits is abolished, distribution at unreasonably low officially set prices will be abandoned and there may be a passing disturbance in collection and receipt of goods. In its stead, we shall be free from the unpleasant burden of having only spoiled food. The half-way abandonment of control is most troublesome. The abolition of the official price system leaving the agreement price system in force, the permission of free buying and selling keeping the official price system in force, the adoption of the free price system with regulated collection and distribution, the abolition of all the restraints on consumers with
- 6 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 11 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
regulation of sellers end producing places and so on, will only enlarge the disturbances in every case. Recently the trend is toward abolistion of control. When they abondoned control, they were successful. When they went half-way they failed. For example, in a certain city in SHIZUOKA prefecture they abolished the official price system and brought much fish into the city. But as they kept the ration system and forced the fish on the people, the price of fish remained constant, and the consumers suffered.
Recently, many demobilized and unemployed people have become black market pedlars, and are earning big profits by selling small amounts of fish or vegetables. This is not desirable from any point of view. But the prohibition of such peddling is of no use. The best way is to give expert merchants a free hand, in buying and selling. Transportation may be an obstacles. The government has already declared its policy of "foodstuffs first" in transportation, But in transportation of foodstuffs, a discrimination should not be made between the goods of Individual merchants and those of the control bodies. Passenger cars may be loaded with foodstuffs. Sweet potatoes are rotting. If sweet potatoes, as substitute staple foodstuffs can be controlled, the amount left after delivery should be offered for free sale and not a single piece of potato should be wasted in this time of shortage. Now is the best time for the free sale of vegetables to be put into practice. For vegetables sown in autumn are coming on the market now. The change of the system at the time of harvest will cause the least transitional disturbance. If the change is not put into practice now, this winter leaving us less will come when we have the least vegetables, we wish that the control which has lost its efficacy be abolished.
- 7 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0011, 1945-11-14.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only