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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0064, 1945-12-07.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0248

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 248 Date: 7 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The Progressive Party And The Present Diet - Tokyo Shimbun - 3 Dec 45. Translator: K. Gunti.
Full Translation:
In the present Diet, the Progressive Party is the absolute majority party in the Lower House, and accordingly, the Diet depends upon this Party for its decisions. Whether or not the three major bills before the Diet, namely, the Election reform Bill, the Land Reform Bill, and the Labor Union Bill, are approved or are amended, or if the amendment is reactionary, is wholly dependent upon the attitude of that party.
It is generally acknowledged that, of the three major parties, the Progressive Party is the most deeply colored with the old regime. Yet these three bills are the most epoch-making and democratic ones ever to be before the Diet. But the democratic flavor of the bills is unfavorable to the interests of that party. Now they must decide the destiny of those bills, according to their responsibilities, in accord with their platform which speaks for the cause of democracy, and parliamentary politics under the close scrutiny of eighty million people. They are forced to make clear whether their platform is genuine or simply a pretense.
Putting aside the Election Reform Bill for a moment, we find that the other two bills are obviously unfavorable to the landlords and capitalists. In Diets of the past the rejection of thorn would have been a matter of course. But now, that the Diet must stand for democracy and parliamentary politics, we believe they will not have the courage to reject them. They will have no alternative except for incomplete deliberations or reactionary amendments. The Diet is sensitive to the public feeling, however, and never undertakes such movements or its own initiative. The leaders who are well versed in the strategy of the Diet will try to seek the first step to it in other party movements.
In view of the present political situation, the bills should be put in force as soon as possible and should be amended by degrees. The Social Democratic Party, in favor of complete amendment, must especially be careful unless the reactionaries take advantage of them.
ITEM 2 "Doctrines for Japanese Subjects" - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
Education Minister MAEDA has just recently revealed his intentions in a reply to a representative in Diet that the "Doctrines for Japanese Subjects" which was published from March 1941 to the end

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 64 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
of the war by the Education Department will be taken out of print due to the "inadequacy of its contents." The book, aided by the Government, was circulated throughout the country and vas greatly popularized among the people. The greet majority of people sought from the book a spritual basis for their conduct during wartime; and it is an interesting fact that no school teacher ascended the platform without the book in his hands, as it was edited for the purpose of clarifying the doctrines by which the Japanese nation should abide and for contributing to the cultivation and encouregement of national moral virtues. So it is strange that such a book should be termed by mere words of explanation as "inadequacy of its contents." Such treatment of the book will give to the people the impression that any national virtue or principal may be handled like a sheet of paper and will tend to reduce the people's confidence in the Education Department. The point of the question lies in the fact that the abolition of the book's publication is merely an Administrative step and no other. Thought concerning the book should be strictly criticized by the individual public. A thought can only be subdued by another superior thought and not by the prohibition of publication, as is pointed out in history. The Education Minister must be very strict in doing away with the book. We mean "strict" naturally in treatment of the thought of the book and not in a material sense as would require the complete destruction of the book. But, so far as concerns the Minister's statement in the Diet, it referred only to the abolition of the publication of "Doctrines of the Japanese Subjects" and in no way contained criticism of its ideological contents. The educational course of democratic JAPAN will be clear only by a strict criticism of the book. Without it, the Japanese educational circles would be thoughtless and empty. It is common, knowledge that "Doctrines of the Japanese Subjects" already had been exposed to public criticism and we hear that the educational authorities intend to arrange some data necessary for educational control of it. But this fact should hot be the pretext for neglecting criticism of the book itself. The book says, "the Doctrines of the Japanese Subject's originated from our national constitution and should be cherished deeply and widely by the subjects." Abolition of such concepts needs a clear criticism. Prohibition of thought without its criticism is nothing more than burning of books and will contribute nothing towards the construction of democratic JAPAN. At least, it will reduce the teachers' confidence in the Education Minister. It is thought that should be destroyed and not a copy of the publications. A thought is destroyed only by another thought. It is quite clear that the abolition of the book's circulation alone will not justify the position of the present Minister of Education.
ITEM 3 Election Recommendation Letters - Mainichi Shimbun - 4 Dec 45. Translator: Y. A. Suzuki.
Full Translation:
Freedom in the election campaign is essential, and farmer controlling regulations must be revised and greatly relaxed. Above all, I advocate that, besides the campaign workers the people themselves sponsor written recommendation letters and avoid strictly printed ones during the election campaign. Though economy of both paper and exestion were emphasized at the time of the election of the TOJO Cabinet, people recommending candidates, or rather third persons who supported them, sent out numerous postcards printed with re-commendation letters which interfered with the freedom of the election.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 64 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The number of recommending letters exerted great influence for they almost decided the results of the election. If this were restricted to personal recommendation the sender would feel more responsibile, and would study the political programs advocated by the candidates. They would also vote intelligently after having investigated the man's qualification. The people's political interest would then increase and the election world would be an enlightened one. By this method, not only would it save paper, effort, and election expenditures, but every voter would he able to send a written, personal recommendation of any candidate to his friends. He would vote individually without being influenced by the candidates or the campaign workers. It would then become a very interesting national election campaign and would also be realistic political instruction for the people.
I hope that more attention can be given by newspaper staffs, political parties, educational bodies, men and women's associations, and the farmer-labor parties to the campaign, and I also hope that the sending of printed recommendation letters will be prohibited.
(Letter from a lawyer HIKIDA, Hideo)
ITEM 4 Starvation and works of Art - Asahi Shimbun - 5 Dec 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
While there may be some who feel my expression of the following opinion is strange, I nevertheless, place all the more emphasis upon it. I am living as a painter in defeated JAPAN. I have an atelier which was barely saved during the war, but my conscience does not allow me to keep it all to myself.
Our general public is now on the verge of starvation. We cannot be but alarmed at the appeals of the residents of TOKYO and OSAKA, crying for a more reasonable ration of food. So deeply am I impressed that I can hardly continue living as a painter.
Meanwhile, the wealthy and the peers of JAPAN have many works of art, most of which are notable works, and some of them may even be called national treasures. Only the privileged circle of our artistic world is allowed to appreciate them. Those works of art are not open to public appreciation and have become sort of secret, private, possessions, even though they have a great monetary value in the family of nations. And a great many of the wealthy class owning them are those who have little knowledge about the fine arts. It can be said that they are using works of art as mere decorations in their privileged and wealthy lives, and they even plan further collections of works of art.
Jewels, which now possess high international monetary value, have long been collected by the more far-sighted among the wealthy. Now, is not the present a most opportune time to advocate the presentation of those works of art as collateral for food import? I wonder why a suggestion to export these artistic possessions to America as a public and common property of the world, in order to relieve our public from starvation, is not made among our artists themselves?
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 64 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
In addition, it must be recognized that occidentals were first to appreciate the true value of Japanese art, and in return the Japanese public was instructed in western art. For example, many of Japanese color prints, which were exported to FRANCE, were considered great contributions to French art circles. At present, I know that an American student in the Allied Forces, introduced by the Boston Art Museum, is studying Japanese art under one of my friends at KYOTO.
The contribution that has been made by those rich and privileged circles to the cultural life of JAPAN is questionable. The intrinsic value of art is, needless to say, based on humanism. The Greek Civilization and the Renaissance Movement did not take place apart from the people. Art is the result of the pursuit of humanism. In JAPAN, as well as in any other country, the great works from ancient times are judged on the basis of humanism. Art was never made for the rich to use as a decoration.
Of course, I am a lover of the works of art as well as they. But in our present serious situation in which 100 million men are said to be starving, it is useless to keep those precious works of art within a limited circle. Export those works of art as soon as possible in exchange for food, which our nation needs badly at present. This may indeed also help to democratize our artistic world.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0064, 1945-12-07.
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