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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0221, 1946-01-09.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0693

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 693 Date: 9 Jan 46


ITEM 1 A Crisis in 1946 - Provincial Newspaper Kobe Shimbun (KORE) - 1 Jan 46. Translator: H. Arai.
The new year brings to JAPAN an unprecedented crisis, the result of inept Government administration; yet the government and the people seem to be doing nothing about it, demonstrating their indifference.
The current inflation in JAPAN is a replica of that in GERMANY at the end of World War I. Assuming that the index of currency in circulation in GERMANY was 100 in 1913, by June 1922 it had reached 2,976. Again, the same index in JAPAN, 100 in 1941, became 2,323 in August of 1945. In the case of GERMANY, after June of 1922, the index increased by 1,000 a month, and in November reached 5,000, in December, 10,000, finally in January of 1923, 3,270,000. In JAPAN the index became 3,230 at the end of August 1945, 4,055 in December, and is now more than 5,000.
JAPAN is, indeed, faced by hunger and inflation. So long as measures are not taken, the utter collapse of our national existence is certain to occur in a few months. All people below the middle class will have no means of subsistance. We cannot except to import food, because Allied Headquarters pointed out that t[illegible]e food shortage is not due to an absolute lack of food, but to faulty distribution.
Despite the demand for imposition of property and war profits taxes, the rich are busy changing their mo[illegible]into real property, goods are disappearing, and currency is increasing.
On the other hand, death are privation are approaching closer to a population of over 60,000,000 people. That this incompetent Government and the administrators, ZAIBATSU, and capitalists, who are not suffering from inflation, have[illegible]th kay to the fate of the nation may very well mean national suicide. Unless we raise our voices for the immediate imposition of a property and war profits taxes, devaluation, and forfeit of loan bonds, the Government will do nothing.
ITEM 2 The New Year and the Rabirth of JAPAN - Provincial Newspaper, Chugoku Shinbun (HIROSHIMA) - 1 Jan 46. Translator: S. Inoua.
Defeated in the war and further on the way to a drastic revolution under the supervision of the Allied Powers, JAPAN has received New Year's Day of 1946. Can JAPAN form a democratic state and contribute anything to the establishment of world peace?

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 221 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Or is she to be completely wiped out of the world? Whether or not she can exist depends upon the policy she will follow during this year. Moreover, what problems should we choose for solution in 1946?
Firstly, the general election law in January or February under strict vigilance by the Allied Powers. Can the Diet born in the election establish an administration democratic enough to meet world-wide approval? We, old and young, must use effectively the right of voting in order to send representatives fully qualified for the coming revolution, and we must try to avoid dissolution after dissolution in order to stabilize the political situation.
Secondly, trials for the first class criminals suspected of war crimes will be opened in January by the Allied Powers. Their statements and the sentences given them will reveal systematically the causes of the defeat and the conditions during the war for the expression of the people's will. Furthermore, would be war criminals of the second-order are destined to take their turn. Thus, the course JAPAN must follow is to be clarified, and the methods [illegible]f the supervision of JAPAN are gradually being form [illegible]lated by the Allied Forces.
Thirdly, the reparations problem, stipulated in the POTSDAM Declaration, will come to the fore next spring or in the near future, and will have a great effect upon the future resurrection of JAPAN, which the world looks upon with great concern. Just at this time the food problem will become more serious, and, therefore, we must tide over the crisis with a calm outlook and a firm determination.
Fourthly, the Agrarian Land Reform Law and the Labor Union Law, both of which were passed in the last extraordinary session of the Diet, must be put into operation at the [illegible]rliest possible date. The farmer plans for a bloodless revelution in the agrarian circles, which marks a new epoch. Democracy in the true sense [illegible]f the word will be realized when the conflict between land owners and tenents has been settled, and their deep rooted traditions have been broken up. We sincerely hope that an understanding attitude on the part of the land-owners, and fair management by local councils will make the transfer of land smooth. Any labor union law in JAPAN has, up to the present, been abused for the enhancement of mutual opposition between capitalists and laborers and deemed the ruin of their warm and familiar relations. In carrying it out, we must use to the fullest extent the substance of the law and a reconciliation between labor and capital. We shall see [illegible]the property tax and the war property increment tax come into force this year. Although these taxes are not welcome, they must be put into operation to prevent a ruinous inflation and to equalize the hardships caused by the war over the whole Nation.
Lastly, and more important than all, we have the problem of the Emperor system. This is, of course, to be solved in accordance with the revision of the Constitution. Whether or not the Emperor continues in the same way or whether his authority is reduced will be decided by the general will of the people, as SCAP has already directed. As long as this is left unsolved, the people will become gloomy and situation, at h[illegible]and overseas will deteriorate. We will wait for the day of the solution of this problem with great expectancy, and the solution must be made on strict but just principles, which all the Nation can full understand.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 221 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Furthermore, we have any other problems to solve; the problem of unemployment, the disposal of those who are to be demobilized from military service or repatriated from overseas, the rehabilitation of devastated cities, and other social problem. Thus, the load imposed upon the Nation fro this year is so heavy and full of variety that the year of 1946 is like a gale or storm. However, we must tide over the crisis [illegible]o matter how difficult it may be, and it is time for us to display fully our intellect and ability in order to revitalize our country.
Our Company, the Chugoku Shinbun, was unfortunate enough to be hit by the atomic bomb, and all our facilities were destroyed. However, we have now come back and begun to publish again. We pressmen are determined to [illegible]arch on our way, hand in hand with the people of the prefecture, on this N[illegible]w Year's Day of resurrection. We here declare that we determined to form one wing in the front line of Japanese democracy and hasten to the fulfillment of the new mission given to the press as a public organ.
ITEM 3 The Nation is Heading for Collapse - Provincial Newspaper, Tokushima Shimbun (TOKUSHI[illegible]A) - 3 Jan 46. Translator: K. Katel.
"Freedom will be given to the Japanese Nation, and the way along which she should advance is the establishment of a democratic constitution." With these words the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers showed the defeated Japanese Nation her future course.
The stream of democracy is flowing over the entire Nation now like a flood broken through the dikes, and is pushing everything forward. Nothing can stop this flood. The normal living standard of the Nation is on the verge of breaking down, while certain hands are only helping and promoting the collapse. This collapse must be stopped now, and the Nation saved. If this situation is left to its own course, the nation is destined to sink to the very bottom.
How did this present condition arise? The Nation has already been restored from the hardships of war and h[illegible]s become acquainted with the deceits practiced upon them during the war. The outburst of emotions, entangled with despair, indignation, and hope for security, has forced people to forget all considerations of the stigma of defeat, and Nation is in great confusion because of their ignorance of democracy. The people exposed the tyrannical actions of the bureaucrats, who have not yet awakened from the dream about the power possessed during the war. The powerless leaders are all advancing in the same false direction. All of this has led us to the present situation.
How can the nation be saved from collapse? There can be no other way but to grasp the fundamentals of democracy and correct the ill phases of life. If I were to discuss the fundamentals of democracy, it would, take too long, but frankly speaking, the policy must be based upon the people. The present gri[illegible]vious advance towards collapse due to lack of confidence of the officials. However, if the officials, with more kindness and modesty, would approach the masses, the latter would sympathize more with the Government. Then, a democratic policy would be carried out, maintaining the Nation's standard and supplying the people with security. The Government, which has finished reforming the Election Laws and the preparation for the forthcoming general election, is said, to be planning the democratization of local policy to present it in the Diet after the election. Therefore, the provincial population should hasten the preparation and fight for this policy.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 221 (Continued)
ITEM 4 Concerning the Directive about the Purge - Tokyo Shimbun - 7 Jan 46. Translator: B. Ishi[illegible]ashi.
Full Translation:
There may have bean many men who inwardly thought during the war as follows: If by some possibility JAPAN were defeated, those who would have the right to speak in our country would be only the Communists.
The main point always discussed in connection with this opinion, and which naturally worried most of the persons concerned with it was who or what class or what organization could fill the political vacuum which would undoubtedly be brought about by a change of situation. This apprehension is now realized. The purge directives issued on 4 January by the Allied Powers have ravealed the presupposed state of affairs. Of course, there may be some who can oppose the movement, which demands the re[illegible]entence of all the people. However, they will not be able to openly claim the right to speak, because they did nothing to avert the war and regained mere spectators during it. Some of them may argue that war responsibility is of a relative character. However, as we all know, there are some persons who had been opposing the war throughout its duration in prisons or in courts of law. Such being the case, the former will not be able to claim equal status with the latter.
Mr. SHIDEHARA wore a sack-coat and put on a soft hat, as was usual during the war. However, no one respects him the more. The same thing can be said of those who were onlookers during the war and who are now assuming a triumphant attitude. The people are indifferent to, or bitterly against them. The recent Allied directives respond to this feeling of the people. All the leading classes in JAPAN are suddenly confronted with a drastic change. Now, the question, "who will fill this political vacuum", is one of the most important problems confronting our Nation. Under these circumstances there may be some persons who talk big but feel unreasonably uneasy. They should realize and reflect that, in reality, they have been inwardly timid in carrying out this inevitable revolution.
We can recall a story of past days. In the first year of the era of KEIO, TOKUGAWA, Keiki, jibed at OKUBO, Toshimichi, saving "What can such a newcomer do?", but he had to bow to that newcomer many times only there years after that. Now, on one hand, the labor unions are form the very inception of their activities, stimulating production by whipping the capitalists, and, on the other hand, the farmers' union is going to become the pivot of a new JAPAN, having the nationalization of our agriculture as its main objective. I think no one can deny the possibility of the emergence of new leaders in JAPAN.
ITEM 5 Attitude of the Cabinet and [illegible]Government Officials toward the Exclusion Directive - Mainichi Shimbun - 8 Jan 46. Translator: S. Ota.
Full Translation:
The SHIDEHARA Cabinet, which is to lose at least five members by the new SCAP directives, met on 6 January. They discussed the Imperial Order to be issued in order to execute the SCAP directives. The conference lasted for as long as five hours, but no results were achieved. Thus, the solution to the political unrest is continually delayed.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 221 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
The present Cabinet was thought admissible as a transitional Cabinet until the general election. However, events having gone so far, if they cannot decide whether they should resign or not, their appreciation of the present situation is to be doubted. They may be considered as dallying about unaware of their responsibility. As long as politics remain in such an impotent state, the vicious inflation and food crisis will continue without restraint. We cannot help feeling increasingly gloomy. Yet what is worse is that the machinery of Government officials has been constructed so that their opportunities for unrestricted interference are bound to increase in such a situation as the Present.
The Government officials are at quite a loss as to what to do, for the character of the new leader to arrive is not yet know. They are to lose their leader by the new sweeping directive, and the 50 per cent reduction of Government officials will be put into effect at last if the new Cabinet be formed on socialistic lines. This thought has made them desperate.
The Government officials of ENGLAND, for example, are not at all bewildered if a capitalist cabinet is replaced by a socialist cabinet. This is because they do not have the ambition, of becoming ministers; moreover, officials of a democratic character can adapt themselves to changing conditions under any cabinet. In contrast, many of the Government officials of our Country are permated with feudalistic notions. This is why political unr[illegible]st hinders business throughout the administrative machinery. At any rate, the political chaos at present affects the life of the Nation more profoundly than ever before. It accelerates the process of decay. Matters are getting into an unmanageable situation. However, SCAP will not issue directives concerning such "political crimes". It is no organization but the Nation who must suffer from this.
It has now been made clear that such easy-going ideas about the interim Cabinet for the general election must be forsaken. The Nation must be on its guard against patch-work measures for stabilizing the political situation.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0221, 1946-01-09.
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