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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0263, 1946-01-19.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0825

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 825 Date: 19 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Confused Growth of Small Political Parties and Confusion of Political Situation - Provincial Newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (NAGANO) - 16 January 1946. Translator: T. Naruse.
Full Translation:
Democratic politics is the parliamentary system; the parliamentary system is party politics. The great importance of the future responsibility of political parties in a democratic JAPAN can not be enphasized too much. The general election which is to become the basis of party politics is to be carried out before long under the new Election Law.
To participate in this coming general election, numerous political parties and associations have been formed or are being organized now. It is a boom in which one party is formed in the morning and one society is born in the evening. Excepting local political societies, which are now growing in various districts, the political parties, which have already declared themselves in the TOKYO area, number around 40, including the three parties, which form the main forces in the Diet. Although three or more persons have the right to organize a party, the growth of numerous political parties merely illustrates the confusion and unrest in the Japanese political situation.
The confusion of the political situation by the confused growth of small parties may be unavoidable in a defeated Nation. Already we can see previous instances in GERMANY and ITALY After the first Great European War, numerous small parties had grown in conquered GERMANY and they caused considerable political confusion. There are 70 or more small parties fighting desperately with each other, and continuing to meet in defeated ITALY. As the result of this we are told the political situation has been thrown into contusion. Although in JAPAN the growth of small parties has not progressed to the extent as in GERMANY or ITALY, it may be said that the situation is progressing along those lines.
If they have firm political ideas, platforms and policy, we have no objection, no matter how many parties are born. However, we are doubtful as to what differences we can find between their platforms and policies. For example, the food problem is one of the most important and urgent problem at present. Raising the ration to three go is a common desire. Therefore, every party has demanded three go distribution of rice. We have no objection to this demand, of course. The problem, however, is in what way can we realize this claim?
The platform or policy is of no use unless it is backed by a definite and concrete plan to put it into practice, although it may be external[illegible]grand and composed of elegant prose. Now with the general election in sight, the people must ascertain the truth and not be misled by their flowery words.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 263 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
On the other hand, we can see political parties which intend to claim the support of one class only. The people must realize that such parties are not political parties in the true sense. When a group declares itself as a political party, it must take domestic and foreign policies under the political idea of social solidarity.
We are not always against the growth of small parties. Even if it is a small party, if it starts with lofty principles and policies and is organized by new men who are incorruptible and energetic, it can expect a great growth. However, when we examine the motives for the confused growth and separation of new political parties, we cannot always say that they are genuine and impartial parties. In fact, there are some parties which have been organized for an ugly struggle for power between parties or merely for personal motives. Therefore, the parties which have been grown together and separated by such sen[illegible]eless reasons are apt to confuse and darken needlessly the Japanese political situation.
Now, many old party men, who were the flatterers of the military and financial cliques, have hastily repainted their sign-boards and have organized new parties, following the contemporary democracy. At this time of formation of political parties by new men as well as old politicians, we want to emphasize that the formation and separation of small parties is apt to confuse and complicate the political si[illegible]ation.
ITEM 2 The Establishment of Democratic Culture is Keenly Needed - Yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - 17 January 1946. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translations:
With the basis laid for a democratic revolution, various questions on the Nation's life and culture are awaiting their solution.
Where can we seek a spiritual oasis when looking bout the ruin of surrender? Theaters are burned, publication is almost at a standstill. People are prevented from enjoying movies, music, or performances. Japanese today hardly have any opportunity to appreciate art or to read books. During the war, the coercive militaristic, fascistic cultural policy suppressed every progressive cultural activity of our Nation. Censorship, based upon atrocious and reactionary ideologies, frustrated progressive development in all its phases.
The special police throughout this country were demobilized and engaged in the investigation of bookstores, street stalls, and even individual houses. As a result, all publications of even the slightest progressive leanings were confiscated and destroyed. The most reactionary elements in cultural circles of this country were encouraged to occupy all the important nests in the JAPAN Publication Association (NIPPON SHUPPAN KAI), Literally Patriotic Society (GENRON HOKOKU KAI), and Writer's Patriotic Society (BUNGAKU HOKOKU KAI).
These organizations forced the destruction and suppression of culture. Even the small groups of a few young men, favoring music, were discouraged. At last, almost all the men of culture with progressive leanings were imprisoned and. some killed in prison.
Where can we find the true cause for the weakness of Japanese culture which forces it to fade before the power of the ruling classes? This has happened before in our history. The reason may be found in the feudalistic, reactionary character of Japanese capitalism.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 263 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Since the MEIJI Era, democratic culture in this country took various shapes. Sometimes, it took the form of a demand for popular rights or of the demand for womens' equality, as in the case of the bluestocking coterie (SEITO SHA). During a certain period of the MEIJI Era, Europeanization became popular throughout the country. Further, during the period from the end of the TAISHO Era until the earlier part of the SHOWA, democratic movements flourished under the strong support of the general public. In this way, remarkable progress was made in the fields of proleterian literature, science, theatre, moving pictures, music and the fine arts.
As soon as the ruling classes, such as the military, capitalists, landowners and bureaucrats, plotted to make imperialistic agression, they were fanatically engaged in the suppression of culture.
Under these circumstances, the majority of the men of bourgeois culture, who had played an important role in Japanese cultural activities, joined with the reactionary groups under the so-called "Theory of racial development". Moreover, they challenged democratic culture under the pretext of cultural control. Thus they became pawns of the military leaders and bureaucrats. In the meantime, although the people should have been the defenders and upholders of democratic culture, the fact is that, due to the militaristic, bureaucratic and reactionary education since MEIJI Era, the people have been virtually disqualified from the new culture. So, up to the present, they have felt more of the effects of the new culture. That is the reason why they could hardly reject the compulsion of reactionary culture by the ruling classes. The people were pushed into a losing war by the privileged classes and the war was lost. They are now devoid of any recognized culture.
However, political and social freedom, which the Allied Powers insured to our Nation, stirred up the people for a democratic revolution. The problem of cultural revolution should be studied promptly as one of the matters relating to the democratization of JAPAN. Nevertheless, it is impossible to solve cultural problems through cultural movements alone.
Culture flourishes only when it is firmly based on public demand for political and economic freedom. The separation of culture from politic or from economics and sectionalism, accounts for the subjugation of the past Japanese culture by reactionary elements.
Stemming from the overwhelming majority of people, our cultural movement has its basis in the hands of the masses, who should be the actual foundation of democracy. Reactionary culture which the ruling classes are attempting to retain, should be thoroughly purged. Political criminals, who suppressed democratic culture jointly with the priviliged classes, should be expelled from society. All cultural organizations advocating democracy should join with all democratic parties, associations and other bodies in their struggle. Only through this process will a cultural popular front be formed.
Now it is up to our people to create a new culture beyond the old culture. This problem is being taken up by the Japanese Culture Union (NIPPON BUNKAJIN RENMEI), The Free Speech Society (JIYU KONWA KAI), and Democratic Scientific Association (MINSHU SHUGI KAGAKUSHA KYOKAI).
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0263, 1946-01-19.
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