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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0225, 1946-01-10.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0705

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 705 Date: 10 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Against Slave Labor - Provincial Newspaper HOKKOKU MAINICHI SHIMBUN (KANAZAWA) - 3 Jan 46 . Translator: K. Ketel.
According to reports from TOKYO, the Government in order to conteract the coal shortage is making attempts to mobilize employees of the Communications Department and other Government offices to work in the coal mines. We absolutely oppose this plan. That does not mean that we are denying the fact that the increase of coal output is an urgent need at the moment. On the contrary we will not be able to stand by in idleness, if we consider how deeply the shortage of coal influences the life of the masses. However, it is different to recognize on the one hand the fact that the increase of coal production is an urgent need, and on the other to discuss the merits or demerits of this semi-coercive mobilization plan. We cannot consider the measures taken by the present Government right, even if we are fully aware of the necessity of increasing coal production. This new compulsory mobilization does not different in its fundamental principles from the slaved labor system during the war. We want and need coal but if its production can be realized only by means of a system making slaves of the workers we are able to do without it. We do not insist upon our demands because of a fooling of sympathy for the poor workers, but we hold fast to our respect for the personality of the working class and insist upon the abolition any sort of feudalistic labor slavery. Where will yon find the essence of a democratic JAPAN, if you override the personal rights of the workers and fore them into compulsory labor? Democracy means the estate of the personal rights of the masses even to the sacrifice of lines. One must not forget that the democratization of JAPAN can only be carried out with a long, fierce struggle. We criticize the attitude of the present Premier SHIDEHARA, who as a representative of the bourgeoisie and of the privileged classes shows no faith in the democratization of JAPAN. On the contrary he is hostile to it and is endeavoring to obstruct its aims. The solution of the coal problem is unattainable if it is to be managed by a bourgeois Cabinet such as SHIDEHARA's.
The reason for the shortage of coal lies in the lack of workers. This results from the poor treatment coal workers have received in the past; the miserable life of the coal miners is described in the book "Still Alive" by YAMAOTO, Yuzo which depicts the inhuman treatment they received. The coal shortage would immediately be solved if the Government were to assure decent working conditions and wages to the workers. The employees of the Government offices are not

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EDITORIAL SEREIS: 225 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
able to act against this mobilization for they are already struggling under the bitter hardships of life and would be afraid of losing their miserable jobs. The Government's methods are treacherous and mean. We resolutely oppose it. We insist upon the removal of the bourgeois SHIDEHARA Cabinet. The people must achieve the increase of coal production through their own efforts.
ITEM 2 I. More Equipment for the Police. II. The Old Signboard of the ZAIBATSU - Yomiuri Hochi - 8 Jan 46. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
I. More Equipment for the police
The police will be equipped with pistols and tear gas bombs shortly, according to a recent press release. This is the most eloquent proof of the anti-democratic sentiment on the part of our political leaders.
Public opinion, expressed through newspapers, magazines, and the radio is clearly against such a feudalistic, oppressive demeanor on the part of the police, and the people are eagerly hoping even for the removal of the swords which symbolize the high-handed methods of Japanese policemen.
By contrast, soldiers of the occupation forces, without side arms, are a welcome surprise for us Japanese. The Japanese police on the street seemingly impress them only with strange and contempuous feelings. This is quite understandable from a democratic viewpoint. What is worse, the Government, instead of removing those; shameful symbols, is going to add mere. They attribute this need to the frequent occurrence of murders, burglarises, and riots. These things, however, would not happen unless there was social unrest in securing daily needs, or unless there existed an impoverished glass. I am not calling for the abolition of the police system nor am I prone to encourage and justify crime. On the contrary, I am inclined to call to account the sloth and slouness of the authorities concerned in removing the restrictions on the people's lives, and the anti-democratic policy of oppressing the people.
This step represents another type of feudalistic oppression. With these expenses, if ever there is such a budget for the now police equipment, we could, build for the laborers as many social settlements as possible, furnish housing for the air-raid evacuees and take concrete measures for lowering the level of food prices.
The Government, with whatever competency it possesses, should also declare itself boldly for the dissolution and condemnation of the ZAIBATSU. This would make this undemocratic measure unnecessary It is administration for the people that democratic administration implies. The pistol was once used by the military police as an instrument to take the life of OSUGI, Sakae, an eminent pioneer of democracy in JAPAN. The farmers and laborers during the war were, and are now, being menaced by the swore worn by the police. The leaders of politics in JAPAN should bear in mind that administration by force will surely result in failure, as was exemplified in CHINA and
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 225 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
in the PHILIPPINES, through the loss of public support.
in the present case, likewise, the Government will lose the confidence of the people if it should dare carry out this anti-democratic measure. What is worse is that the Japanese populace might attempt the overthrow of the Government. Does the Government expect this, or does the Government intend to presume upon the people's good nature? In a world, the Government is still unable to clear away the taint of militarism. This fact will be sure to lead our country into failure in sharing with the nations of the world the task of establishing world-peace, and therefore would result in a permanent loss of confidence in her by the world as a peaceloving nation. I am going to protest vigorously against the above-mentioned attitude of the Government, as a citizen of a peaceloving nation. (A Social Student in the Street)
II. The Old Signboard of the ZAIBATSU
An interesting spectacle at present is to watch the attempted countermeasures which the ZAIBATSU is taking in their affiliated works and factories, the best revelation yet of its true character. A surprising fact brought to light by this revelation is that some ZAIBATSU are not merely lacking in a positive spirit of democracy, for the purpose of developing the Japanese industries, but they are also intentionally interfering with the enlightened move towards industrial democratization. Such an instance was shown in the activities of the MITSUBISHI Heavy Industry Company, which the workmen's Labor Union was compelled to acknowledge, whereas a similar attempt by the workers was rejected. The explanation for this was that there was a Round Table Conference made up of representatives of the respective jobs in the company, which worked for the betterment of their conditions; while there was the YOWAKAI (Cultivation of Unity Association) which would contribute towards promoting their welfare. This is obviously the sign of a reactionary spirit on the part of a company which deemed the birth of a Labor Union in its works as quite contrary to the respectability of its owners of noble lineage. This is likewise a sign of evil intentions to enslave the staff.
The KAWASAKI Machines and Utensils Manufacturing Company at the end of last year succeeded in inaugurating their Staff Association in sharp contrast to the failure of the MITSUBISHI Machines and the staff of Utensils Manufacturing Company. Just across the river from KAWASAKI Machines there stands the works of the latter company in which failure in the same attempt was reported. The demand for betterment in the staff's treatment, presented through the Round Table Conference by representatives of respective jobs in the company for the lack of a union of their own, was rejected. The failure made a deep impression on the staff, leaving them helpless and with no alternative.
On the other hand, however, the company should be held responsible for its lack of foresight in handling this business. The members of the managing staff, excluding GOKO, Kiyoshi, a suspected war criminal, are so impudent as to hold on to their posts, attempting in vain to check the overwhelming current of democracy in our country. They, as we mentioned above, repainted their signboard too late. "Treatment to be Improved by the Round Table Conference," (by TAGAWA).
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 225 (Continued)
ITEM 4 The Chango of Personnel in Financial Circle - Asahi Shimbun - 9 Jan 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
By the newly issued "purge" directive, the financiers who participated in politics and the loaders of the various enterprises supported by the aggressive policy are to be swept out. Besides this, some financiers were already arrested as war criminal suspects. A considerable number of ZAIBATSU leaders were obliged to retire through the directive for disbanding ZAIBATSU. The financial circles will have to experience some changes. If we think sincerely about who construction of a democratic JAPAN, however, we must deeply consider whether or not the clean up of financial [illegible]can be called satisfactory. properly speaking the financiers ought to contribute willingly to the establishment of democracy and show their sincerity. In war, they were under the burden of severe control by bureaucrats and were led by the nose by the military men. They had been deprived of the honor and the independence of businessmen. Now it is most desirable for them to co-operate in the establishment of democracy especially in economics, since they are financial experts. They are too closely connected, however, with the old rulers the bureaucrats and the military clique to co-operate in democratic construction at present. Even more, they are the members, and chiefs of the old ruling class and now are the object of the people's attack.
The only course left for them is to protect their former privileges and to check the rising now influence. It can never be expected of them to be generous and clever in facing the new era. Here is the reason why the financial circles and its leaders remain unchanged since the termination of the war. For example, you may cast a glance at the members of the financial organs such as the JAPAN Economic Confederation, the Principal Industry Conference, and the JAPAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The leading figure in former days occupy alternately the chief posts in these organs and are not willing to retire. Some of them may drop out due to the SCAP directive, but we can never expect the clean up of those members, by this measure alone. Then, what has become of the directorates of the semi-official banks and companies which occupy a peculiar position in the financial world? Those who were in charge of certain departments are now sitting comfortably in the chairs of the directors of these companies. The chief directors whoso terms expired, were reappointed. Their responsibility for war seems to be almost beyond discussion. In the case of the ZAIBATSU firms, the. posts of the loaders who retired reluctantly, wore taken over by conservative and inefficient persons who are in high favor with ZAIBATSU families. No sign of reform can be seen. It is natural that everyone should grow suspicious of the ability of the financiers who must tackle the most difficult problems in economic reconstruction.
Here we want to say that we are not discussing mere moral responsibility. We fear that the construction of a democratic economy cannot be achieved smoothly under present conditions and organization of our financial circles. To give an example, there is the case of a certain large bank that refused to obey the informal order to loan 300 million yen for the relief of coal-mine workers in KYUSHU. The
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EDITORIAL SEREIS: 225 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
authorities hastily ordered the Industrial Bank instead to make the loan.
We must say that financial organs are too non-cooperative in their attitude. As to the resumption of Production, the sabotage of capitalists has often been pointed out. Their sabotage may be somewhat understood in regard to the difficult problems of price, materials, market and reparations in the future. We note however, a definite lack of sincerity and creative spirit in their fundamental attitude.
Lately, discussion on co-operation between capital and labor seems to be taking place among the two groups. The financial Interests seem to be alarmed at the sign of labors growing strength. We hope that the establishment of the new organ now under discussion may not mean the revival of the former union of all industrial corporations. The property tax which is scheduled to be created soon, may give the financiers an excuse to delay the reopening of production and shift blame for their sabotage.
How can it be possible to destroy this condition? First of all, we expect most of the financiers to resign voluntarily. Able men can be found in financial circles. In every company, there are many young directors who are not content with present conditions. The personnel of all companies should be renovated. The new middle class, in the economic society, must be formed by younger members. Then the democratization of business will start and a financial foundation will be established at the same time. We demand that the young leaders in financial circles rise to the occasion. They should remember that the establishment of democracy will meet with great difficulty and can never be expected to advance smoothly without the changes in personnel in financial circles.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0225, 1946-01-10.
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