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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0253, 1946-01-17.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0800

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 800 Date: 17 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Democratization of the Food Distribution System - Yomiuri-Hochi - 15 Jan 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
The food problem and inflation hold the key to the ecomomic reconstruction of our country which is now in a paralyzed condition. When the matter is considered fundamentally, however, uneasy feelings about the food shortage are the source of all the social confusion. Public feeling, which is now growing more uneasy, restless, and disorderly, intensifies the people's shameful conduct, stricken as they are by malnutrition. More than 80 per cent of the street venders, who overflow into the street and play some part in the development of inflation, are probably merchants engaging in black marketeering. Laborors cannot concentrate on their jobs because of the waste of their brain, energy, and time in the acquisition of food. The general commodity prices and the increase of inflation are also due to the lack of equilibrium between food and currency. As in all other policies, at a certain step in the ecomomic policy there is one point on which our whole energy must be concentrated in order to advance to the next step. At present the policy on food is the very point which holds the key to al l the other economic policies.
As is widely known, the food shortage at present is classified into two sections, absolute shortage and relative shortage. Absolute food shortage cannot be relieved except by importing from the Allied Powers. Relative shortage of food is due to the delay of rice delivery by farmers, the defects of the distribution system, and the concealment or unequal holding of food. These defects can be adjusted by Government policy. If the Nation doesn't show sincerity, will, and initiative in eliminating the relative shortage of food by itself, the Allied Powers will not permit, importation. This was made clear by the announcement of a spokesman of the Public Relation Office. Therefore, the solution of food shortages due to the "relative” cause is the key to the food problem.
Since its assumption of office, the SHIDEHARA Cabinet has been regarding the import of food as the only means for the solution of the food problem and made every effort to get a grant for it. When it was pointed out by the Allied Powers, however, the Cabinet recognized that a supplement for the relative shortage will be required before importing. So the Cabinet, before its reshuffle, decided to expedite the rice delivery, which is the main cause of shortages, with ex-Minister of Agriculture MATSUMURA as the central figure. The Cabinet is reported to have come to the conclusion that the compulsory delivery of allotments and an official inspection of concealed rice stocks must be carried out.
By the reshuffle of the Cabinet, Mr. SOEJIMA, Sempachi had the post of agriculture minister. Judging from his ability and previous career, he is likely to follow the policy adopted so far. So it can be expected that strong measures to expedite the rice delivery will be taken. What turns the minds of the farmers from offering rice is their deep antipathy to the present rulers. During wartime the farmers strove for increased production and for delivery under the leadership of the Government. Then,

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 253 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
what consideration did they receive when the war ended in defeat? The unreasonably cheap price of rice and wheat, difficulty in obtaining agricultural implements, and the unjust and oppressive attitude of the Agricultural Association are almost all that was offered them.
On 15 February the discontent of the farmers with these facts manifested itself in a certain village in GU[illegible]A-Ken. The farmers in that village undertook the democratization of the village agricultural association and the control of rice by themselves thereby attracting the attention of others. Similar events occurred in [illegible]OOHIGU-Ken and TOYAMA-Ken. A democratic movement began in the Agricultural Ministry, which is likely to respond to the demands of the farmers and also demand the democratization of the delivery and distribution system.
The members [illegible]the JAPAN Agricultural Association support it too. The Agricultural Association failed to satisfy the farmers in its management of delivery and distribution. At the same time it is widely known that the food corporation and other organizations for distribution in cities are bu[illegible]in their nature. The farmers, now becoming aware of this fa[illegible]demand the democratization system both in cities and villages, and [illegible]the stocks kept by the rich or high officials, or the rice st[illegible]the military which were carried away at the end of the war, should [illegible]traced and confiscated. They also insist that the practical distribution of agricultural implements and fertilizers, as well as the above measure are necessary before requiring the farmers to deliver their rice. Those who inspected the actual conditions of farming dis[illegible]emphatically support this opinion prevailing among the farmers.
Under such circumstances the strong measures planned by the Government will be most insufficient and dangerous of the democratization of the delivery and distribution system and village construction, as well as co-operation between the sectional organizations of the farmers, cannot be carried out by them. The delivery of rice and the distribution of implements fertilizer, and land should be controlled by the working farmers themselves. In the cities the distribution of food should be put under the management of labor unions or a controlling commission organized by the citizens. By these radical measures as well as by the confiscation of stocks of food kept by illegal means the delivery will naturally be increased, and the amount of distribution may be allowed to reach three go.
Because the feeling of unrest about the food shortage would be dispelled by a distribution of three go, it would be possible to carry out economic circulation normally. Of course an absolute food shortage cannot be relieved by these measures. We believe, however, that the Allied Powers will show their good intentions to us if the Government and the people are sincere enough to appeal for the above-mentioned measures. In conclusion the food policy as well as all the other policies must, of necessity, be radical in its trend, and be democratized in the interests of farmers and laborers by abandoning the oppressive measures taken by the bureaucrats and ruling classes in the past.
ITEM 2 1. Demobilized Soldiers. 2. Amount of Rice they Delivered and Sent Secretly - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Jan 46. Translator: K. Nobunaga.
Full Translation:
Demobilized soldier s recently have received a disproportionate amount of publicity in the newspapers. All wrong-doing is either attributed to them or closely connected with them. The word "demobilized soldiers” has become a synonym for criminals or old offenders.
Most demobilized soldiers are those who did not willingly become soldiers. They are now civilians, and since our army does not exist now, the term
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 253 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
"demobilized soldiers" may well be abolished. After demobilization, every soldier should become an ordinary civilian. The use of the term in a derogatory sense may result in making even the good citizens turn bad, as in the case of ex-convicts in former times. The public should remove such an unsuitable name from its vocabulary. (A letter from a person named OKAYAMA.)
I am one of the demobilized soldiers and am now a civilian like you. It is unpleasant for me to hear and see in the newspapers that the word "demobilized soldiers" is being used as synonym, for the word "scoundrels". Most of them are good and honest by nature, except the former professional soldiers, but some of them have become rascals after demobilization.
Why should we be called demobilized soldiers even after we have returned home? How many years will elapse before this name disappears in the new democratic JAPAN? (A letter from-DEGAWA, Akio)
The poor delivery of rice is now notorious and widespread in every district of JAPAN. I wonder whether there is a difference between the actual amount delivered by farmers and the Government's announcement.
Recently, in our district 10 or 20 bales of rice at a time have been secretly taken from our villege warehouses on trucks or on autotricycles. Such rice is sure to be sent secretly to a certain place in TOKYO, instead of being received as the Government's rice ration. Such secretly sent rice is increasing more and more, because men of property are devoting themselves to exchanging their money for goods with the purpose of evading the tax. The misappropriated rice is neither registered as the Government's rice, nor as private property, but as a delivery of rice is, nevertheless, forced from farmers. In other words, it is the rice allotted to the town or village authorities from the farmers which is the sum of the allotted amount of rice from the Government, or at least some percentage of it.
Such unfair rice distribution is being made illegally by the town or village officials. Not only the town or village authorities, but also the Government authorities have done as they pleased with such black market rice, as if it were surplus rice. They also have done with sake, cooking oil, and other foods just as they have done with rice. This is why they have consumed a considerable amount of food besides the distributed quota.
Farmers have perceived such injustice, but they have been obliged to do nothing about it. Therefore, they feel that it is absurd to deliver rice. (From an idealist in IBARAGI-Ken)
ITEM 3 Reconstruction of the State - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Jan 46. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
Recently, Allied Headquarters, which is now the motive power in the democratization of JAPAN, issued a directive ordering the Government to present weekly statistics on some important items, which the Headquarters will use in formulating appropriate measures for the rapid revival, and reconversion of Japanese economy. The items are price levels, wages, cost of living, consumption of electric power, index number of industrial production, housing, food, bank deposits, transportation, number of unemployed, amusements, strikes, etc.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 253 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
They believe that a thorough knowledge of conditions is a prerequisite for the formulation of policies. We feel that by this directive we were shown a phase of democracy toward which Allied Headquarters directs the Japanese Nation to progress. It is true that democracy is government-directed, through public opinion, but democracy is a rational government which deals with all social phenomena sympathetically and scientifically. I t was as much due to the divergence between the policies and actualities, as to the lack of knowledge of democracy on the part of the Nation, that permitted our Government to fall into the arbitrary hands of the militaristic, bureaucratic, and financial cliques.
For the future development of democratic JAPAN a scientific study of the fundamental structure of all fields of national activity is necessary. All Government policies, and all civil activities, should be founded on this principle. The necessity is most keenly felt in the fields covering [illegible]ina[illegible]e, industry, transportation, living conditions, labor, and so on. We have had official investigations and statistics. However, they have, been of little use, except to demonstrate bureaucratic dexterity. On the other hand the ZAIBATSU and other large enterprises have made private investigations which have functioned only to render service to the er[illegible]in pursuit of profit.
We believe that for economic democratization, an investigation of the economic potentialities of JAPAN is indispensable. How much data has been gathered with regard to the food problem, the coal problem and other important problems? It must be discouragingly small. From a political point of view, a reliable survey of public opinion will greatly help parliamentary politics. What are the popular feelings about the Emperor system or Constitutional reform? How much value does public opinion possess at this moment?
The special police, which was abolished because of its secret character, aimed to obtain political information as one of its principal functions. We should, eliminate despotism founded on police information. However, the examination of public opinion by a democratic method will do much toward the establishment of democracy. This is the reason why we earnestly advocate establishing an organization which will determine the facts about public opinion. Of course, its main mission would be the scientific investigation and study of problems covering all fields of politics, economy, society and culture. We believe that we shall be allowed to publish books and hold lecture meetings for the enlightenment of the masses. This organization should be of a purely popular character, independent of political parties, financial and industrial circles, and all other bodies and societies.
However, it is absolutely necessary for the same organization to be complete in its functions. If this organization is authorized to accept an inquiry from the Government, the value inquiry organization will be even greater.
The Government should establish, as soon as possible, agriculture foundation with the remainder of the money which had been donated for national defense. Moreover, the many inquiry organs which are connected with the Government should be assigned to this new organization. It would be most useful if the valuable books and the able experts, which those old organs possess, could become useful in creating a new JAPAN.
ITEM 4 The New Cabinet and The Popular Front - Yomiuri-Hochi - 15 Jan 46. Translator: K. Arai.
Full Translation:
The remedial measures of the Government, which have been caught in the cyclomic political directive, resulted in the Imperial investiture of
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 253 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
the three new Ministers in the SHIDEHARA Cabinet on the night of 13 January. Very few may be satisfied with this reshuffle of personnel.
Thinking of the administrators' lack of political ability, as well as old Prime Minister SHIDEHARA, we are anxious about the future of JAPAN. Probably the reorganization of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet may be based on the idea that it is merely an intermediate Cabinet formed prior to the forth coming general election.
The first aim in the establishment of democracy in JAPAN is to let the people live. The present Cabinet is too incompetent to tide over the current economic crises and to relieve the people from hunger and cold. It is quite presumptuous for such an incapable Cabinet to dare to try to carry the general election.
None of the people who have retired can be counted as a loss to this country. The people do not feel grateful for their efforts, but feel as if obstacle have been removed. However, we must not expect too much of the new Minister.
Though Home Minister MIISUCHI must be a veteran in the political world, he is [illegible]vative party-politician and he as Privy Councillar, did nothing during the time when the GUMBATSU was abusing its authority.
ABE, the new Education Minister, may be regarded as a real liberal but we wonder if [illegible]e has enough political capacity to clean up the feudalism among educational officials.
As for the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, SOEJIMA, we know nothing of him. We are overcome with apprehension as to how he will face the present food crisis.
We heard that NARAHASHI, the new Chief Secretary of the Cabinet, insisted on the wholesale resignation of the SHIDEHARA Cabinet. We wish him to ac[illegible]according to his convictions because he is a promising man.
The people are greatly disappointed in the Government. With NOZAKA's arrival in TOKYO, things lave taken a rapid turn favorable to the Communists and other parties which intend to form a people's front.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0253, 1946-01-17.
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