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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0209, 1946-01-06.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0650

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 650 Date: 6 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Imperial Rescript and Japanese language - Yomiuri Hochi - 5 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
The style of the Imperial Rescript issued on New Year's Day is far easier to comprehend than any former one. Most of those who can read a newspaper will be able to understand it. The fact that the Rescript is paragraphed and punctuated like our ordinary sentences also makes it considerably different from others.
Dr. HOSHINA, a Japanese language scholar, said that the Emperor had asked him if the style of a Rescript might be too difficult to understand, while the former was delivering a lecture in the presence of the Emperor. His reply was that it should be written in simpler words. This fact proves that the emperor is neither superhuman nor an incarnation of" sacredness", concocted by mythology or traditions.
Professors at universities once tried to gain dignity by using difficult words in lectures. At one time, the Communists were elated by rephrasing. Suppose, they wanted to say "hold a meeting", the word MOTSU for "hold" would be used, while HIRAKU is much easier for the Japanese to understand. These communists misapplied Japanese in the same manner as did the Sinologists. We approve the limitation of Chinese characters, application of romanization, and the unification of Japanese characters. The idea that difficult sentences are better than plain ones or that a treatise should have the square form of the Japanese syllabary KATAKANA (TN: JAPANESE phonetic syllabary,) must be excluded in any case, or democracy cannot be popularized.
FUKUZAWA, Yukichi promoted the spread of a now current of thought by using simple sentences, which everyone could understand. HARA, Kei first applied the colloquial style to newspapers when he was the president of the OSAKA MAINICHI SHIMBUN. Compared with what our predecessors did, it is indeed shameful for us to use sentences the meaning of which we do not really understand. The Emperor is a human being. It is fortunate that he has no divine thoughts on style. We may be thankful for having such a good Emperor. The fact that he is subject to the Emperor system is a tragedy.
ITEM 2 A Step to Encourage Rice Shipment - Mainichi Shimbun - 5 Jan 46. Translator: Y. A. Suzuki.
What effect did the visits of the Cabinet Minister have on the encouragement of rice shipment? Everything the Government does, whether in distribution or consideration of the problem, comes too late. If this continues, a food crisis will soon be on hand. Rewards and Penalties will do a lot to prevent it.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 209 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Compensation should be given to those who have completed their shipment, even though the shipment period is not yet over! However, the Government always contributes such rewards to those who have neglected their rice shipments so no results are obtained. What makes the reward and punishment so useless is that some have shipped all their rice, some have sent some of it, and some have sent none at all.
The amount of fertilizer given as a reward is much too little, for at least two kan for one hyo of land should be given to those who have fulfilled their requirements. In this way shipment can be stimulated by catering to the farmer's wants. We need to clarify the distribution of rewards and penalities and give out ration goods accordingly.
Young Men's Association and Rice Shipment
There is no doubt that farmer's complaints and dissatisfaction towards town and village officials are causing delinquency in rice shipment. No matter how enthusiastic the Agricultual Minister may be, as long as town and village leaders are not reformed, good results cannot be obtained. As a step for the encouragement of rice shipments, why not let town, village and agricultural assemblies leave the rice shipment business alone and allow the Local Young Men's Association to handle it? The boys who understand shipping problems will surely undertake it willingly.
On the other hand, farmers will be struck by their enthusiasm. The prefectural governor himself must negotiate to receive their aid. A number of special clerks could be placed in the governor's office, or else young farmers could come, in turn, to receive visitors, as a help to the prefectural governor. Then the farmers' rebellious feelings against their leaders and local officials will be dispelled and their will to co-operate in rice delivery will be promoted.
This is a very serious problem-the lives of the people depend upon its solution. It is not too late. I hope the authorities will make an immediate decision.
(From KATO, GUIMA-Ken)
ITEM 3 "Practical Democracy" - Nihon Sangyo Keizai - 5 Jan 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
The only way for new JAPAN is that of liberty and democracy. We must understand the true meaning of liberty and democracy and make them our own. Since the termination of the war, our people have turned radically from feudalism and militarism to liberalism and democracy. So radical was this change, however, that liberalism and democracy are apt to be understood in a formal and ideological way. This often results in unexpected consequences.
Now we think the time has come when we must criticize liberalism and democracy as we have interpreted and adopted them so far. One of our nations faults is that it is ideological and formal in its thinking. It cannot be denied that evidenses of this fault can be found in recent liberal and democratic arguments. Ideological and formal liberalism, as well as democracy, must be criticized from the standpoint of practicalism and rationalism. Toward reaching practicalism or rationalism, we find much which can be learned from AMERICA, and not only because of the defeat.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 209 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Before the war and the defeat, our country was considered throughout the world as a country abounding in mysteries. Mysticism, though it roust be fundamentally denied, is, in fact, a souce of many evils. There are numerous examples regarding unreasonable and dogmatic ideas. Among these are absolute and universally authorized ideas or mottoes such as "HAKKO-ICHIU (TN: World dominated by JAPAN!) which the Japanese themselves cannot really understand. Such ways of thinking soon become idealistic and are separated from actuality, by formalism which falls into superficiality.
The administration is still futile and inflexible, and countless official regulations seem to exist for themselves, and not for the people. This tendency is not limited to the official administration. Social movement, for instance, are apt to be based on formulism or blind following by the people. They assume a tinge of modernism by pursuing the fashion of the day, we con see from this tendency in prewar movements that we cannot be certain that there is no danger for the democracy of new JAPAN to become a mere fashion of the tines.
Democracy and liberalism today should not be an imitation of that in AMERICA, in the same way our former totalitarianism imitated that in GERMANY. The necessity of a Japanized form of democracy corresponding to the social circumstances peculiar to JAPAN is undoubtedly recognized by the Allied Powers as well. There is much, however, which we must learn from AMERIGA, not only in material matters but in spiritual ones. It is most necessary for us, if we want to follow the progress of world civilization and contribute to it, to acquire from AAERICA its practicality, common sense, speediness and rationalism which our people have lacked most.
Totalitarianism will rise again if the elements of democracy are separated from each other, We can understand the stability, of American democracy as due to the well-disciplined practicality common sense, speed, and rationalism. In the reconstruction of a democratic and peaceful JAPAN, we must be filled with practical democracy surrendering the idealism of the past.
ITEM 4 The Banishment of the militarists - Asahi Shimbun - 5 Jan 46. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
SCAP issued on 4 January two directives ordering the abolition of all ultra-nationalistic organizations and the removal and exclusion of all proponents of militaristic nationalism from public office. Under the present conditions in our country, the latter directive has far more importance than the former. The directives thus for issued by SCAP have aimed at the removal of the pillars of militaristic and feudalistic JAPAN. The new order, however, went further with the purpose of eliminating all factors which might stand in the way of the democratization of JAPAN.
The Government has been obliged by this new order to take many definite steps. Since this problem has already been considered in the form of clarification of the war responsibility and has been dealt with in all circles, and since at the beginning of the last Diet a resolution concerning the war responsibility was passed, the Government should have taken decisive political measures if it had full understanding of democracy and the zeal to put it into practice. Here again, the utter incompetence of the present Cabinet is exposed.
The new directive has banished our old ruling class from leadership in the establishment of new JAPAN, The new directive has driven a
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 209 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
blow against the class which has been assuming, leadership without shame, although the people have been criticizing them for war responsibility, distinguished from war crimes, indictment of which is the task of the Allies. We can easily imagine the confusion among the ruling class and the shock in all fields of national activity caused by the directive. The Allied directive for the exclusion of militarists from public office has merely shown what the term "public office" shall mean and include, leaving the task of individual nomination for the future. The Government, however, should fully realize what the directive intends to do and should adopt drastic measures at the earliest moment. As was mentioned by the spokesman for SCAP, the Japanese people have vainly done their best to invite the Government to take measures similar in main points to the directive. The directive has put our Nation to great shame because of the negligence by our country. At this time, all people who have ever taken leadership should contemplate their past conduct. Even if they are not on the exclusion lists, they cannot fool the people.
At the start of the reconstruction of JAPAN, we have been confronted with the task of a wholesale change in leaderships. We can see many organizations in formation or reorganization, which are to play leading roles in democratizing JAPAN. Among these organizations, labor unions, farmers' unions, and other workers' unions will, play the most important part, since labor is of the greatest value in the reestablishment of JAPAN. The fact that workers' unions have been formed one after another and have already begun their activities while capitalists and bureaucrats are going slow in production and administration clearly shows us what may be the motivating power for the democratic revolution.
Our old leaders have been banished. New leadership should be found in individuals but in various kinds of social organizations of our own formation, and the political structure should be established upon these social organizations. As for leaders, the development of these organizations will naturally create them, if they are needed. It is of great importance that these democratic organizations be operated with scientific spirit and with consideration of the future of the Japanese race and current world conditions. With dauntless democratic spirit they must always keep the interests of the masses in sight.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0209, 1946-01-06.
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