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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0339, 1946-02-01.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1056

call-number: DS801 .S82

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NO. 1056 Date: 1 Feb 46


ITEM 1 A Reflection upon Culture and Art - Provincial Newspaper - Kobe Shimbun (Kobe) - 22 Jan 46. Translator: K. Ketel.
Full Translation:
A nation which respects culture and esteems art will remain prosperous forever. We are not going too far in saying that culture is the basis of a peaceful nation and art is the index of a nation's civilization. Of course, there must be a limit in art as there are various types according to the appreciation of each individual. Setting this aside, we may say that the object of art is to produce paintings and writings and curios of appreciative value. The author hasn't the desire to discuss the values of various prominent works of art, but he intends to call special attention to our attitude towards man made works. Europeans and Americans respect us to a certain extent because we possess many curios and works of fine art, which are worthy of appreciation. However, what is our attitude towards our own works? Referrin[illegible]to our past attitude we will find many points on which we have to reflect. In the past, art values have been monetary values. All works of fine art have been monopolized by the wealthy classes so that the masses were excluded from taking part in the development of art. National treasures, famed throughout the world and varieties corresponding to these treasures have been kept hidden in the homes of wealth[illegible]men merely to satisfy their desire to call these goods heirlooms. I believe that the new property tax will only promote this tendency. The worldly desire of the possessor-class will flourish more and more like the plan of a broker who dreams of making a fortune at one full swoop. Works of first rate artists like SEIHO, DAIKAN and KANSETSU have gained world prominence and it is said that even small works by them are worth more than 10,000 yen. We are surprised that even bogus works of these artists have been sold at illegal prices varying between 1000 and 2000 yen. During the war the Art Treasure and Memorial Preservation Committee was organized in AMERICA under the direct control of the President. It is said that this committee made efforts to save certain works of art and historical relics from destruction on both the western and the eastern fronts. Upon the advice of the executives of this committee, chairman ROBERTS and Dr. WARNER of the BOSTON Art Museum, our ancient cities of NAPA and KYOTO were not bombed. Many famous works of arts and significant historical memorials have remained safe, which clearly shows that the American people are interested in art and respect culture. We can only be deeply a shored of ourselves. Ambassador PAULEY recently stated that AMERICA is not inclined to take Japanese treasures and works of art of high cultural value as reparations. "We express our heartfelt thanks to the kindness of the American people and we must remember this and exalt our knowledge and interest in culture and art. Therefore, I keenly feel that it is necessary that these works of art be protected by the people themselves. For that purpose these curios, paintings and writings, now in the hands of the wealthy, should be opened to the public. We must first frustrate the arbitrary ideas of the wealthy. We must investigate the places where these treasures are kept by putting into effect a property tax and controlling the circulation of these goods.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 339 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
In KOBE the HAKUTSURU and IKENAGA art museums, which used to be opened for a short time every year, escaped the air-raids and fortunately many rarities and fine works were saved. Our main hope is not only the future[illegible]activity and development of arts. If we reflect upon our culture we must realize that the agencies by which we can expose art to the public are too insignificant and trifling compared with those in EUROPE and AMERICA. We are deeply surprised by the lowness of our cultural level. In the UNITED STATES there are national, state and municipal art museums and even the universities are well-equipped with art museums. The Americans take a scholarly attitude towards art and their appreciation of it is very high. History is now reaching its greatest turning-point. We keenly feel that for the re-establishment of JAPAN we need to be much more civilized and that our attitude towards and interest in culture and art must become more profound.
ITEM 2 The Imperial Family as the Head Family of the Japanese - Provincial Newspaper - Bocho Shimbun (Yamaguchi) - 25 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
Full Translation:
The Emperor System has never been so much discussed as it is today. With the general election and the reform of the constitution in sight, the discussion will become more serious among the people as well as amon[illegible]those concerned with politics. This problem is closely related with the reform of the Imperial Constitution, and it is imagined that it will be discussed at the coming session of the Diet. This expectation caused the Communist Party to take a stand against the Emperor System. Other parties, too, are likely to be struggling to obtain public sentiment.
The Communists say that whether or not the Imperial Family remains as it has been, should be decided by the people themselves after the Emperor System is abolished. This opinion is indeed democratic in theory. A similar opinion is expressed by a group called the Private Society for the Study of the Constitution. This party denies the sovereignty of the Emperor saying that the sovereignty of JAPAN depends upon public opinion. Like the Communists, the members of this party claim that accession to the throne should be subject to the approval of the Diet and that the Emperor should primarily carry on national observances on behalf of the people. This would seem to limit the significance of the Emperor.
The opinions which are in contrast to the opinions of the Communists and the members of the Society for the Study of the Constitution are seen in the plan announced by the Liberal Party. This plan holds that the Emperor is the superintendent of sovereignty and admits of the unbroken line of Emperors. The Liberals say that the Emperor has no legal and political responsibility because the nation itself holds the sovereignty. This may be similar to the opinion of the Social-Democrats, The latter however would curtail the powers of the Emperor and put him in an honorary position.
The Progressive Party takes its stand against the Social-Democrats and the Liberals, advocating the sovereignty to be placed in the hands of the Emperor. This opinion is almost equivalent to that of Minister of State MATSUMOTO who is in charge of the study of the reform of the Imperial Constitution. MATSUMOTO says that the Emperor retains the sovereignty. He seems to have its opinion that the sovereignty should be handed down to the Emperor. Now that these opinions are arousing discussions among the people, Premier SHIDEHARA disclosed his opinion to the press association as follows: "I think that a constitutional monarchy has to be established, but I have no objection to adopting democratic policies." These words express the opinion of the Government
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 339 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
and also tell the people what they should think of the Emperor System.
As for the Emperor system and the reform of the Constitution, each person has his own opinion. However, according to the survey by the Public Opinion Survey Research Institute (YORON CHOSA KENKYU JO), there are 2031 supporters of the Emperor system against 192 opponents. Among the many minor political parties, 150 support the Emperor system against four opposition parties. We think that these facts indicate the general opinions of the people.
Our thought of respecting the Imperial Family was not disciplined by the militarists. We have traditionally respected the Imperial Family as the head family of our race. The people did not have impure hearts, and there would have been a chance that a democratic monarchy could have been built. However, the militarists, who recently became so powerful, separated the people from the Emperor and led our country into an unexpected situation. We admire the sincerity of the people, who never forget to respect the Imperial Family even though they face the decline of their nation. We also wish that a peaceful JAPAN will be created by this sincerity of the people.
ITEM 3 Reflection on the war crime trial - Provincial Newspaper Kyoto Shimbun (Kyoto) - 26 Jan 46. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Full Translation:
Recently a special statement was issued by SCAP to the effect that the International Military Tribunal for the Far East will be established in TOKYO. All the important war-crime suspects, including TOJO, will be tried here and their crimes be clearly brought to light. In fact, almost all the former leaders, who were at the height of their power during the war by seizing control of the army and the Government, are now going to be tried in a court of law. This is unprecedented in our history. Already, General YAMASHITA has stood trial in the PHILIPPINES, and was sentenced to death. At the war crimes trial, held since the end of last year, TSUCHIYA was sentenced to life imprisonment, YURI to death and KOJIMA to life imprisonment. Thus, all these criminals have been given the most severe or almost equally severe penalty. However, it is a matter of course that the death sentence or life imprisonment be meted out to those whose criminal offenses have been made clear through examination. Even in case of the most important war criminals, it is believed that this policy will be observed to the end.
As was seen in the trials of war criminals at YOKOHAMA, justice in democratic nations is meted out in an absolutely fair manner and the personality of the accused is respected to the end. Compared with the existing concept of justice entertained by the Japanese, it impresses us as being rather strange. Even against those men whose crimes are almost as clear as day, many witnesses are summoned for examination. The trials are carried on with their testimony, and every effort is made to collect and arrange evidence to find the true causes of the crimes. There is a proverb which condemns the offense and not the perpetrator. Now, we can understand the true meaning of this. The lethargy of the people brought on by the defeat was inclined to prejudice us, with the result that we were apt to overlook the crime in the hatred of the criminal. Hasn't there been any case in which our judgement in criminal offenses has been shaken by the feeling of brotherly love? Of course war criminals are our countrymen. However, this is all the more reason for us to emphasize blaming them for their crimes and to examine the causes.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 339 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Militarism, chauvinism, feudalism and egoism, all those factors came together to create the current of the times, into which we, the people, as well as the war criminals were dragged. We pursued this hopeless course, which was destined to end in defeat, unconsciously in certain cases and in other cases through lack of power to do otherwise. Though we hate and condemn the offenses of the war criminals, we should at the same time blame and correct ourselves. Trials of war criminals are certain to bring to light their guilt. We should reflect on our own mistakes, taking each trial as a lesson to us, and exert our best efforts toward wiping out those abominable offenses all over the world. As a result, we shall be enabled to have the courage to make our way and seek the achievement of permanent peace in the world. In a fair court the sentence is bound to be strict and rigid. We the people should not remain merely as onlookers. Atonement should also be made by the people in general.
ITEM 4 (A) The Deceit of Administrative Adjustment (B) A Break in the Deadlock - Tokyo Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Ebiike.
Full Translation:
The fundamental policies of administrative readjustment by the present Government as disclosed on 19 October are as follows: (1) innovations in administrative organization; (2) encouragement of official discipline; (3) enforcement of proper reward and punishment; (4) increase of administrative efficiency; and (5) reduction of governmental officers by 50 per cent.
However, in surveying the progress of those problems we find that item one (Innovation of organization) is carried out only for the purpose of rearranging the reduction of personnel. In addition, as regards items two and three, there is no sign of their being studied. Moreover, judging from the fact that Chief Secretary of the Cabinet NARAHASHI, a former secretary of the Administrative Arrangement Committee and now its committeeman, frequently advocates the strict enforcement of official discipline at the Vice-Ministers' Conference, we have come to think that the Government itself has already forgotten the systematization of official discipline and proper reward and punishment, as stated in the governmental policies of administrative readjustment.
Red-tape as well as hard and fast rules must first of all be abolished in order to put into practice item four (Increase of administrative efficiency) and for that purpose the Public Service Regulation must be revised on a large scale. As for the last item (Reduction of officers by 50 per cent) most ministries have reduced their officers by less than 50 per cent, and the Communications Beard is said to have been cut down to less than ten per cent. Thus, the administrative adjustment about to be disclosed is going to prove quite ineffective.
When the fundamental policies of this administrative adjustment were disclosed, we did not especially oppose or agree because we knew that mere administrative adjustment cannot be successful so long as the governmental offices are all monopolized by the bureaucrats, and the 80 year olds of officialdom, even if all the governmental policies were carried out and the officials reduced by 90 per cent. Just as we imagined, the government and the bureaucrats did net offer their posts to the people. Such a patched up administrative adjustment cannot but end in trickery. Moreover, the bureaucrats seem to be trying to obscure their war responsibility by such sham administrative adjustment.
The government and the bureaucrats complain that recently there has been a tendency to reproach them excessively; but it is natural that those
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 339 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
who betray their open promises should be reproached, so long as humanity demands justice.
A Break in the Deadlock
It is obvious that the present Government is not competent enough to solve the impending crisis. But it may also be a plain in fact that there is almost no difference as to whether a new intermediate cabinet or a party government is formed, since the cabinet would consist of the same party members as the old cabinet. There is no way left except that a new and truly democratic party should take the reins of administrative power.
At present, however, no democratic parties have the actual power to take charge of the situation, nor is the opportunity ripe as yet. Also these parties do not have any concrete policy which will bear immediate fruits, and, some of them are quite divided. Therefore in case one party assumes the coalition, opposition elements will develop and hinder the progress of administration. Hence, everybody believes that the only way to break the present deadlock is by a union of all parties.
The social Democratic Party and the Communist Party were organized by their own basic necessities and beliefs gained through many years of experience and strife. Accordingly, the united front of both parties is never so simple a matter as commonly thought from an impartial standpoint. Both parties, however, should co-operate to solve this pressing question, because the thing eagerly demanded by the people at present is neither socialism nor communism but food. When they can abate the impending crisis, then they may advocate their own standpoint based upon their own belief. There is no reason why they cannot be reconciled, considering the present case of the Chinese Nationalists and Communists, both of whom have fought for the last 20 years.
In this connection we cannot but be greatly concerned with the meeting of the Social Democrat's Central Executive Committee on 29 January and the corresponding movement of the Communists.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0339, 1946-02-01.
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