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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0175, 1945-12-29.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0551

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 551 Date: 29 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Literature and The Hostility Between Cities and Rural Districts - Yomiuri Hochi - 27 December 1945. Translator: H. Arai.
Full Translation:
The hostility between cities and rural districts is anything but relieved. Rather, it has become aggravated day by day, and as the rice situation becomes worse, the consumers in cities harbor more antipathy against farmers.
In accordance with the agrarian reforms, tenant farmers are to obtain farms at 600 yen per tan. They can get 600 yen at once by selling some vegetables for 20 yen per kan. Aware of such a fact, the ill-feeling among citizens towards farmers becomes more acute. If we study carefully the actual conditions in rural districts, however, we find that all the farmers do not make excessive profits. In fact, many tenant farmers have delivered all their crops and are obliged to buy their daily provisions, A misunderstanding of the real facts is bringing unhappiness into society. A rumor does not tell all the truth, and an exaggerated statement often causes friction even between blood relations.
Agrarian people were attracted by town life during the depression. Having been dazzled by the romantic works of bourgeois novelists, young men and women in agrarian districts felt themselves drawn to life in the cities. We cannot deny the fact that this was why much of the agrarian population was absorbed into cities.
It is not always a prosperous life in the cities, and life there is hard. Nevertheless, to the eyes of thoughtless people, even hardships are the objects of admiration, according to novels or dramas. This was the correlation between proletarian literature and bourgeois literature. The former proletarian literature used to depict the hardships of tenant farmers or laborers as if they were heroic. It kindled the people's passions and made the op[illegible]osition between capitalists and workers even keener.
As the hostility between cities and rural districts brings unhappiness into society, so is the opposition between capitalists and laborers deplorable. The mission of literature in the new era will be of great importance

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 175 (Continued)
ITEM 2 The Revision of the Constitution - Asahi Shimbun - 27 December 1945. Translator: Y. Ebiike.
Full Translation:
All the people are now convinced that the Constitution must be revised. The Allied Supreme Headquarters disclosed that it had requested the Prince HIGASHIKUNI Cabinet to revise it through Prince KONOE, even though the Headquarters did not ask the Prince to do it himself. The Minister of the Imperial Household, ISHIWAIARI, said he was sure that the Imperial Command ordering the Government to study the revision of the Constitution as already given through Premier SHIDSHARA, who proceeded to the Imperial Palace on 24 November, and that the draft plan drawn up by Prance KONOE had also been handed to the Government. However, Minister without Portfolio MATSUMOTO, who presides over the deliberation of revision of the Constitution, representing the Government, explained that no such Imperial order was given on 24 November; moreover, the draft plan by Prince KO[illegible]OE was brought to the Government by KONOE and was not sent by the Emperor. He seems to think that the Imperial initiative of revising the Constitution is a state affair, pure and simple, therefore, it does not come into formal effect until the Government petitions the Throne for it.
In the opinion of the Government, the time has not yet come when this step should be taken. The Government maintains that there is no formal Imperial decree issued for revision of the Constitution on the ground-work of Prince KONOE's draft, and that this decree will be issued after the Government's petition. The Imperial Household Minister interpretation is that it was proposed when the Imperial decree was issued on 21 November. Thus, ISHIKANWA's judical argument and ISHIKA's factural argument contradict each other. Interpreting the problem from the moral and legal point of view, the people seem to favor the latter opinion.
We can guess the [illegible]general trend in the Imperial mind, judging from the intention on both the Allied Authorities and the Japanese people. We fear that the Government might be forestalled in this issue again. Whether or not it is proper that the Constitutional revision be taken up by the Privy Seal Council, by Prince KONOE, or Marquis KIDO, or whether all the measures taken by the Imperial Household Minister ISHIWATA are satisfactory is not the main point at issue. A hesitant and lingering attitude by the Government until the Cabinet retires after general election will not win the faith of the world.
ITEM 3 A Proposal for Food Supply Management By the People - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 27 December 1945. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
A food crisis is staring our [illegible]ation in the face. At present, a very poor record is reported with regard to farmers' delivery of rice to the Government, so that the large cities are in danger of running short of rice as early as next January. Ever if January's crisis could be tided over by the efforts of the central as well as local authorities, an actual famine would be inevitable the th[illegible]oughout this land by February or March. Up to the early days of December, only 2,926,000 koku have been delivered by farmers out of the 26,591,000 koku allotted. The figure shows a marker decrease in comparison with 9,514,000 koku in the corresponding period of last year. In addition to rice,
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 175 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
farmers must deliver to the Government 1,140,000 koku of sweet potatoes. Even if three million koku of potatoes could be delivered during the period from the middle to the end of December, as expected, a crisis would still be inevitable next January as long as the situation is left to take its natural course.
To prevent this crisis, there is no other way but to import food from abroad, mobilize all kinds of edibles throughout the land, and utilize even unused natural resources, if available, and distribute them fairly to consumers. However, food imports for which the Government is so hopeful, the plan has not yet progressed farther than obtaining basic permission from the Allies.
The Government decided to distribute fertilizers, agricultural machines and tools, and other living necessities to farmers in order to encourace their efficient food deliveries. This countermeasure was, at first, expected to prove somewhat effective, but, at present, seems to have ended in failure due to difficulty in transportation caused by the coal famine, together with increasing mistrust in the Government on the part of farmers. Today, farmers themselves are timid about the food crisis and consequently are eager to retain as much rice for their own use as possible. The cause is mainly ascribed to the current state of our national economy which appears to be headed for collapse.
To counteract this situation, the Government is reported to be contemplating on resorting to extreme force, which well may remind the Nation of last year's compulsory delivery by use of police power. To be truthful, compulsory delivery was effective during the war. Ho[illegible]ever, it has proved to be a prominent factor in impeding smooth delivery since the end of the war. Futhermore, there will be no exercising of police power at this time. Since policemen are entirely lacking in authority. Opinions prevail that the Government should set up a rice monopoly, but it could not bet set up in time to aid this stringent situation.
In farming districts, there still remains an agricultural Society, which is a semi-governmental organ. If the Government virtually intends to turn to extreme force, it will find it convenient to utilize those orgainizations. This will serve as a t[illegible]st as to whether such a semi-government can continue its existence in the furture democratic JAPAN or not.
We the people should strive to solve the food problem in a democratic way instead of resorting to force. Hitherto, the people as consumers have been but slightly aware of the routes, difficulties and other problems regarding food distribution. They must take more responsibility in the future. To do this, it is necessary for consumers to share in the management of the food supply. Recently, such national organizations as labor unions, agrarian associations, and consumers' organizations have come into being as prominent economic structures of a new JAPAN. These organizations must pay keen attention to the staple food problem of the whole Nation, in addition to their respective regular functions. Representatives from these organizations, central or local, should talk together over smooth delivery of products, fair distribution of food, central of illegal consumers and other aspects of the food issue. If food supply requires more production of fertilizer or coal they themselves should seriously study a[illegible]equate center measures for a solution.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 175 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
If farmers remain indifferent to the stringent situation of food in cities, the above representatives themselves should also encourage farmers to provide more efficient delivery or production. That is to say, the existing Food Control Board, Local Food Office or Food Supply Corporation will change its machinery so as to perform its proper function as a public-servant organ. Needless to say, these organizations as a far as the mass of the nation is concerned, are yet far from satisfactory. On the other hand it is not desirable to discontinue the activities of the above official organs all at once. It is necessary that both the Government and the Nation co-operate in the solution of this urgent problems.
ITEM 4 Officials Will Not Be Starved - Tokyo Shimbun - 24 December l945. Translator: H. Arai.
Full Translation:
The Japanese people, faced by the acute food shortage, remember many accounts of famines in the EDO Period. Under the TOKUGAWA regime the Japanese people met with severe famines at least 35 times in the last 350 years. Especially towards the closing days of the Shogunate, they experienced famines almost every year from the TEMMET Era to the TEMPO. The miseries of these famines were beyond discription. In addition, owing to the prevalence of plagues, some 100,000 people died in the city of EDO alone in the ANSEI, the MANEN and the BUNKYU Eras.
We are suffering from a shortage of medicine and are faced with the plague commonly associated with war. Once before the Japanese Government was ordered to deliver medicines by the Allied Headquarters, nevertheless it has now been directed to do so again. To our regret, we know the Government's awkwardness well.
In the famines during the EDO period what is notable is that all the people who died of hunger were peasants, tradesmen and citizens, but no officials. This is noted in the old BUNYA, Shimizu'a, 'The Chronicle of The Province' and also in other books. Although no officials in the EDO Period died of hunger, all present officials cannot escape from starvation. Excepting some wicked officials who are abusing their authority, the greater portion of the minor officials are in the same predicament as us all.
Powerful officials are certain to have advantages over the general public. The fact that the officials of a certain government office purchased a large quantity of barley and divided it among themselves illustrated that.
The Communists are insisting[illegible]n food management by citizens alone, and citizens in MEGURO are supporting the same viewpoint. This shows that the people cannot leave the matter to irresponsible officials. The people bear in mind subconsciously that the officials would never starve. The authorities must not make light of the demands of the Communists and of the citizens in MEGURO.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0175, 1945-12-29.
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