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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0018, 1945-11-24.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0084

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No.84 Date: 24 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Reformation of the Peerage Act - Yomiuri - Hochi - 14 Nov 45. Translator: T. Unayama.
Full Translation:
A possible reformation of the Peerage Act is now under investigation. However, it should not [illegible]o unnoticed that the investigators are peers themselves and therefore they are not considering the abolishment of the act but only its reformation.
Article XXXIV of the constitution, which regulates the priviliges of peers, states that the House of Peers shall be organized upon the provisions of the Peerage Act. This is most irrational, and it has heretofore provided grounds for the argument in favor of the reformation of the constitution.
The House of Peers has, by means of this stipulation, kept itself detached from the trend of public opinion, during the many times people have vainly sought for reformation of the constitution.
It is natural to assume that no one will vote for something unfavorable to himself. It is well to realize that the reformation of the Peerage Act is unfavorable to the present members of the House of Peers
It is the peers themselves who investigate this proposed reformation. They cannot express the wishes of the whole nation.
In former tides, political writers discussed the problems of reforming the House of Peers. There was no other news then available. This indicates that some kind of reformation has long been needed. The peers would continually claim that they were ready to reform the House of Peers, but they would merely wait for agitation to die down. One man guilty of the abovementioned action was Prince KONOE.
There can be nothing more useless than the peers' investigation of the reformation of the Peerage Act.
ITEM 2 The national movement for food situation. Let the Government Official. System be more Forceful-Mainichi Shimbun - Nov. 15 (Thur.) '45 Translator: H. Furakawa.
Full Translation:
The food situation is now very serious, and according to a statement by the Agriculture and Forestry Department, there will be a food crisi[illegible]

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued).
by June or July of next year. A truly serious situation is at hand. Every day three or four have died from starvation at UENO station. Many schools have been forced to close because of the food shortage. A long time has passed since the government entreated the Allied Powers for transportation of food amounting to 3 million tons, but developments on this matter are not made public. ALLIED SUPREME HEADQUARTERS has directed that a report be submitted giving full details on the progress of the program now being considered to meet the food production problem. The reason for this is that Supreme Headquarters desires to know how much money the Japanese Government has disbursed, or is going to disburse and the extent of the wisdom and courage shown in meeting the food problem. It is improbable that the Government has been so idle as to justify its receiving such an urgent directive, but we wonder at the easy attitude of the Government. It makes no attempt to reclaim former military lands for the raising of radishes or wheat although specifically authorized to do so by Supreme Headquarters. Consequently, the Japanese Government is probably suspected of a lack of sincerity by Supreme Headquarters.
The success of a plan often depends on impending events. The five-year plan for the reclammation of 1,550,000 CHO of land is as follows:
The estimated cost of this plan is 6,700,000,000 yen and includes both the reclamation and the improvement of land. The total number of laborers required for the work is 1,960,000. An increase of 21,000,000 koku is expected by 1955.
Although the above plan is on a huge scale, even if executed perfectly, there will only be an increase of 17,000 koku of wheat by next year. A long range plan such as this is of no use to the people who are now starving. Our life now depends upon the import of sufficient food by the Allied forces. But the government also must carefully attempt to regulate the rice allotment of 30,000,000 koku.
The points which obstruct the securing of allotment have already been clarified by the producers. However, this years rice crop is the worse since 1899, so even the estimates of the producers can not be realized. Therefore, the situation is most critical. For instance, one farmer receives a total of 505.50 yen for the cost of production of one koku of rice. This amount does not include the cost of seeds, fertilizer, farm implements, taxes and other assessments. Considering today's food situation, this cost may not be called exceptionally high. The Government is likely to raise the net profit of producers to 150 yen per koku. We think, however, that the government overestimates the ability of the producers to save the nation from starvation. Premier SHIDEHARA took cognizance of this in his speech at the meeting of the national movement for meeting the food crisis. In his speech he stated, "It is desirable that this critical period be tided over by the understanding and sympathy of both the consumers and producers. The carrying out of severe punishment must be avoided, but every means must be resorted to in order to provide for an adequate supply of food."
Above all, the government must understand that the whole nation is disgusted with the constant repetition of the conventional phrase, "The unbreakable spirit of the people of JAPAN." The Minister of Agriculture is unreliable if he cannot understand the attitude of the farmer toward allotment without traveling about the country side. This is not the time for traveling, it is the time for action, especially since the agricultural Ministry is so stupid that it fails to understand even the simple directives of the Allied Forces.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The system of appointment of Government officials should be a complete revision of the present system. However, such a revision should be allowed to develop gradually. There is actually no need for distinction between higher and lower officials as all officials are servants of the state and the people. The new plan in this connection is based on the principle of utilitarianism, and places the basis of the treatment of officials on the quality of their work. This principle must be practised thoroughly.
In the appointment of officials, especially of second class officials, higher civil service examinations will be held as before. If the reform of this examination system remains incomplete, the special plan for the reform of the system of officials may be incomplete. Nowadays common sense is required of officials rather than an academic knowledge of jurisprudence or political science. University graduates must be examined to determine whether or not they have above average intelligence. In the case of promotion for third class officials or for men not previously employed by the government, ability in practical matters must be considered, and those who are holding their positions because of more theoretical knowledge should not be promoted on that basis. The whole system should be based on utilitarianism, and the management of official business be carried on at top efficiency and speed.
Since the higher civil service examination is no an examination of learning, it is unreasonable that only scholars continue to hold the post of examiners. In place of scholars, practical men of the business world should be adopted as examiners, and in this way, candidates whose qualities are actually, useful1 'to society, could be selected. Those chosen must be judged also for their sincerity in the work they are doing.
The Government has announced its enforcement of the system of rewards and penalties, and a new organization of the system of inspection and business reports. But the success of these systems depends upon the character of the officials in charge. If there is personal feeling between officials in a bureau or department or a lack of ability, the work of the whole department will be affected. Therefore, those in charge should realize the importance of the careful selection of personel. In this way, we can create a system of appointment far superior to the old.
ITEM 3 The Gubernatorial Election and the Prefectural System - The Tokyo-Shimbin-15 Nov 45. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
If new JAPAN is to take its place in the community of peace loving nations, it is only natural that she be developed on a foundation of democracy. The election of prefectural governors, which the national government has already instituted, is a step in that direction.
However, it has not yet been decided whether the governors should be national government officials, or local officials; nor has it yet been decided how elections will be conducted. This deliberation is commendable, but really quite needless.
There is no reason why governors should not be national officials, since the result of local elections would probably coincide with the results of national elections. It is more consistent with democratic principles since the essence of democracy lies in autonomy
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The term of office should be four years, but once yearly during the govenor's tenure, his constituents should be permitted expression in a vote of confidence. In the governor should lie all power except law enforcement, since the central government, no longer having an army, requires some other control agency for keeping public order. Under the prefectural independent police system, adequate policing is not possible, and police without sufficient power are no better than the former arrogant police force.
With abolition of the political police, there isn't the slightest opportunity for the government to use police to serve its political ends.
Absence of the police power will not be a great hindrance to the govenor in administering his duties. His status would be similar to that of govenor of TOKYO Prefecture before the prefecture became TOKYO Metropolis. Moreover, the govenor will have the power to direct the police of his prefecture, and the prefectural assembly control of budget estimates. This is sufficient for the main tenure of gubernatorial prestige.
We have merely expressed our own views on the elections. Related to this question, too, is that of administrative boundries, since the existing ones are poorly arranged with no consideration for the location of industries. This is a source of considerable inefficiency.
In general, there are too many prefectures, resulting in insufficient economic power in each, and thus affecting the nation adversely.
As an example, TOKYO Metropolis, formerly TOKYO Prefecture, is inefficiently managed. Had a part of CHIBA and SAITAMA Prefectures, or the city of K[illegible]SAKI incorporated in TOKYO Metropolis, the metropolis system would be operating more efficiently. The Local Administrative Headquarters arrangement has reduced the inefficiency, but it is to be abolished. Decentralization and increased autonomy arc essential to the development of national power. Hence, the governments discarding of the local headquarters system for the prefectural system, rather than advancing to the provincial system, is indeed disappointing. Adoption of the provincial system would facilitate decentralization. In the interests of democratizing local administration, the government should employ the provincial system.
ITEM 4. A Plan must be Formed -Nippon Sangyo-Kazai - 15 Nov 45 Translator: S. Ohta.
Full Translation:
In a statement made during a trip to KANSAI, Prime Minister SHIDEHARA revealed the outline of a plan for economic reconstruction of our country. According to this plan, economic reconstruction will be based mainly on the development of hydro-electric power plants, which will be constructed all over the country to aid in the prevention of unemployment. This proposed plan is justifable. The director of the Reconstruction Board, KOBAYASHI, connects this problem with the resettlement of war victims, and states that the future factories and future industrial cities would be located in such places where electricity is easily available and there is an adequate supply of food.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry decided upon a large-scale cultivation plan and a plan to return war sufferers to farms. Each of those plans forms a part of the so-called National
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
Land Plan. Hitherto, general investigations have been made for constructing dams, improving the soil, the reclaiming of land from the seas or lakes, etc.
If the government makes the decision to do so, there will be no difficulties in setting up detailed plans. Along with the development of electricity, the diversifying of factories to districts with regard to harbor facilities, transportation, labor capacity, markets, etc., must be considered, Moreover, a supply of fertlizer must be secured for increasing food supplies, and the production of food must be accompanied by the importation of raw materials.
Transforing munition industries to civil industries is one of the most important problems facing JAPAN today, and the reason this transformation has not operated smoothly is chiefly due to the difficulty in obtaining raw materials. Hence, it is for the purpose of smooth operation of Japanese industry that the supply of raw materials must be secured. Some of them are available within the country, but many of them must necessarily be supplied from abroad. The most urgent is the import of food supplies, then salt, cotton, etc. But production of materials to barter for these necessitates also the import of other raw materials.
Thus considered, it becomes necessary to form a national plan covering all plans hitherto independant on each other; that is, forming plans for civilian industry, export industry, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, etc.
It seems that the former Cabinet considered the formation of such a plan by the Post-war Policies Committee, but the present Cabinet has not yet made such a plan. At present, when the conversion is from a nation involved in "National-defense" to that of a peaceful nation, it is necessary to establish a new national plan, whether it is formed by an intermediate cabinet or not. Of course, the national plan should not be made only by the officials, but also by experts among the public. The nation ought to take up the tasks which are impossible for civil enterprise to deal with, and encourage independant enterprise by the people. At any rate, it is now urgent to set up a national plan as soon as possible.
ITEM 5. Procedure for War-crime Trials - Asahi Shimbun - 15. Nov 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
The investigation of war criminals is a very complex problem. Therefore, we Should investigate this matter thoroughly. The Allied Powers demand that war criminals be brought to justice. These criminals have violated international law and human rights.
JAPAN herself should bring these war criminals to justice. In TAIHOKU, FORMOSA, the Japanese are already court martialing. Imperial Army officers for war crimes. At the trial of general YAMASHITA in the PHILIPPINES, there are lawyers for the defence of general YAMASHITA in order to insure him a fair trial. In JAPAN many war criminals will be brought to trial and we wonder why it is not possible to follow the president set at TAIHOKU and have Japanese sit on the court.
The Japanese must act together with the Allied Powers in seeing that the war criminals are brought to justice. We also must investigate the deplomacy practiced by our statesmen. The men responsible for the affairs of states must be brought to trial.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)
ITEM 6 The Government Officials Should be Called to Account For Their War Responsibility - The Yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - l5 Nov 45. Translator: K. Gunji.
Full Translation:
In its meeting on 13 November, the cabinet decided on a policy for the radical improvement of the present government. Standardization of the official titles, abolition of the discrimination of the high officials against the common officials, simplification of ranks, the standardization of salary, refusal to grant permission for frequent changing of position, improvement of the examinations for high official positions, the foundation of an institute for officials to study, enforcement of rewards and punishment, adoption of an investigation system, will all be included in the set-up.
The diversity of reform measures indicates how many defects the present regime has. We must appreciate the Cabinet's sincerity and efforts. But we regret that they are forgetting the most important task, without the achievement of which, their plan will never result in the desired end.
First, who is responsible for the war must be determined. We are firmly convinced that government officials should be more severely called to account for their actions before and during the war. Was it not they, together with military leaders, who provoked hostilities?
If the Cabinet acknowledges the truth, they must place the responsibility on the leading officials. They must reform the government so radically that officials and leaders may never again abuse their powers.
It is reported that half of the officials of this country will be relieved of their post. We fear that this will merely result in the sacrifice of many innocent common officials. Most officials of high rank will probably retain their posts, shirking their responsibility by taking advantage of a minor reform, such as abolition of discrimination between high rank and. common officials, unification of titles, etc. First, we demand to have those responsible for the war removed from office. Next, we favor the following three proposals:
A fundamental change in the methods of selecting officials. We believe that the government plan to reorganize the government's examination, change the members of committees, etc., to be inadequate. Everyone knows that the present examination system merely results in the promotion of persons who only have excellent memories. We believe in selecting men for their principles, and not their results on examinations.
We demand development of investigation governmental bureaus. We are opposed to the plan which will use government officials for that purpose. A powerful investigating organization, composed of civilians alone, must be established to check each standing committee of the government, .and each department, bureau or local government. In the Central Co-operation Conference of the YOKUSANKAI, which took place in December of 1940, Count ARIMA, vice-president said, "The New Regime must be established to coordinate the men who rule and the people who are ruled." Mr. GO replied, " All the evils of bureaucracy originate

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 18 (Continued)

ITEM 6 (Continued)

in the very idea of ruling men. Even now, the idea of a ruler has not yet been cleared away. That is why we emphasize its existence."
We advocate decreasing the administrators' powers. After the War many bad laws and regulations were abolished or amended, and the administrators powers were decreased. But we regret that they are as yet far from being faithful public servants. It is natural to expect that setting up a parliamentary form of government will lead to the dwindling of their power. However, even under the parliamentary system, the power of the few can grow. We must guard against this. In short, the people now demand a reformation. They who are striving to carry it out, have the support of the people. We earnestly desire that they should attain a democracy.

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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0018, 1945-11-24.
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