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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0170, 1945-12-27.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0538

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 538 Date: 27 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The Tragedy of Prince Konoe - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku-Shimbun (Sendai) - 21 Dec 45. Translator:T. Unayama.
Full Translation:
Prince KONO[illegible]committed suicide by taking poison at dawn of 16 December, the very day appointed for him to be placed in detention as a war criminal suspect.
The motive for his suicide has been inferred to be in apology to the Emperor and to the Nation for has political errors since the CHINA Incident in 1937. The Prince believed that the only way to settle this affair as in an understanding between JAPAN and the UNITED STATES. To that end, he exerted all possible efforts in negotiations with the UNITED STATES. In spite of all this, he was, after the end of the war, listed among the war crime suspects.
It is believed that Prince KONO[illegible]had been suffering in silence because of this accusation. In a note he left behind, he mentioned that some of the people may have been aware of his true intention. Even in the UNITED STATES, he believed, [illegible]had some appreciative friends.
Since the defeat, the history which had been shrouded in mystery is now being revealed, but, we are not vet full informed of the actual facts that caused the war. The truth about the negotiations between JAPAN and the UNITED STATES to which the Prince alluded may be investigated in the future.
However, even if the Prince wished wholeheartedly for success in the negotiations the internal situation since the CHINA Incident had doomed the negotiations to inevitable failure. When we look back at that time, we recall the irresolute attitude of the Prince, who could not check expansion of the CHINA Incident, but was dragged on b[illegible]the militarists. His responsibility lies unavo[illegible]dably in this point. We could perceive during those days his suffering at being used as a tool by the military clique, but he could do nothing about it.
His movement for the "New Organization of the Nation" has today been recognized as a political plan created by the military clique, but at that time it w[illegible]like an echo in the minds of the intelligentsia, heralding a revolutionary movement. The Prince was still respected because of his intelligence and conscience as the political hope of JAPAN. He was, however, supported by the most wicked bureaucratic hangers-on, who dragged him into a slough of compromise and opportunism until he at last led JAPAN to the final catastrophe.
The Prince continued to be politically active, even after the war's end, in the revision o[illegible]the Constitution and other problems, and

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 170 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
gave the public the impression that he did not feel any responsibility. This but him at a disadvantage, and all those who were once favorably disposed towards him stood against him. Thus the Prince ended his days, forsaken by everyone.
It is obvious that this tragic catastro he is the result of many causes which are linked with the defects in his character. The Prince was listed, among the same war criminal suspects as former Premier TOJO and former Ambassador OSHI[illegible], but his standpoint differs from the others. TOJO and OSHI[illegible]were the chief instigators of the war, but the Prince had doubts on the wisdom of war to some extent. He was, however, not so firm in mind as he right have been in counteracting the war trends by his own influence. His intelligence was not profound and his conscience was not strong. He can, therefore, conclude that his demise cane inevitably as a result of his indecisiveness. It was a tragedy of character.
We must, however, not pass over this as only the Prince's tragedy of character. The indecisive character which revealed itself in this case was also found in almost all the other politicians and intellectuals during the war. The Prince was the prototype. Taking advantage of this character, the militarists caused the war, and led the people into today's misery.
Now the Prince's fatalistic character has come to an end, but the same character may be latent in the people, and, if so, they ought to review their past. If anyone locks impassively on the Prince's death as just another event, he mast be a most detestable man, lacking in self-respect.
For the reconstruction of JAPAN, complete intelligence and a strong conscience based on a firm belief in democracy are needed. The impotence of incomplete of intelligence and a weak conscience is brought into bold relief by the tragedy of Princes KONO[illegible].
ITEM 2 A Poster Encouraging Deposit of Money - Asahi Shimbun - 26 Dec 45. Translator: [illegible]. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
A poster at a post office in my neighborhood caught my eye. It contained the following data:
Deposit your money in the post office or bank in order: (1) to construct a bright JAPAN; (2) to prevent inflation; (3) to prevent food hoarding; (4) to get a profit of 400 yen in interest for 1,000 yen in 10 years.
This was deposit encouragement week. [illegible]t queer. What foolish fellow could have designed that poster [illegible]If we could keep on living with the present ration of food, who in the world go cut buying food for long distances and borrowing money from other. The deposit of money may help the rehabilitation of financial conditions, but it should be aimed at the rich capitalists and war profite[illegible]rs. Such a poster will not appeal to any one in spite of its attractive colors and beautiful phrases.
ITEM 3 Be Active, Intellectual People - Tokyo Shimbun - 26 Dec 45. Translator: S. Fukuda.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 170 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Full Translation:
Thanks to the freedom of speech, hundreds of mediocre magazines have published. Independent volumes have appeared in small numbers at bookshops. This is a welcome element to the culture of JAPAN. Readers, who throng at bookstores, have increased in number but are not so numerous as crowds at black market places.
It is good to see scenes in which old friends meet and greet each other after a long time. It sounds good to us to hear a bookshop keeper say with a little resentment that he had not nearly as many customers during the war. We must reflect on the character and attitude of cultured [illegible]en and the intellectual class, who were deprived of intellectual activities by horrible military and secret service police during the war. When we think back that they mere forced and told what to do, it is hard to believe. For example, if all the newspapers of JAPAN had taken measures to publish for a week the same editorial not allowing the existence, of the TOJO Cabinet, even the TOJO Cabinet could not have suspended the publishing of all Japanese newspapers, and it would have been forced to resign en bloc. We point out that all the people were too spiritless and silent. This enabled the military clique to hold despotic power. Cultured men also were responsible for that. In spite of our many intellectual men in the homeland, the fact that they led the situation to that point was due to political inactivity, lack of political unity, weak practices, and weakness of character peculiar to the intelligentsia. It is true that hundreds of them became victims of cruel suppression due to their ideas and practices. Only very few victims held to their beliefs, even in courts and prisons, while the majority of them kept silent and became spectators. KONO[illegible]and [illegible]were both intellectual men of fair and splendid spirit. They could not keep having to face nomination as war criminals. It is surely too much to say that the fate of Prince KONOE and acquis KIDO represents the fate of intellectual men in general, but when we act predict the future of cultural JAPAN, we should reflect upon: their behavior.
ITEM 4 Price Quoto is Now a Political Problem - Mainichi Shimbun - 26 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
A number of reason have been listed for the insufficient rice quota delivery, but protests seem to have aggravated situation. That the Government has exhibited anxiety is only [illegible]tting. But merely to try to convince the formers that a large portion of the urban population nay die of hunger does net increase the supply of rice in the least. It lends, on the contrary, to reduce the Nation's reliance on the Government.
True, the Government should notify th[illegible]farmers that the cities are facing a food crisis, but merely appealing to concepts of brotherly love and sense of social responsibility will not be effective.
Our Nation is still feudalistic. Feudalism means that obedience to authority is the basis of social order. Self-government concepts checked by oppression, even when oppression is lifted, will not be instantly resurrected. [illegible]n orderly spirit will not op[illegible]ose an old authority, and in is difficult to establish consciousness of one's
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 170 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
own responsibility in setting up a new authority. This is the national psychology of the defeated. Because of this, the Nation has a tendency to be irresponsible.
If the farmers' disregard for politics caused the shortage in rice delivery, an appeal to them will only invite their contempt. Politics, however, is an authority. Military and anti-democratic authority has been broken down, but a new authority should replace it. Those who do not believe this should be forced to do so. That is, a country's authority to foster or to support democracy is not reactionary. Such an authority should be supported by the general will of the Nation. Disorder should not be suppressed, but should be regarded as a step toward a self-governing state. There must be the authority of politics.
The problem of rice delivery has already reached such a political degreed. JAPAN has hith[illegible]rto been a bureaucratic country where the people were afraid of policemen. In democratic JAPAN, politics should not be something held ridicule by the people.
ITEM 5 The War Criminals are Our Real Enemies - Yomiuri-Hochi Shimbun - 26 Dec 4[illegible]Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
A Government supply and demand estimate on staple foods indicates that by next [illegible]ay the food crisis will reach its zenith, and that we can only rely upon Allied Powers sympathetic support to tide over the crisis. The sin of the war criminals who have driven the Nation to the brink of hunger is really unpardonable.
Up to now, only responsibility for the outbreak of the war and violations of international law during it have been examined. But, from the [illegible]of the Nation, we should thoroughly seek out the persons [illegible]kept us fighting in spite of the aggravation of the war [illegible]and decline of our national fighting power. Mr.KE[illegible], the [illegible], has affirmed that the real [illegible]who judges [illegible]civilization. We are all of the sate opinion. We [illegible], moreover, "existence" will also qualify as a ore prosecutor.
The NAZI war criminals who have been tried at [illegible]are described as a gang of [illegible]murderers and pill[illegible]gers. It is proper that the description be likewise applied to the Japanese war criminals. At the same time, we should comprehend that they we[illegible]re an enemy not only to the invaded countries but also hostile to the welfare of our Nation. Our distress is not due to defeat, but to their plunder. There is, in a portion of our society, the conviction that [illegible]for the defeat should be sought. But such a belief does not [illegible]will. Because it is clear that, even if JAPAN had won, our life [illegible]have been as wretched as it is in defeat.
When he was told, immediately before his suicide, that GORING and HI[illegible]would take his place, HITL[illegible]is said to have cried, Damn! Everyone deserts me!" Even if such an oppressor had won a war, he would have been seemed to be deserted by his nation. As the judgement of JAPAN's war criminals progresses, we deal re that they are essentially enemies of the Nation either in victory or in defeat.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0170, 1945-12-27.
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