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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0247, 1946-01-15.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0779

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 779 Date: 15 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Food crisis and The New Agriculture and Forestry Minister - Mainichi Shimbun - 14 Jan 46. Translator: H. Arai.
Full Translation:
Secretary of War PATTERSON, now in JAPAN and Officials at Allied Headquarters said that there will be no widespread starvation in JAPAN during this winter. According to their concerted opinion, though food is abundant in JAPAN to check starvation, such foodstuff is being used in illicit transactions or being distributed through improper channels due to improper action of the Government. If the Government takes effective measures for food distribution, the Japanese people will not be starved during the winter.
As they mentioned, the current food crisis is the result of an incompetent Government's administration. Therefore on the grounds that the people should like to redress its inefficiency, we solicit the Allied Headquarters for permission to import food and other necessities. In other words, this means that as it is impossible for us to replace properly all the products we need; we ask the conquering powers to do so. What selfish idea that is!
Such an idea is bad for the future of new JAPAN. Needless to say the Allied Powers will not allow it. However it may be difficult to supply our people with products needed. Only when we come to impasse as to what to do, may we ask others for assistance.
Recognizing the food shortage in JAPAN this year, the Allied Headquarters have the intention of granting permission of food import, and they say that it is not a problem for this winter. This statement is quite reasonable. Although the last year's crop turned out to be a failure, it is shameful for us not to maintain our life with less during this winter. It may well be said that not an expert, but even an outsider may relieve the present situation in JAPAN, because everything to be done is made clear. However such an outsider must be a man of political ability.
We wonder if Agriculture and Forestry Minister SOEJIMA who was newly appointed, may fulfill our hopes. Everybody knows that Mr. SOEJIMA is merely an ex-director of a stock-exchange, and has no experience with the food problem. Moreover it is well known that his ability as a stateman in his new post is quite unknown. What a defiant selection of man this is!
ITEM 2 The General Election and the Cabinet Reshuffle - Mainichi Shimbun - 14 Jan 46. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
The general, election which the whole nation anxiously awaiting will be held after the middle of March. The political purge directive from SCAP the other day laid the groundwork for the democratization of the personnel. Therefore, nearly all the arrangements for the next election are completed. It is now necessary to hasten to hold the general election to make our politics democratic as well as to remedy the current political plights. Thanks to the surrender, the masses of the nation have been enabled to escape the oppression of the military clique. However, they can have no patience with the existing coalition Cabinet's condition of suspended animation and the old political parties' activities

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 247 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
are still as unchanged as ever. It is our earnest political desire that both a new cabinet and fresh Diet members will appear as the result of the popular will. Therefore, after reorganization, the Cabinet should, above all, hasten all necessary arrangements in election procedure. Second, it should make the people in general fully aware of the gist of the new Election Law and, third, strive to hold an ideal election free from interference.
After all, the SHIDEHARA Cabinet's mission is to assist in the appearance of a new Diet and consequently in the formation of a new cabinet by the popular will. This Cabinet, however, is not necessarily equal to the task. Nevertheless we still wish to have the Cabinet exert all efforts for pushing ahead. JAPAN's democracy under all circumstances. Under the conditions, it is desirable that the next election be held as soon as possible. Time will be required for business procedures. Perhaps, there will be some political obstacles to be overcome. However, SCAP's purge directive the other day laid the groundwork. Under the situation, a rough-and-ready rule is preferable. Judging from the voices prevailing in local districts, the concensus of opinion appears to be strongly in favor of a general election being held as soon as possible.
From the first, we have been against the reorganization of SHIDEHARA's Cabinet since we cannot expect any stabilization of the political situation from the reshuffle. Despite the fact that the most urgent problems are piled high, what positive steps has the SHIDEHARA Cabinet taken so far? It is nothing but another misfortune for defeated JAPAN that such a weak cabinet should carry on by a reshuffle to tide over the stringent political situation. We, the people cannot help being surprised at the appearance of such old politicians as MITSUCHI and SOYEJIMA. What on earth is the premier's view of the current situation? The new organization is sorry enough from all appearances.
One of the evils which the reorganized Cabinet will bring is the continuation of the situation of political unrest. It is believed that the life of the Cabinet will last another month or two. Therefore, the Cabinet can but live from day to day. Another evil is official sabotage due to the situation of political unrest. The officials who have so far been agitated over the drastic curtailment of personnel will be all the more idle because of the grave outlook of the Cabinet. The third, but most vital evil is the standstill in most policies which have been taken in regard to food, inflation and other issues. It is now just the time for the farmers to hasten the delivery of rice to the Government. However, it is feared that the current political situation which is now unfortunately in such poor condition, particularly the attitude of officials, will seriously affect the farmers. This is to be deplored at a time when the masses of the people are on the verge of starvation. This is just the same in the inflation problem. It is dangerous enough for the Government to hesitate even a minute in taking a resolute action against it.
From every angle, it is not safe for us to depend entirely upon the SHIDEHARA Cabinet. Therefore, we earnestly desire to have the general electionheld before the middle of March. However there is no use hoping for it. At least, we wish that it be held as soon as the situation permits. The sooner it is held, the less will be the damage to this country.
ITEM 3 Five Letters Urging Newspaper Reforms - Asahi Shimbun - 14 Jan 46 Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
It must be borne in mind that the press has the mission of furnishing the people with information, enlightening the public and, at the same time,
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 247 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
of representing the popular will. A just and fair attitude by the press is desirable, and it should be an unceasing report of the truth. The restraints by the militarists and bureaucracy on speech now have been removed. Nevertheless supervision over the press is still necessary regardless of whether it has been liberated or not.
Democracy essentially aims at the just and free development of the popular will in every phase of politics, economics and speech. If the press, which has a vital social significance is likely to represent, not the majority, but only a section or a party of the people in ideology and in opinion, it cannot justly be called a public organ expressing democracy. The press must not be permitted to act out of touch with the public or attempt to be a means of developing insular thought. In other words, the press should not be an organ for a specific party or clique. The press is undeniably not the property of the ZAIBATSU or the bureaucracy or of privileged classes, nor does it belong to the journalists who represent a paper.
There is the case of a newspaper which, despite its claim to represent popular will, assumes the colors of communism due to the character of the editor, and fails to reflect popular opinions. I am inclined to demand an examination of conscience of a newspaper which allows itself to be reduced to a communist organ. They forget the fact that newspapermen are not the sole possessors of the newspaper they produce, and that it is the common property of the populace. (HIROTA, Saburo, a clerk of a company in TOKYO)
We are desirous of a newspaper which by earnest and sincere efforts will gather truthful information and through the critisism and appraisal of this information will guide the public as well as men in office. It is, of course, a most difficult task to collect information which is to be subjected to criticism, appreciation, and description completely apart from any tinge of personal opinions or interests, Placing itself in position of collecting what is favorable and avoiding what is unfavorable is in reverse an easy task.
What I hope for from the press is, of course, a difficult task. Now, despite the lively agitation for freedom of thought, there is still confusion. On this account, a powerful newspaper which is worthy of the trust of the people and is capable of enlightening and guiding the people is in great demand. (By OSHIMA, Setsuya, a student in Tokyo)
Freedom of speech means nothing short of complete freedom of speech. This was advocated and assured in the Diet and in this column. Nevertheless, the facts indicate the likelihood of it being given exclusively to property reactionary and communistic influences. I am disgusted with the indecent and unrefined criticism of these men, (By SAKAI, Satoo, a primary school teacher in TOKYO)
The press should be held responsible for playing an active part in representing public opinion along with its duties of supporting the people, advocating truth and liberty, and praising true peace. Now, with the liberatism of speech a bright age is dawning upon the world of journalism. The equal opportunities of all classes, including statesmen, capitalists, and laborers, should be equally shared. Democracy by no means implies exclusiveness for a group of people. The press of a new age should never be liberated merely in name.
There should be socialization of a broader scope embracing all classes. Three elements are required, namely, truthful reports, severe criticism, and scientific improvement. (By SASSA, Chiyoju, a clerk in company in
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 247 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
I am disappointed as I read the latest newspapers. They are full of articles reminding us of a desert, the taste of which may well be likened to sand. Today's press is filled with hunger, black-marketeering, poverty, recriminations, and offensive language. Bright and promising expressions are nowhere to be found. Shortages in daily needs and the existence of black-marketeering are undisputable facts. Oasis are necessary in the press as well as in a desert. More articles of a brighter nature are desirable. Humorous selections and caricatures would be welcomed.
As for me I prefer literary matters such as poems, including Japanese "HAIKU" and articles pertaining to individual tastes. A good share of these are desirable. Illustrations and photography should be more refined. In a word, I hope for popularity along with refinement. (By KATSUMATA, Yubun, a student in SHIZUOKA)
ITEM 4 The Food Shortage - Asahi Shimbun - 14 Jan 46. Translator: T. Naruse.
Full Translation:
It is a fact that the prevailing food shortage is largely due to unequal distribution, but a proper price control policy and the necessary revision in the distribution system have somewhat relieved this mal-distribution of food. However, since numerous people including those who have returned from abroad are packed in this country, which suddenly has been decreased in area, no one can deny the fact that the present quantity of food is not enough. Furthermore, if the food importation from foreign countries which JAPAN has needed every year is stopped, the distressing situation which will develop in the future is beyond our comprehension.
The Government has already received a benevolent promise concerning food imports from the Allied Nations who have declared that they have no intention of gaining revenge on former aggressor nations by starving them. However, there is still room to investigate to what degree of starvation we must be subjected as defeated people, or what degree of starvation we can physically bear in view of the quantity of food and time for it to be imported.
Yet it is useless if the Government persists in procrastinating. On this occasion, the Government should take drastic steps considering the people's lives and the intention of the Allied Nations. But it is doubtful whether the new Minister of Agriculture and Forestry can meet our expectations.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0247, 1946-01-15.
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