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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0034, 1945-11-30.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0154

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 154 Date: 30 Nov 45.


ITEM 1 Inflation and the Masses - Tokyo Shimbun - 25 Nov 45. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
The Majors subject of conversation among the salaried class is the food problem. Another is gloomy complaints about the breakdown of their household economies. We need not discuss again the seriousness of the food problem. The attention of both Government and people is focused on this problem. The authorities concerned are doing their best to solve the food problem although they may be open to the charge of being absorbed in academic argument. However, as regards the prevention of inflation, no noteworthy steps have been taken.
The salaried classes are complaining about the breakdown of their household economies since their incomes do not cover expenses due to rising prices under a rationing system. This condition does not assure even a minimum standard of living. It is only a few days since the abolition of price controls on perishables and we cannot yet draw any conclusion as to the results. However, the fact cannot be overlooked that many consumers are returning their rations because of excessively high prices. The progress of inflation and the rapid rise in prices of the necessities are seriously menacing national life. We have often repeated in this column the necessity of protecting national life from the menace of inflation. Have the authorities considered any countermeasure?
Throughout the war, well-informed people warned of the danger of inflation. Just before the end of the war, Treasury Minister HIROSE warned the Government and the people that the currency situation was being aggravated. In spite of the warnings the nation, which had never experienced inflation, rather welcomed it in the mistaken belief that inflation means increase of income. Inflation, which was violent during war time, has been speeded up since the end of the war. In spite of stagnancy of production in general, inflation is increasing and it is aggravated by food shortages.
It goes without saying that the masses are most directly affected by inflation evils. Already the crowds of unemployed in the streets, the War damage victims and most of the salaried men are directly facing this menace. To protect themselves, some of the people have become merchants in the black market, taking advantage of and aggravating the inflation, we doubt if the authorities are really aware of these facts. Treasury Minister SHIRUZAWA, who has been President of the Bank of JAPAN, is believed to have a good knowledge, from the financial point of view, of the inflation now going on. Has he, as Treasury Minister,

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 34 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
any measures to defeat inflation?
We should not expect the Treasury Minister alone, but, rather, the whole cabinet to attempt a solution. But the SHIDEHARA Cabinet is not only lacking in political sense but is so superficial in economic knowledge as to make us doubt even its common sense. If the Cabinet permits publication of lottery drawings as the only means to prevent inflation it must be subject to charges of incompetence, Food shortage is menacing the masses in front and inflation is threatening them at the back; and this menace is becoming more and more serious day by day. Household economy of the masses is on the verge of collapse. At this time, the Government should muster up its courage to protect the masses from the calamities of inflation. The crisis can never be overcome by the Government's compromise with existing forces.
ITEM 2 Demands on the Extraordinary Diet Session - Chubu Nippon Shimbun - 25 Nov 45. Translator: K Nobunaga.
Full Translation:
As the first Diet session in an era of democracy and liberalism, the 89th Extraordinary Session faces some singularly important tasks. Much oratory is anticipated and Government proposals include some of great importance to national reconstruction.
It is first of all necessary that a sincere expression of our desire for world peace be made. We are a defeated nation. Since the war's end the misdeeds of the militarists have been exposed in quick succession. In such a situation we hesitate to express ourselves on matters concerning world peace and the future.
Truth from any viewpoint is manifestly truth. The words of the defeated, expressed without rancor, may be fair, and may contain many truths for the consideration of the victor. Defeated JAPAN, too, has many obligations in the effort to realize peace.
We make no reference to the harmonious relations between the UNITED STATES, ENGLAND, and SOVIET RUSSIA. But among the five great powers, FRANCE and CHINA are certainly not at peace. Nor are conditions in other parts of the world peaceful, despite the United Nations Charter. Why?
Before AMERICA's entry into the first world war, President WILSON spoke of "peace without territorial aggrandizement." Similarly, this war was considered by learned men to be an idealistic one directed toward achieving world peace. However, present conditions contradict these aims. Consider the difference between the victor and the vanquished!
This is not a criticism of the Allied, powers' management of defeated nations, and most emphatically not of General MacARTHUR'S Headquarters. On the contrary, the people of JAPAN are profoundly grateful for its sincere and sympathetic leadership. The attitude of individual soldiers, too, toward our people is also gratifying.
But upon consideration of the total national life, and the circumstances in which our brethren overseas find themselves, the vast differences between the victor and vanquished become more obvious. Can such conditions lead to true world peace? It is the obligation of a defeated nation to make these views known to the rest of the world. If we rely upon our impotent government, no action will ever be taken.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 34 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The second greet problem is that of food for the nation. Of course, the Government is doing its utmost to maintain deliveries of rice and other foods. Nevertheless, at the present time, few farmers have any confidence in the government. Therein lies a task for the Diet. Is it not the Diet's duty as the representative body of the nation to point the way toward the realization of strong and true brotherly love, and fairness between producers and consumers?
ITEM 3 Deep rooted-evils of Japanese officialdom - Tokyo shimbun - 26 Nov 45. Translator: Y A. Suzuki.
Full Translation:
General MacARTHUR's Headquarters gave orders to the Japanese Government to purchase immediately all timber in the KEIHIN area, whether such timber is found on land or floating in the rivers. We believe its purpose is to alleviate the shortage of timber which is resulting in the housing shortage.
Viewing this directive we cannot merely sit and say that we agree with it. Since we are Japanese we have keen feelings about our weak-spirited Government officials who have to be told to put such an order into effect. If our Government had no recognition of the importance of solving the housing shortage, we cannot entirely condemn them. If they are not to be blamed for the housing shortage, we wonder why the government did not think of simply selling the wasted timber and letting each man build his own house.
Probably, it is because they are strangled by too many regulations. That is to say, red-taped rules make the officials so inefficient and incompetent that they are unable to devise the simplest plan. Not only in timber buying but all other cases is this true.
The government itself has realized the impropriety of the controls on timber, and yet three months after the war, this problem has not been solved. Soon, however, these controls will be removed. But when we think of the importance of time, we cannot help feeling that our loss and distress following the war were both caused by the same incompetency and indecisiveness. For example, the Ministry of commerce and Industry, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Foreign Office, and the Department of Finance debated the problem of how to carry on trade. This took more than one whole month. If officialdom does not do away with their ancient and moldy customs, JAPAN will sink into the ravine.
Even though the militarists may perish, and this deep-rooted evil still exists, there is no hope for rebuilding JAPAN. If reestablishing the administration does not mean demolishing this evil, there is no sense in it at all.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0034, 1945-11-30.
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