Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0076, 1945-12-11.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0278

call-number: DS801 .S82

(View Page Image)
No. 278 Date: 11 Dec 45


ITEM 1 (A) Problem of Emperor System. (B) Communist Reporters Protest Against Exclusion. - Tokyo Shimbun - 7 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ota.
Full translation:
It was natural that the problem of the Emperor System would be discussed to a certain extent by the Diet. Yet we are dissatisfied because the meaning of guarding the Emperor System in these discussions, as those heard in the streets, has not been substantially clarified, and it is somewhat out of focus. Those who think that sovereignty rests with the Emperor or country, and those who think that the Emperor should remain as an object of faith with sovereignty resting with the people, may be considered supporters of the Emperor System. The opinion of the Communists and Social-Democratic Parties on the System is clear, but we cannot determine in which category the other parties belong. They constantly talk, yet reveal nothing.
Our attention is directed toward the reactionary inclinations indicated by the queries of some Diet Members who demanded the supervision of discussion, such as was made by Communists, by utilization of the lese - Majeste law. The Government blocked the maneuver, asserting that this, law was not applicable to the discussions. However, such an assertion is easily retracted and even Imperial Household Minister ISHIWATARI pointed out the inclination of bureaucrats to hinder the intended democratization. In relation to this problem, the possibility of restoration of power by the military clique should not be ignored, as was also pointed out by the Communists.
Communist Reporters Protest against Exclusion.
There is something disagreeable in the Communist tactics about which we must make some comment. An example is their protest against the exclusion of the "Red Flag" reporters from the House of Representatives. If the House refused the entrance of the "Red Flag" reporters merely because they are Communists, then, of course, their protest is justifiable. On the other hand, if the reporters were refused because they were not from the daily presses, then the protest should be made in the names of all reporters who are not from the daily presses. We admit that the Communist Party is the only party absolved from war guilt, and yet this is insufficient cause for special privileges for "Red Flag" reporters. The protest should be made to the Authorities concerned or to the Government which limits the daily publications. If they merely demand special treatment for the "Red Flag" reporters, other magazine reporters will add their protests to the one of the Communists made in the name of the masses. Their tactics should be altered as their existence is now considered lawful.

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 76 (Continued)
ITEM 2 Democratizing Farming Communities - Mainichi Shimbun - 7 Dec 45. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full translation:
The reform draft regarding the current farm land system is to be deliberated at a committee meeting of the Lower House on 7 December.
We will comment here on some points around which the discussions will center. The first relates to the extent to which landowners are permitted to retain their own land, although it was decided to be an average of five chobu at the Cabinet meeting, a provision of the draft law provides for the landowners to be permitted to retain a certain area of land according to the Imperial ordinance. "A certain area of land" will vary somewhat in its area according to regional conditions. If landowners should come to retain more than the average five chobu, the area of arable land to be transferred to the possession of tenants will be smaller, with the inevitable result of weakening the draft bill .
The second point concerns the farm land purchasing organ. For the purchase and sale of arable land, it is a principle that an agricultural society should purchase it summarily from landowners and distribute it to each tenant. However, agricultural societies represent the interests of the landowners and also are unpopular among farmers due to many illegal acts committed during the war. Their reorganization is feared to be a difficult task. Therefore, the important task of purchasing and selling arable land should be handled by the central authorities, and by creating a farm land control board.
The third point relates to the right of appeal on the part of the landowners. When a satisfactory agreement can not be reached as to the transfer of land between a landowner and a purchasing organ, the former has the right to call for the decision of a farm land committee. However, we cannot but doubt that if such a committee should take charge of this big task, it would be inclined to support the landowners' interests.
Thus comes under the fourth point, the issue concerning the decision of the farm land committee. The character of our farming communities has changed remarkably since our surrender. Under the current situation absentee landowners and their children can not continue to remain absentee landowners long. Therefore, it is not good policy to indiscriminately buy up all landowners' arable land. Yet the proper extent of purchasing arable land owned by landlords can not be easily decided. It is provided that the decision is in the hands of a farm land committee and that it is a local governor that grants permission in the decision. We wonder why a Minister of Agriculture and Forestry should not have the right to grant permission. The public election of local governors will soon take place. If so, it is unavoidable that they should come, to some extent, under the influence of the local vested, interests in the near future. In view of this fact, the central authorities themselves should keep under control the farm land committee which represents the landowners' interests. The last point is the issue of purchasing prices of land. If tenants should sell one hyo of rice at a black market and be able to afford to buy more than one tan with the money thus gained, what would landowners say? It is not a good policy to decide on the prices of the land to
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 76 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
be purchased, leaving the current price system to remain unadjusted.
Although the reform bill involves such complicated and difficult issues as has been stated above, nobody can be opposed to the main aim of the reform which intends to transfer to tenants as much arable land as possible. Opinion is going ground in some quarters that a re-distribution of farm land should be decided upon after the solution of the problem regarding how much of the urban population can be absorbed in farming districts. However, what is wanted most urgently today is an increase in agricultural products, and the development of farming communities along the lines of democracy in the quickest and simplest way. Therefore, we want to get the reform bill past the Diet in spite of all difficulties which confront it. In order to foster the normal development of the reform law, the enforcement of payment of farm rents in money is vitally necessary.
We are in the wrong if we imagine that the payment in money will prove meaningless once tenants come to own Land. The best and quickest way for the creation of landed cultivators lies in that which will deprive landlords of the Claims that they are enjoying as landlords. That is to say, it will lessen substantially landlords' incomes gained from the current farm rents by the enforcement of "payment" in money" in stead of in kind.
ITEM 3 Inexplicable Affairs of the Mint - Yomiuri-Hochi - 7 Dec 45. Translator: Y. A. Suzuki.
As I am connected with the Mint, I am going to write a few concrete examples of mint affairs so that the public may know why we want to got rid of the vicious officials of the Mint and reform its affairs. On 13 May of this year 90 per cent of our factories and our other buildings were destroyed by an air raid. Although such was the case, the officials paid no heed to the employees who clamoured for the rebuilding of their homes and business. On the other hand, the Mint being a government office, had a huge amount of lumber for rebuilding. There the Lumber lay, all in a pile. The officials closed their eyes to the pathetic war sufferers who wore in great need of housing, and build their own homes in a few days.
During the air raid we had on the night of 13 May, our own factory was completely burned to the ground and the employees grieved. But afterwards the vicious authorities took the whisky that was to be rationed to the employees. Those who were virtuous among these officials could do nothing. On 15 August, the day of our surrender, the chief official announced in front of all the other officials, "Every man of this Nation boars the responsibility for our defeat. Each one should go in front of the palace and ask pardon from the Emperor if he wants to be penitent." All of the loyal members shed tears with deep feeling. But on the same night, the high officials with their chief as their leader took all the goods and beer and held a great banquet in celebration of the surrender.
These officials, who were the tools of the militarists during the war and had treated the men badly, have only caused regret among their compatriots. What have the people to say about the absolute and
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 76 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
self righteous vicious misconduct of these officials? We members are no longer going to stand still and let them act as they please. We are going to democratize our offices. Members of all government officers, awake! Let us unite in the aim we are striving to attain!
ITEM 4 The Crisis of the Progressive Party - Yomiuri Hochi - 7 Dec 45. Translator: M. Kato.
Full translation:
The earnestness of the Progressive Party is increasing in choosing its president, A violent storm is raging over the suspected war criminals and the year's end accompanied by the desolution of the Diet is drawing near. The New Year to be followed by the general election is likewise not far off. If UGAKI, Issei, one of the several candidates, will occupy the post, it will reveal that UGAKI has ascertained his immunity from being arrested as a war criminal. If the Finance Minister SHIBUZAWA has declined to assume the post of presidency, it can be said he is unwilling to shoulder the burden of the financial responsibility connected with the presidency. Now that NAKAJIMA, Chikuhei and SAKURAI, Hyogoro were arrested as war criminals, MACHIDA, Chuji, an old veteran, may be suited for the presidency. MITSUCHI, Chuzo reportedly has intention of assuming the post and in some quarters there are rumors of the intentions of MATSUDAIRA, Tsuneo, former Ambassador to ENGLAND in seeking the presidency.
If the results of the general election favor the Progressive Party, UGAKI's plan to gain the political power as the leader of the majority party will be realized. MITSUCHI is likewise moving toward the same goal. However, since the next arrest of war criminals may affect these individuals, they are irresolute when it comes to taking decisive steps.
The presidency of the Progressive Party is accompanied by a financial responsibility for a great burden of electioneering expenses. The sum is estimated to be at least 5,000,000 yen, 1,000,000 yen general expenses, 4,000,000 yen for electioneering expenses, with 10,000 yen allotted to each of the 400 candidates. At the time when TOJO was Premier, the electioneering expenses paid by the Headquarters of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association under the Presidency of ABE, Nobuyuki was estimated to he at least 10,000,000 yen. It was no trouble to raise that amount. The financial combines and munitions industries immediately responsed to such demands.
Now that the financial combines are dissolved, and munition companies have given place to peacetime industries with frozen indemnification, along with the heavy burden of taxes to he imposed upon them, their contribution to political parties is out of the question. The wealthy class is similarly unable to contribute to political parties. Well-known persons have already disappeared from the political world or are threatened to be involve in the storm. On the other hand the electioneering expenses have increased remarkably because of the rise in prices, coupled with the adoption of the major electorial system and the increase in the number of electors by two and a half through the revision of the Election Law. The expenses for electioneering is estimated by some quarters at 100,000 yen to 200,000 yen per veteran
- 4 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 76 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
and 500,000 yen in the case of a new politician. Furthermore, rice and coal are a necessary for men engaged in election campaigns, and for business purposes.
NAKAJIMA, Chikuhei and SAKURAI, Hyogoro, expected sources of money for the Progressive Party, have been driven from politics, and other sources of electioneering funds are not to be found. The Progressive Party is now in crucial danger of splitting up.
ITEM 5 Upper House Destined to Fall, Shocked at the News of Orders for Arrest. - Asahi Shimbun - 7 Dec 45. Translator: K. Gunji.
Full translations:
The Diet has already covered half of its 18-day session. The deliberations in the Houses have become serious. The Upper House approved the Cinema Law Abolition Bill, the Conscripts' Occupation Guarantee Law, Abolition Bill, the National Labor Ledger Abolition Bill, and another bill to present to the Lower House.
This is the first instance of the prior approved of bills by the peers. The Lower House was diligent enough to hold at the same time the plenary session, budget session and Election Law Committed meeting. But it is regrettable that the identical subjects were frequently repeated. This was conspicuous especially in the Election Committee meeting. In the budget session in the Lower House, the Premier, in reply to the question of Mr. KIMURA on the state policy towards CHINA, said that he aspired to realize friend by relations with CHINA, but that he could not achieve it, much to his chagrin. However, he had hopes for the future. There was force and enthusiasm in his speech, probably because it came from the bottom of his heart. We expect him to answer as clearly and with such belief on other questions.
As to the Land Bill, every party had questions, but we regret that the interpellators never expressed whether they were against or for it. They say that they appreciate the Government's decision, or that they are grateful to the Agricultural minister for his endeavors. Immediately after such words, they emphatically speak for absolute ownership of land and discuss the sufferings of the landowners. They don't know that their speeches disclose their true intentions. For instance, Mr. MURAYAMA, liberal opposed the Government on the grounds that the conpulsory transfer of land means the violation of Article 27 of the Constitution. Hereupon, Mr. HIRANO, Social-Democrat, defied him, saying that ownership brings a duty with it and denied absolute ownership.
The two parties, which cooperated with each other in the War Responsibility Pursuit Resolution, revealed differences of character on such a vital problem. They cannot, after all, follow the same course. We expect a characteristic discussion of such a question by the Progressives. If the Progressives are conservative in their nature, they should be bold enough to make it public. The ambiguity of attitude will prove to be a detriment to then and undesirable to the people at large.
The Election Bill was discussed only from the side of the Candidates, not of the voters. Public opinion was not at all reflected in the discussions of the Committee. They asserted that the limitation of the
- 5 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 76 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
election campaign expenses will be loosened, or that until the new Election Law comes into force, campaigns in their electoral districts shall be controlled by the authorities, or that a regulation shall be made to punish certain acts. Their minds are quite averted from the Diet. We admit their anxiety about their electoral districts, but their advocacy of Government management of election is not worthwhile. It is to their benefit that Government management saves them election expenses. We fear, In however, that this saved money will be used to bribe voters. The Diet me members take it for granted that the voters will be bribed. We cannot agree to allow it to be taken for granted that candidates will bribe their constituents. The Restricted Plural Balloting System, which is expected to be subject to amendment, has not mot effective opposition. It may possibly get through without amendment.
The Diet members, who were shocked at the news of the Allied Headquarters' order for the arrest of the 59 suspected war criminals, were ouch more appalled when they learned that the Allied authorities named another 7, including Prince KONOE, and Marquis KIDO. Both of then are playing leading parts in the Upper House. Count SAKAI, now vice Speaker, is also a man of influence. They believed the House of Peers to be an impregnable stronghold. It is, however, destine for a downfall.
ITEM 6 Diet Column - Tokyo Shimbun - 7 Dec 45. Translator: H. Arai.
Full translation:
In accordance with freedom of speech, authorities on rural problems from every political party posed various questions concerning the Farm Land Reform Bill. This lasted two consecutive days without considering the short term of the present Diet. Most of them, intentionally or otherwise, lacked force because of their ambiguous political standpoints, and the fundamental aim of this bill, which is to overthrow the feudal system in rural districts, was often missed.
It is true, that the only ones completely understanding this democratic aim are the Agricultural Ministry authorities who proposed the bill. There is a strong indication that other authorities are proceeding unwillingly under the influence of external pressure. This is evident by the fact that the bill was again discussed at the Cabinet council, and Prime Minister SHIDEHARA, out of urgency, presented it. The Diet members are not likely to hasten its discussion, and now there is a feeling that, along with the Labor Union Bill, it will not be decided at the present Diet session.
It would be most convenient for both the Government and the Diet members to transfer the undecided bill to the next Diet instead of half-heartedly amending it. Therefore, the members of the Diet, which are still unfavorable towards the bill, lack the courage to directly oppose it. At the general meeting of the Lower House Budget Committee, SUZUKI, Seigo, Independent, stated that it was useless for the Government to present such a bill before the existing Diet which represents the capitalists and landowners.
In reply to this statement, State Minister MATSUMOTO said that the revision of the constitution cannot be made as easily as the purchase of a ready-made article from an American department store. Indeed, State Minister MATSUMOTO lives up to his name (TN. MATSU means pine ),
- 6 -

(View Page Image)
EDITORIAL SERIES: 76 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
and his words were an animated description of his appearance. A sharp hint of sarcasm was hidden by the film of jesting. The fact that the members of the Diet were overcome by his irony may have exposed their idleness and unpreparedness. The revision of the constitution should be democratically debated with a more precise discussion of the serious constitutional questions by the Diet.
Although half the allotted time has elapsed the discussion has not yet reached the half way mark. It can easily be said that the Diet, which has impaired the first aim, is like the figure of an old structure being destroyed
ITEM 7 Abolition of Subsidies - Asahi Shimbun - 7 Dec 45. Translator: M. Kato.
Full translation:
Economic democratization requires no subsidies. There is an attempt by the Government to abolish the subsidy, except in the case of rice and coal, by which the selling price is reduced from the price based on cost of production. Since an increase in the price of rice will have a direct influence on the poor people a careful reform should be undertaken. Changes in the price of coal should be made only after careful deliberation. The Government explained that the selling price last year was 22 yen in the first half of the year, against 72 yen production cost, 50 yen being the subsidy while, in the last six months, the selling price was 85 yen against a production cost of 243 yen, the subsidy being 158 yen. This selling price was based on the expected stabilization of productive conditions by 1949 and the productive cost at that time. We are doubtful as to the realization of Government hopes of 40,000,000 tons a year. There is some truth in the assertion that the rise in price to 220 yen will insure 1,000,000 tons a month.
The Government's attitude is to be questioned in depending upon funds from the Industrial Bank. As the coal on hand serves to meet the general demand only for a short time, an effort to reach an output of 2,000,000 tons is absolutely necessary in order to produce aluminum sulphite for increased production. It is now high time for the SHIDEHARA Cabinet to make public its policy on prices.
- 7 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0076, 1945-12-11.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only