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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0285, 1946-01-23.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0889

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 889 Date: 23 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Property Tax, New Cigarettes, and the Rise in Railway Rates - Provincial Newspaper Bocho Shimbun (Yamaguchi) - 18 Jan 46. Translator: K. Ketel
Full Translation:
For the time being the Government has bridged the critical situation by reorganizing the Cabinet. Setting aside judgment on this case, we admire the bold achievements of the Government. However, there are some odious points in these bold actions. These are the selling of the new cigarettes and the rise in the railway fares and rates. Both measures may have been carried out for certain reasons, but they are incomprehensible to us. The selling of the new cigarettes may have been carried out in order to equalize the insufficient supply and to halt black marketeering in cigarettes; the rise in railway fares and rates may be a measure for the restriction of passengers.
If these things are seen from such simple stand points, there is nothing to wonder about. However, some points seem very strange to us. Since the war endeed, sudden rises in prices which have occurred, have harmed our purchasing power and brought forth the present economic chaos. Of course, the fault lies in the Government's extravagant use of funds during and after the war. Therefore, the Government, because of its idleness and lack of policy should bear the responsibility for the present economic confusion. If the Government had taken adequate measures during and after the war, this chaos would perhaps have been partially checked.
Preventive measures against economic collapse are control over prices and the absorption of floating purchasing power. The Government has chosen the property tax plan as a measure for doing this. It aims at a total revenue of 100,000,000,000 yen with this tax program and expects economic tranquillity by stabilizing prices. This step is perhaps an appropriate measure for preventing the Nation from being driven into economic collapse. However, the Government is taking measures to encourage a rise in prices instead of stabilizing them. We are very much surprised by the sale of new cigarettes and the boosting of railway rates. Not only the Government but the entire Nation is suffering from these prices. Therefore, we demand fixed low prices.
The Government should know that cigarettes have become one of the necessities of life and are not longer a luxury. We do not long for such expensive cigarettes. If you are manufacturing the new cigarettes in order to alleviate the problem of the demand and supply, why don't you produce low-priced goods and equalize the level of demand and supply? If the balance of demand and supply is regulated, black marketeering would cease at once, and this would also influence the price of other commodities. We imagine that the present condition of the selling out of new cigarettes will negatively affect other commodities. The doubling of railway rates will only promote a rise in prices and will be undesirable in the economic world.
While the Government is endeavoring to lead the Nation [illegible]of economic chaos by imposing the property tax, it takes steps, on the other hand

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 285 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
which threaten our economy directly and indirectly. This is caused by the lack of co-operation between various Government agencies. This has caused the present disorder, and it will cause excessive grief to the new setup in JAPAN.
ITEM 2 Think Much of Specialized Knowledge - Provincial Newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (Nagano) - 18 Jan 46. Translator: K. Nobunaga
Full Translation:
The purge directive of the Supreme Headquarters has demanded a rebirth of JAPAN. Many new figures have become candidates for the coming general election. The members of the Diet henceforth should be really powerful administrators in a democratic administration. Therefore, we should fully study the qualifications of the candidates so that new men of ability may not be restricted from succeeding the older statesmen.
Up to the present, members of the Diet had been controlled by the militarists and bureaucrats. This was due not only to the absence of democracy but also the fact that some members lacked greatly in scientific or practical knowledge.
Let us take the following as an example:
Without doubt the JAPAN Electric Power Generation and Transmission Company Law is a notoriously bad law. It was the former two Ministers of communication who passed this bad bill despite the opposition of the Diet. One was NAGAI, Ryutaro, and the other TANOMOGI, Keikichi. The former said, "Electricity will be supplied as abundantly and cheaply as water and air." The latter said, "Electricity is of great military importance, and it will be possible to strike down airplanes in the future." This is truly ridiculous!
The electric enterprises, as you know, are divided into three departments - generation, transmission, and distribution. The generation and transmission works are complicated and require labor. Only at the time of their construction, after that, they have only to be inspected from time to time. Consequently, the electric enterprises are most active in the distribution division. The generation and transmission division was independently established as a large company, and every day directors hold unnecessary conferences. For this reason, electricity has decreased in quantity and become more expensive.
Recently, because of no other work, the Company has been devoting its efforts toward producing salt. A man of knowledge must understand that if the construction of power stations is necessary from the standpoint of national defense, it should be supplied with national funds. Why should Government subsidized companies be established?
We feel discouraged by the evil effects on industry and the tremendous annual waste of national subsidies. We cannot help being indignant at both Ministers who supported this measure and with the members of the Diet who passed it. Such leaders overestimated our national power and brought about our miserable defeat.
Among candidates for the Diet there are many new figures. We should thoroughly investigate whether such candidates are highly cultured, qualified as leaders in JAPAN, or men of profound knowledge. We want to point out that in the past we were inclined to think too much of statesmen who did not have technical or practical knowledge.
ITEM 3 Mild Property Taxes - Tokyo Shimbun - 20 Jan 46. Translator: I. Imai
Full Translation:
With regard to the property taxes, which hold the key to vital questions of the Japanese Nation, the Government should get the approval of not
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 285 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
only the Allied Forces but also of the Nation by just taxation bills, and it should refrain from its usual methods of deception.
The aims of the new taxes are: (l) the confiscation of profits gained by the war; (2) the reduction of the gap between the wealthy and the poor; (3) the restraint of the purchasing power of the general public; (4) the estimation of the income of the Government.
The first aim refers to the demands of the Allied Powers and the Japanese Nation; the second and third aim at the desires of the people; and the fourth aims at the wishes of the Government.
Here I have made tentative plans to fulfill the above aims as follows:
The increased properties of the war profiteers shall be equally confiscated 100 per cent. A special favor for higher rates of taxes which are less than double the taxable income is nothing but a deception by which the authorities try to protect the financial clique. Those who have the same thing as they had before the war, however, should not have to pay the taxes even if the their market value is some hundred times the old value. The government's plan is a method of sweating the masses of the people by pretending it has fallen into an illusion between money and assets.
The amount of the basis deduction of a member of one family shall be 20,000 yen, and according to a progressive rate, the rate of the tax per member should be set as high as 40 per cent for more than 100,000 yen, 95 per cent for more than 10,000,000 yen, and 99 per cent for more than 50,000,000 yen. Otherwise, the Government's mild rate of standard 70 per cent for more than 50,000,000 yen per family will only enable the old financial combines in closely connected groups to continue the control of JAPAN's economy. Payment in kind, such as stocks, land, and houses will, of course, be allowed, and the collected taxes shall be immediately transmitted to the national treasury.

The Government is bound to levy this tax on the public by lowering the exemption point. The plan to reduce 20 per cent from deposits is by no means fair. It cannot be overlooked that while the deposits of the general public are exempt from the tax to a certain extent, the money owned by the rich will increase, resulting in the devaluation of the money possessed by the public. It will be sufficient to force the people to place their money on deposit and to control the repayment, good examples of which are given us by some foreign countries. The levy of the tax on the masses is mistaking the means for the end and is a deception merely for conforming the monetary influence of the financial clique while impoverishing the general public.
The deficit of the annual revenue should be balanced with the income tax, The basic deduction for a member of one family should be fixed at 2,000 yen. The existing indirect tax, which does not reveal distinctly the burden laid upon each person, should be abolished altogether. If it would be insufficient, the Government could curtail expenditure or issue national loan bonds as the funds for enterprises. Since the MEIJI era, the financial combines have compelled the Government to protect them, widened the difference between rich and the poor, secured domination over the Nation by means of their monstary power, and finally invited the present defeat. The Nation should not neglect now to watch how the injustice of the ZAIBATSU is corrected.

I do not think the Government has drawn up the taxation plan without being conscious of the afore-mentioned deceptions. I wanted to make it clear who is responsible for the present policy of deception, whether it is Premier SHIDEHARA who is one of the ZAIBATSU members, the Finance Minister or one of the section chiefs. (Sent by Mr. TEPPITSU)
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 285 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (A) Propriety of Discussion on Birth-Control (B) Unknown War Profiteer - Yomiuri Hochi - 21 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta
Full Translation:
People are too nervous about birth-control, which is now under discussion. The defeat might have caused such a problem, but it seems to be an old story under the existing circumstances. The word "control" may have a negative meaning, but if we replace it with "adjustment," it will cause no more anxiety. One must not have a baby unless one is full of confidence of giving it good health and education. This should motivate parents who have a democratic thought.
Dr. Mary STOPES of ENGLAND warned 20 years ago, "It will do a nation fundamental harm if those mothers who are sick, ignorant or dishonored deliver babies one after another. One must be responsible for giving birth to a baby."
Margaret SANGER of AMERICA mentioned the following articles and has advocated birth control: (l) All mothers should have babies only when they have confidence that they are healthy and strong enough to bring up their babies in the way they should be raised; (2) we must protect mothers from death because of their declined strength caused by repeated pregnancy; (3) mothers should have sufficient time to enjoy maternal affection; (4) have a healthy baby in order to lower the infant mortality rate; (5) Limit the number of children as you like, and love them fully.
It will have no influence a determination of husband and wife if they have good sense whether the JAPANESE Government recognizes birth-control or not. However, it is a question of how we shall control birth.
As for this, a newspaper reported the other day that a definite plan was under discussion in the Welfare Office. It will arrive at some conclusion in the near future. It is true in any case that proper birth-control is effectual for a nation as MALTHUS has said. Present circumstances in AMERICA and ENGLAND prove it. (Letter from SATO, Ladeshi)
The words "was profiteer" will remind the general public of managers of munitions companies or factories, black market dealers, officials, and militarists, We must know, however, that there are some other profiteers who are unknown to people.
They are the managers of research institutes who gained profits as they liked during the war under the cloak of research. Here I will note what a student told me as an example. There was an institute called the ASIA Research Institute. The president of the Institute is a professor of a school under the direct control of the Home Ministry and is known in the academic world. He used to receive a sum of five figures every year out of secret service funds of the Foreign Office, the East ASIA Office and other Government offices since the CHINA Incident. Nevertheless he published only some scientific magazines, a map, and two pamphlets. We had some excellent students, whose salaries, however, were always under 100 yen. They never got a family allowance or a service allowance.
He disliked the fact that his institute was listed as a legally established juridical one, for it would require him to make reports. Living in a magnificent house and in luxury, how could he have managed to live or his salary alone? He did not publish even one book which would have brought him a considerable income. He could live luxuriously because he had a research institute. He planned to extort a large sum of money out of Government offices, taking advantage of the confusion at the end of t[illegible]war, and to enlarge the institute. However, it was not realized, and he finally made up his mind to dissolve the Institute for fear that he might be counted as one of the war criminals. The students were neither formally informed of the dissolution nor given a dissolution allowance.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 285 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
The ones to be pitied are the families of the students. The president of the Institute profiteers in the school where he is serving. Is it not right to call such a person a war criminal and war profiteer? He is a good example of an unknown war profiteer. There are many other persons like him. I think we should not overlook those persons. (Letter from KAMATA, Shigeo, a lecturer at the TOKYO BUIN[illegible]IKA University)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0285, 1946-01-23.
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