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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0202, 1946-01-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0630

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 630 Date: 5 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Popular Front - Yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - 3 January 1946. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translation:
It is a matter of regret that sabotage is prevalent not only in the industrial but also in the political world, simply because the fate of the general election is not yet determined. For the good of the people political activities should always flourish, regardless of the date of the general election.
We cannot understand why a popular front has not yet been formed among the existent political parties advocating socialism. Of the socialistic parties in JAPAN today, the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party are the most prominent. When looking over the courses which both parties have taken since their formation, we find that the Communist Party has been anxious to join with the Social Democratic Party into a popular front, but the latter has declined the former's offers on some pretext or other. On 14 October 1945, SHIGA and KAMIYAMA, Communists, urged the necessity of forming a popular front but were refused by the Social Democrats on the grounds that the Social Democratic Party was making preparations for its inauguration but that the Communists were still on the verge of completing their party structure. After that, the Social Democratic Party concluded its inauguration and the Communists concluded their fourth general meeting. KAMIYAM and KUROKI, representing the Communists, had an interview with NISHIO and KOKO of the Social Democratic Party. In this interview the Communists urged once again that the Social Democratic Party form a popular front with them. This offer, too, was rejected.
The Communist party is stressing the necessity of a popular front, declaring, "Now that the populace is groaning under wintry chill and starvation, in ruined cities and villages, it is an urgent necessity to unite all democratic forces into one." On the other hand, the Social Democratic Party professes that, "the question of the popular front should not be reviewed until both parties have become full grown. Now that both are too weak to form a popular front, our party should bend its every effort toward the realization of our principles. This is the conclusion the standing committee reached". On 26 December, the Communists made a proposal to take joint action with the Social Democrats in order to relieve the existent food crisis. This proposal, too, was rejected by the Social Democratic Party on 27 December on the grounds that, according to the decision by the standing committee, the Social Democratic Party was committed to move on its own initiative.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 202 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Our survey of negotiations between the two parties presents questionable problems concerning both parties. We cannot understand why the Social Democrats are stressing that the popular front will be formed only when both parties have fully established themselves. Is it not all the more necessary to construct a popular front now that the two parties are still weak? In theevsnt that both parties became full-fledged, either of them will be able to take the reins of the government by itself. The Social Democratic Party is giving evasive answers in reply to the offer of the Communists to take joint action. It must be borne in mind that the Social Democratic Party will be unable to gain public confidence as long as that party refrains from forming a popular front on such groundless pretext.
We point out that the Communist Party has been earnest enough to repeat these proposals to the Social Democratic Party. The Communist Party is shouting for the abolition of the Emperor system, while the Social Democratic Party supports the Emperor System. Despite this difference in opinion, the Communist Party is firmly resolved to repeat proposals in order to take joint action with the Social Democratic Party in the labor movement, tenant-farmer movement, and so forth. It is necessary for the Communists, however, to make public why they should take joint action with the Social Democratic Party which still includes some fascists elements.
In local districts, with a few exceptions, the more organizations that are consolidated, the wider the gaps between the two parties become. To our regret, the Social Democrats are apparently attempting to preclude the leadership of a labor movement.
Japanese feudalistic, militaristic power was destroyed by the Allied Foreces. However, this does not mean that that power was upset from its very roots, for it is persistently continuing underground, in even more crafty ways than before. Subsequently, the democratic forces must keep a strict watch on this feudalistic force. Needless to say, it is a mistake if the Social Democratic Party is hampered by sectionalism and refuses to co-operate with the Communisms. At the same time it is up to the Communists to unite themselves, not only with the Social Democrats, but also with other liberals to construct a joint front for a national liberation movement.
For this purpose the structure of the Communist Party must be popularized. The Communist Party should make quite a different start from that in the past, when no communistic movement was allowed. On the other hand, the Communist Party is expected to resist with all its might any political forces plotting to deceive the masses under pseudo-democracy, and must make the people understand that pseudo-democrats are the enemies of the people.
ITEM 2 Tokyo's New Year Scene - Mainichi Shimbun - January 1946. Translator: Y. Suzuki.
Full Translation:
Not a flag was seen hanging from the huts in the burnt-out plots which barked, in the gentle New Year's Sun. Of course, at the houses of more fortunate people, there was celebrating as usual, although it was not apparent from the outside. Women's gay kimonos were the only visible signs of the New Year's spirit. MONPEI, TAKASHIMADA (TN Ceremonial hair-do), and girls with crested kimonos w[illegible]re rarely seen, but ordinary Japanese kimonos were decidedly numerous. The long sleeves of the gay-looking girls especially attracted ones attention.
It was difficult to find a man wearing a morning coat, and it was even more unusual to find a drunken man. Although there was a sake ration, it probably was used up on New Years eye. Charcoal did not
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 202 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
become the subject of New Year's discussion, although the shortage is much worse than it was in 1940. Although fuel is scarce, we have no trouble because, we can use electric heaters. Perhaps it is because we have become more skillful in handling electric heaters, or perhaps the Electric Company is more efficient. At any rate, nowadays we do not trouble our neighbors by blowing out all the lights. Many fuses are blown in the houses but people are now able to fix them at once. Even those who thought electricity was dangerous are now able to handle the fuses themselves
If the war were still on, electric heaters would not be produced in great quantity, but, on the other and, coal mining would not be in such dire straits as at present, and there would also be plenty of manufactured gas. However, the air-raids would be worse, so there would be no gas supply. The street stalls would not exist, so our New Year probably would have been much more miserable. We were lucky to be able to celebrate a peaceful New Year even though we had practically nothing.
ITEM 3 Compilation of New Japanese History - Mainichi Shimbun - 3 January 1946. Translator: S. Ota.
Full Translation:
His Majesty the Emperor stated in the Imperial Rescript on New Year's Day that the close relationship between the Emperor and the nation did not originate merely from "mythology and legends", and that the Japanese race is not a superior race destined to rule the world, with an Emperor, who is a "living human God", at its head. Again Supreme Headquarters issued an order suspending lessons in history, ethics, and geography which are militaristic in content, in every educational organization. This is surely an epoch-making event for the culture of JAPAN. However, it must be said that the spirit of the Imperial Rescript exactly coincides with the directive from Supreme Headquarters. This reminds us of our lack of rationalism in self-examination. All politics, economics, military affairs, culture, and so forth, were constructed upon mystery, custom, emotion, or common sense. In fact, it might well be said of Japanese history that it was compiled merely for the purpose of ruling despolically. It began by making mythology historical fact, and stressed the superiority of the Japanese race on every page. This was the greatest defect of the history of JAPAN. Investigation or publication was not allowed even in these natters which have already become common knowledge. Such matters are, for example, that our old ancestors probably came from the South Seas or the continent and, cast ashore on these islands, they conquered the natives then being here. There is an error of about 600 years in Japanese history.
Which of the Northern and Southern Dynasties is the true one? After the Manchurian Incident in particular, the superiority of the Japanese race was stressed more and more under the slogans " all the world under one roof" (HAKKO-ICHIU), "The Holy War", "the Emperor's Army", and so forth. Thus history was even more distorted. It was quite a natural consequence of this propaganda, bymythology, that the Emperor was thought to be a "living human God" and the Japanese race to be a superior race which was to rule the world. It is not far wrong to say that such mistaken historical ideas led JAPAA into being a militaristic country and made her start the war.
It is imperative for JAPAN to have rational historical ideas in order to make a fresh step forward. DARWIN was maligned by the public because of his theory of evolution. Nonetheless, the status of human, beings is not affected by scientific investigation into their process of development. If the history of JAPAN be shortened by 600
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 202 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
years, or the savage cannibal races be our ancestors, the status of the Japanese is not in the least affected by this.
The confusion between mythology and history led to the idea that only the Japanese race were the children of the gods, while all other races originated from apes. Mythology has its raison d'etre in itself, yet Japanese history, looked at objectively, is only a link in world history. History based on falsehoods, in other words, history written for the advantage of the rulers and the privileged classes, is apt to be abused by men in power, such as military cliques. We were taught by our own too costly experiences that it is absolutely necessary to have a new Japanese history for the sake of saving our posterity from going astray. Also, our Imperial line must naturally stand up to the probing of rationalism.
We received on the first day of the New Year an Imperial Rescript and an order from Allied Headquarters, both pointing that way. This makes us feel more convinced that this year is the starting point for a new JAPAN which "seeks culture in peace". We eagerly long for the speedy establishment of a large combined organization for compiling a new history of JAPAN in this long-to-be-remembered year. As soon as possible we must decide on a scientific, true history, compiled by the combined efforts of learned men, and based on accurate historical facts. At the same time, the educational measure should not be ignored. Dr. MINOBE stated that he relies upon students' efforts for the construction of a revitalized JAPAN. However, in view of the difficulty of the task, we cannot but expect more from middle school boys than from students in college, and more from primary school boys than from middle school boys.
These school boys, who have important duties, are in the transition period of their education. The educational authorities failed to take positive measures in regard to the revision of text books, although they were ordered to remove militaristic items from then and to abolish SHINTOISM in the country. This delay is a very short-sighted policy on the part of educational authorities. We are not entirely overlooking their difficulties, for an authoritative edition of Japanese history cannot be completed, at once; moreover, paper and press facilities are not sufficient at present. Nevertheless, the procedure is too slow. The lesson hours of higher grade schools may be spent in investigation, research, and discussion.
The next problem lies in the curriculum of middle schools or primary schools. Regarding this, it is far more useful to teach a certain part of world history than to pour the residue of militarism into the receptive minds of the young generation. We must recognize that the success or failure, and the speed of the reconstruction of JAPAN is much affected by the extent to which the educational authorities exert themselves in giving instruction in history.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0202, 1946-01-05.
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