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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0461, 1946-02-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1417

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1417 Date: 18 Feb 46


ITEM 1 The Significance of the Public Election of Officers for the Agricultural Associations - Provincial Newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (Nagano) 15 Feb 46. Translator: K. Ketel.
Full Translation:
The elections of officers of agricultural associations of cities, towns and villages according to the amended laws are due to be held between 21 February and 10 March so as to precede the forthcoming general election. The said election is the first of its kind to be held since the democratization of the agricultural associations was planned. This public election will not only alter the town and village associations but will also change completely the landlord nature of the prefectural and central agricultural associations. If the agricultural association of today becomes autonomous in a town or village, it will be the first step in the democratization of rural communities and therefore, its significance becomes more and more great. It is needless to say that until now, the officers of these associations, similar to other offices, have been influenced by elements with characters like landlords or by leaders who acted in their behalf. They played a great role in gaining power in the rural community by connections with village offices and assemblies and various other agricultural organizations. It is a fact that the coming election will be of great significance in the expulsion of feudalism from rural life.
This election is a chance which has been obtained and it is inconceivable that by means of this chance the democratization of the agricultural associations and rural life will be easily achieved, A successful democratization of the rural community depends on the self-consciousness of the masses of the farmers and to what extent they are able to utilize the given opportunity.
The rural community is now confronted by various new subjects, such as the farm land release, the payment of rentals in money instead of kind and food administration by the farmers. It seems that the rural community is rapidly heading for democracy pressed on by the farmers associations and the farmers committees. However, if we make a more detailed examination of this subject we will notice that the feudal system is very deeply rooted in rural life and therefore, it could not be removed overnight. As a matter of fact the landlords seem to be reinstated in the rural community by the new farmland reform law, and a similar character seems to have penetrated the minds of the yeoman and tenants. Furthermore the commercial farmers who enjoy inflationary prosperity seem to [illegible]to play a great role as representatives of the old reactionary forces.
The prerequisite for counteracting such complicated movements and for the establishment of an agency for productive farmers by reorganizing the agriculture associations is, first of all, to shake all the farmers free from such ideas. It is said that in towns and villages, where farmers' associations and committees already have been established, the old agriculture associations are being seriously criticized and experience

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 461 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
has been gained in holding the attacks of the old guard in check to a certain extent. Therefore it is necessary that in other towns and villages drastic and resolute efforts are made.
Because the election agency, that is, the agricultural associations, are still under the influence of the old reactionary forces, there is some possibility that the complete enlightenment as to the significance of the coming election will be sabotaged. The fanners must be aware that they should watch the proceedings carefully, should obtain time to eminent on the candidates, and should not decide on a candidate at the recommendation of certain high persons. It is essential to assert and fulfil the need to devise a system to demonstrate clearly the significance of the coming election. Going a step further, the various associations and agricultural organizations from towns and villages should take concerted action by forming alliances and demanding the leadership of a higher agency, and should carry out an enlightenment campaign. In other words, such activity will not only be a movement for democratizing agriculture associations, but should become a significant declaration in the coming political warfare.
ITEM 2 Judgment By Common Sense Of the Nation - Tokyo Shimbun - 17 Feb 46. Translator: S. Ota.
Full Translation:
The general election is the first since the end of the war, and is to be held under the so-called "bloodless revolution." Hence, not only the Japanese Nation will be affected by it result, but also the whole world is concerned with the election. Needless to say, we must assume a cautious attitude toward this problem, for the international position of JAPAN in the future will much depend on the results of the coming general election.
It is true that the Nation has been rather embarrassed at the freedom which has not been allowed it before. However, if we consider the problems on which we must lay stress at present, our standpoint ought to be determined accordingly. It seems that results of general elections in the European countries after the recent war should give us many suggestions. Political parties which are rooted in Christianity have made remarkable progress as a general trend in AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, FRANCE, BELGIUM, etc. Good examples of this trend may be seen in the Peoples' Republican Front in FRANCE and the Catholic Farmers Party and Christian Socialist Party in AUSTRIA. In particular, in the case of AUSTRIA although it is under the occupation of the SOVIET Army, only three communist representatives were selected, whereas the Catholic Farmer Party and the Christian Socialist Party attained the top two positions. This is indeed significant, dome explain this phenomenon as follows: for some period after the war the power of the left wing spread throughout European countries. It proves, however, that their policies were rather apart from the real aspects of the situation. As a reaction from this fact, people who sought moderation supported political parties which advocate the improvement of society.
At any rate, it seems that the results of general elections in these countries showed clearly that the people desire rehabilitation after the devastation due to the war as their first aim and that they deem it necessary to co-operate on a nation-wide scale in order to realize this objective. Moreover, it was also shown through these general elections that the people do not always agree with the historical materialism which asserts that social evils can only be annihilated by impartial distribution of wealth, but they consider also that the spiritual side cannot be ignored in human life, as is advocated by some socialist parties. Is there nothing for us to learn from this victory of Christian-like common sense?
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 461 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
At present, there is no political party in JAPAN which has its root in Christianity. Yet, it is wrong to say that there is no such commonsense as is produced from Christian doctrines. What is first desired by us is to make the most of this common sense.
It seems that recently the examination of candidates has made remarkable progress. Yet we cannot claim that there are no pseudo-democrats or opportunists who are running for election by confusing and misrepresenting themselves. We must watch them closely. Also, the doctrines or policies of each political party ought to be criticized by our common sense. If we are to seek fresh yet certain results in tee coming general election, the only way to do this is to make the most of our common sense.
ITEM 3 Co-operation is Necessary in Order to Tide Over the Crisis - Asahi Shimbun - 17 Feb 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
The Government has decided to take a big step for the stabilization of the livelihood of the people. As a result, all the fields of national economy will be greatly affected and the life of the people will also be put in a state of inconvenience and confusion which will last for some time. When, however, the surging tide of inflation which is increasing more and more the difficulties of the life of the masses, and the appearance of starvation throughout the country is considered, the decisive and drastic step now to be taken by the Government is of course justifiable. No one can deny the necessity of this emergency step because of its danger of giving a shock to the national economy and putting the household economy of individual people in confusion. It is a surgical operation to tide over today's national crisis which is required of any Government, whether it be organized by the leftists or the conservatives. Such being the case, the Government, if it is to be censured, can be charged with the incompleteness or mildness of this measure and its idleness and inefficiency which brought the matter to such a condition as today.
Be that as it may, the SHIDEHARA Cabinet, which some time ago authorized black market dealing by abolishing the official control of perishable foods, is now obliged to resort to an emergency measure more strict than any during the war. By this fact, we feel the seriousness and danger of the present crisis, This emergency measure which aims at overcoming the crisis by freezing the over-abundant currency to curb inflation and by discovering hoarded stocks of food and other necessities which will be utilized in distribution, is most proper in today's pressing situation, and all the people must cooperate in that purpose. Nevertheless, we must not have the optimistic view that the danger of the collapse of the national economy can be wiped out by this measure. It is quite doubtful that the Government measure now revealed will be successful in extricating the national economy from disorder and inflation.
As for the weak points of this measure, it must be notices that its chief aim lies in the solution of financial problems, and not in those of production. Bringing hoarded stock to light, although it is most important overcoming the crisis, has only a temporary effect. Hoarded stocks can never be sufficient to save the nation from economic chaos. The increase in productions most fundamental. Without production restored to a certain minimum level, the crisis of economic collapse, though it may be postponed temporarily, can never be overcome. There can be found no part of the Government measure which is powerful enough to reopen activity in production. If the Government does not take supplementary measures for the above purpose at the earliest possible date, a comprehensive measure for the stabilization of the people's livelihood will
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 461 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
be lacking a nucleus. It is anticipated that, without the stabilization of the people's livelihood by a sufficient distribution of food, the freezing of funds will fail in its end. The Government does not take any consideration for increase in allotments in its new measure, and the reform of the distribution system is still left undone to the fear of many people. If an amount sufficient to stabilize the people's livelihood cannot be distributed, the freezing of funds will be nullified by frequent practice of special exemptions from the freezing, or bartering will prevail, menacing those who have nothing to barter. Facing the crisis of economic collapse of our country, we hope the Government will be successful in carrying out its measure, and we must not be reluctant to co-operate with it. It is most necessary for the success of this measure that the Government be bold and sincere in carrying out its plans without deception. It is supposed that the present Cabinet is backed by the old leading influences. If this supposition be true, it will be an act of self-denial for the present Government to carry out this measure which aims at the equalization of wealth. We should like the present cabinet headed by Baron SHIDEHARA to prove to be a representative of the people's interest, by such measures as the ruthless inspection of hoarded stock held by the old leading class.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0461, 1946-02-18.
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