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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0184, 1945-12-31.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0576

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 576 Date: 31 Dec 45


ITEM 1 What is the Government Thinking of the Revision of the Constitution? Asahi Shimbun - 29 Dec 45. Translator: I. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
With the agreement that the acceptance of the Potsudam Declaration will not change JAPAN's national existence, JAPAN has taken a step forward in her new birth. However, her progress so far seems to have been lost in a maze. How the first chapter of the constitution was to be revised by Prince KONOYE is a closed book to the Nation, but we can recognize, through intimatior or Mr. MATSUMOTO, Minister without Portfolio, that the Government committee will, in the main, leave the general principles of the present constitution alone. Some ministers seem to think that the Emperor and the people should rule the country with equal qualifications. However, judging from slow progress on constitutional revision the Government appears unwilling to consider the present condition of our country. A civilian committee on the constitution has offered the Government a draft which claims that the right of ruling the country should be taken ever by the people. Such being the case, no one can tell what will become of the revision of the constitution. Supreme Headquarters has pointed out that when the Japanese discuss JAPAN's democracy it is not proper for them to adhere to restrictive ideas or formal thoughts.
What part will the Emperor system play in the democratization of JAPAN? will it be possible for the system to play as great a part in the future as it did at the end of the war?
Formerly, when Japanese capitalism was hotly discussed, it used to be argued whether the Imperial House would stand for autocracy or liberalism. We think that history is now repeating itself.
ITEM 2 This Local Governors' Conference was Politically Inactive. - Asahi Shimbun - 29 Dec 45. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full translation:
At a time when the situation everywhere is so stringent and critical, the Government, expressly called together the local governors to talk over the important issues regarding the forthcoming general election, the allotted delivery of rice and the increase of coal supplies. As is often the case, the premier and other ministers made a poor display of instructions and preaching. The general election, delivery of rice and the increase of coal supplies — each of these is no doubt, an urgently important matter of which every local governor must be well aware. This question rests on the concrete solution of

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 184 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
those problems. However, the central authorities revealed on this occasion their lack of policy in this respect. At the same time, local governors also impressed us as though they were relaxing administrative efforts. The only concrete items brought forth by the central authorities were the prevention of absenteeism in voting in the next election and the necessity of increasing the number of polling places. However, they failed to clarify any measures regarding the allotted delivery of rice and the increase of coal supplies. The local governors also failed to make any concrete remarks regarding their own difficult administrative efforts. From this, we can only say that the Government and local officials are sabotaging the Nation insofar as the solution of urgent problems is concerned.
The present Government will be obliged to resign en bloc after the next election. On the other hand, a public election of local governors, by popular will, will materialize in the near future. Yet there is no reason for justifying their lack of diligence on that account. Despite Allied control over this country as the result of defeat, we still retain administrative power. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Government to enrich the life of the people. The Government should be responsible not only to the Allies, but also to our people.
It is reported that the Government is contemplating a radical reform of the administrative machinery. No doubt, the reform of machinery and the curtailment of personnel are necessary. However, more fundamentally necessary is the reform of the existing way of disposing of official affairs. At present, it is still full of red tape and greatly impedes efficiency. This country is now undergoing a democratic revolution. The status which bureaucrats will continue to occupy in the future political democracy requires serious re-examination.
Also, during the conference, the local governors did not fail to express their views, always serving their respective local interests. Herein lies the necessity for reorganizing the existing division of administrative districts. Once the system of electing local governors by popular will becomes effective the tendency of self-interest is sure to be more marked. To check this evil, the existing division of administrative districts must be seriously re-examined. At any rate, this local governors' conference was politically a failure from the standpoint of the current critical situation.
ITEM 3 Admission Tax and Its Abolition - Tokyo Shimbun - 29 Dec 45. Translator: Y. Ebiike.
In reply to this column on 24 December demanding the abolition of the admission tax, authorities in the Finance Ministry explain that it does not check the development of national culture, but controls surplus purchasing power. Again we see by this reply how ignorant the bureaucrats are of actual circumstances. There are very few spectators when plays which are considered to be elevating Japanese dramatic culture, are put on the stage. We, the earnest spectators, not to speak of the authorities, have fears for the future development of Japanese drama. I think it is most natural that actors should make efforts to abolish the admission tax. I propose hereby to do so for the benefit of the revival of Japanese drama. (TAKAHASHI, Sadao, CHUO University Drama Study Association)
(The Answer from the finance Ministry): The admission tax was raised during the war in AMERICA too. Because of the low entrance fee the total
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 184 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
price is not too high for the people, even if there is a 100% tax. However, we are studying possibilities to decrease it in order to encourage the development of culture, though we cannot do so at present without the approval of the Diet.
ITEM 4 The Present Society - Yomiuri Hochi - 29 Doc 45. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full translation:
Present-day society is attaching more importance to eating than to politics. This is, of course, unfortunate for the establishment of a democratic administration. Our Nation is not laying too firm a basis for democracy. To attest to this fact there are some tendencies which go back to the feudalistic ages in design and manner.
During the war, both men and women dressed as lightly as possible in conformity to the demand of the times. Some improvements were made in women's dress. Such improvements are desirable and should be encouraged. There is, for example, the style of hair-dressing, which is more practicable. Also, more sensible dressing of the lower half of the body has the result of revolting against the feudalistic elements in our country. For all that, in recent days, there are too many women who are walking outdoors dressed in flimsy kimonos, to a greater extent even than during the war. I think these women are mistaking indolence for peace. They sell their favors with servility and act frivolously out of curiosity towards foreigners. There are even those who, with Japanese coiffure, try to ride in full cars. I can only find them lacking in common sense.
Kimonos are in great demand at present because of their pleasing appearance and also because their economic value has increased. They have become one of the most important items in the stores of our cities. Even farmers often demand them as collateral for foodstuff.
If the Geisha system were revived, the value of kimonos would soar higher and higher. However, I should like to wipe out the national disgrace of such an institution. In the meantime, a new movement is expected to rise and sweep away the taste for kimonos, which is nothing more than the symbol of the subservient position of women to men in our country. The taste in kimonos should be left merely as a classic work of art.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0184, 1945-12-31.
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