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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0051, 1945-12-10.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0215

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 215 Date: 10 Dec 45


ITEM 1 How Should War Profits be Disgorged - Chubu Nippon Shimbun - 27 Nov 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Before and during World War I, President WILSON and Mr. KEYNES declared, "Nobody should make profits from war. Every country should be emancipated from war with clean hands." These words have not always been adhered to by the victorious nations, but are being forced on defeated nations in World War II. This can be seen in the ALLIED POWERS' control policy both in GERMANY and JAPAN. We must first look cold reality in the face. The ALLIED POWERS' control policy in JAPAN was disclosed 25 November. The memoranda relating to post war financial plans presented by Financial Minister SHIBUSAWA to General Headquarters have been greatly altered and given back with definite orders.
Let us look at these directives which General Headquarters has ordered the Japanese Government to observe:
For reconstructing Japanese finance and distributing justly the nation's wealth, a bill relating to a property tax and a war profits tax should be completed and introduced at the regular session of the Diet early in 1946.
Until such time as Japanese finance is completely reformed, the issue of bonds for paying military indemnities and other subsidies is prohibited.
The payment of money grants and pensions to the demobilized military men will be suspended by 1 February.
The payment of pensions to war criminals and those responsible for the war except in the case of military men also will be suspended.

We can understand what those terms mean. In place of the sum of 60 billion yen, the Finance Ministry and the Financial Association, had planned 100 billion yen will be collected as taxes; 40 billion yen for paying military indemnities will be saved; one billion yen will be saved this year; and people will be taught that war is financially unprofitable.
The first among those terms being the most important, we here wish to refer only to it, for if it has influence on normally accumulated capital, the reconstruction of civil industry essential to post war management may be ruined. We must draw a line theoretically and practically between the property tax and the war profits tax. According to the orders from General Headquarters, it is prescribed that progressive tax rates amounting to 70 per cent, at the maximum, should be applied to property, and those amounting to 100 per cent should be applied to war profits and increased properties gained from the munitions industry.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 51 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
In the property tax, taxing the sum of 100,000 yen and up, the rate should begin at 30 per cent and increase rather slowly to 70 per cent. In the war profits tax from 150,000 yen and up, the tax rate should begin at 50 per cent and rise rapidly to 100 per cent. For, in the former, we must consider the high rise of commodities, but in the latter, we need not do so. Needless to say, if such a tax-collection policy were enforced indiscriminately, the banking institutions would be in danger and the depositors would be unable to be fully protected. Among individuals who have made war profits, there are many who have borrowed, from the banks. To protect such organs, all the debtors should not be pressed for the tax but allowed to pay by yearly installments from the profits made by reconversion. Banks should also give up war profits and break up reserves. In a word, whatever one's work may be, every Japanese should share equally and justly the sacrifice of the defeat. The Government should also reform its administration and management as quickly as possible.
ITEM: 2 Be Thorough in Clarification of the War Responsibility - Yomiuri Hochi - 1 Dec 45. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
It is generally recognized that the chief responsibility for the war is General TOJO's and Prince KONOE's. TOJO has already been indicted by the ALLIES as a war criminal. LAITO, Takao, House of Representatives member, straightforwardly expressed general opinion when he charged KONOE with war responsibility in his speech at the Diet session. KONOE's policies led to the CHINA Incident, involving all CHINA in war, despite his earlier "no territorial expansion" policy. He further eliminated all remaining hopes for a reconciliation by declaring that JAPAN would not deal with CHIANG Kai-Shek. Moreover, by sponsoring JAPAN in the Tri-Partite agreement, he did much toward establishing the inevitability of war. For all his misdeeds, is he not to be held responsible for the war?
Premier SHIDEHARA's reply to SAITO was in effect that he disliked quarrels among blood relatives, and that the matter of war criminals should be entrusted entirely to the ALLIES. Who is not bewildered by the Premier's display of utter irresponsibility?
The POTSDAM Declaration provides that the trial and punishment of war criminals is to be undertaken by the ALLIES. But JAPAN can, or her own initiative, expose those who either provoked war or led in the prosecution of the war, regardless of rank or status.
KONOE some time ago announced his intention to relinquish his title. Such an act is not an admission of war responsibility, nor is it in atonement for past errors. He is still in attendance at the Imperial Court. He advised the Emperor of the results of his constitution revision research. Judging from his statement released after his interview with General MacARTHUR, and the atmosphere he seems to be cultivating, KONOE's renunciation of the title may be nothing more than a political maneuver directed at heading a new political party as a commoner.
Such being the case with KONOE, whose war crimes are widely acknowledged, the actions of those whose responsibility was not as great
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 51 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
remains a matter of doubt. If we do not accomplish the task of shedding light on war responsibility at once, when will we achieve a genuine democratic state where wars of aggression are denied, and militaristic nations eliminated? It is the duty of the Japanese Government. We should not seek the aid of the ALLIES. That Premier SHIDEHARA regards the problem with such apathy is reprehensible. War criminals to be nominated by the ALLIES, and the separate issue of war responsibility to be denounced by us, merely leads to confusion.
Why did SAITO not persist with his argument? The impression that both the Government and the Diet are equal in lack of resolution must now be general. Other than TOJO and KONOE, there are hundreds in military, political, financial, journalist, and intellectual circles who should be charged with war responsibility. All participating in the Diet have agreed to present a resolution concerning war crimes. But we view the zeal with doubt. We have reason to believe that the presentation of resolutions is merely a pre-election gesture. Public sentiment demands an immediate elucidation of war responsibility.
In the financial and especially, journalist circles, earnest efforts are being made for self-adjustment. The bureaucrats, on the other hand, have done nothing except abolish the Special Police, in compliance with an Allied Headquarters directive. And a single resolution in the Diet is certainly not sufficient to release the members from their duties.
The Government should abandon its evasive policies and abolish the Greater East Asia War Inquiring Committee whose character is somewhat vague, and in its place appoint a new commission to fully investigate war responsibility.
ITEM 3 Our Impressions From the Diet Speeches - Mainichi Shimbun - 1 Dec 45 Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translation:
In the Diet speech of HATOYAMA, new President of the Liberal Party, we can hardly find fresh or creative ideas, but his speech may be said to be otherwise perfect. The democratization of the new JAPAN is going on with such rapidity that in order to hold some rein on our march toward democracy, Mr. HATOYAMA declared that we should clearly distinguish liberty from lawlesness. The Liberal Party apparently supports that classical, out-dated theory that freedom should be enjoyed within the Nation but not beyond the Nation. In this sense the Liberal Party may well be somewhat conservative, but to our disappointment, Mr. HATOYAMA's speech in general has impressed us that the Liberal Party is taking a course which advocates the status quo.
A statesman who is very eager to come into power must curry the favor of the majority. Thus he must refrain from any agitation. This is the very reason why there are certain limitations to the freedom of Mr. HATOYAMA. He pointed out the instability of the democracy, as outlined in the speeches of the Social-Democratic Party and the Communist Party, which is a reaction to Japanese democracy, and in some ways may be said to have already reached its peak.
The critical shortage of food in the future will surely become the touchstone to our democracy, because the people in the face of acute
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 51 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
food shortage will reglect the so-called Japanese limit of democracy, Mr. HATOYAMA has stated that any abstract theory or mere principle which is not connected directly with the food problem is not worth a whit in the present Japanese political scene. Our disappointment with Mr. HATOYAMA's speech is that he did not express his opinion on the agrarian system. He commented on the food problem by saying that in order to overcome the food shortage after next year, we must increase production of fertilizer, manufacture farm implements and open up untilled lands with unemployed laborers. He added that after these measures have been taken, we must import food during the shortage. However, he did not refer to the farmland system.
Thus we are impressed that Mr. HATOYAMA appears to regard farmland reform as a bureaucratic control measure. As long as Mr. HATOYAMA holds to this view, the opinion that the Liberal Party should establish a coalition cabinet with the Social-Democratic Party will prove to be nothing but wishful thinking. Mr. NISHIO, Social-Democrat, asked questions about the food problem. But the incoherence of his questions disappointed the people. It may be assumed that Mr. NISHIO did not touch on the food matter purposely. Either a privilege or a principle of the Social-Democratic Party should be derived from the fact that Social- Democrats are in a position to solve the fundamental difficulties hampering the solution of the food problem.
The uneasiness which the Japanese people feel toward the present cabinet is not based on its diplomatic technique, since Mr. SHIDEHARA is leading the cabinet. Our uneasiness come from our suspicion as to whether or not the ALLIED NATIONS hold full confidence in the diplomacy of the cabinet. Mr. HATOYAMA made some remarks in this respect. The Social-Democratic Party also ought to help remedy this radical weakness of the cabinet. Diet members' speeches should be entirely distinct from a speech which associates the Nation to a mere collection of press articles.
ITEM 4 YONAI's Attitude - Asahi Shimbun - 1 Dec 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
War Minister SHIMOMURA apologized at the Diet Session to the people of JAPAN for his contribution to the present tragedy. The audience received him with deep and sincere sympathy.
Meanwhile, a stream of abuse is reported to have been directed at Navy Minister YONAI who was present in his usual navy uniform. Our reaction was one of pity rather than indignation toward these shallow people. We know he has retained his position despite the cabinet change since the war's end while a number of high-ranking army and navy officers committed hara-kiri in atonement for their war responsibilities.
But we are opposed to the notion that suicide or resignation alone is expiation for past sins or crimes. The best and most faithful way to render service to the throne is by exerting maximum effort in fulfilling one's duty before resigning. If in the heat of resentment, one committs suicide, he evades his responsibility by taking refuge in death. Suicide is not an act of courage.
We have learned that YONAI opposed the war, but once it had begun, performed his duties diligently. Moreover, at the end of the war, he did his best to improve conditions for the servicemen in response to the Emperor's wishes. In spite of this, some continue to abuse him.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 51 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
We know nothing of his private life or his personality. He may have preferred death to his present position, but is simply performing his duty. Contrast him with the man who was in the highest cabinet and military position what a difference!
We cannot help feeling scorn for the representatives who hurled such foul words at YONAI who stood resolutely at the session choking back his tears. Had he less restraint, the tears would have rushed out in a torrent.
From MIYAZWA, Yasushi,
Student of the TOKYO Imperial University.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0051, 1945-12-10.
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