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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0036, 1945-12-01.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0164

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 164 DATE 1 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The Problem of Re-Revision, of the Farming System - Chubu Nippon Shimbun - 26 Nov 45. Translator: S. Ota.
Full translation:
We hope the delivery of the allotted rice will be accomplished for this year by the farmers through arrangement of the producers' price. However, it is impossible to continue the policy of relying upon the importation of rice, ignoring the causes and circumstances of the ruined crops. Hence, such national policies as the rapid increase of the rice crop and wheat crop and the stimulation of autonomous delivery thereof are no less urgent that the dissolution of financial cliques or establishment of the rights of laborers.
One of the most important factors that has resisted, the increase of the crop is the lock of peasant proprietors and the large portion of crops paid as farm rent. (We will not refer to the shortage of chemical fertilizers and. labor here.) About half the farms are those of small owner-farmers and tenant farmers. About half of the total farm area is owned by 4 per cent of the total number of farmers, and the farm rent is so high that it amounts to 40 per cent of the price of crops. Moreover, the farm rent must be paid for chiefly by the crops. In fact, true owner-farmers, who are the central propulsive force in increasing the crops make up only one-third of all farmers. The owner-farming system is far superior to tenant farming system, especially for increasing crops. For example, owner-farmers gained 2 cho (1 cho equals 18 litre) more per tan (l tan equals 0.24 acre) than tenant farmers, according to the agricultural authorities' investigation. Moreover, some tenant farmers, after becoming owner-farmers by the Farm Regulation Laws, raised 4 cho more per 1 tan than formerly. Furthermore, if they could get appropriate chemical fertilizer, they would succeed in gaining another 2 cho in addition to this. We might well imagine that the realization of farm ownership on an appropriate scale will promise a 20 per cent average increase in crops. Then, if about half of the six million chobu (1 chobu equals 2.4 acre), the total cultivated area of our country, were to be converted from tenant farms to owner farms, the rice crop being assumed at 2 koku per tan, the total production of rice will probably be raised to 70 million koku from the pre-war 60 million koku. It is now quite clear that the most effective way to increase production is to convert all the cultivated area to owner farms, excepting revolutionary cases like collective farming in Russia.
As was pointed out by SMITH in the past, ownership on a appropriate scale will rapidly "turn the deserts to fertile forms.'' Moreover, if the remaining tenant farmers are to pay rent in cash, they will not only be liberated rationally, then slavery psychology will be

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 36 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
destroyed and they will think and act liberally and democratically. BUCHER once said that the air of the cities makes men liberal, which illustrates the effect of economics. The farm rent paid in money will likewise morally liberate the farmers.
Therefore, we look upon the plan for revision of the forming system, which the Agriculture Minister MATSUMUR en[illegible]o, planned at the risk of his position and submitted to the Cabinet meeting on 10 November, as the best move that the present Cabinet has made.
The five items involved in this plan are not repeated here, as they are seen in every newspaper. It is a drastic plan. The editor believes that this plan, if realized, will remove almost all of the above-mentioned obstructions which have hitherto hindered the increase of crops.
But, this original plan has been mutilated in three succeeding Cabinet meetings within ten days. The following will have to be revised in the future. In the first place, the limits to the area of the farms possessed by a landowner who wants owner-farming was raised to about five chobu from three chobu in the original plan. By this reformed revision plan, not all the existing tenant farmers will be able to have a 1.5 chobu farm. Second, as the buying price was raised to about 40 times the rent price, the price will be raised to about 2,000 yen per tan, whereas it was about 1,000 yen per tan in the original plan. Then, the existing farm rent which averaged 40 per cent of the price of the products (the highest percentage in the world), the buying price rated at 40 times this farm rent is too high. Moreover, Government purchase at such high prices is harmful to the national economy. If national bonds are to be issued for the realization of this plan, it will tend to accelerate inflation. This inclination must be taken into consideration.
The above-mentioned problem, together with the following items must be discussed earnestly in the Extraordinary Session of the Diet:
(a) Isn't there the probability that the execution of this law will be stopped or hindered, if the landowners abuse their positions?
(b) It is illogical to give five years to complete the execution of the law in such a vigorously changing period. (c) The firms which maintain farms must be treated as landowners. These are the points which the democratic Diet must revise, whether it likes it or not.
ITEM 2 Suspension of Service Pensions - Asahi Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: Imai.
The establishment of a war profits tax is significant as a moral tax revealing the fact that "war does not pay." The termination of service pensions is understood to be nothing but "the abolition of a system in which the militarists have been treated as privileged at the sacrifice of the majority."
In September last year when the KOISO Cabinet still existed, Mr. MATSUNAGA, Toshio at the plenary session of the Budget Committee of the Extraordinary Diet asked if the authorities intended to decorate these who conducted "body-crushing" attacks against the enemy with a sort of "Order of Saving the Country." In reply to this the Director of the Military Affairs Bureau of the War Ministry SATO, Kenryo drew himself up and reviled the interpellator, shouting something like "soldiers are not fighting for decorations nor for money." This gave
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 36 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
rise to public discussion similar to the "shut your big mouth!" case.
Of course, the soldiers are probably not fighting for decorations nor for money. Nevertheless, original basis for setting up this sort of system is to reward them warmly in the name of the country for their meritorious service as a result of the war. The total number of servicemen and families of deceased soldiers amounts to some 15 or 20 million out of the 70 million persons of our population. We can not overlook this from the standpoint of state finances.
Allied General Headquarters, while "hoping sincerely the Japanese Government would present an equitable plan for social security for the sake of all good citizens," granted permission to the Japanese government to import daily necessities such as food, cotton, petroleum and salt, and also requested clearance of timber needed for housing.
We must understand the rationality of the decisive measures directed by the Allied authorities.
ITEM 3 Special Diet to be seen with full of interest from various new points - Tokyo Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: Y. A. Suzuki.
The Extraordinary Diet will arouse our interest from various points of view. To begin with, the developments on important bills such as the election law, land system and labor union laws, are most important as they will certainly indicate the character of New JAPAN. In this connection we are inclined to maintain an optimistic view. Even the reorganization of the agricultural land system which is thought, in certain quarters, to be beset with perplexing difficulties, will be passed in some form or other, perhaps with some amendments. We cannot blindly agree with the Communists' assertion that the present Diet can not enact it because it represents the capitalists and landowners. We do not pretend for a moment to contradict them as to the character of the present Diet, but we know well their "cunning hands" and "self protection;" hence our parodoxical belief in its passage. We fully appreciate the contention that the present Diet is the mouth piece of the landowners, since the members acquired seats through their assistance and protection. But at the same time they are not so simple as to ignore the numbers of votes held by landowners on one hand an those held by tenants and small independent farmers on the other. For these reasons we are optimistic concerning the fate of these bills.
At the same time we have a keen interest in the debates that will inevitably be raised before en[illegible]ctment of these bills, e.e., on the reform of the Constitution, food questions and war responsibilities. Above all we are looking forward to a lively discussion on the war responsibilities, for it involves the crimes scribed to the Diet members themselves. It is said that some intend to dispute in the coming session the truth of the announcements of Imperial Headquarters during the war. This brings up the responsibilities of the members themselves who clapped blindly for Imperial Headquarters news. The Diet, which passed special war expenditure budgets unconditionally, must be closely investigated.
This is one of many problems not yet solved. Unless it is clarified,
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 36 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
the nations at a loss as to how they should treat the present members in the coming election. We all know the theory that the accused must not set the penalty but that the nation should sentence them. It is not without value to see what they think about themselves. We, therefore, expect hot discussions on this subject.
ITEM 4 A Touchstone of the New Parties. The Urgent Need of Helping War Sufferers - Tokyo Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: Y. Wada.
Full translation:
The Extraordinary Session of the Diet, which opened today for an 18 day period, is surely the touchstone of the political parties which now have seats in the Diet. It is not only a question of interest but also has an important bearing on the future direction of political circles whether parties like the Liberal, the Progressive and the Social-Democrats, which have all been established in accordance with the New Era, will play an important part in this extraordinary session.
This session of the Diet has as a mission the rejuvenation of an Old JAPAN into a New JAPAN. However, the new parties in charge of the task consist of members elected under the recommendation system which the militaristic bureaucrats had invented for their own ends. Thus, we can not expect too much of the new parties in the Diet.
The three bills which are to be discussed in this Diet have weak parts in spite of their elementary character for the democratization of JPAN, and are liable to be criticized as having traces of feudalism. We cannot overlook this point. The Farm Land Reform Bill is an example. We believe that all farm lands submitted to tenancy should be purchased by the Government irrespective of their area and that the rent should be fixed as low as possible and be paid in cash instead of in kind. However, the Farm Land Reform Bill presented to the Diet has reduced the area of farm lands to be purchased by the Government by 500,000 chobu and does not stipulate compulsory cash payment of rent. Such a compromise bill as this, however, is likely to give rise to discussion in the Diet. The attitude of the parties toward this bill will decide their fitness as a political party for an agricultural JAPAN.
In not a few cases, crafty old party-men openly approve this bill because of political expediency, although they may actually have private misgivings. This is quite the same with the Labor Union Bill and the Election Reform Bill.
After all, we should do our best to know what each political party and each representative as a party-man is at heart and should prepare ourselves for what is to come after the scheduled dissolution of the Diet.
It has become very cold. The thought of the war sufferers prompted the Government known for its slow motion to promulgate and enact the Housing Emergency Measures Ordinance. What will be the results? We all expect that the result should be good. The war damage victims are afflicted with a housing shortage. Since many plans have ended in failures, we may be unable to expect much of the new plan. Nevertheless, the practice of even the worst plan may help some people. The worst practice is better than the best plan.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 36 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
They say that this Ordinance was enacted because ordinary measures can not solve the problem. However, this ordinance can not solve the whole question. Thus, we are of the opinion that they should help only those who are unable to help themselves and that they should help those who can help themselves only in securing necessary materials. For this reason, the rehabilitation authorities should have the right to direct the cooperation of the departments concerned, and the Lumber Control Law should be abolished.
The difference in living conditions between the war sufferers and the non-sufferers has become very large. Leaving the inequality as it is will make a social gap between the two groups. We should take extraordinary steps to avoid the worst.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0036, 1945-12-01.
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