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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0144, 1945-12-21.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0466

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 466 Date: 21. Dec 45


ITEM 1: We Urge the Prefectural Assembly to Reconsider - Provincial -Newspaper Kochi Shimbun (Kochi) - 14 Dec 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full Translation:
More than half the time of the session of the Prefectural Assembly, which is now convened, has elapsed. Many committees are in session. We wish to criticize the Assembly frankly iron observations on the interpellations and answers which have been exchanged by both the Government and the members of the assemble.
One of the most important problems everywhere in JAPAN at this time is the food supply. In the final analysis, increase of coal production, insurance of collateral for imports of food, and measures for easing public tension are all problems which are contingent on the food situation. This Prefecture is not excepted. Now that mass meetings on the food shortage problem are being hold everywhere by residents in this prefecture, it is a matter of course that this question be hotly debated in the present Prefecture Assembly. It is only natural that almost all of the members who tool: the floor demanded of the authorities relief measures in accordance with their respective viewpoint . On the second day after the recess, OKAMURA, one of the members, demanded that specific figures on food production should be made known, and UJIHARA stressed that farmers are dissatisfied with the present compulsory allotment system. They will not turn over their products to the Government if the unfair dealings regarding the distribution of the munitions industry food reserve at the close of the war is not corrected.
On the fourth day, OZAKI suggested that, the solution of the fertilizer shortage is a prerequisite for production increase. There sulphate fertilizer stored at NIIH[illegible], should be sold by the Government, end in return, this prefecture should send laborers there for coal production. FUJIKAWA proposed to remove the restrictions on the sale of sweet potatoes after the compulsory allotment has been worked out. SHIMAMURA, referring to the sale of NISSHO Air Base by the Government, demanded of the authorities cautious regard for the former owner's opinion. In a word, the food question was discussed exhaustively.
The president of the Prefecture, in replying to these interrogations, was quite cordial end polite, but only to the effect that the authorities are doing their utmost and that they wish to tide over difficulties in co-operation with the members of the assembly. This kind of reply is lamentable.
On the fifth dog, ONISHI made a pressing demand to the effect that if the authorities were bold enough to open Government warehouses,

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 144 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
a scandal light occur because of the food shortage. The authorities replied that they were prepared for it. Obviously, the residents as well as the members felt relieved with this answer. However, it must be a duty of the authorities to take all possible measures beforehand unless a scandal should occur. The statement that the authorities are ready for any type of danger could help to set the people's mind at rest.
We can only wonder at the fact that, this was not made clear to the public on the initiative of the Government. It is really regrettable that the secretive dealings of bureaucratic business still remains uncorrected. At any rate, the ultimate end of this question came on the eighth day, when a resolution regarding the permission for the import of food was passed unanimously. It was immediately sent to the Allied Headquarters to convey the earnest desires of the residents. This was a matter worthy of special mention in this session of the Assembly.
The questions of war victims, housing restriction or far, bureaucratic egotism, infrigement upon people rights, reconstruction of war-damaged schools, measures for unemployment, wooden vessels, traffic in HAKATA-Gun, and other questions, were discussed. Actually there is little difference between the Assembly and the Diet on these questions. It cannot be denied that the former is outdone by the latter and is very dull.
When OKAMURA asked the President about the Emperor System, a rather unbecoming question for a regional Assembly, the latter replied that it was deplorable that this question is now being discussed openly. OZAKI several times demanded of the President his opinion in reference to the war responsibility. The President said, It is first necessary to distinguish war criminals from those who are responsible for the war, and I think that the people should take the consequence of the defeat,"
On the first day of the session, an explosive interrogation was made by UJIHARA on the question of subsidies. He asked what would become of the budget estimates if subsidies should be stopped by the Allied Headquarters. Naturally, all the members became tense. On the neat, day, the President replied, "It is not likely to happen in the present situation."
The unpromising general budget for next year in this prefecture, which amounts to 22 million yen, is now under consideration by the Assembly. The subsidies total approximately 8.5 million yen. It can be said that UJIHARA's interrogation hit the mark. The budget is dependent only on national funds. The authorities, the members of the Assembly, and the General residents must consider more seriously this state affairs.
The Assembly have small attendances, and the atmosphere there is so imprudent and halfhearted that the Assembly itself is almost disregarded by the members themselves. Everywhere in the hall was heard whispers about the coming general elections, talks about the formation of local party branches, etc. In this respect, too, we can only urge the members of the Assembly to seriously reconsider their tasks.
ITEM 2 Black Marketing by Government Officials - Tokio Shimbun - 20 Dec 45. Translator: K. Ketel.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 144 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Full Translation:
Some time ago people were amazed at the method of distribution of sugar by the OSAKA Procurator's office. Recently the black marketing of wheat by a certain central government office was reported in the newspapers. Details of this affair are as follows:
With the aid of an office clerk, the government office bought wheat from a farmer from SAITAMA-Ken. The wheat was carried into the capital and was distributed among more than 200 workers. Married workers got two she and single men got one sho each. The average was 40 yen for one sho of wheat. If we figure the average of one to six sho for each person the total distributed would amount to 32 koku and the total outlay 128,000 yen. According to the present situation in the black market, this amount is comparatively small, bit because the case involved a certain government office it could hardly be carried out without organized methods.
We cannot say that 40 yen for one sho is very cheap, but it pleased the workers, for they can hardly find any time to shop in the black markets. A thief usually has an alibi to cover up his crime. The guilty officials have a reasonable excuse too because they can say they prevented workers from being absent from their duties and everyone knows that one cannot live only on the food distributed.
After all, everybody is suffering from a food shortage now. I think that the officials, since they are human beings too, will not hold it against the workers who received the wheat. Surely if I can get wheat without going out to the country I will be very thankful. However, who would care to maintain the public order if it comes out that government officials are behaving like this?
"Money is the key that opens all doors." This is an old Japanese proverb. Indeed, no gifts can be presented to the criminals at SUGMO Prison because this would cause discrimination between rich and poor. The only allowance at present is material for more than 300 prisoners.
If everyone would have to face the same inconvenience no one would complain, but if popularity or money counts it is very unjust. The gulf between rich and poor is getting very wide in postwar JAPAN, humors, such as "Government officials ore able to have lunch without relinquishing their rice ration," are in wide circulation. I cannot believe such foolish rumors, and I think of them as only a minor complaint, but if such complaints continue the situation will grow worse and worse.
ITEM 3 Rice Supply Through Trust in Farmers - Asahi Shimbun - 20 Dec 45. Translator: K. Sato.
The supply of rice should be maintained through the good will of farmers. However, government officials are quite content to propose empty theories, and the police officers with sabers at their side, continue to threaten people day and night. Consequently, the farmers are in such a plight that they must sell not only the rice, which they need for themselves, but manufactured goods as well, and then, in return, receive a rice ration from the Government.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 144 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Of the 18 yen payment for a bag of rice, three yen have been deducted as compulsory savings. However, farmers must usually pay 1,000 to 1,500 yen per bag of rice on the black market in order to have sufficient food. This means that they can buy a bag of rice with the money received from 70 to 100 bagfuls sold to the Government. In the past, JAPAN'S agricultural policy has been one of "expoloitation and sweating," and the farmers' indination against feudalists bonds burst forth when the war ended. The result of present measures is that men of ability are forced to leave farms and the small farmers are unable to raise their economic standards. Thus, rural culture has been lowered and the farmers' sincerity has faded. It is difficult to expect much from them at this time.
To meet this situation, the Government should reform its fundamental policy towards farmers and pour upon them kindness end benevolence. In addition, thorough reforms must be made in the police, in agricultural societies, in regard to foodstuffs distribution, and in governmental district offices.
First to be considered is the agricultural system. Think of the labor and toil that farmers do all year round, working in all kinds of weather. Government leaders have little interest in seeding, transplanting, or in the readjustment of labor and wages in the harvest season, the most important problems to be solved. However, when harvest time comes, the farmers is very upset about the difficulties which have arisen in the meantime. Is it any wonder that farmers are disillusioned?
The distribution of chemical fertilizer and work shoes, by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, to well-supplied farmers does not encourage them, since such, goods should have been distributed before the spring sowing.
When TOKYO was bombed in the great raid of 10 March there were some who cried out, "TOKYO prospered by exacting sweat and blood from us and is now burning up."
The plan for co-operative thrashing proposed by the Agriculture Ministry is questionable. The farmers are hankering for sincere trust end magnanimous measures by the Government. (IBARAKI-YOSHI-HARA, Katsu, retired assistant professor of CHIBA Agricultural College.)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0144, 1945-12-21.
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