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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0104, 1945-12-17.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0358

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No 358 DATE 17 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Research on Public Opinion must be Made by More Scientific Methods-Yomiuri Hochi - 13 Dec 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full translation:
While a good deal of so-called inquirer into public opinion has been made recently, it is doubted whether the methods adopted are appropriate enough to represent the true voices of our populace. When these methods lack authenticity and scientific accuracy to obtain true opinions, the result will be merely the so-called "voices of people" or "cries of the populace". This misrepresentation should be blamed no less than that of the present Diet.
The results of two research of public opinion by the inquiry section of the Research Institute of Japanese Public Opinion and the Research Institute of Lasting Peace, which were reported in this paper on 9 December, are the cases at point. The former put to a vote the question arising from the discussion the Emperor system which was broadcast by radio at 1700. Let us ponder what class of people have ample time to listen to a broadcast at 1700 and then can afford to deliberate and write their opinions about it. Obviously, they are an extremely limited group of the leisure class. It is said that the other poll was voted upon by many mayors, presidents and vice-presidents of municipal assemblies throughout the country. Undoubtedly, to my mind many of them are war criminals. It would be interesting to see how many among them there are who really represent the people's will. After all, I can see that both cases were voted upon by a limited class. The "idlers' words" in some quarters are substituted for the "people's voice" and are being called "popular feeling". This in no way is scientific. I have learned that in the GALLUP Institute of Public Opinion collected public opinion is first arranged by class and district and the results are multiplied or divided by a fixed coefficient. Even such a troublesome method may not be trusted to represent accurately public opinion.
There is nothing to be said for such crude methods which are now appearing in JAPAN and termed "people's voices". Any true opinion cannot be expected to appear by these methods, particularly in such a delicate research as that of the Emperor system.
It is commonly believed that the special police are continuing to operate, although their offices have been abolished. So, even if some students should go around air raid shelters to hear the voices, those who stand against it would not express their opinions, except by silence. On the other hand, it is reported that some students of the TOKYO Imperial University went to farm villages to inquire about the Emperor system. But, in the name of social students, I want them to step claiming that they have obtained "true popular feeling of farmers" by such a simple method.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 104 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Mr. RUBIN revealed his opinion in STARS and STRIPES of 9 December when he said that 30 per cent of university students in this country stand against the system. I can see in this a foresight worthy of a scientist. We must be watchful against unreliable persons who air the so-called "voices" or "cries" of the people, following the whim of democracy. First, the method should be fully explained and then the "people's will" expressed. After all, scientific methods must be used in research of public opinion. Only then can the research represent true meaning and reliability.
ITEM 2 The Establishment of An Agricultural Policy Is Needed - Sangyo Keizai - 13 Dec 45. Translator: J. Wada.
Full translation:
With respect to the Farm Land Reform Bill now under deliberation in the current extraordinary session of the Diet, Supreme Allied Headquarters issued a new directive ordering extensive agricultural reform. Commenting on the directive, Agricultural Minister MATSUMURA declared that it was almost the same in point as the bill. But the directive clearly aims at a far more extensive reform in Japanese agriculture than the Farm Land Reform Bill. While the gist of the latter is re-distribution of farm, lands and the adoption of the cash rentals system, the Headquarters' directive in addition to these two, includes measures to afford farmers legal protection so that conditions will not force them back into tenancy, and steps to stabilize farm prices and safeguard farmers against exploitation by processors and distributors.
With regard to these problems which are included in the directive and omitted in the Bill, the Minister explained that another bill should be presented to the next session of the Diet or other steps taken. But redistribution of farm lands and the cash rentals system without a solution of these omitted problems cannot be fully effective and may even bring about calamities in the future. The stability of farm prices depends greatly upon the stability of the prices of rice and barley which are the staple foods of the people. However, the price of rice has continued to fluctuate very markedly since the MEIJI Era, making a consistent rice-price policy impossible.
The greatest causes of fluctuations were the ups and downs in the amounts of production and importation, and in the prices of commodities. It is characteristic of agriculture that production is mostly decided by the weather. Therefore, in a year of abundance the Government would take steps to raise the lowered price, and in a lean year it would lower the price by importing foreign rice. The former aimed at maintaining the farmers' household economy, while the latter hoped to alleviate the burden of the consumers. But it is quite clear that the rice-price policy of the Government was aimed principally at the stability of the price of rice, disregarding the abnormal food shortage throughout the war up to the present. It was over-production and the low price of rice that caused large scale annexations of farm lands and too few tenants.
Now, the situation is somewhat different. We have no danger of overproduction, so long as epoch-making improvements are not attained in agricultural techniques. However, how to decide the price of rice in relation to that of imported foreign rice is still the problem of the rice-price policy.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 104 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The relation between the price of rice and the price level is very complicated. However, we can say that the difference between the rice price and the prices of industrial products is the greatest cause of the impoverished farm economy. Thus, the measures to balance farm prices and the industrial prices, are simply those steps to afford farmers safeguards against exploitation by processors and distributors. The high price of fertilizer, together with high rentals, seriously affected the farms' economy, though the high price was naturally caused by farm production's great dependency on fertilizer through small units of agricultural management and intensive cultivation.
In this sense, the price policy of fertilizer has a significant bearing on the establishment of the price policy of rice or agricultural products in general, Much more important is the proper balance between the price of rice or the farm prices and the general price level sine, the betterment of urban life is of urgent necessity. Without the rice price or the farm price policy established, any reform in the farmland system cannot be successful. The Government should decide at the earliest time its fundamental policy toward agriculture.
ITEM 3 Emancipation of Farmers Ordered by the Allied Powers - Tokyo Shimbun - 13 Dec 45. Translator: S. Ota.
Full translation:
The Government planned the Land Reform Bill and proposed it to the Diet before being ordered to do so by the Allied powers, and we highly appreciate this. But they can no more claim credit for this revision, for now an order was issued to "drastically emancipate the farmers". This order by the Allied Powers is a warning and a reprimand of the attitude of the Government and the members of the Diet. The procedure of deliberation of this bill was so slow that it might well be doubted that they really wished to finish the deliberation. Most of the nation is eagerly longing for that which was ordered by the Allied Powers, yet it has no measure which is as effective as this order to the Diet. Moreover, the Diet does not assume a sincere attitude until it is ordered by the Allied Powers. We find the greatest defect of present day JAPAN in these aspects.
Some may criticize the original plan proposed by the Government on the grounds that "the farms will be only put into pawn, after all". This criticism points out that the plan is insufficient for the purpose of emancipating the farmers because of the following: It stipulates buying the farms, establishing the owner-farmer system, and paying the rent with money, that is, the new owner-farmers will revert to tenant darners in the near future. The order of the Allied Powers took cognizance of these points. Hence, by this directive the Diet was not only prohibited from suspending the bill because of unfinished deliberation, but, also, strictly prohibited to reform it for the convenience of the owners of the farms; in other words the Diet was caught between two fires.
Thus, the session will ho necessarily prolonged, and the Diet will be obliged to pass not only the Land Reform Bill but also the Labor Union Bill. If the two bills are approved by the Diet, it is not due to the merit of the Government nor the members of the Diet. Moreover, the Government did not propose the Land Reform Bill until 6 December, a week after the opening session, and the Labor Union Bill
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 104 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
was not proposed until 10 December when only a few days were left for the scheduled session. Lack of an earnest attitude on the part of the Government is illustrated by these facts, and the idleness of the members of the Diet is displayed all over the land.
ITEM 4 Demobilized Soldiers' Psychology - Asahi Shimbun - 13 Dec 45. Translator: Y. Suzuki.
Fellow soldiers! We are demobilized and have returned to our homes from gloomy, wretched, army barracks and terrible battlefields. We were welcomed only by cold, hard eyes full of hatred for the militarists, and we find cur country gutted by vast air raids. Our nation is facing disintegration, the people are crying for hunger, blaming one another for the defeat, and moral decadence is becoming rampant. Although we have had to cone hack to our homes in such a state, we still have the joyful feeling of being able to serve our Emperor through our own free wills.
Before we enlisted we though our loyalty could never be for any other man than the Emperor, but once we entered the army we found out that our loyalty and patriotism were only vacant words by the blustering officers who were using the soldiers as their machines. It was natural that our prides should be crushed completely.
All demobilized soldiers are presently called vicious rogues by the people. We cannot blame then for saying so, because it comes from our loss of character during Army life.
Already the battle of life has begun with social anxiety as its' barbed wire. Although we are looked upon with cold eyes, we must spearhead the charge through this difficulty and reconstruct a peaceful JAPAN. (From KUMAYA, Yoshihiro, technician in Tokyo.)
I am a demobilized soldier from the PHILIPPINES. Fellow men, have you thought of your soldiers who have suffered, and died from hunger and in battle? I am sorry to see our armies have left behind then so many crimes and have made such a disgraceful finale. Many, many boys are waiting for warm hearts and dreaming of their native land, while fighting their wounds and sickness. We desire no material things. Only few words of thanks for our troubles is enough to make us happy. Let us begin again from the beginning. (From AKISHIKA, Takashi, wounded soldier from CHIBA.)
I wonder if the people have the right impression towards the demobilized soldiers. There are signs that the people are confusing the militarists with the enlisted men. It is quite true that the militarists should bear the responsibility of the defeat. However, an ordinary soldier is a patriot who never fought for his own benefit - he fought for his nation. I wish the people would welcome us with more kindness and warmer hearts. (From SUZUKI, Takashi, Student in IBARAGI.)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0104, 1945-12-17.
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