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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0115, 1945-12-19.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0383

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 383 Date: 19 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Poverty dulls the wit - Tokyo Shimbun - 15 Dec 45. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
It is regrettable that the proverb "Poverty dulls the wit" typifies circumstances in JAPAN since the defeat. Poverty dulls the wit and makes the thoughts of men negative and poor men's wits often bring him unexpected results, which add to his misery. The present circumstances in our country greatly resemble such a situation. She has become a fourth class nation in the economic would by the loss of all resources and productive power, to say nothing of hor domains. Moreover, the burden of reparations will naturally aggrovate the situation. Can JAPAN, whose wits have already been dulled, fully utilize her ability to rise again?
Let us take transportation as an example. The authorities took measures to relieve the confused state of transportation, which were temporary and the transportation capacities have been so restricted that the situation will be almost hopeless after January. The number of disabled cars is increasing in inverse proportion to the number of passengers. Trains are jammed and accidents occur more frequently. The same phenomenon can be seen in the food problem. The pressure of demand on supply often prenents the natural flow of distribution, which encourages the black market. This black market is an important factor in the vicious inflation which prevents the marketing of crops and increases the governments' difficulties in handling foods. In spite of the fact that the problems in coal and food are pressing tasks given to JAPAN, the Government is always forestalled in its counter measures by General MacARTHUR's Headquarters, which doubts that the Japanese Government and the people are making efforts to solve these problems."
What are the results of the dullness caused by poverty? Those who left the producing world have become mere consumers especially now when efforts must be concentrated upon production. The coal mining industry requires many workers. Nevertheless there are few who will become coal miners, and the quantity of mined coal will not be sufficient to meet the demand even if the shortage of labor is made up, because of reckless mining and neglect of the supply of machines during the war. JAPAN will have no recourse other than to become poorer under such circumstances. The difficulties in housing and fuel are indeed serious now that intense winter is drawing near. Hydro-electricity is fortunately sufficient, but the use of electric heaters is forbidden. Whet acynical world we live in! Electric heaters with an authorized mark are now appearing in street staffs.
Why does poverty dull the wit? It is because poverty influences a man so deeply that he cannot set his wits to work. That JAPAN does not recognize the fact that she has been reduced to poverty is also one of the causes which dulls JAPAN's wit. The fundamental mistakes

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 115 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
may be found in the idea of managing matters with a narrow point of view. The current problems can never he managed with a narrow point of view. Bad conditions have many causes, and accordingly counter measures for them should be thorough and comprehensive. This nay often require force and the abolition of regimalism. It is only natural for JAPAN to be reduced to poverty and dulled if the counter measures which the authorities take remain as they are, then the reconstruction of JAPAN will be hopeless.
ITEM 2 Make the Streets Brighter - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
Immediately after the end of the war the Emperor ordered the streets to be lit. Prince HIGASHIKU[illegible]I, then Prime Minister, who was given the Imperial message, announced the order to the various groups concerned. It was rumored, that electric bulbs would be made at the rate of several hundred thousands monthly. We expected that however little our food ration might be and however destitute our lives might be, we should be set free from wartime darkness and be able to walk on lighted streets. Four months have passed since the war ended and we have been freed from uneasiness over air raids. The cabinet was changed. "But have the streets been lit?
It has been reported the streets, are filled with burglars and murder cases are frequent. The social aspect of our defeated country is steadily growing worse. The people, face utter destitution. The Metropolitan Police Board, it is said, will have pairs of uniformed policemen, reopen some of the police boxes and the establishing of temperory night police boxes as a special precaution for this period. However, that alone will not check this crime wave. The active co-operation of the people as a whole is needed.
It goes without saying that the people, in their respective towns, may form selfdefence corps to establish strict night precautions to see that doors are fastened, etc. If they must walk on lonely streets at night, it may be a good idea for them to walk with several other persons. First of all, however, it is necessary that they exercise their ingenuity toward getting the streets lit.
Electric bulb production has not gone on as smoothly as expected. It will be some time before electric applience stores will have any on hand. There is an acute tungsten shortage the shortage of coal has also had a vital influence upon bulb production. Even if bulbs appear on the market it will be impossible for us to get them without buying them either at illicit prices or through some sort of bartering. Therefore even if streets are lit, bulbs would soon be stolen by dishonest persons.
Crimes prevail under the cover of darkness, Lighting the streets is truly the best way to check crime. We must, therefore, light the streets as soon as possible. If we cannot expect an early supply of bulbs, will it not be possible to offer bulbs from our homes by mutual consent in order to light the streets? To light one's own neighborhood, several homes need offer only one bulb each. If such blocks appear one after another, streets will be lit in their every nook and cranny. Then we must see to it that the bulbs offered by us are not stolen.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 115 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Of course, those who have bought up many bulbs should offer as many as they can spare, and the authorities concerned should take proper action. A great defect common to all of us is that we have depended upon the Government to act for the public and then we speak ill of Government policies; we have not been active in solving our own problems by ourselves. Such a matter as lighting the streets by offering bulbs may be unimportant, but it is now a serious problem for us. Isn't the solution of such a problem a test of our capacity for self government? Will it not lay a foundation for our democracy.
ITEM 3 On public baths - Asahi Shimbun - 15 Dec 45. Translator: B Ishibashi.
The other day the bath-house fee was raised to 20 Sen. However, far from alleviating the confusion to any degree as we had expected, the public bath-houses are growing more congested day by day. The former every day service has now been reduced to every other day. Added to this, refugees from the war are returning in large numbers, and the confusion is worse than that of the tramcars. Long before opening time, large crowds of people are waiting in line. Not infrequently, the door glass is smashed, and when I take off by GETA, I am often trampled upon by others. We hardly gat into the house now, and I must wait for five minutes near the bath tub before I can put one of my legs into the water. Since it takes a half hour to walk to the bath-house, waiting another five minutes without clothes after coming in from the cold is very trying. Some mothers, accompanied by their children, tremble while waiting. And often newly born children are laid down on. their mats. When it is evening, conditions are so dangerous that children are almost trampled to death unwittingly by the crowds. It is indeed a battle-field. Appropriate measures should be taken to remedy this as soon as possible and I propose a plan whereby the Town Associations would allot bath tickets to their residents, on the basis of the rice ration book or the book for purchasing goods. Consequently, if it is determined at five tickets per month for one person, he will have one tub every sixth day. In this way, the confusion would be more or less alleviated. At the same time, electric home baths should be sold in department stores. Then, those who have lost their bath-rooms through the war, would have no need of going to public baths. (TOKYO, OKAYA, Masuko, unemployed.)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0115, 1945-12-19.
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