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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0241, 1946-01-14.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0755

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 755 DATE 14 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Efficary of Democracy - Provincial Newspaper Kahoku Shinpo (Sendai) - 9 Jan 46. Translator: B. Ishibashi
It is a matter of course that we Japanese people should shape a democratic government in the future. It is the only way in which our people can regain self-respect.
What is democracy? It is one of the political principles by which the public lives a healthy, social and economic life based on freely-expressed will through freedom of speach, meeting and association. It is the one system won by humanity as a result of a. long history of struggle. It is the leading political system in present human civilization.
We are now in a hopeless position, confronting unpredented difficulties. This is due to the fact that democracy in this country was smothered in its early stages. Indeed, it has never taken any firm root in our country. Suppose we were under a democratic administration and were guaranteed freedom of speech. We would have been able to discuss openly the pros and cons of the war and could have averted it. The war was, of course, not intended by our people. If the power to avert the war were in the hands of the people, such a thoughtless war as is just over could not have broken out. The militaristic cliques, government bureaucrats, and the financial combines are responsible for the war.
The reason why democracy has not taken a firm root in our country is to be found not only in the high-pressure policy of the special and military police but also in the MEIJI Restoration itself, which was worked out on a most infirm basis, oppressing democratic tendencies. As a matter of fact, the MEIJI Restoration was the establishment of totalitarian and arbitrary administration under a reactionary ideology regarding education, thought and philosophy, having as its main principles the Imperial Constitution and the Imperial Rescript on Education. At that time, the leading clans namely, the SATSUMA and CHOSHU, the financial combines and bureaucrats attempted to make of our country a great munitions company, by imposing a slave-like standard of living on all the common people. They attempted to bolster small capital power with Army forces.
It was not long after that that our nation was ranked among the great powers because of the conspicuous development of its capitalism. The Russo-Japanese and the Sino-Japanese wars were nothing but a natural development of JAPAN's aggressive policy. After these wars, democracy, which was hoped for by all the people, was unreasonably oppressed. Our nation at that time might be called "a nation of special and military police." It had become apparently one of the leading capitalist countries in the world. However, this had been achieved at the sacrifice of the common people. Its foundation was very weak.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 241 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Accordingly, internal competition and strife in our social, economic and political life was to gradually increase. When our nation entered the period of financial depression, this vicious inclination was aggravated all the more. To cope with the problem, our leading classes, including the militaristic cliques and bureaucrats as their leaders, dared to adopt an aggressive policy, taking advantage of the unprecedented, political unrest, then spread over all the world.
The miserable defeat in the late war is nothing but a natural result of our internal competition and strife. The case of SOVIET RUSSIA is the reverse. She suffered bitterly from civil war and outside interference. However, she outrode her difficulties by clarifying boldly her attitude, based on the principle of racial self-determination. Not only the Russian race but also the minor races were allowed to enjoy her political, cultural, and social institutions on equal terms, with the result that she could accomplish her development in a completely free manner.
Such a welcome tendency of democracy is to be found in every section of SOVIET RUSSIA, the UNITED STATES of AMERICA and ENGLAND. I think, here is the fundamental reason why the Allied Powers won the war.
As has been shown, a nation, in which democracy has never been firmlyrooted, is in reality very weak and backward in human culture, no matter how apparently strong and enlightened it may seem. This is a glaring fact which our nation has come to know well by reason of the recent war. The difficulties which at present are confronting our nation are unprecedented in our history. However, it is our duty to rise to the occasion and strive toward the establishment of a new JAPAN, based on a firm-rooted democracy, namely, the freely-expressed will of all the people.
ITEM 2 Watch How the New Tax-Collection is Used - Yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - 11 Jan 46. Translator: I. Kuniko
Full Translation:
The gist of the bill for a property tax and an increased property tax has been made public. According to the property tax, an individual or a legal person possessing property worth over 20,000 yen will pay taxes according to progressive tax rates, with a fixed sum deducted from the property on the day of investigation. The increased property tax, discriminates between an individual and legal person.
An individual's increased property is classified in two classes. On the increased in property in the period from 1 April 1940, the firstclass tax is levied on the amount obtained by multiplying the increase in property after deducting the basic deducation by a certain percentage stipulated by the Finance Minister. The rate for this is from 60 to 100 per cent. The sum left after the deduction of the increase in amount of the property of the first class is the second-class tax. It is levied as an auxiliary tax at a low rate.
In a legal person's war profits, the sum of all losses deducted from all gains is fixed as war profits, and this is taxed 100 per cent. The estimated income of these two taxes is as follows: The income from the property tax at 70 billion yen. Of this 50 billion will come from individuals and 20 billion from legal persons. The increased property tax from individuals amounts to 25 billion yen and legal person's war profits tax to 3,500,000,000 yen. The total amount is 98,500,000,000 yen. Those who pay the property tax are estimated at 2,500,000. According to a Government estimate, it is said that the total sum of JAPAN's property including about 100 billion yen of individual deposits amounts to about 400 billion yen. Therefore, about one-third of it is taxed by this levy.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 241 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
It has already been seen by us that the levy of a war profits tax and a property tax is an absolutely essential measure in the reconstruction of our finance, the check of inflation and the redistribution of our national income which had become inequal during the war. On the other hand specialists have often pointed out, a just operation of property tax is said to be very difficult. We have heard that no country in the world has so far succeeded, especially, our country, where inflation is now going on and democratic forces have not yet been united as they have in FRANCE. Therefore, its difficulty will be greatly increased.
In order to evade the property tax, drawing out or changing money for goods is now the vogue. It is public opinion that such acts should be strictly controlled. It is prescribed in the outline of the plan that the Government will strictly punish tax-dodgers and will treat depositors justly. Further, it has made an object of levy such acts as donations or contributions which would evade property tax. However the present situation demands our instantaneous execution of proper measures by the Government rather than a mere warning to the nation. Especially, in a plan for deposits and currency, waiting and dilly - dallying for an issue of "new yen" must be criticized as "too mild." Effective means must instantly be taken.
Further, a tax-day is fixed at the and of 1946. With the appointment of an investigation day, the admission of payment by rough estimate based upon an individual's report is a very proper measure, but the admission of payment by installment for four years will be very ineffective from the stand point of inflation.
With regard to property valuation by each Financial Affairs Board, en estimation committee is to be instituted for inquiry. It must be a premise for the just enforcement of these taxes that the committeemen be true representatives of our democratic nature. In this point, our nation must not neglect to keep a watch. Moreover, in the investigation of an individual's of legal person's property, different measures from the old ones must be taken. Steel blocks or wood which are ownerless are heaped in several places. Such things must be examined closely by economic police. As it is impossible to assume a false name or to conceal funds by use of the rice register, in deposits the authorities concerned must closely examine such things as goods, houses, rare metals end so on to do justice to the people.
Last, how to use the tax income amounting to 100 billion yen becomes a problem. Apart from the fact that one-third of our country's property is controlled by the Nation, the greater part of it will be taken from the owners of property of under 100 thousand yen. That is it will be taken from the general public, the so called middle class. For the reconstruction of a democratic JAPAN, no be will refuse to pay tax according to his ability, but it must not be used merly to support the profits of capitalists or money-lenders. In this point, our nation must be opposed to such government measures as devoting all the indemnities of munitions factories or income tax to the repayment of public loans. If we think of such problems as reparations, indemnities for overseas Properties and public loans amounting to one 130 billion yen, a tax income of 100 billion yen would be like throwing water on thirsty soil. Therefore, our nation must boldly demand that the indemnities and interest payment of public loans be immediately stopped. As these taxes are only beleived once for all and will have no opportunity to be amended, we should demand that the bill be carried into practice with great justice and its income used effectively.
ITEM 3 Genuine Patriots Expected-Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 12 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Ebiike
Full Translation:
A genuine patriot is not a militarist nor a nationalist. As MONTESQUIEN
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 241 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
said in his "Spirit of the Law", it is the love of one's fatherland and the love of equality that give the people impetus to run the state. In ancient GREECE no other force than the political morality mentioned above was acknowledged as the power to maintain the state. In a despotic administration, the authority, legislation and talent of the men in power play the most important role, while political ethics and morals of the people in general are not too ire important after all. The sole force, however, with which we must build a state is the people's renewed patriotism and morality, for the social end political by this our basic nuds of life, such as clothing, food and housing, should be insured for the welfare of the people in the reconstruction of our nation.
Then what is the state of things at present? There are countless examples of corrupt morals. The New Year is as miserable as miserable can be, yet it is a little better because there are no air-raids," this kind of salute at the beginning of the year makes men of discretion shudder, because it completely manifests the phychology of a defeated people. In other words it implies a sentiment common with feeling that "Any kind of political require will do, if it only enables us to make a living." There is an old woman's saying in a certain English essay to the effect that "'Revolution, revolution' is only the clamor and agitation of the people, As for me, I used to go to church every Holy Friday without fail in the midst of that great revolution."
This may be en attitude of living adopted by many people right now. The hero in "YOAKE-Mae" (In Before Day-Break) dies in a room confined, exhausted by yesterday's conservatism which promised progress, and by yesterday's progress which yielded conservatism a bitter cup of fate which must be shared by those left behind by the times, however honest they may be. The old woman only evades responsibility, while the hero is defeated by progress. Neither or them could be an active force in newly born JAPAN.
A new born JAPAN must begin completely a new in the history of the world. Some may scorn this saying it is an ideal too like a dream, yet the present day, Japanese cannot live without this dream. All the more eager and modest because of the defeat, we must look for this ideal. Moreover the effort to achieve this must be adequate to meet the historical requirements of new JAPAN, in such manner as to start a frest as well as to adopt an American way of life with a philosophy of pragmatism as an immediate norm.
This "something" mentioned above is no other than our true heart which really concerned about the future of our fatherland and loves the tradition of our race. That the most serious lack in present JAPAN is the lack of patriotism is a lament bitterly grieved not only by us but by perhaps many others. No liberty without fatherland, and no democracy without liberty. It is the love of fatherland that fosters the political morality of a democratic state, while the establishment of living ethics is a sole force to support the state. If patriots do not appear now, and the genuine feeling of patriotism refined by reason does not spring from the people's soul, the state of JAPAN can only follow continuously the way of defeat. Such patriots as do not evade, do not speak of resignation, but cope with the actual reality of conditions and thus turn our misfortune into a blessing, are the very persons we are eagerly seeking.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0241, 1946-01-14.
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