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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0143, 1945-12-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0464

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 464 Date: 22 Dec 45


ITEM 1 An Appeal to Agrarian Producers - Mainichi Shimbun - 20 Dec 45. Translator: K Hirata.
Full Translation:
The Land Reform Bill has finally passed the Diet. The Government intends to offer to the present tenants 1,500,000 chobu of arable land in order to create landed cultivators and at the same time substantially cut rentals 85 per cent below existing levels by establishing payment of rent in money. This means a start in the democratization of farming communities by the creation of landed farmers.
For this entirely unprecedented reform, the a[illegible]arian population must be thankful for the defeat, strange as it may seam. To be sure, the movement for creating landed farmers began in 1921, but it is undeniable that in the movement there was involved something of a plot by capitalists who wanted to cr[illegible]ate small landed cultivators at the expense of some landlords to check the then prevailing stru[illegible]le in farm communities which was a result of the depression. These struggles threatened to affect seriously the strife between capital and labor. The ZAI[illegible]ATSU is [illegible]ow speeding substantially its own dissolution.
The new scheme of creating landed farmers is of the TAISHO type in essence, but different in objective. It aims to stimulate production by permitting tenants the ownership of their own land and disposal of their produce as they see fit.
Inflation, however, is growing progressively worse. This is particularly the case in the price of food. According to the 19 December announcement of the Tokyo Central Market, tuna was quoted at 12,000 yen par one hundred kamme, Everybody knows how high the black market prices for rice, wheat, or potatoes is. We are sometimes obliged to buy there in spite of the price because it is impossible to sustain ourselves on official rations. By this, the writer does not mean that farmers are war profiteers. Nevertheless, how fortuned it is that they should be able to get arable land for their own use if they so wish in these times of inflation. When one tuna costs the equivalent of one chobu of rice field.
It is unpardonable for farmers to gloat over the possession of land without striving to produce more than ever, especially at a time when most of the nation is threatened with starvation. The democratization of farm communities must bring with it both an increase in production and the smooth delivery of produce to the government.
Up to the present, a very poor record is reported in delivery. The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry previously set the total quantity of [illegible]ice, including various cereals, to be delivered by farmers at 26,590,000 koku, and established proportionate quotas to various farming districts. The result however, was that only 2,939,000 koku were delivered by 10 December, a two-third decline compared with the corresponding period of last year. The chief cause may be attributed to this October

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
floods. In addition, it has become increasingly difficult for farmers to secure such necessities as farm tools, fertilizer and work clothes unless they offer stable food in exchange. The consumers are well aware of this. Farmers are apt to declare that they were cheated into production during the war. Nevertheless, it is not only farmers who were cheated. As many as 80,000,000 persons, who were all cheated by the warlords, are now struggling for existence in this small nation, entirely dependent upon the minimum production available. This is the reason we demand total effort for maximum delivery well as for production on the part of farmers.
It is not an exaggeration to s[illegible]y that farmers now have the power of life, and death over the rest of the nation. Up to the present, the Government and farm communities have been pitted against each other over the issue of delivery. This opposition, however, is in danger of developing into that between farmers and all consumers, with the urban population in the middle.
Lieutenant Colonel SCHENCK reported that farmers here probably take as much food as they used to take in the prewar years. According to [illegible]ATO, Kanji, a famous agrarian leader, a farmer usually takes, unconsciously, as much as four thousand calories a day. The poor record in delivery of products to the Government is su[illegible]ly caused by overeating on the part of farmers themselves. We can not overabuse those politicians and their supporters who are currying favor with farmers, with the forthcoming general election in view, by stating that this important problem of delivery to the Government particularly vital.
ITEM 2 Prince KONOYE's Memorandum and his Character - Mainichi Shimbun - 21 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
The memorandum written by the late Prince KONOE has clarified his viewpoints on the CHINA Affair, the Tripartite Alliance and the war between the UNITED STATES and JAPAN. He went to AMERICA in 1934 to confer on the Chinese problem. Before he started, he talked with CHIA[illegible], [illegible]SOPING, then Chinese Minister to JAPAN, of peace between JAPAN and CHINA. The Japanese military felt dissatisfied with the reply, "We will pass by the Manchurian problem for the time being" submitted by CHINA, and the matter ended in failure.
Even KOKOE, then Prime Minister, could not understand the actual facts of the MARCO POLO Bridge Incident. Admiral YO[illegible]I himself said the Incident was mysterious. Furthermore, ISHIHARA, Kanji, then head of the First Section of the General Staff Office, ordered that the Incident not be extended, but his order was incomplete. He said that he had been betrayed by those who obeyed outwardly and disobeyed inwardly. The General Staff Office, under [illegible]ice-Chief TADA, was of the opinion that the Incident should not spread, while the War Ministry, under Minister SUGIY[illegible]A, was of the opinion that it should be exploited. Therefore, with the military itself lacking a fixed policy, the Incident seemed to spread, by the force of circumstances. The leaders in the Incident were, in the Army, MI[illegible]AMI and KOISO, and in the Navy, SUBTSUGU. In the Cabinet meeting, OTAMI, then Minister of Oversea Affairs, asked the military when they would stop fighting. SUGIYAMA kept silent, and YONAI replied. Then, SUGIYAMA interrupted him in[illegible]his talk, and cried, "Are you so foolish to state such a fact here?" The meeting chilled. Prince KO[illegible]OE, stating that JAPAN would take no notice of CHIANG KAISHRK, nevertheless, continued peace negotiations with CHINA, but failed.
The Tripartite Alliance was proposed by G[illegible]RMA[illegible]Y during the first KONOE Cabinet and came into being in the second KONOE Cabinet. G[illegible]RMANY was
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
of the opinion that by forming the Alliance the [illegible]ntry of the UNITED STATES into the war would be checked clearing the [illegible]for [illegible]RUSSIA. An advocate of peace between UNITED STATES and JAPAN, he was cautious with regards to the SO[illegible]IET, and had believed that the Tripartite Alliance would be the best way to come to an understanding with the UNITED STATES. The Alliance[illegible]was concluded, anticipating SO[illegible]IET participation, but when MATSUONA, Yosuke, then Foreign Minister, visited G[illegible]RMA[illegible]Y, the Prince changed his opinion, holding that JAPAN would have to attack the SOVIET. But, MATSHOKA, returning home from GERMANY, concluded a nonaggression treaty with RUSSIA. When the war between GERMANY and the SOVIET UNION broke out, the Tripartite Alliance really lost its value.
There were three phases in the Alliance: (1) An alliance with the SOVIET UNION, (2 ) Winning the SOVIET UNION to our side, and (3) The outbreak of the war. Prince KONOE, considering GERMANY unreliable, tried to consult with the War Minister on abrogation of the Alliance, but he was opposed. He had repeatedly maintained that there was no connection between the Tripartite Alliance and the United States-Japanese war. While JAPAN continued negotiations with the UNITED STATES, the Army, holding fast to an alliance with GERMAMY, interrupted and all came to naught. The navy, meantime, approved the strengthening of Axis relations, and hesitated in concluding an alliance with GERMANY. Naval Minister, YOSHIDA, in anguish, resigned from the post, but the next Minister OIKAWA simply approved it, for the national political situation did not permit opposition. Admiral YAMANOTO, Isoroku, was still one of the elements against the Alliance. The negotiations with the UNITED STATES were at first approved by the Army and Navy, but then the former became indifferent and cultivated a jingoistic policy in order to prevent a reduction in munitions. The leaders of the Navy, until the resignation of the KONO[illegible]Cabinet, supported the continuage of negotiations, but in deference to relations with the Army and within itself, they out wardly left the matter entirely to Premier KOMOE.
As described above, it is clear that KONOE's responsibility was not small. He attributed his weakness in the CHINA Affairs to the fact that a Cabinet structure is weaker than the prerogatives of a supreme command. It is clear that he did not fully do his best to check the spread of the CHINA Incident. He overlooked the misdeeds of the Army. It cannot be denied that when he concluded the Tripartite Alliance, he had been sympathetic to GERMANY. He blundered in his belief that he could restrain the UNITED STATES by forming the alliance, and petitioned the Emperor to issue [illegible]rescript to suppress public opinion. After that, thinking that the alliance should have to be abrogated because of GERMANY's betrayal, he kept silent. It was not entirely due to the weakness of his will that he had been unable to check the outbreak of war between the UNITED STATES and JAPAM, but it was, in the last analysis, due to the fact that he could do nothing beyond his capacity.
ITEM 3 Non-delivery of Agriculture Products - Mainichi-Shimbun - 21 Dec 45. Translator: K. Ketel.
Full Translation:
We farmers do not intend to deliver to the Government a single bag of rice from this [illegible]'s crop. The reason for this is as follows:
The executives of the agriculture association of our village brought home many commodities from military clothing d[illegible]rots when the war ended. We are very angry about the way in which these leaders were coming to the office proudly wearing these stolen [illegible]oods. When they sold the surplus commodities in the black market, we were enraged. The only reason
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 143 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
these individuals could remain unpunished was by taking advantage of the tolerance of the village leaders and the police regarding such crimes. In such a disgusting state of affairs we are reluctant to offer our farm produce submissively to the authorities. Moreover, in our village a policeman stole an American official's blanket.
That is not all! In order to strengthen their influence, the chief of the agricultural association together with group leaders and executive chiefs, appropriated more than half of the wine which was to be distributed among farmers in order to accelerate the delivery of food. They held banquets and carried this wine along on their journeys. If such corrupt elements and policemen are not purged, the farmers will not deliver their crops. (A farmer of a village in KITA-ADACHI - Gun, SAITAM[illegible]-Ken)
The consumers of the city hold bitter feeling against the farmers, and on the other hand these farmers express their bitterness against the quasu-government office, the Agriculture Association. Even vicious merchants, who, after all, are merchants, know how to handle agrarian products, but the sole aim of the members of the agriculture association is to satisfy their stomachs. The farmer, when he offers his produce, is discouraged by the thought that he has to present them to such accursed elements as the member of the agriculture association. He has no incentive to produce if his product is to be appropriated by corrupt officials.
The agriculture association, since it is the liaison agency between the Government and farmers, is in the most favorable position to aid the food shortage. Up till now it had only to urge the farmers to deliver and to deduct the percentage for special distribution for farmers. The members of this association drank untaxed wine. Because of their powerless position, tenants became the bait of the agriculture association, and prominent persons like landowners exempt from, such tyranny. What would be the future of the poor farmers? An organization such the agriculture association, which int[illegible]rupts the distribution of goods and menaces the nation's welfare, must be abolished as soon as possible. (A repatriated student. FU[illegible]USHIMA-Ken)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0143, 1945-12-22.
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