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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0047, 1945-12-02.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-0188

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 188 Date: 2 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Agriculture Minister's Answer on Food Problem - Asahi - 29 Nov 45. Translator: N. Tachibana
The House of Peers held its plenary session on 28 November and after the Premier's general administrative speech the following questions and answers were exchanged:
Mr. MATSUMURA, Shinichiro, questioned: "1. Has the Government the intention to unify food administration? 2. Since the standard ration of principal foods has decreased to 2.1 go since July of this year, the people have felt uneasy about provisions. Having been offered the opportunity to import food by the Allied Powers, does the Government intend to go back to a ration of 2.3 go? 3. Agricultural supplies are vital. What measures is the Government taking to obtain fertilizers and farm animals? Furthermore, does the Government intend to restore horse-breeding?"
Premier SHIDEHARA answered, "In order to solve the food problem, the Government must have the people's complete understanding and cooperation. I have no intention to establish a different set-up in the food administration organization since the Agriculture Ministry takes charge of provisions exclusively."
Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA answered, "1. With regard to foreign rice, the Government has only the approval of SCAP, and the date and quantity have not as yet been determined. The Government has maintained its ability to import at as early a date as given. If the desired quantity is obtainable, I wish to return to a ration of at least 2.3 go. 2. One of the causes of the bad harvest this year is due to exhaustion of the soil. It is expected that 740,000 to 750,000 tons of ammonia sulphate will be produced next year and two million tons the year after that. We can not expect any phosphate fertilizer in the near future since it is impossible to import the raw materials. 3. I intend to encourage the use of domestic animals, but under existing circumstances this is restricted by the shortage of feed. We have decided to restore horse-breeding, but this is impossible to realize immediately in view of the present situation."
The session entered into a recess at 1143 after the Agriculture Minister had thus stated that he would give consideration to a ration of 2.3 go when quantity and date of importation were exactly determined, but there is nothing definite as yet. SCAP has given merely general permission to import.
ITEM: 2 Prosecution of War Guilty Jushin (Questions in Diet) - Yomiuri - 29 Nov 45. Translator: Kozaki.

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POLITICAL SERIES: 47 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
MITAMURA, Takeo: "I want to ask the Prime Minister and the War, Navy, and Home Affairs Ministers about the fundamental requirements for rehabilitating JAPAN. Do you realize that despite JAPAN's defeat, a bureaucratic government of privilege still exists? We can not institute democracy while monopoly and government-managed companies and the like still exist. What did Admiral YONAI say in the Diet on 24 March 1945? Prime Minister KOISO premised the recapture of GUADALCANAL, as did Minister YONAI. Foreign Minister SUZUKI held that the war should net be continued like this. If this is true, why didn't you quit sooner? Why did you deceive the people by telling them that unconditional surrender meant death? Premier SHIDEHARA promised to eliminate all those who led the nation into war within the last 10 years. What about the disposal of HIRANUMA and ISHIWATARI?
I want to address Chief Secretary SUGITA. What is the reason for the present condition of JAPAN? It was caused because active military men were permitted in the Cabinet. SUGATA, as Chief of the Legislative Bureau in the HIROTA Cabinet, made that situation possible. Education minister MAIDA claims he is a liberal, but he never tried to reform the educational system until ordered to do so by Allied Headquarters!"
Premier SHIDEHARA: "It is true that I allow only those who are not responsible for war in my Cabinet. Navy Minister YONAI is not a warmonger."
MITAMURA: "I am dissatisfied with the reply."
SHIDEHARA: "The situation in JAPAN before 15 August was entirely different from that after 15 August. We must endure all hardships."
ITEM 3 The Responsibility of the Cabinet Ministers - Yomiuri Hochi - 29 Nov 45. Translator: S. Fukuda.
Full translation:
Along with constitutional revision, the problem of the responsibility of the Cabinet Minister is at present the main point at issue. Viscount OKOCHI, Teruko, a member of the Upper House, has presented a written inquiry regarding the responsibility of the Cabinet Ministers to the Government, and the inquiry is to be placed on the agenda of the plenary session of the House on 29 November. The gist is as follows:
The system of responsible Cabinet Ministers is a fundamental principle of constitutional government. I say that if any other organ of government should interfere in a responsible cabinet system, it not only becomes difficult to assign responsibility, but it becomes difficult to administer the affairs of State. What is the Government's opinion of it?

This matter should be cleared up by proper measures. What is the opinion of the Government on this?
ITEM 4 Summary of "Dilemma in Japan" by Andrew Roth - Asahi Shimbun - 29 Nov 45. Translator: S. Ono.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 47 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
We wish to introduce to the public a book of much interest by a young American expert on JAPAN, author of "JAPAN Strikes South" and "Interests and Policies of FRANCE in the FAR EAST," a contributor of articles on far-eastern problems to the press and magazines. He is a member of the Institute of Pacific Relations. The book was published in BOSTON on September of this year, shortly after the termination of the war, and has drawn considerable attention among reading circles. We add that the author is only 27 years old.
In the book "Dilemma in JAPAN," he demands a strong policy toward control of JAPAN, being sharply opposed to the opinions of Joseph GREW and other experts on JAPAN in the State Deportment. The former Ambassador to JAPAN tried to make use of the "peace-loving" group in this country, consisting of elder statesmen, leaders of political parties, civil officials, and leading figures of financial cliques, to suppress the military clan. The author rejects this idea as erroneous, asserting that it differs from the facts in the following three points. In the first place, the so-called "peace-loving" group in reality is not at all peace-loving. This group considered it necessary for JAPAN to get hold of all EAST ASIA. The group, therefore, agreed with the militarists in this point. The only difference lay in the means to achieve the final objective. The latter wanted to resort to arms, while the former resorted to economic expansion.
In the second place, they forgot the fact that the MITSUI house, one of the biggest concerns in JAPAN, supported the activities of the military clan in the early twenties. Third, they completely disregarded the changing condition of Japanese economy.
The crisis of 1929 reduced the volume of Japanese foreign trade by fifty per cent. When Mr. GREW assumed his post in TOKYO in 1932, therefore, the country was in a period when the finanacial cliques were obliged to limit the sphere of their activities to that part of EAST ASIA, where they were safely guarded by the military power of their country. The Japanese with whom Mr. GREW mainly kept contact were this "peace-loving" group of upper classes. He was misled by trusting them too much.
Now is the time to sweep away remnants of the old regime. It means not only the dissolution of militarism but also the eradication of bureaucratic leadership, financial cliques and elder statesmen. Unless this be done right now the same evil influences will continue to survive, and will eventually lead to a recurrence of the present tragedy. This is the condition sine qua non for the reorganization of JAPAN along democratic lines. The democratization of JAPAN is of absolute necessity for the security of peace in the PACIFIC, for which AMERICA fought the war.
The author then proceeds to analyze the source of the remaining feudalists system in this country and the causes which inevitably led her to militarisim. The pen of the author, from the leftist standpoint, is sharp enough to give us a clear view of the problems. As in the case of Nazi GERMANY, militarism was the logical result of the fact that the leaders of Japanese economy had failed to find a peaceful means of solving her economic ills. This leads us to the conclusion that unless the existing financial cliques are completly disbanded, we can not expect JAPAN to live peacefully.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 47 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
A glance at the historical development of these will offer us the best testimony to the truth of this statement. Japanese capitalism has been growing with rapid strides since the MEIJI Restoration, taking every advantage of aggressive wars, such as the Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War. Then came World War I, and a huge war profit. It was thus, quite natural for the financial cliques of this country to become war-minded and co-operative with the military clan. The accumulation of capital, accomplished through war profits, made them able to form monopolistic enterprises. Already in the twenties of this century, the financial cliques were strong enough to grasp the controlling power of the political activities of the country.
In the thirties, the world-wide depression of foreign trade led them to throw away their fictitious peace-loving attitude and openly shake hands with the militarists. Taking advantage of the serious international situation prevailing at that time, they supported the anti-Chinese policy of the military clan, while converting to war industries factories under their control. What they have done since the Manchurian Incident is obvious. From the facts above stated we can not but help but confirm our view that the financial cliques are no less war-minded than the militarists, and so long as they enjoy their control of this country, exploiting labor, there can be no everlasting peace and happiness in the FAR EAST.
Next he proceeds to take up the problem of the Emperor System. This system had much to do with the rise of militarism in JAPAN. The standpoint of those who advocate maintenance of the system can be summarized in the following three points. In the first place, the Emperor is the religious idol of the Japanese. Therefore, abolition of the system at present will invite strong opposition from the public. The result will be their combination with the militarists under the banner of the restoration of the Imperial rule. Second, the Emperor system can be utilized as a means of government during the occupation period. Third, by appointing those who are inclined to liberal thought as the advisers of the Emperor, the democratization of this country will be promoted without abolishing the Emperor system. In this manner unnecessary disturbances will be avoided at present.
But, according to the author, this is to judge the problem solely from, one point of view, alleviation of the difficulty of occupation. On the contrary we must not judge the problem from the viewpoint of convenience. What we want is security of the peace in the PACIFIC. We must not be diverted from this principle to lighten the present task.
Then, to show why the Emperor system is harmful for the preservation of peace in the FAR EAST, he describes the historical development of the Emperor. Since the restoration of MEIJI the Imperial House has been the stronghold of militarism. It has been utilized by the militarists, internally to suppress public opinion and externally to realize their aggressive policy. But, here we must also bear in mind that the worship of the Emperor has been consciously encouraged by the ruling class for the purpose we have just mentioned. The diary of Dr. BELZ, German physician to the Emperor MEIJI, tells us that on 3 November 1880, the birthday of the EMPEROR, by order of the police a few houses reluctantly hoisted national flags to celebrate the day. In the early part of the MEIJI Era the democratic movement and political campaigns were matters of great interest to the public. To suppress this tendency, the Constitution was granted by the Em-
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POLITICAL SERIES: 47 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
peror. But the Constitution was devised along the lines of the German Constitution, which was despotic in character. To promote a policy of aggression, the ruling class felt the necessity of consecrating the Emperor as a god.
Shintoism was a good weapon for consolidating the status of the Emperor, who commits no error, was treated as holy and not as a matter for criticism by his subjects. The utilization of the Emperor as a political weapon was exploited to the utmost when the country started the war against the UNITED STATES. Every measure taken by the government was done through an Imperial Rescript. The Emperor system is, as clearly seen from the above-mentioned, the very thing to be eliminated if wish to make JAPAN a peace-loving country. If it be left to survive, the system will encourage the return of militaristic rule, at any moment.
However, the author too recognizes the danger of instant abolition of the Emperor system. He, therefore, vases that steps necessary to weaken the status of the Emperor be taken. For this purpose he suggests the elemination of all ultra-nationalists and militarists, dissolution of the financial cliques, abolition of the bureaucratic administration, publication of the imperial assets, and reform of the agrarian system. The last item is very important in the realization of the democratization of JAPAN, since the rural population is so large. Further, in view of the fact that conservative rural provinces were the last stronghold of the militarists in the past, their democratization is a matter of absolute necessity. From the experience of the SOVIET UNION, in the BALKAN Peninsula, proper redistribution of farm land appears to be the best policy for achieving the purpose.
As for the labor problem, low wage and sweatshop labor of the past contributed to the growth of militarism and economic oppression. Therefore, these problems require adjustment in the future.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0047, 1945-12-02.
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