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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0235, 1946-01-12.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0735

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 735 Date: 12 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Problem of Emperor System - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku Shimpo (Sendai) - 5 January 1946. Translator: S. Ota.
Full Translation:
The Emperor system is one of the many important problems which requires the thorough consideration of the Japanese Nation. It is an undeniable fact, at any rate, that the Nation has been living under single dynasty for about 2,600 years, though there have been occasionally some changes in the relation between the Emperor and the people. This was the powerful factor which generated the idea that the Japanese Nation is superior to other races and it was from this point of view that the Allied Powers seized the problem of the Emperor system as a measure to sweep out the militarism of JAPAN.
The opinion that the abolition of the Emperor system is indispensable for abolishing the militaristic attitude of JAPAN is also based upon the recognition of this fact. Stimulated by public opinion in the Allied countries, the Emperor system has been frequently discussed in our country since the war ended. However, the abolition of this system has been advocated only by the Communist Party, while the opinions of many people are inclined toward the maintenance of this system, though they differ in degree. This may be natural in view of the historical circumstances up to the present time. However, if we listen to the opinions of the supporters of this system, we find that they are based upon full consideration of the system, and some opinions are formed out of mere sentimentalism. If they say that the Emperor is the "life" of the Nation, the reason why the Emperor system must be supported is not clarified by such a statement. They also agree to democracy but they do not refer to the relation between the Emperor System and democracy, which is the most important point to be considered.
Of course, nowadays even those who insist on the maintenance of the Emperor system, from a sentimental point of view admit the necessity of a direct connection between the Emperor and the people. They are of the opinion that the military or financial cliques and the bureaucrats, who hindered the transmission of the Imperial will, should be removed, stressing the slogan "One Emperor and millions of people" for the democratic JAPAN. However, such words were frequently used during the war, and it goes without saying how these words were skillfully used as propaganda by the militarists.
Among the Japanese democrats who advocate the maintenance of the Emperor system, there are some who do not understand at all what democracy is. They scatter vain "democratic" speech merely because they desire to patch up the present situation under the occupation of the Allied Powers. They must be wiped out, for they have not yet given up militaristic ambitions. On the other hand, many people agree to democracy and are making efforts to find a way for the Japanese Nation

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 235 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
to make a direct connection between the Emperor system and democracy. Their attitude is different from that of the above-mentioned pseudo-democrats, and their intention is worthy of some praise. However, even these people seem to be merely repeating the old slogans which we were accustomed to hearing during the war. The Emperor clarified in his Imperial Rescript on New Year's Day that the connection between the Emperor and the Nation did not originate in mythology and legends, nor was it based upon the fantastic idea that the Emperor is divine, the Japanese race is superior to the other races, and is destined to rule others. Yet the supporters of the Emperor system do not seem, as a rule, to have thrown off such distorted ideas. Judging from their own words, they appear to be still holding to the subjective, emotional opinion, which identifies the Emperor as god in mythology end legends.
We have been usually lacking in any accurate and realistic thinking in treatying political or economical problems. Instead of this we often tried merely to decorate policies with vague slogans. Such examples are illustrated by the slogans, "Millions in Assistance to the Imperial Rule;" etc. This is perhaps a custom of the Japanese. We ought to have known by our own experience through the defeat in war that such an attitude does not contribute anything to the solution of problems. Yet, if we look at the discussions supporting the maintenance of the Emperor system, we can hardly find any positive or rational investigations included, except controversial, emotional discussions which are so rampant. How can they oppose the opinions of the Communists with such vague arguments? If they really want to maintain the Emperor system, they must demonstrate a direct connection between the Emperor and the Nation by historiacal facts. If the historical facts are not enough to support their opinion, they must make a resolution to realize at once a political system which enables the direct connection between the Emperor and the Nation.
The supporters of the helper or system rely too much upon the inertia of history. Their opinion is too subjective and emotional. To be sure, the historical emotion is firmly rooted, yet it is also obliged to change and to be renovated by the pressure of reality. No historical emotion is so strong as not to be changed by a historical reality, and this is proved by history itself, We think that the Emperor system should not be discussed in the light of historical emotions of the past, but with reference to historical reality which underlies the present situation of JAPAN.
ITEM 2 Darkness Removed From Japan - Provincial Newspaper Chubu Shimbun (Nagoya) - 6 January 1946. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
By the two great SCAF directives, which aim at the elimination of militaristic elements from Japanese politics, the dark[illegible]side of JAPAN is in the process of being removed. Most of the 27 bodies ordered to be dissolved by the SCAP directive, and other bodies falling under the same category, had been rampant, resorting often to violence backed by the military. Some bodies went so far as to make the police subservient and to [illegible]eance honest and healthy elements in the society who were faithful to their duties.
Since the KANCHURIA Incident when the militarists warned the people against the crisis in 1935-36, there rapidly arose groups of rightists financed by a share of the secret service fund and funds obtained from blackmailing, They became an outstanding institution in the society of that time and were regarded by many people as defenders against freedom and democracy. This fact was obvious, just as the spokesman of SCAP disclosed that among the officials of the Government and other public institutions there were those who dared op[illegible]se these rightists even at the risk of their lives, and that there were judges who were intimidated. At that time, fears were harbored by a number of people
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 235 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
that the ambition realized by the forces of militarism and the wrong doings publicity performed by those tools of militarists would lead the country to ruin. The actuality had almost reached this fear.
Prior to issue of the SCAP directive, these ultranationalistic groups should have been ousted by the people themselves. Since these bodies were responsible either directly or indirectly for misleading the nation into the present catastrophe, and obscuring the path along which JAPAN should have advanced, they should have been condemned and dissolved by the Government, The presence of such vicious bodies indicates great negligence on the part of the Government, and it also exposes its inability to cope with the situation. These feudalistic bodies had shackled Japanese who strove for liberty and democracy in JAPAN. Fortunately, the SCAP directive has ordered their dissolution.
Complete elimination of the resulting evils cannot be expected unless purges are conducted periodically. That remnants of the military still exist is cause for alarm. They may reappear in the guise of popular vindicators or champions of democracy. It is still possible that remaining forces will combine with remnants of the military and gain power. Events similar to this have been recorded in history. It cannot be expected that the Government whose sloth and inco[illegible]petence has been established, will alone exterminate the evils, combined individual effort is required.
The directive ordering removal or expulsion of undesirable elements from public office will have a far or immediate influence on society than the directive to disorganize militaristic organizations. This directive to urge society was a big blow to the self-complacent Government which had been temporizing in a situation where wholesale reforms are required. It was also a big blow to the old influences. This directive resulted in marked reactions over the whole range of social life in JAPAN, causing fear and confusion and bewilderment. This is, however, the natural course toward the birth of new JAPAN.
The united efforts of men in all strata of professional men and workers should be directed toward correcting the situation. A new way for JAPAN will be laid by fulfillment of the directive ordering persons who will work for the revival and cultivation of democratic tendencies and who respect fundamental human rights such as the freedom of speech, religion, and thought. Purging the dark elements of society marks the beginning of JAPAN's renascence.
ITEM 3 We Attack the Self-Contradictory Policy of the Government Previncial Newspaper Chubu Nippon Shimbun (Nagoya) - 9 January 1946. Translator: K. Ketel.
As we enter the New Year, the adoption of resolute measures against inflation appears the most important and vital question confronting our nation. The sudden rise in prices has already overcome the ability of the middle-class people and common consumers to exist. It has raised the comment: "Free to starve." Furthermore, the tendency of the lower classes towards a breakdown symbolizes the dissolution of social life and the collapse of the Nation.
The present situation makes us feel that cases where the Government is promoting inflation instead of stopping it are rather frequent. For instance, the Government expects the estimated amount of revenue on monopolized goods to reach the figure of about four billion yen in the coming year. The increased revenue from cigarettes, because of the recent rise in their price, will account for a great part of that amount. The Government has revealed that the "Peace" and "Corona" cigarettes will not differ in price from "Hikari" cigarettes. However,
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 235 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
one package of the now cigarettes is fixed at seven or even ton yen. This fact clearly shows the Government's intention of raising the prices of monopolized goods, instead of fixing prices that the people can pay.
Until now, some advances in prices have been carried out such as that on salt, railway rates, and now an increase in railway fares is under consideration. It is the first time, however, that the Government, on its own initiative, has tried to form a movement for increasing prices, which certainly will stimulate the merchants to make a very much greater increase in prices.
It is said that the Government expects the estimated amount of ordinary expenses for next year to be 163 billion yen less than that of last year. That shows us the indifferent attitude of the Government in taking steps against inflation or to change their present attitude towards a deflation policy. At any rate, it is undeniable that the deterioration resulting from inflation has taken the desire for existence away from the middle and lower classes—the working masses.
The Government will have to change its present suicidal administration and do something to avoid a complete collapse of the middle class. In addition, the Finance minister should not conceal, but lay bare to the people, the huge deficit in estimated ordinary expenditures, which deficit reaches a stratospheric sum if the special extraordinary expenditures such as compensation and reparations are added.
ITEM 4 Importance of the New Taxes - Mainichi Shimbun - 11 January 1946. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
The epoch-making property, individual property increase, and corporation war profits taxes have been established with the three objects of preventing inflation, confiscating unfair war profits, and realizing a more equitalb distribution of income. The roles which these three taxes will play are very important, but the effective execution of these taxes is certain to confront many difficulties.
When the authorities desire to raise revenue sufficient to keep the national finance from utter collapse, they are tempted to take the easiest way out by taxing the masses. If they desire to [illegible]ain most of the taxes from the large capitalists and capitalistic enterprises to avoid the evils of taxation of the masses, capitalistic revival of our economy may be obstructed. If the authorities want to evade both taxation of the masses and bottlenecks in recovery, new taxes will be only nominal. How successfully has the Government overcome these difficulties and contradictions?
Taxation of the masses can most easily be realized in the individual property tax. Exemption from the individual property tax is at 20,000 yon, although various deductions are allowed. The problem is the method of property evaluation, not clearly shown in the text which provides only that properties shall be evaluated at current prices. We presume that they mean at the present low currency value. The current value of the yen is, at most, one tenth of that of prewar days. Therefore, property valued at 20,000 yen is equivalent to that of 2,000 yen in prewar days. We are afraid that many middle class people and salaried men will be liable to taxation. A property tax of this sort is clearly taxation of the masses.
The Government declares that the three taxes shall be collected at one time in the fiscal year of 1946. Under certain conditions, however, postponement of payment, four years for individuals and two years for corporations, is permitted. Though "certain conditions" are not clearly defined, a large sum of payments will be postponed. Under
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 235 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
the present situation where inflation is in rapid[illegible]progress, the allowances of two and four years postponement is tantamount to exemption from payment. Moreover, it is the big taxpayers who will be allowed to postpone payment. The result is that those to whom the law should be applied with most strictness will enjoy an actual exemption and this will therefore more certainly be taxation of the masses. Where postponement is unavoidable, the sum of payment should be increased relative to the degree of the fall in currency value.
Payment in cash or national bonds is provided in the text as a matter of course. Here again, however, payments in hind or in stocks of increased capital are allowed under certain conditions. The authorities were afraid that the absorption of a huge sum of funds at one time might render the money market extremely tight and hinder the revival of economy. Without this measure, it may be impossible to realize a revenue of 100,000,000,000 yen. The question is the method of realization, when the tax is paid in kind or in stocks. Without realization, the things collected are of no use for the recovery of sound finance. Is the Government confident of success?
There are two more problems which deserve our attention. One is the indemnification of munition industries. The Government still adheres to the "give and take" principle and insists on the payment of indemnities amounting to 30,000,000,000 yen. The Government aims at the acquisition of 2,500,000,000 to 3,000,000,000 yen by the corporation war profits tax and 25,000,000,000 yen by the corporation property tax. Thus, if more than [illegible]billion is paid to [illegible]unition companies as indemnities, the result is that the corporations are completely exempted from the property tax and the property increase tax. This is extremely unreasonable.
The other is the problem of the use of revenue to be earned from the three new taxes. The authorities declare that the whole sum shall be applied to the redemption of national war bonds, However, the largest bond holders are the banks. Therefore, the new taxes will do nothing but enrich the financial capitalists at the sacrifice of the masses and the industrialists, Moreover, if the slackened money market advances more loans to munitions companies, inflation will be encouraged instead of prevented.
There is no doubt that the newly established taxes are epoch-making in nature. Nevertheless we cannot appreciate the Government's enforcement of the taxes. These taxes will fall most heavily on the masses and, moreover, these taxes will, in all probability become nominal because of the excess consideration given to the interests of the capitalists. For the prevention of inflation, 100,000,000,000 yen must be collected by all means. We should watch the 'Government's operation of these taxes with great apprehension.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0235, 1946-01-12.
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