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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0040, 1945-12-02.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0178

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 178 Date: 2 Dec 1945


ITEM 1 Letters to Mr. Hatoyama - Mainichi Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: Y. Suzuki.
Full translation:
The letters to Mr. NAKANISHI, Inosuke, and the answers of Mr. KATO, Kanju, were very satisfactory. By stating our thoughts frankly in this way we are able to avoid all kinds of misapprehensions and worries, which I think weaken our efforts to rebuild JAPAN.
I am going to express my ideas to Mr. HATOVANA, Ichiro, and will be looking forward to his answer.
1 feel that these is something equivocal in his attitude, since, as a member of he old political party, he has been Minister of Education in the militaristic cabinet. At the present he is trying to become the leader of the new liberals in the new democratic Japanese political world. He can net evade responsibility by just saying that mistakes of judgement in state council, the approval of certain policies, and the dismiss of good university professors were all due to military coercion. No! He will not even be able to say such convenient things as he has "become a new man by repentance." I would like to hear his explanations. (signed) TANAKA, Takeo.
The KYOTO University Incident of 1933, in which the freedom of the school was suppressed and which brought forth indignation from the university and the entire public, has been settled; Fortunately, Professor TAKIGAWA, who was the victim at that time, is coming back to the school. At this juncture I would like to hear explanations from Mr. H[illegible]who was the principal cause of the incident as Minister of Education at that time. It will not only clear away our suspicions but also show the world his political convictions as the leader of the liberals. We can not help feeling suspicious of him, when think of his conduct it the time of the incident and now of him leading the liberals.
If we were to approve the idea of "freedom," which he is now advocating how might we explain his actions at the time of the troubles. I ask him fearlessly. (signed) TAKAGI.
ITEM 2 Provisions, Pensions and Social Insurance System - Mainichi Shimbun - 27 November 45. Translator: T. Unayama.
Full translation:
The Japanese people, who must first of all stay alive, have had their ideas about the General Headquarters of the Allied Armed Forces confirmed by the letter's permission to import food—that is, the permission for foreign trade.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 40 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
"The learned or the unlearned, the philosopher or the worldling all mankind needs food to stave off starvation; clothes to keep out the cold. The means to provide for these commodities is the source of humanity and the foundation of policy," said NINOMIYA, Sontaku, a wise man who lived in the TOKUGAW era.
Without saying anything about the system of thought which supports his words, these words contain at least the principles of policy.
JAPAN imported rice for the first time in the early years of MEIJI (1868-1912). Thanks to this, even the anti-foreigners of the time ate, we hear, to their hearts' content. This time, all of the militarist clique must have learned of the virtues of the Imperial Rescript on the termination of the war. lf they say they have not learned, the imported provisions should not be distributed to them, or at least their ration should be reduced. They should demonstrate their spirit by net consenting to eat cereals produced on their enemy's land.
During the war, they had been speaking of "total war." The words mean, we presume, that only the militarists eat, drink and wear clothes, and if only they do not suffer from malnutrition, they are fully confident of success against their rivals.
In JAPAN, even after the termination of the war, ten million persons out of eighty million, are starving to death. When the mainland became the battlefield, the air raids were extended from cities to farm villages and rice and other crops were utterly spoiled. All the soldiers went under the ground while women and children, left behind, ran from place to place in the fields and hills. Still they kept on with the war. Is this the true meaning of their words "the decisive battle for the mainland"?
Payments of pensions to ex-servicemen to be suspended in February of next year. Those who think it is serious misfortune are at present more than one million five hundred thousand strong. In the future they will amount to twice this number, and including their families the sum will be over ten million, one-eighth of the whole population.
"JAPAN is no longer an empire," said Vice Admiral YARNELL. Apart from this, all people or JAPAN are guaranteed not to become slaves by the Potsdam Declaration. It is needless to say, however, that we can not stay alive if we do not work harder than slaves do. There should not be, therefore close living on pensions.
Receiving the pension today is an ingr[illegible]tatude to the state. Therefore, all pensions should be abolished. Not only the bereaved families of servicemen but also all those who are in needy circumstances must be guaranteed their livelihood by the state, but the question depends upon the national finance. Concerning a socia1 security insurance system, we may say it is the privilege of rich and powerful state.
So long as there is the state and a government, the nation's livelihood should be guaranteed in some way. The poor state should gradually establish a social insurance system instead of a pension system.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 40 (Continued)
ITEM 3 The Reconstruction Finance Now Made Possible - Asahi Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full translation:
The Allied Headquarters issued a memorandum on the confiscation of war profits and the reconstruction of state finance. This memorandum, with the one on dissolution of ZAIBATSU issued the other day, has special significance in the construction of postwar economy, and will have decisive influence in every field of national economy. The purpose of the present directive lies in the following points: (l) to set up a war profits tax, (2) to set up a property tax, (3) complete blockade Government funds intended for payment of war indemnities, (4) to establish the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers' right to supervise the control of Japanese state finance.
It may be considered, strange that the payment of war indemnities is now decided in spite of the powerful opposition. It is to be paid, however, on condition that all the indemnities already paid or scheduled to be paid in the future are to be blocked as special deposits in the Bank of JAPAN and will be taken away as items of property and war profits tax. According to Finance Minister SHIBUSAWA, the payment of war indemnities by the Government amounts to 30,200,000,000 yen. The loons by banking organs to war industry firms amounts to more than the above figure and the loans by Bank of JAPAN to banking organs amounts to 25,000,000,000. Therefore, 80 per cent of the payment is to be returned to the Bank of JAPAN. The balance amounting to forty or fifty billion yen must be placed under strict control to prevent it from being spread among the people. We, considering the conditions imposed on the payment of indemnities, hope that the Government will be most careful in this point.
Both the war profits tax and the property tax are capital levies. According to the principle taxation based on capitalism, a 1arge-scale tax assessment on properties is thorough-going extortion and is regarded academically as an exception. The fact that this exceptiona1 tax is adopted as a major policy shows the adversity of present-day JAPAN
The reason we regard the property tax as appropriate is the necessity for the reconstruction of finance which is now on the verge of bankruptcy. For example, in public loans only, the annual payment of interest, including that of special deposits similar to public loan reaches the amount of 7 billion yen while the annual revenue from taxation is estimated at only 10 billion yen. Therefore, a small surplus fund will be left to the government after the payment of the annual interest on loans. Consequently, all kinds of expenditure, which will rapidly increase in the future, can not be met solely by public loans, and bankruptcy of the State seems inevitable in the near future.
Also, we attach importance the property tax from the point of social policy. At the present social situation, the fundamental antagonism between the rich and the poor, between the war victims and unemployed and others not, in such, straits make the situation so complex that it is beyond imagination. When these social antagonisms are nelected, it is as clear as day that serious conditions will appear in every circle of politics, economics and thought. Confusion and destruction will come inevitably. The property tax is the most effective measure to correct this social inequality, which can not be changed by taxes on income.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 40 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
A third reason is that among the various types of existing wealth, war profits are the symbol of injustice and selfishness. From the standpoint of social justice, it will never do to let profiteers lead easy lives while many people die for their country. Furthermore, these profiteers now make strenuous efforts to acquire with all their money materials in the black market. Thus, they not only increase the inflation, but provoke social antipathy which makes the confusion still greater. For the above reasons, there should be no delay in taking away the war profits.
For the above-mentioned reasons, the present property taxation is significant, and so the most .cautious measures must be taken in its enforcement. We must deeply consider the fact that the property tax plan resulted in failure in GERMANY after the World War I, and in ENGLAND, the Labor Government gave up their property tax plan due to its difficulties. Putting off discussions on technical matters to another day, we hereby present our opinions on fundamental points.
The problem to wh[illegible]use the revenue from, these two taxes should be expended must be considered. Although expenditure for redemption of loans is most sensible, there are other countermeasures for loans such as temporary suspension of payment of interest, new floatation of permanent loans, etc. While this newly obtained 100 billion yen paid in redemption of loans can aid the state finance by only some billion yen, new loans will be immediately required for other expenditures. The property tax must be collected in as short a term as possible. If not, it will, become similar to the income tax in result.
Considering the precedents in GERMANY the meaning of property taxation was weakened by vicious inflation and with regard to the speed of the inflation process in our country, the effect of the property tax will be curtailed if it is not collected in an extremely short period.
Property taxation can not be repeated again. Therefore, along with taxation, parallel measures must be taken in both production and circulation. By these actions, the financial and economic system of JAPAN must be re-established. We hope that the people are impressed that property taxation is exceptional, and that they should not miss this good chance to reconstruct the Japanese economy.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0040, 1945-12-02.
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