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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0019, 1945-11-25.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0088

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 88 Date: 25 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Agricultural Democratization needs only to be put into Effect - Asahi Shimbun - 15 Nov 45. Translator: K. Hirata
Full translation:
The first step toward the democratization of our economic structure was the dissolution of the ZAIBATSU and the second one will be the reform of the land system. This is generally expected. The other day MATSUMURA, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, declared that the authorities concerned would undertake the solution of the land problem without fail and that Supreme Headquarters also stated on the twelfth that many regulations which at presents put peasants and members of their families in a condition of serfdom should be eliminated. From these facts we can imagine that the long-pending reform of our land system will be realized on a large scale in the near future.
This is an epoch-making matter for the re-construction of JAPAN'S economy, which deserves our keen attention. The core of the land problem lies in reforming the current tenancy system. Two hundred and seventy million CHO-BU against six million CHO-BU of all arable lands are tenancy lands and there are two million and twenty thousand dependent landed-tenants and one million and sixty thousand tenants, totaling some seventy per cent of the total five million sixty thousand farmers.
In spite of these facts, the actual state of their farming is that those tenants who posses less than five TAN of arable lands rank first and next come those who possess five TAN to less than one CHO.
This reveals that their farms are too small and that their way of farming is too intensive. Besides, they must deliver to landowners some fifty per cent of the yields for farm rent and still more, up to eighty-seven per cent of the yield of paddy fields. They must pay, not in money, but in kind, such as rice or wheat. Therefore it is a logical conclusion that the emancipation of the tenants, the lowering of farm rent and the payment of farm rent, not in money, but in kind came to be regarded as the most important factors in solving the land-problem. We need not examine here the correctness thereof.
Hitherto the reform of the land system has been often discussed and yet never effected. After all, the current land system is, in essence, the remnant of the one in the early years of the MEJI Era. Reform is now most urgent for the achievement of our big aim to democratize JAPAN's economy. Therefore, we must carry it out at once by removing all obstacles. We should not regard lightly the existence of rural districts in which a feudalistic tendency is existant because in a sense many harbor, not only economically but politically, the hot beds for conservation, militarism, and reactionalism.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The prompt solution of the land problem is also necessary for the completion of farmers' delivery of food to the government - the current important matter in our country. The actual state of the peasants is that after they have paid high farm rents and delivered the allotted quantity of rice to the government, quite a small amount of rice is left for themselves and consequently they must have what they have delivered returned to some extent by the government. Therefore, if peasants want to retain as much rice as they like, the quantity of rice allotted to the government will have to be less, for such delivery to the government is not compulsory.
Here lies a fundamental reason why the farmer's delivery to the government is not conducted smoothly. It is reported that the authorities concerned intend to raise the price of rice shortly by one hundred and fifty yen per KOKU so that the farmers will deliver their allotted quantity. But this being a very intricate problem, we fear that there by only landowners will profit and thus interfere with the tenants' willingness to deliver or to produce, so long as the payment in-kind system is in effect.
The ideal solution of the problem is to make the tenants landed farmers through emancipation of tenancy lands, but this emancipation will take long and will not be in time to give impetus, to the farmers' delivery to the government. The lowering of farm rents and the payment in money must be done at the same time as the emancipation of tenancy lands. Unless the system of paying a fixed amount of farm rent, is established, it will be difficult to emancipate peasants from the prevailing feudalistic bonds.
Hitherto the agricultural policies of our government were apt to serve landowners' interests too much. But in the present democratic times when such a grave event as the dissolution of the [illegible]AIBATSU is taking place, we require a radical renovation of the land system, based on a national policy. It is too evident that there is not a moment to lose since the present food situation is so critical.
ITEM 2 The publication of the data held in secret by the military circles - Asahi Shimbun - 15 Nov 45. Translators: S. Inoue.
Full translation:
Since the War and Navy Offices will seen be dissolved, we fear that various important data issued by there and held in their custody will be kept from the general public. Both offices must have material of a political and diplomatic nature, such as reports from military officers living in foreign countries or documents revealing their opinions, council records, diaries and detailed reports of any battles, etc. It is quite evident that these documents will play an important role in the future compilation of history.
In our country, where military circles have had political and diplomatic hegemony since the MEIJ Era, it is impossible to compile a true history, scientifically analyzed and coordinated without such data.
This materiel has been until now held in secret, with some exceptions. Now at the termination of the war these military documents must be made public so that they can be made objects of just criticism by historians.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
In the MEIJI Era we could not make clear the reports of the inspection tour in the [illegible]as[illegible]rn and western districts of ASIA made by General KAWAMURA, Soroku and General FUKUSHINA, Yasumosa and the circumstances leading to the establishment of the Sino-Japanese commercial relations research by Mr. AR[illegible]O, Sei was made without such material which was retained by the military offices. They can give especially complete and interesting data for which historians are waiting about the problems after the Manchurian Incident.
I hear that a historical data compilation section was formed in the former Headquarters of General Staff in the War Office and the task of compiling the army's history made some progress. We are therefore anxious to know what has become of the material collected by the above mentioned section. It is heartily desired that this material be transferred to such institutions as the Imperial Library or the Cabinet Library and be made available for public use. If the military offices frankly assume the responsibility for defeat, and therefore expose themselves to a strict criticism of historians, it is hoped that they will retain such, material, try to make It public, and not burn it, which action is a common practice these days.
ITEM 3 The urgent necessity of the resuscitation of the spirit of officials - Asahi Shimbun - 16 Nov 45. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full translation:
The drastic reform of the civil service system announced by the Cabinet on 13 November 1945 includes in its draft, all items which have hitherto been pointed out as concrete evils of JAPAN's government, such as appointments, re-education, grades and ranks, payments, transfers of posts and others. These are all most urgent problems. If these items had been realized earlier, how would the nation have felt? Among these items, the government authorities intend to lay stress upon the restriction on the transfer of posts. Somewhat paradoxically speaking, hitherto officials were steadily advanced in rank by idling away time without committing any serious error and always by adapting themselves to the trend of times. Thus regardless of the officials' abilities and of his contact with the general public, transfers of posts ware frequently made.
It is an advance so far as the newly projected reforms aim at eliminating these notorious evils of our government. Frankly speaking, however, the nation will not always be satisfied with the reform programs. The untrustworthiness of such programs has been deeply impressed upon the nation. Previously a Cabinet council or the conference of a deliberating committee of a Cabinet created certain programs and sent a draft of them to the Privy Council, where the draft received careful consideration and was then sent back to a Cabinet council. Thus it was made public to the nation after it was found satisfactory by the circles concerned.
For the past several years of autocracy of militarists and officials, the nation was puzzled at a number of such programs, plans and others which were announced by the authorities in kaleidoscopic fashion. Once a program or plan is renovated by this controlling group, the realization of it is slow. It is natural that any reform of such a fundamental law of the nation as the Constitution should require a long time in deliberation, but such will not be the case in the reform of
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EDITORIAL SERINS: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
matters, the evils of which are acknowledged by both the government and the nation.
It is unwise to idle away time by sticking to useless formalities. We are much interested in the enthusiasm of the officials themselves for the renovation of JAPAN's officialdom, upon which the newly projected reform plan is entirely based. Our militarists have already been screened out. Leaders of private circles are now retiring in succession. However, in official circles alone we have yet heard of none who assumed their responsibility for the war except those weeded out by the Allied forces.
However, many young officials are demanding clarification of the war responsibilities of the officials themselves. If these young officials represent the majority of their colleagues, they should not waste time by sticking to formalities, as they often do, but hasten to reform the government. They are as much responsible for war and also for misleading the nation during the war, as thos civilian leaders oho are now retiring.
Among aha items of the new reform is re-education of officials. The wri[illegible]er was told of the fact that the officials, when discussing these items, happened to find the words "the re-education of officials," and changed them into the [illegible]laborate words "the establishment of the system of studying officialdom". This seems to show that they are not bold enough to acknowledge their own crimes in the presence of the nation. In practice, our officialdom must be more radically reformed.
The reforms such as personnel assignment, the re-training of officials, the expansion of free choice instead of choice by private circles, less frequent transfer of posts and others, will not be carried out effectively by present officials. The officials must remember how they, who had the impudence to occupy various important positions during the war, changed from one post to another, always seeking promotion in rank and thus led the notion to its present miserable state.
When they reflect on their last crimes, they may learn to know how to act. Civil rights are now in the hands of the nation. If the officials themselves will not set about reforming, the reforms will be made by the people themselves.
ITEM 4 Liberation of Tenant Farmers - Yomiuri Hochi - 16 Nov 45. Translator: M. Kato.
Full translation:
JAPAN'S economy is essentially Agrarian, and therefore it is necessary that land reform be given high priority consideration in any solution of the present difficulties. It is a problem that has long been pending, a solution of which is a consequence of democratic revolution.
The government is reported to have prepared a bill, pertaining to arable land, for presentation to the coming extraordinary session of the Diet. It is purported to provide for immediate solution of the tenancy problem by government expropriation of 2,760,000 cho of land under tenancy. This is 46 per cent of the 6,000,000 cho of arable land and excludes land farmed by the owners.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
Depending on the local situation, tenant farmers will became landed farmers, land management will be undertaken by the Agrarian Society a of the village, and farm rents for those tenants who wish to remain, will be reduced substantially.
It must be emphasized that liberation of tenants from the bonds of feudalistic land systems will contribute greatly to solution of the present food crisis. The effect of this reform will be, we believe, a spur to the tenants' desire to supply the nation its required foodstuffs, and will deter farmers from keeping produce for their own use. Therefore, its passage is imperative.
The government's expropriation program will be backed by low interest loans totalling 2,000,000,000 yen. It would be wiser, we believe, to issue land bonds the interest rates of which should be lower than that of government securities. Cash payments of limited sums to the farmers will require at the same time, purchase by consumers in the cities and towns and especially by the wealthy class swollen with war profit.
Success depends entirely upon the character of Agricultural Societies which will play an important part in establishing landed farmers. Agricultural Societies within each locality should be autonomous farmers' associations acting as a co-operative body. The feudalistic conservative leaders must be banished from the organizations. An impartial distribution land from the farm bosses as they now exist cannot be hoped for.
Self managed farms are the wish of farm tenants who now exist as slaves. It should be inaugurated at the earliest possible date. The older agricultural societies under the leadership of autocratic authorities should be immediately replaced by new organizations, such as co-operatives, in which the members can exercise his right of free expression. In this manner, the farmer will learn to handle administrative responsibilities and increase his produce to the nation's benefit.
The government should attempt at the same time to supply the farmer with requirements such as fertilizer, seed, farm implements, work clothes, rubber soled shoes and other necessities. Land should be sold to farmers en installments extending over three years.
Such measures will greatly improve the produce of the farmers, most of whom work farms of an area of only five to 10 tan. The aggregate improvement will alleviate conditions considerably, and will further serve to better the relations between agricultural societies and industrial groups by improving the lot of the latter.
Farm rent should be paid in money, and the rates should be low. If farmers are obliged to supply the nation's rice, they will better understand their obligations as independents and thus contribute toward a more effective distribution.
Under present conditions, after turning over an extortionate share as rent and supplying their quotas, the farmer's share is not enough for the subsistence requirements of his family. This situation can only be rectified by abolition of feudal land rents, and the practice of share payments. It will further insure a greater supply for distribution to the nation.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
If, as reported the price of rice is to be raised to 150 yen per koku and if land rent is to be continued on crop share basis, the landowner will pro[illegible]it greatly at the expense of the tenant. As a consequence, his productivity will be adversely affected.
In the past, agrarian policy was shaped by the nobility, the landowners, and other conservative elements, all of whom did a uniformly bad job of it.
But now [illegible]IBATSU has been dissolved, and farm slaves liberated by the directive of Allied Headquarters. These acts are of great of significance.
ITEM 5 The True Character of Government Officials - Tokyo Shimbun - 16 Nov 45. Translator: S.Ohta.
Full translation:
At a Cabinet meeting a plan a was decided for revising the government. It advocates simplifying ranks and classes, stablishing a single salary system lowering the time to be spent in on grade, improving the higher civil examination system and free appointment system, among other reforms. Moreover, new system of inspections and listing examination results will be adopted, and commendations for good officials and punishment for inefficient officials will be emphasized according to this plan. Another plan now under consideration would reduce the numbers of officials to the save number as before the Manchurian Incident.
But no one imagines the government will be drastically reformed (a thing which has been sought for so many years), merely by the proposed revision. It is also necessary that the present administrative structure be simplified. We doubt whether the present government has any plan for this simplification. For example, there is a chance of administrative duplication in the present rehabilitation plan because it falls under both to the Welfare. Promotion Ministry and to the newly established Rehabilitation Bureau.
It is natural that that the administration is concerned with politics, or rather it is necessary that they be so.
The officials have become complacent. They resent criticism and shirk responsibility. They complicate administrative structure. No one is held to his responsibilities.
Politics are not something which do not affect the people. The government officials who led the notion to defeat during the war are now under attack There are those who believe that in a democracy officials are revered, but this is wrong. It is said that cries for reforms come from the officials themselves. Government officials themselves must not be afraid of criticism. They must face their responsibilities. We know that cliques have grown in our army, navy and civil government. Some officials ignorant of current problems, receive rapid promotions merely because they belong to certain bureaucratic cliques. Elimination of this practice and abolishment of sectionalism, are necessary for the drastic revision of the administration.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0019, 1945-11-25.
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