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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0257, 1946-01-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0811

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 811 Date: 18 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Let the People First Have Civilization - Provincial Newspaper-Kahoku Shimp ( Sendai ) - 10 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
The fundamental SCAP directives are, without exception, aimed at vital points on Japanese tradition. How are they accepted by the people? Can we leave the old leaders to face alone, in confusion, the attacks of the directives?
Democratic policies do not restrict people. They are valuable because of [illegible]sent and not because of form. The feudalistic institutions which have prevented the natural growth of the Japanese are being removed one by one. Then what will give the people the intelligence and power to create a new and democratic Nation?
Early in the MEIJI era, FUKUZAWA, Yukichi, wrote an essay on civilization, stating that the elevation of intelligence standards of the people is of fundamental importance in developing a civilization. The former leaders of our country, however, organized a political world with feudalistic absolutism as its center, with out understanding the spirit of the MEIJI Restoration. It is very significant that the Imperial Covenant, consisting of five articles, was mentioned at the very beginning of the Imperial Rescript issued on New Years Day. The intellectual class of our country has been fond of theoretical disputes, but they must be practical now. To build a civilization in a nation means to elevate living standards, both spirtiually and materially.
We shall not discuss the decline of moral culture in JAPAN during the war, but it is doubtful whether conditions had reached the standards of democratic civilization even before the war. Life should develop materially, too. There is only one railway in TOHOKU District, proving that this district is not civilized. A reform of the farm land system will certainly revolutionize feudalistic farming districts.
Farmers spend the winter months at manual home-work, and cutting trees for fuel. It is indeed unscientific. Farmers are busy. They have no tine to think. They have neither capital nor wisdom. The authorities should give then democratic civilization suitable to their occupation.
Will democracy grow naturally under present circumstances? Of primary importance is the leading of the people toward a civilized life. Give then a chance to think and judge for themselves. Democracy will never be developed among people who have no time to think for themselves.
ITEM 2 On High Prices - Mainichi Shimbun - 14 Jan 46. Translator: K. Nobunaga.
Full Translation:
It is no wonder that mikan is valued at a yen and half per kanme. One kanme of mikan can be exchanged for one she of rice which is valued at a yen and a half. If farmers want to get one kanme of mikan with

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 257 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
money, they must pay what Corresponds to the value of more than 20 sho of rice. Therefore, they will not want to purchace it.
A farmer who cold 50 bales of rice to the Government said, "I received 3,000 yen for a delivery of 50 hales of rice. If I sold them at black market prices I would get 1,000 yen per bale or 3,000 yen for three bales alone. So, the remaining 47 bales were merely gifts."
Very few farmers are so generous as to force a smile after making a gift of 47 bales of rice. Therefore, the above mentioned remarks on mikan may guide the minds of many farmers.
Village officials urge us to deliver rice, but they must reconsider the matter nationally. The delivery prices of rice for one koku, 40 Kan (160 Kg) are valued at no more than 160 yen, making the price of one kan only four yen. On the other hand, markets in TOKYO bought sweet-potatoes, a substitute food, at five yen per kan. The prices of radishes; or carrots are more than ten yen and burdock is valued at more than 20. Therefore, it is quite absurd for us to make a delivery of rice, and, naturally, poor deliveries result, It is exceedingly foolish that the Government control the price of rice, but has lifted price control of vegetables and fish.
It is unreasonable to enforce the delivery of rice without raising its price to a degree which will enable the rice-growing farmers to live confortably, or without lowering the prices of other good to balance that of rice. Bonito is valued at 200 yen for one kan, and rice at one and a half yen per sho. This is proof of the slight consideration given to a staple food. Rice, which is indispensable to us, is valued at one and a half yen for one sho, while ten cigarettes called "Peace" are valued at seven yen. I wonder what the Government is thinking about.
In JAPAN, at present, the black market, or unrestricted prices, is now governing the sale of [illegible]. Therefore, rice can never be satisfactorily delivered at the present ridiculously cheap prices. It is asking too much of us to sell only rice cheaply. To get better delivery of rice it is necessary to remove the anomaly of two price systems due to inflation. Consideration for our compatriots should not be compulsory, and a forced consideration is of no avail.
ITEM 3 "Fanning the Sun with a Peacock's Feather" - Tokyo Shimbun - 15 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
The decision to institute three new taxes, which are expected to obtain a revenue of 100,000,000,000 yen, is certainly a remarkable one. However, it is not correct to criticize new taxes by discussing their meaning merely as a source of revenue. What effect will these taxes have upon the economic conditions in present JAPAN? Will they be able to prevent inflation and open a way for a return to normaley? These facts must be thought of first in criticizeing and carrying out taxation. When we criticize the taxes, considering these factors, the decision has many faults. One example is the fact that the property tax will not be levied on properties valued at less than 20,000 yen. There is an amount to be deducted according to the size of a family, and all those who poses properties valued at 30,000 yen or more will be taxed.
Taxes are also levied on life insurance. Those who are insured for 10,000 or 20,000 yen must pay taxes accordingly, even though their incomes are insufficient. That is why the Socialist Party called the new taxation a taxation on the masses. It is necessary, since taxes are useful in the reconstruction of a nation; however, we can not overlook the fact that the low exemption point caused people to purchase items at black market
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 257 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
prices. This was done in order to evade taxation and, consequently, stimulated inflation, thereby causing the taxes to have a negative rather than a positive effect. It is not difficult to spend 10,000 or 20,000 yen these days, and one can easily evade a tax by street shopping. This is one of the main cause of prosperity through tax evasion.
We must consider exemption of 10,000 yen, and below, in the increased property tax in a similar manner. Property is believed to have increased since April of 1940. If a man saved 1,500 yen a year, he has already saved 10,000 yen. One who has thus saved money honestly will be thought of as a war profiteer, even though he has merely followed the direction advocated by the Government. Those who are honest are going to become the scapegoats.
Inflation is increasing, and a revenue of 100,000,000,000 yen may be mere eye-wash. We will not be able to overlook it is these new taxes faver only the rich.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0257, 1946-01-18.
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