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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0218, 1946-12-09.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0682

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 682 Date: 9 Dec 46


ITEM 1 Now Is the Time When the People Should Take the Offensive - Yomiuri-Hochi - 7 January 1946. Translator: Y. Ebiike.
Full Translation:
The SHIDEHAPA Cabinet, which suffered a great shock from the "purge" directive now finds itself in extreme confusion, yet the ministers are struggling to patch up the situation and prolong the Cabinet's tenure of office in any way possible. We should overthrow this dying Cabinet by sponsoring a broad aggressive movement of the masses against it and thus eradicate its reactionary power completely.
The SHIDEHARA Cabinet, successor to the Prince HIGASHIKUNI Cabinet, was formed with the backing of the ZAIBATSU and supported by all reactionary elements. Therefore it is obvious that the Cabinet is entrusted with the mission of preserving imperialism and supporting feudalism. It is a fatal blow to the Cabinet that as many as five of its ministers are to be expelled by the "purge" directive. However, actually there is no essential difference between these five and the other ministers since they are all anti-democratic.
The people have no food to eat, no houses to live in and, thus, are reduced to extreme destitution. Meanwhile, capitalists go so far as to sabotage production, and are very occupied, hainging on to their immense wealth gained during the war, while landowners monopolize provisions. Even under such conditions as these, the policies to which the SHIDEHARA Cabinet attaches the most importance are the protection of the governing class and the fostering of reactionary powers. This is obviously in opposition to the POTSDAM Declaration and results in hindrance to a democratic revolution.
The reactionary administrative power of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet does not conform to the age of democratic revolution which is now in process, and without abandoing this contradiction, we can never find a way to achieve a revolution. The reactionary powers close to the Throne intended to form and strengthen a united front by establishing the Prince HIGASHIKUNI Cabinet backed by the Imperial Devine Right as of old, and the SHIDEHARA Cabinet supported by the ZAIBATSU and military cliques.
However, MacARTHUR's directive has thrown the reactionary powers into great confusion and is now dissolving them. We must not miss this chance. We must not give them time to recover. We must crush them with one blow. However mush the reactionary SHIDEHARA Government may struggle, its administrative organization has already been smashed, and the economic organization which they controlled has been nullified, and the reactionary power close to the Throne is now facing collapse. In fact they will never be able to remedy the present food crisis or carry out the scheduled general election. If a government like this one remains in office and continues its irresolute administration, the political confusion and the critical economic situation
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 218 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
will be further aggravated, and the people will feel the hardship of life all the more acutely.
In order to settle the crisis and carry out a democratic revolution the only way left for us is to establish a coalition cabinet composed of several democratic political parties on the basis of a broad and powerful popular front in which all democratic elements would be concentrated. A democratic revolution demands that we establish a government by the people and for the people. Now is the time when the people should take the offensive.
ITEM 2 1. The Judgment on Tsuchiya; 2. Comments Upon War Crime Suspects - Yomiuri-Hochi - 2 January 1946. Translator: K Ketel.
Full Translation:
The Judgment on TSUCHIYA
The war crime trial of TSUCHIYA, suspected of carrying out atrocities against American prisoners of war, was the first of such cases in the history of JAPAN. It gave us young women a great shock. Since TSUCHIYA has to submit himself to life imprisonment and compulsory labor, everywhere in the public you may find Japanese leaders who should be sentenced to death. My husband and only brother were sent far away during the war and my brother will never return. Atrocities like beating and kicking were carried out not only against American soldiers, but also against the Japanese, tyrannically and mercilessly. It is absurd to talk about the superior officer's "atrocity games" on common soldiers—officers, who will be ready to knock you down in a crowded street if you neglect to pay respect to them.
Under such circumstances one would be horror-stricken to think about what happened inside the barracks. If the atrocities on foreigners are being punished, those on Japanese must be punished, too. On this occasion, I demand a severe punishment of all Japanese who assaulted their own compatriots. The victims should publish the names of their tormentors, the divisions to which they belonged, and details of the atrocities. I think these shameless men who made these inhumanities everyday occurences in the Japanese army should be severely punished. The judgment on TSUCHIYA has intensified my fierce anger against militarism. (SHIMAMURA, Michiko, KAMAKUPA.)
Comments Upon her Crime Suspects
During the war the "what a pity" affair caused by Lieutenant-Colonel AKIYAMA became the topic of much talk. In reviewing this case I want to comment upon the attitude of all top-ranking military officers, in favor of the people in general, especially on behalf of those who have been put on trial as suspects in having carried out atrocites, notwithstanding whether they wore right or wrong.
The outcome of a battle depends almost on fortune. For civilized men, it is natural to feel some small sympathy for those who, unfortunately, lost the battle and were sent to a foreign country as prisoners of war, even if they were enemies. Indeed, it was said that, a lady of higher society uttered the words, "What a pity." I am fully aware that this was promulgated in order to point out to the people their indifferent attitude towards the war at that time.
However, why must a certain reporter resent such an unimportant problem? I think that it will be incomprehensible to sincere people and politically, it will be wrong to reflect upon idle spectators of the war commenting upon the problem of prisoners. Indeed, every time I heard about it, my heart was filled with anger against the merciless behaviour of the military. Now, I understand the real conditions distinctly. To have a sensitive, emotional nature was the pride of all
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 218 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
warriors in former times. However, now this has gone, and our present military had no morality from the beginning of the present war on.
How can a "holy war" be carried out under such circumstances? This cruel spirit without any morality has been implanted on the remaining unchanged soldiers, so the poor guards in prisoner of war camps were perhaps forced by absolutely inhuman instructions to mistreat the prisoners. What was the result? It is appalling to hear it: a succession of brutalities, torture and deaths. The guards of prisoner of war camps, who only faithfully carried out their orders and thought them right, are now being tried by the Allied Powers as suspects of war crimes. They have become the victims of the military and have to submit themselves to severe punishment.
Nevertheless, officers of the regular army, who proudly called themselves the "brains of the army" do net endeavor to stretch a helping hand to these victims. How will thus fact affect the Nation? We the people stand ashamed before the world that such men unworthy to be treated as our equal have come from the same nation. We will never allow this matter to pass without protest. (K. K.)
ITEM 3 The Overthrow of the Ruling Class and the Mission of the Present Cabinet - Mainichi Shimbun - 7 January 1946. Translator: Furukawa.
Full Translation:
It was the agents of the militarists, bureaucrats and financiers who came into power, and ruled the people arbitrarily in the name of the Emperor, when the rule of the Shogunate, which had lasted for seven centuries, came to an end. Some of them worked hand in glove with each other, and as supreme advisors to the Throne, or as privy councillors, they wielded power in every section of society, political, economic, and cultural.
All the former cabinets were constructed according to their will, too. Their actual power became greater in the course of the eighty years since the MEIJI Reformation, and its influence has been firmly held continuously by their successors. These ruling classes of JAPAN, closely connected with each other, are somewhat weakened as a result of the downfall of the military clique caused by the defeat. At present, however, the strongholds of the bureaucrats and the dispersed ZAIBATSU still remain, and the are the ruling classes in JAPAN, just as much as ever.
During the last eighty years, the masses were almost powerless, and were subject to their rulers, who ignored the democratic principle proclaimed in the Charter-Oath of the Emperor MEIJI. Some people speak of the revival of democracy in JAPAN since the termination of the war, but in reality, democracy never existed in our country. The rise of political parties in the past did not mean the extension of civil rights in the true sense of the word. To a great extent, the political parties were merely agents of Japanese capitalists who strengthened their foundations through, and since, the Sino-Japanese War. They were also the supporters and puppets of the absolute rulers of JAPAN.
The development of capitalism in JAPAN was brought about at the expense of the masses, and the class distinctions between rich and poor became greater. At last the livelihood of the people became jeopardized in the SHOWA Era, and thus the national crisis was brought on. As we mentioned above, the ruling classes in JAPAN, planning for their own interests and reigning over all circles and classes, made these seeking political and financial advancement their puppets, and finally drove our country into its resent miserable condition. If some name TOJO as the director of the war and regard KONOE as the most responsible for it, they are ignorant of the actual power wielded by the combined ruling classes in JAPAN. TOJO and KONOE could not have started their
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 218 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
political activities unless they depended on and were backed by these ruling classes. If there had not been this firmly established influence of the ruling class, the people could have come out against TOJO's attack, however vigorously he might have persisted.
Such being the case, it is evident that there is no way for the revival of JAPAN other then the complete overthrow of the ruling class. That the Emperor's position, provided for in the Constitution, will probably be altered, must be a bitter blow to the ruling class, who are situated around the Emperor. Those classes, however, who have exercised the real power in the Emperor's Government are not so work that they can be destroyed easily. Moreover, they have been trying earnestly to hold their positions of power, making the form of the Constitution as mild as possible. It is feared that their efforts will be successful in building the foundation for reactionary influences in the future. The arrest of considerable numbers of suspected war criminals among them had no great effect upon their hopes.
Now, the directive of General Headquarters dealt a mortal blow at the powerful influence of the ruling class, especially by including the former members of YOKUSANKAI and NISSEIKAI in the directive, and so all sections of the ruling class will be affected by it. Such being the case, this directive should not be altered so that the number of those who will be affected by it be limited. It may seem to be severe or too far-reaching at first sight, but in fact it is in no way so.
JAPAN is now going to break off from the history of the past eighty years. This means that JAPAN is facing revolution in a true sense. The new JAPAN must be built up with the people's power firmly established in place of the old ruling class, which are comparable to the Shogunate. At this time the SHIDEHARA Cabinet should fulfill its duty in putting an end to the old Japanese ruling class, of which the present Cabinet is the last agent. It is most regrettable for the reconstruction of JAPAN that the present Cabinet seems to lack the awareness of its mission.
ITEM 4 Protection of Life - Mainichi Shimbun - 7 January 1946. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
At the end of last year at OCHANOHIZU Station, a life was lost because of the disordered state of traffic. It was caused as a result of the thoughtlessness of the conductor in shutting the door too rapidly. Furthermore, the conductor took no emergency measure till the train had proceeded 50 or 60 meters though the crowd of passengers on the platform shouted loudly at the very moment that the accident happened.
This girl conductor insisted that she was not responsible for the accident. She said that she had not known of the accident. However, I was standing close to her, and could easily see the danger and loudly advised her of the accident. If she had had and respect for human life that victim would not have suffered even a scratch, will she not be accused of homicide? I think her cruel and heartless deed is more than mere accidental homicide.
I witnessed 11 accidents like this during the past year. Most of them were caused by the lack of responsibility of railway men. It is improbable that the railway authorities allow employees to hurt the passengers, but we are inclined to think that they neglect to discipline them in the prevention of railway accidents.
We cannot overlook the fact that carelessness and ignorance of passengers often cause an accident. Railwaymen, however, should do their best to protect the lives of the passengers. The railway authorities, therefore, should increase the number of porters and make them pay strict
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ITEM 4 (Continued)
attention to signals. They also should try to make them careful in order to prevent accidents and protect life.
Severe punishment of those who are responsible for accidents would be effective in the prevention of accidents. Inspectors, who have paid too much attention to the more administrative side of the railway, should also study the cause of accidents to make clear where the responsibility lies. Protection of life is the least and most easily provided of human rights. (An indignant man.)
ITEM 5 The Distribution of Rice - Tokyo Shimbun - 8 January 1946. Translator: Karl Ketel.
Full Translation:
In the SHITAYA District in TORYO the rice ration was distributed on 27 December instead of on 8 December. Because of the rise in prices due to the Government's decision of 20 December, the price which we payed was 22 yen for 35 kilogrammes of rice. If the rice had been distributed on the scheduled day the price would probably have been half. The distribution had been postponed about 20 days and, furthermore, the price had been doubled. Meantime, we were forced to eat rice and potatoes bought on the black market. As we wore fully aware of the difficulties of supplying rice we did not make any complaints. However, from a cynical point of view, it appeared to us that the supply clerks deliberation; delayed the distribution in order to wait for the increase in the price. What do the centers think about it? (By E.)
While the newspapers reported that 300 grammes of glutinous rice would be specially distributed for the New Year, the rice which has been distributed in reality contained 70 per cent non-glutinous rice and the remaining 30 per cent only was pure glutinous rice. We thought that other rice had been mixed in it because of a lack of transportation for non-glutinous rice. How do the centers explain the percentages of glutinous and non-glutinous rice? (By NOGATAMACHI.)
We expected to enjoy New Year's day with eating SEKIRAK (rice boiled with red beans) if the promised glutinous rice ration would be distributed. However, up to the year's end we have not had any glutinous rice at all. What on earth is the Government doing? There are plenty of encouraging words, but things promised to be carried out are not done so in actual fact. The Government should cease giving premature promises to the people. (By EIBI.)
Answer of the Supply Centers:
We did not delay the rice distribution deliberatley. The reason of its postponement lies perhaps in the fact that, time, substitutes were distributed and the distribution of rice was not calculated for. The centers did not know anything about the rice in the price. It was planned to distribute 78 per cent of glutinous rice up to the year's end and to distribute the remaining 22 per cent in the next year. We intend to distribute the latter as soon as it arrives. The glutinous rice does not contain any other kind of rice. The rice from the northeastern districts, YAMAGATA and AKITA, looks black and therefore, it can be easily mistaken for the glutinous. The rationed rice has been carefully examined by the administration offices of each prefecture and definitely cannot be non-glutinous. (By the distribution office.)
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 218 (Continued)
No. 659, EDITORIAL SERIES: 205, dated 6 Jan 46, should read
No. 639, EDITORIAL SERIES: 205, dated 6 Jan 46.
HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0218, 1946-12-09.
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