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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0362, 1946-02-05.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1141

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1141 Date: 5 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Mental Attitude Toward General Flection - Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Feb 46. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
The date of the coming general election has already been decided. The electoral campaigns will become active in March, but February may be considered the preliminary period. At this juncture, there are many things for us to ponder upon.
Needless to say, the coming election has the significance of deciding JAPAN's destiny. We the candidates or voters, should have a serious attitude towards the election. Nevertheless, the whole nation seems to be lacking in enthusiasm. Perhaps this is to be ascribed to the fact that the time is not yet fully ripe, for a democratic election. Particularly, it is to be regretted that all political parties have so far failed to clarify their attitude, they should make public their policies in regard to the various current problems confronting JAPAN, if they want to win the confidence of the nation. At present, we cannot even see clearly what each political party is thinking about the important current issues. For instance, the proletarian parties advocate the people's control of food, but fail to clarify, the method of control or distribution. As for the Emperor System, we cannot see clearly why and how the system is to be maintained or if it is to be supported at all. The communist Party has so far failed to touch upon the question of the Imperial Household although it demands the abolition of the Emperor System itself. Politicians should know that the masses are concerned about these matters.
At the same time, the people should not forget to take a cautious attitude towards every candidate, for some politicians abuse the Government for its lack of policy, attack the capitalists' oppression or undervalue the importance of the delivery of rice to the Government in order to flatter farmers, while they themselves have no measures to alleviate the pressing problems. Such candidates should be shunned by all means. In short, we should bear in mind that the coming election is a good opportunity for JAPAN's re-birth.
ITEM 2 Doubtful Government Synthetic Program - Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Feb 46. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
Measures to fight the increasingly vicious inflation in JAPAN cannot be planned by the Finance Ministry alone, but at the same time, the Finance Ministry cannot be justified in ignoring the increasing issue of bank notes, amounting to two hundred million five hundred thousand yen per day. The Government is reported to be hastening the establishment of a synthetic program to combat inflation, but its outcome is questionable. As it is, the recent revision

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 362 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
of railway rates is indirect conflict with the program. Presumably, the Government cannot defend itself against the adverse comments to the effect that it is encouraging inflation.
There is a pressing need at present for establishing an all-over program. Yet it seems that the Government itself is acting as if to impede the synthetic plan to be drawn up. Surely, this is the very cause of bringing a nation to ruin. The Government itself is helping to accelerate the inflationary process.
ITEM 3 Six Letters concerning books - Asahi Shimbun - 4 Feb 56. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
The recent shortage of books has resulted in mental starvation for the leading public. Although since the end of the war the publishing world has become somewhat active, publication is limited to opportunistic magazines or leaflets. Those books which contain the universal truth and can quench the thirst of earnest students of truth are not to be found in the bookstores. Some library works or complete series appear sometimes in bookstores or even at news stand, however there are few who are fortunate enough to secure them. I wish I could read freely books from the list of classified books even by means of a lending library.
Paper, which during the war was controlled by the Government as "one of our armaments," has row been allocated more freely. But it has been used so unsystematically that in view of the limited supply nothing adequate can be furnished to the public. At this juncture I urge the leaders of the publishing world and the keepers of bookstores to take a more positive attitude toward the proper and effective use of paper to strive for an increase in the publication of good books. In addition, an increase in number of libraries and wider circulation of their books is likewise desirable.
At the same time the lovers of books who are fortunate enough to have their own libraries should pave the way for the establishment of such organizations as will enable the reading public mutual utilization of their books. This step I believe can be realized by a system of schools or companies or areas. (By NAPUSHIMA, Saburo, a repatriated student, TOKYO.)
II A Dearth of Cultural Material.
I believe good books which will furnish material for culture and civilization should be published in rapid succession under the direction and support of the Government. It is beyond my comprehension the number of useless books now on sale which contain discussions of problems in the Orient. No good books treating culture in a serious manner are to be found in any bookstore. In case one does find some worthwhile books they are priced exorbitantly high and in addition require reference books. They are out of reach the average book-lovers. How does the Government view the fact that these books on culture are in the hands of the black market dealers? The Government however is quite alert to the dilemma since it has declared that the cultural and moral elevation of the people is necessary. Nothing is more contradictory than this. (By SENAGA, Ryozaburo, a student of KEIŌ University, TOKYO)
III Single Copies Which Can Not be Replaced
We do not demand the opportunistic books which are too prevalent at present. What we long for are real books which are filled with
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truths. Despite our need, these good books are beyond our reach because they are being utilized by the shopkeepers as inducements for trade and have labels as "Single copy only." The priveleged position of these books in the shops should be removed by such steps as reprinting or increased publication, and should be put for sale as new books. How advantageous it is for the reading public and how profitable to the traders to publish good books with creditable contents in this age of material dearth and difficulty in publication rather than turning out questionable books!
(By KAKISOE, Mitsuhiro, unemployed, TOKYO)
IV For the Farming Villages
There have been numerous youths who have asked me to lend them my books which were reduced greatly in number through destruction by fire. Even though we can not realize a circulating library as is prevalent in AMIRICA, we can hope at least for the establishment of a library in such institutions as the primary schools. It will serve the need for forming a reading habit while attending schools and at the same time will serve for the correction of the idea that farmers do not need to read books. Youths should be positive in this attempt.
I believe there have been many people who felt disgusted at the prevalence of magazines filled with nonsensical humour and published for mere enjoyment. Books written by TERADA, Torahiko or by OSHI[illegible]A, Pyokichi will indeed be a great help to the youth who are going to make a fresh starts .YANAGIDA, Kunio will surely enlighten the youth in farming and fishing and mountain villages by the vi[illegible]tue of his books. Reprints of these instructive books on a high level is to be hoped for along with the publication of new good books. Youths in rural districts are by no means satisfied with only story-telling books or easy-going novels. They are moved by "The Biography of Mrs. Curie" and upon reading "YUKI (Snow)" they change their views of nature. (By HORI, Fukiko, unemployed YAMAGATA)
V Books Sold in Combination with Other Books.
The number of books sold at the stores and shops has greatly increased since the end of the war. Good books however can in most cases only be sold together with other books. For example a cheap edition of the IWANAMI library can not be bought without having to buy a map for five yen or a calender costing three yen. This is more than we can bear. The traders declare that this method of selling books is due to the distribution organizations which are blamed for the introduction of this method. Is this true? If it is true the immediate correction of this mistaken way of selling should be required. If the shopkeepers themselves are to be blamed I require the control to be more strict punishing such careless elements severely. Furthermore, such books that are unpopular in combined sale with other books should be replaced by more useful books. This is a more efficient use of paper.
(By TSUKUBA, Tsuneji, TOKYO)
VI profiteering by Second-hand Book-keepers
Nothing is more disgusting than the second-hand book-keepers who escaped from destruction by fire and, taking advantage of the shortage of book, are making excess profits. In consideration of the dearth of books it is possible to buy at a fixed price and sell at 10 times that price. For instance, when I once exchanged some books, for the book I offered, the keeper of that bookstore gave me another book and I had to pay 30,80 yen although it was marked 29.60 yen. The reason for this was that the price was decided by
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subtracting the price of the book I offered from the published price and adding 20 per cent. Of course the book I bought had been bought by the keeper at the fixed price. How do the Second-Hand Book Traders' Union and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry feel toward this profiteering? This is a common happening in the center of the Metropolis, in KANDA. For us students who are greatly in need of books a sale of books at regular prices is to be hoped for. (By ITO, Tetsuo, a student of a Higher Technical School, KANAGAWA)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0362, 1946-02-05.
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