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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0283, 1946-01-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0884

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 884 Date: 22 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Don't Let History Take a Wrong Course - Provincial Newspaper Kochi Shimbun (Kochi) - 17 Jan 46. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
According to HEGEL's dialectics, history develops by assuming the course of thesis, antithesis, synthesis. What was justifiable in the past or is so even in the present politically, economically, or culturally, cannot escape from being rejected in the future because of changes in social conditions due to the progress of the human race. Therefore, when the negative, reactionary influence (antithesis) becomes rationalized, conditions will be stabilized for the present. As it was, feudalism was rejected and capitalism took its place. The latter, however, is destined to be expelled and replaced by another system (antithesis).
The current democratic upheaval can be considered along the same line of reasoning. This is the materialistic interpretation of history which applies Hegelian dialectics to economics and sociology. This interpretation gives us many good suggestions for the interpretation of the current Japanese political, economic, and cultural transition.
Our old political leaders have been removed from the scene by the SCAP directive. This is a most significant incident, equalling in gravity the MEIJI Restoration. A new influence is about ready to appear.
It is the same in economics. The ZAIBATSU, central and local, has almost been dissolved. Doubtless, even the levy of a new property tax could not destroy it completely, but, in the future, industrialists will find it difficult to fatten themselves under the restraints of the Labor Union Law which was passed at the last session of the Diet. There has been a recent nationwide tendency for workers to demand three or four hundred per cent wage boosts. Moreover, workers are demanding reduction of working hours. If capitalists should satisfy all employees demands, business could not escape from complete ruin. Thus, employers and employees would inevitably be pitted against each other without any possibility of compromise.
As everyone well knows, old educators are also retiring from the scene, as are men of the old schools of culture. But, compared with other institutions, the purge has not so far been thorough enough in the educational and cultural fields although there have been some voices demanding clarification of war responsibility in press circles.
What has become of the question of the removal of militaristic educators? Nothing has been said about solutions. Recently, the question of responsibility has arisen around the head of the Education Section of our prefecture. Old leaders are inclined to hush

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 283 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
up matters without doing anything about them except in response to SCAP directives. It is quite clear that our old leaders in every field are eager to perpetuate their own old interests at a time when JAPAN is undergoing revolutionary changes. The MEIJI Restoration is the cause, of the present defeat, thanks to the vestiges of its conservative influences.
In regarding JAPAN from a broad perspective, it is evident that the Nation, particularly the major cities, is on the verge of collapse more tragic than that in GERMANY after the first World War. We do not doubt that a new class is now asserting itself, but with conditions as they are, we are in danger of committing other errors after the withdrawal of the occupation troops now stationed here. An undesirable plant should be cut when it begins to grow. We hope that our nation will take this to heart.
ITEM 2 Speed The Demonstration of Concrete Policies! - Jiji Shimpo - 20 Jan 46. Translator: H. Arai.
Full Translation:
We hear that Minister without portfolio MATSUMOTO would like to present the Constitutional Revision Bill before an extraordinary session of the Diet immediately after the forthcoming general election. If the SHIDEHARA Cabinet shares his views, they must quickly publish at least the gist of the Bill and prepare themselves for taking means to make the will of the Nation and every political party's attitude towards the revision problem clear. It would be contrary to the principles of democracy for the Cabinet to lay the Bill suddenly before the Diet without such preparations.
From a democratic point of view, we wonder if not only the Government but also the political parties leave something to be desired in the demonstration of their respective policies. Of course, the major parties have issued their own policies, which are quite abstract, impractical, and similar.
That is nothing new. In the old SEIYU-Kai and MINSEI-To, while they were denouncing each other there was little difference between their policies. However, some of these fanciful policies would arouse public opinion in an election, because at that time each party had its own traditions, and people had a regard for the careers of partymen. The present situation, however, is quite different. The arrest of war criminal suspects and the cyclonic purge directive have not only cleared away old powerful politicians from the sphere of election, but have had an important effect upon the core of the political world. Consequently 80 or 90 per cent of the candidates who will run for the coming general election, are expected to be new men. Furthermore, all the parties themselves are fresh. Since the Progressive and Liberal Parties have inherited some customs of the age of the old SEIYU-Kai and MINSEI-To, their political characteristics are generally clear. The practical ability of the Social Democratic Party, though it has a long past, and that of other parties is unknown. Therefore, the Nation is stupified in the face of the general election, which is to control the fate of JAPAN.
The key to the removal of those confused conditions is the manifestation of detailed and concrete programs. In a time of uncertainty in politics, the mission of political parties consists in demonstrating
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 283 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
their detailed solutions to the problems at hand. In this view we feel that the platform issued by the Social Democratic Party at the Central Executive Committee Meeting on 16 January, was obscure.
Our national life is now in a precarious situation. For that reason politicians must attach importance to the establishment of a new JAPAN in the future. First must be methods of stabilizing our distressed national life. In this respect women are expected to excercise effectively their newly granted suffrage. Considering these circumstances, we desire every political party to express its detailed and concrete policies in plain language.
ITEM 3 Remarks in Wage Increases - Asahi Shimbun - 21 Jan 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
It goes without saying that the raising of wages is necessary under present inflationary conditions. The wage level, which was checked during the war, has became entirely outmoded by the remarkable rise of commodity prices since last fall. Now, the establishment of a wage system on a rational basis is ardently desired. Lately, labor disputes have frequently occurred in various districts that are demanding an increase in wages, and their demands have almost all been accepted. This fact can be regarded as the proof of the propriety of wage increases, although the current social conditions makes it possible to argue otherwise.
We must not, however, pass over the two major problems relative to this issue. The first concerns the standard point of wage level. Careful deliberation is needed for a decision to set the wage level at a standard or minimum. This has become the general demand of employees in accordance with the formation of labor unions. In many cases, at present, the wage level is decided at random, but it is indispensable for restoring the equilibrium among the commodity prices, to set a wage level by scientific methods. The original plan of "the code of standardization of the price system and of the control over prices", drafted by the Finance Ministry, is considered correct in its measures aiming to set a wage level by calculating a living cost of laborers on the basis of the price of rice. Is this plan so easy to be carried out?
The price of rice for consumers, fixed at 75 yen per koku, is quite absurd. There is no guarantee for maintaining this price hereafter. If the price is finally fixed at this level, the fund to supply the difference in price for producers and consumers will become enormous. It is a serious question whether or not such expansion of the fund should be allowed. So the price of rice must be studied thoroughly for its rationality and stability before fixing the price of rice as a basis for calculation.
Then, the wage level thus sou[illegible]ht will duly be very high. This can be imagined from the fact that the minimum living cost of wage laborers was estimated at 140 or 150 yen a month during war-time, when the prices were far cheaper, according to the report of the Labor Investigation Board. It is a fundamental problem for future Japanese economy whether or not such large-scale raising of wages can be allowed because our country will depend very much on the development of export trade for its existence and prosperity, and not just for the import of food. For the above purpose, it is necessary to take
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 283 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
the advantage over European and American goods by a low level of prices. This does not mean that we hope to practice widespread dumping of goods as was done in former times. We think that the measures for this purpose have a deep value in the subject which will be considered next.
Second, it is feared that the general increase of wages might bring about rapid growth of inflation. This can be considered for two reasons. One reason is the increase of purchasing power caused by high wages will promote the progress of inflation. The other is the effect the wage increase will have on cost of production of commodities, and bring about a general rise of prices in a vicious circle. It is not clear whether or not the Ministry of Finance is confident of preventing the vicious circle and rise in prices. We cannot, however, have an optimistic view in this regard.
If the purchasing power, increased by high wages, directly affects the increase of production, there is not always a danger of promoting the progress of inflation. At present, however, there is little hope for in the reopening of industrial production which has been suspended, so the wage increase cannot be a spur to the reopening of production. Instead, it will consume some amounts of fictitious capital possessed by enterprises. The participation of laborers in management, or labor's control over production, still has the significance of tactics in a dispute, rather than of individual importance. To prevent the commodity prices from rising, we are required to check the rise of original cost, by means of the improvement and renewal of the methods of production.
To our regret, we see that the managers of production are absorbed in making a fortune, at one stroke, by speculation and commercial means rather then making profit by ordinary means. These are prime causes of the development of inflation. If such conditions continue, only self-destruction awaits Japanese economy. The defeat in the world market, due to the high cost of production aforementioned, is nothing but a manifest phenomenon in the process of the self-destruction of Japanese economy. Facing such danger, we want to point out the importance of the duty and responsibility of labor unions.
Wage increases are obviously fair, under the current situation. At the same time, however, laborers should positively contribute to the renewal of the methods of production, and to the improvement of productivity, by propelling the reopening of production, with the labor union as the leader. This is the way to show the substantial significance of the participation of labor unions in management, or their control over production. The problem of the form of participation or control by labor unions must be studied by both the capitalists and laborer. Only by such steady movements, as mentioned above, can the position and popularity of laborers be elevated enough to become a nucleus in the work of democratic reconstruction.
Meanwhile, the capitalists should realize that they are now becoming their own grave-diggers. The only way for them to survive is by devoting themselves to the reopening of production, against the clashing attacks of laborers. By doing so, their position and part in the democratic revolution can be assured. In fact, their behavior is all against our expectations, We hope that the progressive capitalists will show an indomitable will, strong enough to encourage a spirit of production, at the risk of wage increases, without regarding it as a mere loss of profit.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0283, 1946-01-22.
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