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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0338, 1946-01-31.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1051

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1051 Date: 31 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Reckless Revision of Rail-Fare - Yomiuri Hochi - 30 Jan 46. Translator: H. Arai.
Full Translation:
The Ministry of Transportation announced that the increase in passenger fares and freight charges on government railways will become effective on 1 March. The rate of the raise will amount to nearly 2.5 times in passenger fares and about three times in freight charges. We know that the Ministry took the new measure in order to cover its expanding expenses resulting from the current soaring prices. It desires to improve the treatment of the Ministry's employees and to repair and restore the rolling stock, buildings, and facilities damaged in the war. As a result of the projected raise, the Ministry of Transportation is expected to increase its annual income by approximately 3,400,000,000 yen for the 1946-47 fiscal year and to make up for the large excess of expenditures over revenue.
Did the Government consider the new raise in rail-fares from the viewpoint of price policy? It will result in upsetting the price policy and raise general commodity prices. In a sense, the raise in passenger fares and freight charges is a heavy taxation of the general public. Furthermore it will have a serious and evil effect upon general commodity prices.
For instance, as a result of the raise in passenger fares, many salaried-man, students and laborers will be severely affected. The cost of going to work by train is pretty great. Since in cities there are no houses in which to live, many war sufferers must go to their offices from the country districts in which they live. The Government has no housing program yet, and the construction of simple residences is making little progress.
It is very rash to raise rail fares without considering war sufferers or working people. We think that the irresponsible Government has no intention of checking inflation. Moreover, it may well be said that the Government has assumed the open and cruel attitude of letting the people eat if they can afford it or starve if they can't. Thus a low-salaried person has to pay more than half of his salary for rail-fare and this will affect his living condition. The Government often stated informally that with the formation of labor unions, laborers' demands higher wages would merely promote inflation. Nevertheless the Government itself is going to raise rail-fares, which will menace workers' living. How heedless and contradictory that is!

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 338 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The present rate on freight is one per cent of its price, but the raise will not only be a burden on the people, but also encourage rise in the prices of daily necessities etc. Communication facilities are related to economic activities. However high the railfare becomes, we must still utilize trains. For that reason, the bad influence upon national economy and the economic mentality of the people may be beyond imagination.
Considering the fact that the Ministry of Transportation decided on the measure by itself, we cannot help thinking how ignorant of economics and how negligent its officials are. The Ministry should democratically discuss the revision of rail-fares with representatives of the consumers, labor etc. We recognize the railway workers' efforts since the war. A great deal of rolling-stock was damaged during the war because of over-use and air-raids, and the transport capacity has become very low. Furthermore, as the food situation has become acute, and those, who travel to go to work increase, passenger congestion on all the Government railway lines has become terrible. Rather than decrease, the number of rail passengers will increase, unless the current food situation is not relieved.
The Government must not think in such a superficial way as to aim at the restoration of railway facilities and the improvement of the treatment of railway workers by charges on passengers. In order to relieve passenger congestion and have passengers travel comfortably, it is necessary to strive for the rationalization of management, the elevation of efficiency, the retrenchment of expenditures, to consult the convenience of passengers, to better the treatment of workers. These things should be done before the lack of balance between revenue and expenditure is made up at the expense of passengers. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Transportation has decided on a rash measure which outrages the original and public mission of railways without accomplishing its intended objective. This testifies to the reactionary character of the present Government.
ITEM 2 The Meeting of the People in HIBIYA - Asahi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: K. Nobunaga.
Full Translation:
We were not satisfied with the people's welcome meeting for NOZAKA, Sanzo held at the HIBIYA Park, because we could not feel the quickening of a revolution at the meeting. We debt whether the speakers and their speeches were studied carefully before the meeting was opened.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. KUROKI, Shigenori spoke with a chuckle as if he expressed his pleasure at the attendance.
Mrs. KAMICHIKA, Ichiko spoke to the crowd on "An illusion of the ignorant masses." xi representative, of the demobilized soldiers, an ex-lieutenant explained the 15 May and 26 February incidents. Next, HASUDA, Kenji spoke followed by FUJITA, Susumu who had instigated the masses to a warlike attitude in his speech on the sea battle off MAIAYA. Was he asked to speak in order to attract as many people as possible?
A speech was made by MUROFUSHI, Takanobu, who was once opposed to democracy or liberalism, surprised us beyond all expectation.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 338 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Despite such an insult, the audience only giggled. As soon as Mr. NOZAKA, Sanzo finished his speech, the great majority of the audience left the place instead of hearing other speeches.
Even serious speeches were apparently made to announce their political views on the general election. The object was to gain votes, but not to portray the real life of our people. We did not gather to hear the announcement of their political views, but to find persons who sympathize with our people. The great majority of the masses were trying to find sympathizers in the Social Democratic and Communist Parties.
Nevertheless, it was unfortunate for us that the meeting had so many comical factors. Almost all representatives for every democratic part seemed to be professional politicians or actors. This was a horrible comedy before the forthcoming crisis of starvation.
Mr. NOZAKA, Sanzo said, "Our party should be one which is loved by the masses." This remark should be reconsidered, I think. This remark seems to show that after all the Communist Party, like other parties is separated from the masses. In other words, this seems to imply the meaning of aristocracy.
The people's minds are on the verge of collapse. The more we believe in nothing, the more this mental anarchy becomes reasonable.
If the Emperor System collapses completely, our people will feel mental anarchy. As a result, if we should restore the "Emperor to his former power, where would we err?
From SHIMONO, Hiroshi, in TOKYO, a student of the TOKYO Imperial University.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0338, 1946-01-31.
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