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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0165, 1945-12-26.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0526

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 526 Date: 26 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Fostering Public Opinion - Yomiuri-Hochi - 25 Dec 45. Translator: Y. Ebiike.
Full Translation:
Since a birth of democracy is being witnessed in JAPAN, public opinion has come to be regarded as more important; thus any article in a newspaper, reported as public opinion, will now claim the people eager attention. Indeed, the criticism and discussion by the people is so instructive for us, who are engaged in the survey of public opinion that we always pay special attention to it. In this connection, I want to express our views on public-opinion and also our attitude in its study.
The other day a letter appeared in this column reproaching the method which our research institution adopted in making a poll concerning the radio discussions held on the issue of the Emperor System. Our correspondent says that when viewed from the point of time involved and our particular way of surveying, those who covered our survey were from a limited level of society. Therefore, he contends that the result of our survey could hardly be said to reflect public opinion. To claim this as a real voice of the people, concludes our correspondent, is nothing but a fallacy designed to deceive them. Thus, the letter severely censures us.
Actually those who expressed their opinions did not belong to a leisured class alone. The letter guessed incorrectly on this point. On the contrary, those responding to the Emperor System issue were people of all classes, all district, and all ages; moreover, we could observe the people's sincerity in each letter. We conducted a scientific research from every viewpoint, collating all the people's vivid reactions, and were convinced that we could grasp the tendency of their ideas rather well. I regret to say, however, that the limited space in the paper did not allow me to go into more complete details, but we could only report the outline of our investigation based on figures. Besides the result which was published, we gained a satisfactory result to some extent, from our scientific research, in which we had taken much pains. Of course we are not so bold as to say that we have exactly grasped public opinion from this survey, but we think that it represents one aspect of the people's intention, or hints toward a tendency of public opinion. Unfortunately, we must be content at present with a meagre collection of research facilities as we possess, which is far from perfect but which may be the best available, considering the situation prevailing in JAPAN.
There are various methods of investigating public opinion, so that we do not think that our method through the radio is the sole nor the perfect means. Dr. GALLUP or the "Fortune Magazine Poll" in the UNITED STATES utilizes many methods. Every device conceivable

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 165 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
has been used during these ten years, from the early method of investigation by return post cards to the present dispatch of investigators to all states, requesting each individual's personal opinion. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages and after many failures they have decided upon the latter method.
Now we must consider many failures which perhaps shall be made in the future. Generally speaking public opinion by nature is very changeable with no sequence nor organization in itself, differing from day to day, and from month to month. However, out of that chaos of opinion something important gradually materializes until it becomes organized and clarified. This we must grasp by analysis. or synthesis with keen sensibility and clear reason. This is most difficult to achieve in such a country as ours where the people regard a survey of public opinion merely as popular competition. Accordingly, an appropriate public opinion survey is still, far beyond our reach. Therefore, in JAPAN enlightening of the public is more urgent than a survey of public opinion. Our mission should be to help foster and develop public opinion. (A letter from JAPAN Public Opinion Research Society (NIPPON YOROM KENEYUKAI).)
ITEM 2 A Crowd of Students Walking About the Street - Mainichi Shimbun - 25 Dec 45. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
Of late, we often see crowds of students walking about the streets with bored look, without textbooks or notebooks. There are many other excuses for them, to be idle. They walk about the street leisurely all day long, go to the movies and buy something to eat when they have enough money.
In prewar days, the students often squandered their money, which was sent by their parents in the country, at cafe or a billiard room. Now they are spending every day doing nothing while the people are suffering due to the difficult times. I cannot under - stand why their parents send them money.
I, of course, recognize that there are some diligent students. However, how many diligent ones will be found among 1,000 students? Perhaps ten, I think. Here I suggest a plan. The students should have tests at the end of a term, end the five best, ones should be exampted from their school expenses. The rest should pay their fixed expenses, and those of lowest standing should pay some additional sums of money, besides their fixed expenses. The parents will be unable to afford such an expense and will make their sons leave school. This will ease the parents' burden.
There is another plan. The students could have lessons for four hours only, in the mornings, and they could then work in the afternoon for four or five hours. They could spend the nights as they like. I think it is a bad policy to let students spend the. whole day doing nothing.
ITEM 3 A Broadcast from Japan University - Mainichi Shimbun. - 25 Dec 45. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 165 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
I listened to a re-broadcast of a discussion held by JAPAN University students and professors. This was perhaps broadcast as an experiment of a new program, but the content of the discussions was very poor.
The debate was chiefly on the bonus for professors, a new large X-ray machine arrangement, and the establishment of an agricultural department. There was no need to broadcast these problems, which are no more than mere squabbles in the school. The participants seemed to argue so passionately that I often failed to catch what they maid. Even though it may have been a broadcast of an informal discussion, it was certainly nonsense.
It is unreasonable for the students to blame school authorities. They the selves selected their university, though they knew that their school was not the best and that there were many other schools.
Let them have their discussions on open ground or on some burnt-out site. Such a broadcast was an abuse of radio time, which should have be mo used more effectively. It mould be far better to amuse people by broadcasting more music.
ITEM 4 Lack of Leaders - Mainichi-Shimbun - 25 Dec 45. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
It was pointed out by General Lire MacARTHUR that JAPAN, in order to be democratized, needs loaders of top quality. Of course there are plenty of would be leaders. In the political field alone, candidates of all parties number more than four times the fixed number, and the rival candidates will freely encroach upon each other in every district. Any leader, if he deserves the name, must be a man who is wisely selected by the people. Election is not an action of merely voting without, a sense of responsibility but is the careful selection of a leader whom the people think to be most trustworthy. For that purpose a full knowledge and good faith in a candidate are needed. Is there any candidate at present who is worthy of such trust? Throughout the past 21 general elections, voters have never had so many candidates whom they do not now, and cannot trust as they have now.
Needless to say, if we erase from the list of the old time leaders the names of these guilty of war crimes and these responsible for the war, there remain only a few names. It is said that most of the present representatives are more or less responsible for the war. There would be no and no discussion if we went with our inquiries into war responsibility. But, at least, representatives who did not openly oppose the military budget should have no right to be elected as new learners meeting the expectations of General MacARTHUR. And, what is worse, there are among the new men those who are doubtful in their ideology, rather than obscure about their former careers. These, who have recently been discharged from prison, may be said to have spotless reputations. However, this does not imply that a smooth way is open before them. It would be a hard task for the Communists to emancipate the electorate from, the dar[illegible]ness of ignorance. In JAPAN the standard of thinking of the electorate is not so far developed as to advise it to vote for a party's sake. We must, therefore, take the opportunity of the coming general
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 165 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
election to popularize a democratic education in politics throughout the Nation. First of all, however, it is necessary to find an excellent leader.
Obstacles to the formation of democratic parties, and to the establishment of new platforms, are mostly removed by law, but not by the Japanese people themselves. This shows again the lack of leaders in this country. Plainly speaking, the people will not rely upon a merely abstract principle or platform. A leader must be one who manages to weave democratic freedom into the political organization, and who has obtained the understanding and sympathy of the people. At any rate, it is evident that Allied policy attaches paramount importance to education.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0165, 1945-12-26.
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