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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0014, 1945-11-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0060

call-number: DS801 .S82

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NO 60 Date: 18 Nov 45


ITEM 1 A Property Tax and New "Yen"— Mainichi Shimbun - 11 Nov 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
The Japanese Finance Council recently announced that it proposes to enact property and surplus-property tax measures. Foriegn newspapers have reported that Japan will issue new Yen banknote to replace the old currency.
The Finance Department has explained that if it should prove necessary to issue new banknotes, the face value of the yen will not reduced. The property tay will serve to bring out hoarded currency.
Being a branch of the Finance Department, the Japanese Finance Council evidently speaks with authority and since the foriegn press has reported that information concerning of the issue of new banknotes comes from an authoratative source, the directions post-war Finance will assume seems to be established.
We have already proposed to block war accounts in our whole financial economy, but we have not yet dealt with the management of such blocked accounts, Blocked accounts should consist mainly of individual war profits. To carry blockage out fairly, all properties converted and kept in the form of Japanese banknotes should be registered at once. To do this it is necessary to force holders to deposit the notes in banks by a specified date. After that date the use of such currency should be prohibited, nor should the old notes be exchangeable for the new. Further, when new banknotes are drawn, old banknotes should be given in exchange, before the specified date.
In this manner, registered properties in the form, of deposits can be added to the blocked accounts. Moreover, indemnities to munitions factories, a widely discussed subject, should be included in the blocked accounts. As a matter of fact, indemnities should originally have been taken into the war account.
The management of blocked, accounts should not be delayed for a long time. Since it is bearing no interest and the use of the currency involved is either prohibited or restricted for a time, Japanese economy will stagnate. Moreover if deposits in old banknotes are not permitted to be drawn in new banknotes, the nation will suffer.
A policy for the handling of blocked account should be determined, and the blocking lifted as soon as possible. Blocked accounts, should be reduced at e uniform rate. However, the creation of a property tax and surplus-property tax can be as effective as the reduction. This means may prove the most efficacious in determining the difference between peace time and war profits. In general, the situation seems to warrant a turn in that direction.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The property tax and the surplus-property tax should bring a very large quantity of revenue to the government. The sum will settle all public loans issued since the China Insident and indemnities paid hereafter to munition factories. This is expected to be about 200,000,000,000 yen, and not 60,000,000,000 yen.
If such harsh measures are not employed, it will be impossible for JAPAN to begin anew. Forced deposits in current bills should not be exchangeable unconditionally for new bills. The Finance Department has stated that the issue of new bills will have no relation to the problem of existing currency, but the statement is evasive. The total value of banknotes issued should not exceed 10,000,000,000 yen. This may be possible by restricting payments.
The problem of par-reduction can be solved in a similar manner, thus, dispelling the danger of inflation.
It is necessary to put these measures into practice as quickly as possible. The Finance Department has displayed great wisdom in making public the fact. Put to [illegible]ur[illegible]ount existing difficulties, the authorities should heed public opinion.
ITEM 2 War Responsibility and the Peerage - Yomiuri -Hochi - 11 Nov 45. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translation:
As an act of self-abnegation for his responsibility in the surrender, Prince [illegible]IGASHIKUNI has solicited Imperial sanction to his request for permission to become a commoner. Since the descent of Prince Teruhisa KOMATSU, we have had so far ten instances of members of the Imperial household renouncing their titles. Prince Akitsune AWADA, for example, comes from the same family as Prince HIGASHIKUNI. This however, is the first time the present master of the Imperial household has decided to reduce his status. It is clear indication that the situation is a troubled one. The mobility has long abused its privileges as members of the House of Peers to tyrannize the common people.
No member of the Imperial Household had assumed a political position until Prince FIGASHIKUNI's appointment to the Prime Ministry. It is further customary among princes not to attend sessions of the House of Peers though seats are assigned them. That is the reason the resentment and antipathy of the nation for the Imperial household has never been around. Contrast this attitude with that in respect to the Peerage.
Prince KONOE indicated to Marquis KIDO, Keeper of the Privy Seal, his intention to give up his title and court rank. Prince KONOE's action was obviously motivated by his feeling of responsibility for the war.
Marquis KIDO's reluctance to follow a similar course is astonishing, though he has kept silent on the [illegible]tter. General Nobuyuki A[illegible]E is credited with having recommended General TOJO's appointment as Premier, but the truth is Marquis KIDO was responsible. He is reported to have informed the Emperor that war with the UNITED STATES was inevitable because the militarists were anxious for a fight.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Since taking over the duties of Keeper of the Privy Seal in 1940, Marquis KIDO has played an extremely important part in national politics and has acted as advisor to the Throne. His responsibility for the war is obvious.
Though the descent of a member of the Imperial household may be a serious problem for the Ministry of the Imperial Household, it may very well serve to make relations between the Emperor and his people more direct.
The military clique and bureaucrats can display their regret for the war by returning their decorations and pension rights. That, together with liquidation of the ZAIRATSU would mean a great contribution to democracy.
ITEM 3 Politics without nation's trust - Tokyo Shimbun - 11 Nov 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
Nothing is more miserable than politics which has lost the nation's trust. There is no need for special talk about it, so long as the word "miserable" concerns politics itself. But the continuance of the miserable politics will necessarily bring the nation into an awfully miserable Plight. This is a natter we cannot lightly over look.
It is true that, we did not expect very much from the SHIDEHARA Cabinet. However, we did expect something, particurarly when urgent situations confront them. Even though the Premier himself, and his members of the Cabinet had been out of political activities for the past several years. But the reverse is what has happened.
Far from "knock and be answered", it is a "never-answering-a-knock" cabinet; this is the criticism of the women of the town about its unresponsiveness. What a misfortune it would to us Japanese that we should suffer the existence of this sort of cabinet in such an important period of time as present. We are not for the first time experiencing such politics; for we passed through the bitterness of it several times during the Greater East Asia War. Politics, once it loses the national trust, would be functioning on its own and would effect partially obeyed orders or desk plans; and would, failing to obtain a national collaboration, be back to back with the wishes of the nation. Which fact is one of the causes of the war defeat.
If such an untrusted government will continue boldly despite the gravity of the state of affairs, in which new JAPAN must be re-born in its natural course of the war result, the end of reconstruction will be far beyond our roach.
It is natural that the nation does not pay attention to such a cabinet, even the sections of government offices, which are, as it were, the hands of the cabinet, do not seem to be heartly co-operative; and this is clear from the fact that almost all administrative affairs stand dead-locked.
A government release says that this year's prospect of rice out-put is estimated to be 46,600,000 KOKU, that it is the poorest year of the thirty six years since 1910, and the actual yield will be a 1,000,000 KOKU decrease of that figures. There is no need of such
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ITEM 3 (Continued)
figures for illustrating the bed state of affairs which have made the government solicit the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces for the import of food-stuffs.
Put, what means did the government take in order to gather and distribute potatoes, which is a matter of our greatest concern in this quite unbalanced state of demand and supply? Leaving potatoes, the fruits of farmer's assiduous labors, under water and letting people make frantic efforts to buy them, the officers are in a hurry to shift the responsibility from one to another, saying it is because regulations are so and so, or because prices or means of transportation are such and such.
Are they really thinking the nation is satisfied with this state? The true feelings of the nation must be that the government is not to be relied upon. The most important matters of politics at present are the foods, the housing, and the clothing question. And what has been realized except shouts of encouragement and an array of desk-plans?
If the SHIDEHARA Cabinet desires to continue, it must make great efforts to secure the nation's trust. A day's continuance of an untrusted cabinet adds just so much to the national misfortune. We do not wish a frequent change of cabinets, especially in such a state of affairs, but one more change may be inevitable so long as the government threatens to drag the nation into a sadder Plight. The first thing the Premier and his cabi[illegible]t colleagnes should to do, is to listen the voices of the people, we believe.
ITEM 4 The abolishment of Chinese characters - Yomiuri-Hochi - 12 Nov 45. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
Many cultural policies are now proposed to reconstruct a new JAPAN. The policies of the three main parties, liberal, Social, and Communist, became clear or will become clear as to which propagate the positive establishment of democratic institutions. The crisis following the defeat in war is serious, therefore, thorough methods must be taken on reforms to be made, and all-questions from the Imperial Government from those politics and economics, food, clothing, and habitation, to the construction of water-closets must be thoroughly analyzed and scientifically considered. So, in this condition, it is natural that the problems and policies concerned cover various and complex fields.
There is still left the important problem closely connected with the development of democracy: the problem of Japanese letters. Democracy requires a certain development of intelligence, and. for smooth management knowledge and intelligence must be highly developed. In a civilized society, the language end letters are the broadest, most fundamental and direct means to elevate knowledge and intelligence.
The national language of JAPAN, which still contain honorifics and other feudal taints, must be made democratic. In JAPAN, the necessity of reforming the characters, which are the means of recording the language, is so great that it has some political significance. Numerous instances prove how the habitual use of Chinese characters obstruct the development of our nation's intelligence. Especially, do the
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
Japanese militarists and reactionaries skillfully make use of this obstruction by using Chinese characters. And by such strange letters and words as expressed in the slogan "HAKKO-ICHIU", the critical ability of the Japanese was completely killed. According to a certain investigation, the six-years' course of a national school using Chinese and Japanese character can he finished in only three or four years in the education of the blind who use braille. The Japanese children consume most of their energy in studying the characters. Consequently, real critical education to develop their intelligence in neglected.
In the advanced countries of EUROPE and AMERICA, letters are so simple that a special study of them is almost unnecessary. Thus time and energies are spent in acquiring knowledge itself. How great the practical results due to this difference are! It is unnecessary to state how much we ourselves suffer from, fatigue, inefficiency and other inconveniences due to the use of Chinese characters. By the use of linotype, only half the present staff is required to publish newspapers.
As the Chinese characters originated completely in the feudal age of CHINA, they are heavily tinged, with feudalism. Under the TOKUGAWA feudal system, Chinese characters and sentences were ordinarily used. At the democratic reformation of the MEIJI period, however, criticism of Chinese characters came to the front. As a result, Chinese sentences, mixed with Japanese characters (KANA.), were developed and simplified, and such sentences as we see now have arisen. On the other hand, the movement for the exclusive use of KANA, or Roman letters which aimed at the abolition of Chinese characters has developed. It is an interesting fact that these movements flourished at the same time as movements for political democracy.
These movements arose along with those for civil rights in the early part of the MEIJI period and during the democratic movements of the TAISHO and SHOWA Era. But whenever such movements arise, feudalism and militarism suppressed them. LENIN is said to have once stated, "The adoption of Roman letters by the Oriental nations is a revolution and it is one element of democratic revolution." It is well known that KEMAL RASHA, the president of TURKEY, resolutely adopted [illegible]omen letters during the democratic revolution that followed after Turkey's defeat in World War 1.
Democracy has a deep and internal relationship with the reform of letters, and the movement for abolition of Chinese characters can be considered one element of democratic movement. Now, in our country, the third democratic movement which is to win final victory is beginning to start widely. The democratic revolution due to outside pressure is now going to join with that from within. All the feudal traditions and obstacles should be cast off.
Now the time has come to criticize the feudal Chinese character anew, [illegible]ken we abolish the use of Chinese characters, the feudal consciousness which lies in our mind, will be swept away gradually, and we shall be able to overtake that American efficiency which is so speedy and brisk. The establishment of a cultural state and democratic government must be also promoted by elevating the level of the people's intelligence which will be caused by the abolition of Chinese characters and the adoption of simple Phonetic characters (Roman letters). This is a more necessary question than that which now prevails of whether or not a superficial study of English would be advantageous. All democratic parties or factions, we think, should consider this problem.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 5 Recognize the general situation of the food question, hoped towards the farmers - Tokyo Shimbun - 12 Nov 45. Translator: [illegible]. Ishibashi.
It goes without saying that when JAPAN, accepted the [illegible]OTSD[illegible]Treaty and surrendered unconditionally, she realized what her obligations would be. The point of the treats is to make JAPAN a democratic nation. This will demand radical, wide spread change, perhaps even revolution.
At this time, the means by which these changes will be wrought is of utmost importance. Democracy is more than a matter of words. In creating a new, democratic JAPAN we must consider the possible pitfalls of democracy.
The present day demands for co-operation among the JAPANESE people is a result of her defeat. JAPAN must now swing from an industrical to an agricultural nation, but how extensively her industry will be restricted is not yet clear.
It is no use to complain of JAPAN's fall from a first rate country to a fourth. It is without question that she must now take steps to live as a small nation.
The whole nation, statesmen, scientists, farmers, merchants and laborers must work together in order to find a way of reviving our country. This task can never be accomplished if different factions work only for their own gain. Pressure cannot come only from top. Each must think for himself.
The food question is now the most serious question facing us. This year's rice crop has been bad, and if it had not been carefully distributed, many would have starved. Even so, the system of distribution must be improved, and the farmers must be aware of their great responsibility. However, farmers alone cannot save the nation. The skill of the Japanese farmer in achieving a great yield from a little land is well known. We believe that by tradition the farmer has within him the seeds of democracy.
We believe, still more, that there are many wise men in the farm-villages who are deeply concerned about the future of JAPAN. Land tenure and other manifestations of a feudal age must be elemenated.
We cannot but hope that the farmers know their great responsibility in relieving the food shortage, for they must stand at the vanguard of a new, democratic JAPAN.
ITEM 6 Fall of the Aristocracy - Mainichi Shimbun - 12 Nov 45. Translator: M. Pa to.
Full Translation:
It is natural that democracy should lead to the fall of the aristocracy. The aristocracy undeniably exists in JAPAN, Some are, however, of opinion that the nobility exist only in name as the aristocracy has in reality vanished in the course of cultural development since the MEIJI era.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
This is plainly erroneous. The truth is, the aristocracy now is identical with aristocracy during feudal periods when it existed in its most perfect form. This is a surprising anomaly when considering the JAPAN that engaged in a war against the strongest nations in the world for the period of three and a half years.
It was the existence of such relics of the past as the peerage which hindered the crystallization of total national effort and the people's expression. This failure was chiefly responsible for bringing JAPAN to the brink of ruin and for her reduction to a fourth rate nation. It is no wonder, then, that at the dawn of a new era, the nobility is collapsing of its own dead weight.
The actions of Prince HIGASHIKUNI and GAYO in renouncing their titles may in past be due to a feeling of responsibility for the war, but their own statements indicates their chief reason was in response to the forces of history.
These unpresedented occurrences, however, follow a natural inevitable course. Japan's progress is indirect relation to the speed, with which dissolation of the aristocracy takes place.
By asserting themselves leaders in reconstruction, the princes of blood are merely hastening social collapse, precisely as the nobility is doing. Yet people such as Prince KONOE and Marquis KIDO who have assumed leading roles in political and ideological matters waste crucial moments and are incapable of taking decisive steps, Such neglect of duty to the nation is criminal.
To be sure, there is no way of determining whether or not Prince KONOE has actually petitioned the Emperor for permission to renounce his title. But if true why does he not take immediate action in reforming the House of Peers of which he by virtue of his title has been the leader for so many years? If he earnestly desires reform of the House of Peers, he could immediately establish a precedent by renouncing his title rather than wait for revision of the constitution and its clause reforming the House of Peers.
If by renouncing his title, the House of Peers will function less smoothly, in the coming extraordinary session of the Diet, he can petition the Throne for an Imperial rescript for the immediate reformation of the House.
In that way, Prince KONOE and Marquis KIDO can contribute to the elimination of feudal classes, and having done so, withdraw themselves from active participation in the nation's affairs, having shown themselves incompetent.
There is no direct relationship between elimination of the aristocratic class and retention of the Monarchy. The Emperor's position may, in so far as matters concerning his prerogatives are concerned, be altered to suit a democratic government, in the event it is formed. The changes will not effect the devation of the people for their Emperor, since their belief in him is a fundamental one. The relations between the Emperor and the people in democratic JAPAN will be a closer one, unaffected, as it were, by class lives.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
Since the beginning of history, the nobility has rooted itself to the extent of creating a barrier between the people and their Emperor. Elimination of the nobility will eliminate the barrier.
Various feudal customs and positions should also be abolished, chief among these being the Keeper of the Privy Seal and his functions.
ITEM 7 Formation of Labour Unions must be urged - Asahi Shimbun - 12 Nov 45. Translator: S. Ohta.
Full Translation:
We call to the attention of the workers in factories and business quarters, and for the farmers all over the country, that formation of the labor unions and farmers unions must be urged to the utmost. The present circumstances of JAPAN are responsible for the grave social crisis due mainly to food problems. In fact, the nation stands on the starvation line, and we seem destined to starve. Who can deny it? Recently, the Finance Minister said to American reporters that ten-million people will die of starvation in the next year in our country.
Ignoring the reason why the responsible authorities should have made such a horrible assertion, not taking any measures to counteract the situation it is true that the present states of JAPAN can be represented exactly by what the minister said. We cannot but be horrified. But more terrible than this is the fact that the nation has not yet got rid of the nihilistic state after the war, in which we were defeated and has not yet shown the clear recognition and consciousness of this big crisis in front of us, and that the people seem to believe themselves trifled with by the fates. Wasn't our miserable war itself effected from that very unconscious attitude of the nation?
The government must not be relied upon. This threat must be conquered by the power of nation itself. The government revealed certain food policies, but they show nothing to be relied upon by the nation, to get through the crisis of next year, How can we help but be gloomy? If the circumstances continue as they are now, social chaos will necessarily result shortly.
If the nation will not stand up at once and take measures to get through this crisis, it will be obliged to go through greater social misery than the defeat of war. Of course, the absolute want of foodstuffs will be inevitable. But if the nation really makes the resolution to get through the crisis, the critical observation of the nation to the food policies of the present cabinet will not be limited to the present time, and the extent to which the present cabinet is able to reply to the national criticism will decide the character and fate of this cabinet. We can fully imagine by the various circumstances that success or failure of importation of foodstuffs requested for the Allied countries depends largely upon the political character of the cabinet.
In this way, the political resolution of the nation and the solution of food problem is joined, and we must judge that now the stage is reached in which the political will of the nation must be gathered together forcibly in a clear autonomous direction.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 14 (Continued)
ITEM 7 (Continued)
Then, what is the autonomous organization of the nation? It is not the Supporters of His Imperial Policies (TAISEI-YOKUSAN-KAI), The National volunteers Troop (KOKUMTN-GIYUTAI), nor is it the Patriotic Industrial Party (SANGYO-HOKOKU-KAI), nor the Patiotic Labor Party (ROMU-HOKOKU-KAI).
The nation shed its blood while discovering that such officially-made, deceitful national organs had made it fall into an impotent, unconscious state. We want to cry loudly: The so-called nation is nothing but workers, businessmen, farmers, etc., who work in the factories, farms, mountain, or on the seas, and above-mentioned organizations[illegible]mean the Laborers' Unions or Farmers' Unions to be organized with their professions, farming or fishing villages, etc., as units. Such are the true national organizations.
We can imagine the unfortunate case of mass starvation of the nation and the social chaos resulting from this. If the nation is not to have such organization, the social chaos will only result in loss of public order, in anarchy, and in unmanageable destruction. The nation will be put in incomparable misery.
The Japanese nation must prepare at this time and with her own hands a new public order which will be substituted for this confusion. And the only condition for this is that the nation is organized autonomously. The circumstances are already clear. If each layer of the working nation is not organized to the workers' union or to the farmers' union, Japanese people will have to struggle with one another, or to die of starvation.
But the national distress and want of this time is not to be solved merely by demand for improvement of treatments in a particular professional situation. Beyond a particular professional position, the unions must stand, as the forward-guards for reconstruction of JAPAN, revision of national structure, and for revising movements of agricultural, commercial or industrial systems. The unions will have to act as the unit organs for the democratization movement of JAPAN. Thus considered, the unions are not merely the national organizations for the coming social crisis, but also they will be the propulsive power for reconstruction of JAPAN. Moreover, if they can establish the friendship and association with labor unions of each country in the world, they can be the basis of national diplomacy to secure the true independency of Japanese nation. That the unions to be organized shall bear such high degree of political character is necessary, judging from the greatness of the crisis which confronts us. Herein we insist, upon how important and urgent are the meanings of the formation of the unions.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0014, 1945-11-18.
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