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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0098, 1945-12-16.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0343

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 343 Date: 16 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Reform in the Jud[illegible]ichi Shimbun - 12 Dec 45. Translator: K. Gunji.
Full translation:
Some eminent judges, prosecutors, and lawyers have banded together to start a new movement for reform in their field. Now nothing can escape the swelling current of democracy.
It is generally acknowledged that judicial power, which was exercised in the name of the Emperor, was subject to many abuses and much corruption, although no one openly discussed the matter because they feared the consequences, Mr. HIRANUMA, President of the Privy Council, and his favorite follower Mr. SHIONO, ex-Minister of Justice, both of whom were the dominant leaders in that circle, were arrested recently on suspicion of war guilt. At the same time, the corruption in the judicial field was disclosed to the public.
Those who intend to reform this evil must not miss the present opportunity. Following the post-war announcement which liberated political offenders, we have seen how any people have had to suffer cruel torture, without having committed any offense. Yet, we can remember that certain types of offenders were carefully protected from such punishment. It is true that these evils resulted, to some extent, from the defects of our present system. But the feudalistic methods mainly resulted from the practices of some of the leading people. Therefore, the establishment of any[illegible]independence in the judicial field must be preceded by an improvement in the organization of its personnel. We expect Mr. IWATA, who is well acquainted with these matters, to make some proposal regarding their solution. The proposed system in which the judicial association Would recommend judges and prosecutors who are superior in character and learning, is very useful for democratizing the professi[illegible]and especially for doing away with the bureaucratic methods of prosecutors. During the war, prosecutors made themselves followers of the war leaders, and had much to do with the loss of the people's trust in the present judicial system. The reform must also aim at allaying the fears of honest people concerning the present detective organization.
The so-called "administrative arrest" was too frequently applied to avoid the code of criminal procedure. Over 340,000 people were affected by it in a year, and some were imprisoned for one or two months, and sometimes as long as one or two years. They are managed by the detectives and not by the police superintendant, who often doesn't know the persons who are imprisoned by his arrests. It is true that in searching for criminals, "administrative arrest" may be required in some cases. However, it is quite lamentable that they can not search for criminals

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 98 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
without resorting to thrashing the suspects within an inch of their lives. In short, since we can not expect the present detectives to use scientific methods of searching for criminals, we must improve the quality of personnel by improving the methods of selection and by increasing salaries.
ITEM 2 Politics or Political Power? - Provincial Newspaper (SENDAI) Kahoku Shimpo - 8 Dec 45.
Members of the House of Representatives are discussing the political power problem with the Premier. Each party is struggling for political power, but, it is imagined that the Progressive Party will eventually take the helm in state affairs. The Premier has given no definite answer to the questions concerning future political powers which were asked by members of the Progressive Party. He may be thinking that he need not retire if the Liberal Party comes into power, for it is supporting the present cabinet, and that the Liberal Party may be a far greater help to him than the Progressive Party in putting into practice a democratic policy. This is so, since in his opinion the latter is too conventional, and altogether contrary to its name. All the members of the Diet are absorbed in the political power problem and have forgetten how to establish a civil government.
The next important problem for the people, however, is not that of political power but of politics. The Diet members will be blamed by the people for their lack of political responsibility. Those who wish to take a part in the government today must recognize that they must be ready to sacrifice themselves for the people and politics.
ITEM 3 Prices, Consumption and Income - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 12 Dec 45.
Full translation:
Various kinds of goods which were rarely displayed in shop fronts during the war have recently come on the market and stimulate our long suppressed desire for materials. At the same time, compared with the current officially set prices or the pre-war prices, they are too dear for most people to buy. People cannot afford to buy goods which are abundant in quantity but high in price. However, if the prices in question are again put under control by force as was the case in the course of the war, it will no doubt cause goods which have just begun to come out to disappear from the market and evoke black market prices.
Therefore, if we want to enjoy a higher standard of living, we need a higher income. However, the existing quantity of goods does not necessarily mean an absolute abundance, so that if we are offered a purchasing power sufficient to satisfy all our desires, we are sure to be short of goods. That is to say, vicious inflation is inevitable in this case. The terrific burden of daily living is weighing upon our nation, which has just heaved a sigh of relief at the termination of the war.
The Nation was compelled to economize in all goods during the war. However, now that the war is over, there is no more pressure urging the Nation to economize. Yet there are good reasons to assert that generally the Nation must continue to economize as our economic power has been remarkably weakened as a result of defeat.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 98 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
If the nominal money income of the Nation is increased on the ground that high prices are prevalent, out without increased production, prices can only rise and rise. This is elementary in the theory of inflation. The bitter reality which a vanquished nation must face is that there are plenty of goods, which it cannot afford to buy. At present, the Japanese Nation is not in the blessed state of being able to afford to buy whatever it wants. In this sense, more price control is the wrong policy; a cyclical advance of prices should be prevented by all means.
The nominal increase of money not backed by any substantial increase in production cannot do away with the difficulties in living, but, on the contrary, tends to make them worse and worse. Therefore, what we must do today is balance the present unequal incomes in the Nation and distribute the national income fairly among those who engage in the increase of products. Especially, today it is incumbent upon our whole Nation to try to restore a peaceful economy. It cannot waste time in idleness. The Nation's will to work has deplorably declined since the surrender. The reason cannot be easily sought, but is mainly attributed to the facts that we are able to manage to live without working diligently and that there is no difference between a hard worker and an idler. The so-called equality which prevailed during the war is the cause of many evils today. In this sense, the writer is of the opinion that the current official rations, for instance, regarding food and other items should be limited to what is necessary for minimum living and only hard workers should enjoy a richer and more comfortable living, according to their diligence.
The principle of mere equality tends to benefit idlers at the sacrifice of hard workers. We should not misjudge the actuality of this terrific inflation.
ITEM 4 Selecting the Head of the Progressive Party - Tokyo Shimbun - 12 Dec 45. Translator: T. Unayama.
Full translation:
The Progressive Party members who have not yet elected a head, are now making frantic efforts to select one, and so have little the to attend to the affairs of the plenary session and the meetings of the committees of the Diet. Such behavior may be criticized severely by all the people whether they are favorably or unfavorably disposed toward the party.
It is not our problem whether the Progressive Party is disrupted or whether some unavoidable circumstances may cause its dissolution. But we cannot overlook this disgraceful state for it is the majority party in the present Diet, and it consists of many members who are expected to be re-elected in the forthcoming general election.
Those who preferred Prince KONOE as Party head had their hopes shattered when KONOE was listed as a war criminal suspect, but it is yet premature to conclude that the supporters of UGAKI have won the day. Mr. UGAKI was Foreign Minister during the CHINA Incident. Therefore we cannot say whether or not he will be li[illegible]ted among the war criminal suspects in the future, but it is a question whether the Allied Powers will allow the choice of an ex-general as leader of a political party.
Some say that this problem has already been [illegible]onsidered, but there is another question: will the people consent to have this time-worn ex-military man the leader of a party? If the Progressives have resolved
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 98 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
to fall martyr to their principles under UGAKI's leadership, party membership will doubtless become much smaller. If it is so, we can not understand why they have mentioned funds as a prerequisite for nomination.
It is generally understood that a political party needs money even though the democratic age is here; this does not change. Whether in Western or Eastern countries, be they right wing or left wing, parties are the same. But there is a difference in degree. Political parties should compete on policy and not in terns of wealth. The argument on opening party funds to the public partly answers this question.
It is a time honored habit to choose a leader not only for whatever ability he may have, but also for his great financial resources.
It seems that those who selected the Finance Minister SHIBUSAWA also had this in mind. It is discouraging even to imagine the forthcoming election in which candidates selected on such a basis will campaign for positions of the highest authority.
ITEM 5 Give Work to Leisured and Unemployed People - Provincial Newspaper Chugoku Shimbun (HIROSHIMA) - 5 Dec 45. Translators: S. Fukuda.
In order to overcome the present coal shortage, the Government has undertaken measures to increase the wages of coal miners and give them a five go ration of rice because it feels that the coal shortage is due to the labor shortage. This does not appear to be effective. There are limits to increasing wages and rice rations. It is unavoidable that a serious situation will make necessary the forced requisitioning of coal workers. The resolutions concerning the coal shortage were presented to the 89th extraordinary session of the Diet, but the results are as yet unknown, A fact we must emphasize is the forced curtailment of 50 Per cent of the government railroad services, as well as of general industries. The unemployment problem must also be considered. About 5,000,000 demobilized soldiers, and about 10,000,000 workers from war industries, totalling about one fourth of the present population are now unemployed. Despite the many leisured and unemployed one great fault connected with the coal problem is the slow and hesitant action of the Government. It is not too much to say that this attitude has led to a crisis in coal production. The people of JAPAN were informed unexpectedly of the surrender and for some time they were utterly confused, causing despondency and idleness throughout the land. But their living resources will not last long for their money will soon be exhausted. It is not good for the Nation to continue to exist in idleness. What on earth is being done? Many are now speculating with black market goods to support themselves and their families, and many have become veritable black marketeers in order to exist. If the Government could have given them work on projects concerned with national and social welfare, great things could have been achieved. The Government must examine the unemployment problem as quickly as possible and determine whether they are lazy or have no jobs. At present, those who are merely idle make up the greater part of the unemployed. These must be sent back to work before their savings are completely exhausted. No measures for unemployment relief can be taken until this is done.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0098, 1945-12-16.
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