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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0054, 1945-12-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0223

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 223 Date: 5 Dec 45


ITEM: 1 High price of "Peace" cigarette - Mainichi Shimbun - 2 Dec 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full Translation:
The Tobacco Monopoly Bureau will sell a new brand cigarette to be known as "PEACE". It will sell for ten yen per package of ten cigarettes. I wonder what class of people the authorities had in mind in formulating this plan? Smoking has long been restricted by the small ration of three cigarettes per day. If a tobacco surplus exists it ought to be used so as not to produce such a precious cigarette as "PEACE", but to increase the cigarette supply for the general public.
The high price of ten yen for ten cigarettes is unequalled in the world. The American cigarettes were only 13 cents per package before the war. Even a high class cigarette was not more than 25 cents for one package. And, throughout the war the prices of tobacco in AMERICA were never raised. It seems that one dollar in AMERICA is almost eq[illegible]to one yen in JAPAN in buying value, viewed from the standpoint of exchange and the living standards of the two countries, So, if we compare the prices of our tobacco with those of AMERICA, on this basis, "KINSHI" (TN: A brand of cigarette) is five times, "HIKARI" is ten times, and "PEACE" is 154 times higher than American cigarettes.
The Finance Ministry apparently intends to profit from this new cigarette just as the black market operators are doing in the street. In fact, this measure only encourages black markets and inflation.
ITEM 2 The apology of War Minister - Nainichi Shimbun - 2 Dec. 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full Translation:
At the Diet session 28 November, the War Minister humbly apologized for the undue interference of the military in politics. Of course, he wanted to apologize to the people through the Diet. However with its present composition the Diet has almost lost its raison d'etre. So, to apologize in this session was nonsense. If he were to apologize from the bottom of his heart, he should have taken a more appropriate way to impress directly the rank and file of the Common people. The Diet itself is responsible for the fact that it was overlooked and welcomed the undue interference of the military during the war. To apologize to such a Diet shows nothing more than an utter lack of common sense by the War Minister. Not only that, it must be recognized that the army is not to be bl[illegible]ed, rather the militaristic cliques who dragged it into the war. The greater part of the Army is really formed from the mobilized public, and they were really victims of the militaristic cliques.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 54 (Continued)
ITEM 3 United Front Develops - Yomiuri-Hochi - 2 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
Mr. SUZUKI; Misahuro, of the JAPAN Social Democratic Party, Mr. TOKUDA, Kynichi, of the JAPAN Communist Party, and Mr. KIKUNAMI, Katsumi, of the ASAHI newspaper have been designated employee representatives for the special arbitration committee in the strike of the YOMIURI-HOCHI newspaper. This is not only an important matter in the developments and solution of the walkout, but also has great significance for the future labor movement in JAPAN.
From the first, it has been observed by various quarters that our strike is not only an employee problem but also a greater social one. Whether our democratic revolution will succeed or not, and even if it succeeds, what contents and direction will be given to it? This will be decided by the results of the strike. Whether JAPAN will take a new step or not, will be decided by its success or failure. In this sense, our strike is not only a problem of a newspaper office, but also, of great consequence as a link of the Japanese democratic revolution. In this point, we heartily ask the understanding of all the readers.
In spite of the world's tendency towards decocracy the employees efforts for over a month, and faithful support from various quarters, it is due to the deep-rooted Japanese feudalism and the stubborn resistance offered by the governing class that the walkout has not yet come to a settlement. We can see their strength waiting for the next opportunity, though they have been silent because of their disadvantage. There lies a danger that may return us to feudalism. This is the reason why we cannot be off our guard for a moment. If we aimlessly eulogize democracy and think little of the enemy, our nation shall again be thrown into the abyss of oppression and despair. It is well known that they have offered stiff resistance by the institution of the standing arbitration committee, Setting the employee's will be naught, the committee, recommended by high quarters, was set up. It is utterly reactionary and anti-democratic in installing as a chairman Mr. KAWARADA who is a war criminal. When we consider the Japanese political situation and the stubborn resistance of the governing class, it is no wonder that the committee was instituted in such a way.
The special arbitration committee, differs, in its constitution, from the standing committee. In the former, it has been ruled that the committeemen are directly recommended by the opposing parties in the strike, and further, the neutral delegates are elected by mutual consent of the committeemen on both sides. Having been selected by a conference composed by the Supreme Strikers' Committee and the representatives of such groups as newspaper offices, news-agencies, the JAPAN Communist and JAPAN Social Democratic Parties which are ardently supporting our walkout, the recommendation of committeemen by the employee's is especially of great significance. We believe firmly that by adopting such a method, we have planned and attained the object of electing able representatives on the labor side.
Furthurmore, it is noteworthy that all the press and now-agency employees whose competitive spirits have hitherto stimulated by the capitalists, promoted by the YOMIURI struggle, have united for their common good, and a united committee has been formed by the YOMIURI-HOCHI,
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 54 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
ASAHI, MAINICHI, CHUBU NIPPON, MINSHU, JIJI, KYODO press groups and the broadcasting station, and this committee not only supports the YOMIURI struggle, but also forms a standing organic body that will open a united front for future struggles in the press and news-agency circles. This fact, we think, will demonstrates the future of the Japanese labor movement.
At the head of democratic revolution of JAPAN, we are fighting for democratizing the press, and are pleased that a united front for the salaried class, promoted by our struggle, is developing with such great tempo.
ITEM 4 A distributed liberalism - Tokyo Shimbun - 2 Dec 45. Translator: S. Inoue.
Full Translation:
During the war those without military or other official connection were not among the powerful. And now, in conquered JAPAN, people do not appear influential unless they speak about liberalism or democracy. Frankly speaking, this liberalism they speak of is not advocated because of any dangers or inconveniences necessitated by the demands of living. Rather, it is a liberalism handed down by others and hence lacks any sort of harmony.
We can witness this unharmonious state of affairs in the attitude of Premier SHIDEHARA at the present Diet session. When he is at a loss for a reply to something-undoubtedly important enought to affect the whole nation-he attributes it to a misprint in a newspaper, or to an improper statement by Foreign Minister YOSHIDA, or to an attitude assumed by the House of Peers. The pen should rightly be more powerful than the sword, but is actually much weaker, because it lacks power in JAPAN. Hence, it is very convenient for them to attribute anything to an erratic press. If they really respected the freedom of speech they would have corrected the errors soon after they had been published.
We must ask: Are they fully qualified as liberals? There is an old proverb which says "A sparrow remembers dancing as long as one hundred years". The premier showed only the bad habits he has been inflected with for the past seventy-four years. It is so outrageous that we can feel nothing but disgust after hearing Foreign Minister YOSHIDA reply to an interpellation, saying that "those who wish to know in detail should come to the Foreign Office". This demonstrates gross neglect of the dignity of the Diet. In hearing these obsurd replies we are reminded of a Diet session in the early days of the MEIJI Era in which ministers selected from feudal claus entirely neglected the Diet.
The House of Peers hat suffered its greatest disgrace when it was obliged to open the doors to various committees for newsmen by Allied directive. Those who were unable to handle such a trivial problem are sure to be far from able to cope with the revamping Peers' Ordinance.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 54 (Continued)
ITEM 5 "Much can not be expected of the War Investigation Commission" - Asahi Shimbun - 2 Dec 45. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
To study the cause of defeat in war, the Ear Investigation Commission has been established in the Cabinet, and Mr. AOKI, Tokuzo, who has been named to the post of Chief Secretary of the Commission, is now looking for proper personnel to serve as committeemen. A sincere investigation of war causes is essential to avoid the past mistakes which led the country into ruin. However, the Government's attitude in the selection of personnel gives us nothing but disappointment. We must be doubtful of any attainments which the commission will make as we do not see how a bureaucratic person like Mr. AOKI can select men of ability. Nor can we imagine what investigation activities he is planning to carry out and to what extent he has enthusiasm or ideas. Will the Government who willingly uses the term "termination of war" avoiding the word "Surrender" or "defeat", be able to carry out this investigation so thoroughly that it can convince the people and the whole world[illegible]
At least, we must insist on the following points: First, it is important that the investigation lay stress upon the cause of war rather than upon the defeat in war. The ordinance of the Commission provides that the investigation of the cause and real aspect of the defeat is the aim of the Commission. However it is more important to investigate the reason why JAPAN drifted into an aggressive war, which resulted in her ruin, rather than waste time in investigating the cause of defeat, since JAPAN's reconstruction aim should be to establish a first-class country without an army. The cause of the defeat, namely, the failure in war leadership in a broad sense, need not be investigated. Since JAPAN has no Army, Navy and Air Force, she can not wage war in any way in the future.
The past mistake committed by GERMANY, which prepared for World Ear Two by investigating the cause of her defeat in World War One should not be repeated. And we must be prudent not to act in such a way as to make the ALLIES suspect that JAPAN is preparing for another war. Accordingly, the main emphasis in the war probe should be made on the course of affairs before 8 December, 1941, not after that date. Not the defeat, but the beginning of war misled the country. To investigate the cause of the beginning of such an unhappy war is the first duty which we must assume for the next generation.
Secondly, we demand that the commission be aggressive in investigating in order to convince the people inside and outside the country, just as the special commission on the PEARL HARBOR attack is doing in AMERICA. Investigations of the kind that handle documents in an ivory tower must be avoided. The American Commission on PEARL HARBOR is not a Government organ, but is formed from members of both Houses of Congress. Hence this commission would not be able to satisfy the people without being thorough and sincere in its activities. So, in the same sense, the work of the war probe planned by our Government will inevitably result in failure without supervision by the people. If the Government investigation does not go even furthur and disclose publically the proceedings of the meeting of the Supreme Headquarters! Council in the presence of the Emperor, the cabinet meetings and councils of elder statesmen in which the beginning of the war was decided, the investigation will be of no significance. The past war did not suddenly break out on 8 December, 1941. It was directly conceived by the Triple Alliance and mutured by both the Chinese and Manchurian Incidents and by Fascist ideology. So, a complete disclosure must
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 54 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
be made on these matters, specifically.
Has the present war probe organization been planned with as much preparedness as the afore-mentioned incidents were planned? Since we knew it is not we can not have any expectation of results of the war probe by the Government. Moreover, we note the fact that, in EUROPE and AMERICA, men who occupied important positions in war-time wrote their memoirs about their experiences. It will probably be the same in World War Two. As for World War One there are many literary works already written. There is "The History of the World War" by CHURCHILL, and memoirs by Lloyd GEORGE. From GERMANY we have the memoirs of HINDENBURG and LUDENDORFF; from FRANCE those of FOCH, and from AMERICA the literary work of Colonel HOUSE, who was one of the brain trust advisors of President WILSON. On the other hand, there are few literary works of this nature from our country, and the secrets of state affairs are usually dropped and never made public. However, such convention will offer no excuse for the present. To a people who was forced to come to the grief of complete defeat, and to our posterity. The high officials who were concerned in the execution of war have a duty to write something giving the true aspect of the war with the purpose of confessing their crimes. And it is from such material that we can expect much more effective results on the fair judgement of the war by the Nation.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0054, 1945-12-05.
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