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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0203, 1946-01-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0631

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 631 Date: 5 Jan 1946


ITEM 1 The Life A Nation is Eternal-Provincial Newspaper Niigata Nippon (Niigata) 30 December 1945. Translator: I. Kunko.
Full Translation:
Over four months have passed since the end of the war end our nation's condition is still chactic and desperate. A large number of the people have not done their best to build u a peaceful and are democratic country. They are quite at a loss for what to do and, are simply watching developments, not conscious of the fact that the reconstruction of a country is a very important and difficult task for all of them. Even those who are mere or less conscious of it are at a loss us to where they will begin the task or whether it will be possible for them to complete it. Consequently the great task of reconstructing our country has not yet begun.
Our nation has been given a terrible shock by an unparalleled defeat and it will be impossible for it to recover from such a shock in short time. Moreover, its national pride which had been cherished for long past was severely wounded by the defeat and it has fallen into abyss of despair and shame. It follows, therefore, that the people cannot easily climb but of the abyss, and their continued despair only retards the reconstruction of our country. Such an attitude is not only foolish, but is also detrimental to their self-confidence as a great nation. We want action now by emphasizing the teaching, of history, that "The Life of a nation is eternal".
History, in the East and in the west, teaches us that ever country cannot avade vicissitudes. It is an inescapable truth. It may be decided more largely by the spirit of a nation. If the people of such a country, which had developed prosperously in the past became the focus of natred and would be crushed by other nations. It was entirely due to her geographical position that JAPAN had long been assured of peace and safety, and now it is due to her arrogance that she with GERMANY and ITALY, was crushed by the Allied Powers.
Looking back upon the modern history of JAPAN, she had a run of luck after the Sine-Japanse war and her status as a power had greatly developed. Her power attained its zenith at the time of Mancurian Incident. It was then that our people should have examined themselves. Some of them had reflected on their nation conscientiously, while a large number of the people were only elated by our luck. Above all, a clique of the militarists had set themselves up and had become over-bearning. Hence, they courted a great disaster which plunged their country into an abyss.
But now, above all, our nation should not show itself to have a short memory. as we said before, there have been vicissitudes in all ages end countries.

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EDICORIAL SERIES: 203 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
However, some of the nations, in spite of their failures, strengthened their national unity and strove for reconstruction. Such a nation could stand on its feet again. Except for AMERICA and several Countries in South AMERICA perhaps there does not exist a country in the world which has not had a similar history. In this way, world history teaches us that whatever despair a nation may be driven into, if it has vitality and self-control enough to revive, the nation is immortal. Our nation should not be in despair for long. Turning a misfortune into a blessing, we should boldly stand up for the reconstruction of our country. It will not be impossible for us. We shall be able to do it by our determination, and unity, A particular, un-shakable unity is characteristic of our nation. We eagerly desire the nation to think again, and there is no need to say that the so-called reconstruction of JAPAN will mean a revival of a military country, but of a democratic country which will develop peacefully, along with other nations.
ITEM 2 Popularity of Counter-measures Against Inflation-Nippon-Sangyo-Keizai-3 January 1946. Translator: Ketel, Karl.
Full Translation:
The first step in the establishment of a peaceful democratic JAPAN and the realization of our ultimate objective is a guarantee for the nation's welfare. Four and a half months have passed since the defeat, and many people are unavoidable in a spiritual state of collapse. Our morality also tends to drop, daily, and after the shock caused by the unexpected end of the war, economic hardships afflict the life of the nation. Women are more interested in buying one "Kamme" of potatoes than in obtaining the right to vote and most of the people snow ho interest in the coming general election which will be the first step towards democratizing the constitution. These are undeniable facts and we think that the cause lies in the difficulties of our economic life. Therefore, the stabilization of the nation's welfare must be the first step in establishing a new JAPAN. As Supreme Allied headquarters has already pointed out, this establishing must be carried out with the minimum of sacrifice. We people have to create a peaceful democratic JAPAN in the future, improve the nation's welfare and raise the cultural life of our nation. We must participate in the progress of the world. However, at present, we have no right as a defected country to enjoy an easier and more comfortable life, neither the entire nation nor any individual.
The depression in economic activity was due to bringing in various fields; in labor and finance, consequently we have several million unemployed. Not withstanding this levying of a property tax on the seasonal income of last year or the new year has caused a remarkable increase in currency issuance and inflation is increasing gradually. Food prices, especially those of fresh fish and popular commodities, are going to drop to a certain degree henceforth, but the black-market prices of staple foods will hardly drop because the delivery of rice is not functioning as previously arranged, and transportation facilities are not as yet improved. It is unavoidable, that all common consumers in the towns will be menaced by inflation, except the farmers and black-marketeers.

It is necessity for changes to be made in the income level, and the income of wage-earners must be increased. Nevertheless the instrument support in the inflation lies in the purchasing power of the masses. This does net differ from the situation during the war. The only difference is that the purchasing, power of the masses originated in the financial out lay for ware expenditures during the war, but now originated from capital accumulated during, the war. To control the power which promotes inflation the purchasing, power of the musses, it will be necessary to control savings, the latent purchasing power, and the exchange of [illegible], and to increase the general taxation of property and war profit taxes.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 203 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)
It is undeniable that the war profit and cue property taxes have an important social and economic significance. The difficulty is that the object of combatting inflation originates in the purchasing, power of the masses. Of course it is true that on one hand the nation is hardly able to maintain the minimum requirements of life while on the other hand the unproductive wage-earners and idle men are living a comfortable life. From the standpoint of national economy the result of losses and indemnity of economic resources has greatly weakened our financial power. Even if we did not become victims of war production as during the war, it will be very hard to escape from the pitiful life caused by our nation's defeat. Even if it is possible through changes in income level, to standardize life, it will be impossible to raise the living standard of the entire nation. There lies the essence of economic readjustment to an equal income level but at the same time there is a limit to changing the nation's living standards; therefore, as a defected country we must be resolved to submit ourselves to a lower standard of living. It would then be possible for the government to guarantee the minimum requirements of the nation. As to the food crisis, the late Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, ISHIGURO, had previously stated that he would start his administration with a "resentment of his duty". Therefore to manage the problems of counter-measures against inflation and guarantee the nation's welfare the Government must be ready to endure the hate and discontent of the nation under present circumstances.

ITEM 3 Banish the Politicians of the Old Regime and Make the People Voto-Tokyo Shimbun-3 January 1946. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
The vital consequences of the coming, general election are easily recognisable by every Japanese. Is it credible, then, that the Japanese people seem indifferent to them?
Today JAPAN is on the way to a revolution. Fortunately our evolution has thus far progressed smoothly and without bloodshed. However, this bright prospect will be entirely dependent upon the issues in the general election.
Admirable control over our country by the Allied Powers has laid a foundation, and created a skeletal structure for new JAPAN, by means of peaceful measures. Now it is our duty to give the skeletal structure flesh and blood. Therefore, it is most regrettable that the nation is quite indifferent to this vital issue.
Absorbed as the Japanese public is in the problem of subsistence, now is a critical phase, considering the importance of the general election, they should show more enthusiasm. The greater the difficulties they face the more eager should they be to tackle the problem. Reflection en past conduct will reveal the cause of our present misery. In other words, if we had elected as our representatives men who would have been true to their cause militarism and bureaucracy could have been prevented. The result would of course, have been better than the present situation. This fact must necessarily lead us to self examination and a firm resolve to elect better representatives.
The present antipathy of the public is traceable to its lack of stability through social unrest and difficulties in subsistence. Furthermore, it is attributable to the rebulous state of thinking, which has been assailed by rapid changes since the defeat. Moreover the public has the mistaken notion that the results of the election will result in no changes, and nothing exceptional can be expected. This attitude was one of the causes of the catastrophe we experienced recently. It was our indifference to politics that led to the corruption of political parties and to the success of the underhanded designs of militarism and bureaucracy. Repetition of our folly should
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 203 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
be meticulously avoided this time. Our vote, powerless us it may seem, should not be underestimated, Extreme caution should be used in exercising the franchise. Nothing great can be expected from self-neglect. The object of electing true representatives can only be attained by on attitude which aims at the uplifting of the nation.
Toward achievement, the influence of politicians of the old regime should be completely discarded and abuse of the franchise should be prevented. Absention from voting unquestionably means political indifference and inevitably leads to serious consequences. Politicians from military circles are in most cases responsible for the war and they are not suited to be our representatives in the construction of a new JAPAN. The objective for the men who are to shoulder this task is obvious.
The coming general election may be ranked as a great event in world history, because of the seriousness of its nature and a background of complicated conditions. It is also a symbol of the bloodless revolution. Therefore prudence is required of the public, in fulfiling their duty by voting. First of all we must attempt to clear feudalistic elements from the political scene, and induce the people to vote.
ITEM 4 Kind treatment is needed for the people who are absent minded due to schocks of defeat-Mainichi Shimbuu-4 January 1946. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translation:
Severe famine prevailed throughout this country in the rign of TEMPO (1830-43) Then NINIMIYA, Sontoku, succeeded in aiding, the population in the KARASUYAMA district. The lesson he gave to the people in that case is of value to us today, he said: "The authorities must prepare a list of the starving people who are a unable to work, the old, children, sick, etc, and a list of women who, cannot earn a sufficient living." within temples and big houses set aside for this purpose these starving people were accomodated in groups of 30 or 40. One or two persons were assigned to each building to take care of them. The ration for one person per day was set at one go of polished rice. In this way one bowl of rice gruel was provided for each person. In some cases, miso or some vegetables were added to the rice gruel. This gruel was served four times a day. When serving this gruel, officials would tell the people, "we are truly sympathetic with your hunger and thirst, We know very well that serving, rice gruel only one times a day is insufficient to ease your hunger. It must be borne in mind, however, that there is hot sufficient food to supply all starving people throughout this country. Today, even the richest can hardly buy rice" In this way, in the KARASUYAMA district, no one died of starvation.
Now that there is no effective means left for us to enjoy a substantial meal the best way is to economize our energy as much as possible. People of today are aimlessly moving about. For example, all kinds of transport are always so crowded that paradoxical as it may sound, the so called "rush hour" has disappeared. How many of all the passengers are actually on business? What a crowd thronging the black markets. We can hardly detect any emotional reason on the faces of the crowds that are walking aimlessly about. In short, they are thoroughly absent minded. The Japanese are so shocked by the defeat that they appear as if they have lost all emotional sensibility.
In the first general election. INUKAI, Tsuyoshi, ran for the Diet from OKAYAMA, Ken. The speeches by INUKAI were interpreted by KOMATSUBARA, [illegible]who was to become Education Minister. KOMATSUBARA assumed that it would be difficult for the general public to comprehend speeches by such a prominent statesman as INUKAI. This story is full of good suggestions for today. The general election will be held soon. The voters today seem so apathetic towards politics that kind interpretation is needed as in the case of INUKAI. Our problem is to determine now many candidates there are of the list of candidates, who are aware of the general situation and possess convictions and ideals.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0203, 1946-01-05.
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