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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0256, 1946-02-01.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1057

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No.1057 Date: 1 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Elect A Village Headman By the Direct Vote of the Villagers Ashahi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: H. Kato.
The movement for the expulsion of reactionary leaders in towns and villages is part of a nation-wide movement for the democratization of local autonomy. This is a matter of consequence in relation to the agrarian reform, that has started from the weakness and inefficiency the local administrative machinery to provide and deliver food and the fact that the farmer heads have been accused of partiality and infidelity. It may he said that the movement is associated with an agrarian democratic front based on the middle and small class stratum of farmers. Though prompt expulsion was carried out through the power of the youth, the work of reconstruction, owing to its difficulty, is still at a standstill in every town and village. Young people at MINOWA-Cho, GUNMA-Ken who have ousted the town headman and all the members of the town assembly from their service, are planning to choose representatives from every settlement to whom the duty of reconstruction will be entrusted. In HIGASHI-Mura, a recommendation system will be adopted to elect a. member of a village assembly and candidates will be decided upon. When the system remains unchanged, old. figures of no more talent than reactionary leaders may run in forthcoming election. Regarding the move of the younger generation for an agrarian purge, OKADA Muneji, leader of the JAPAN Farmers' Union had the following to say:
"This renovation of village administration is one of the most vital problems which the union has been making efforts to settle all over the country. Judging from the fact that this started from exposing the malpractices in public offices and agrarian assocciations, farmers are going heart and soul into this work. The Union's movement was formerly limited to the betterment of tenancy, but is now extending over the reform of village government. Without this, the peasantry will be unable to extricate themselves from their present miserable plight. This movement, in principle, is one started from below: farmers are its prime movers, and. it takes a democratic form, this reform plan, an agrarian association will, in the future, take the form of an agricultural co-operative union with not a landowner, but an actual producer as prime never; Readjustment of farm land will proceed smoothly through, this organ which represents the will of the farmers. AS a. direct reflection of the autonomy and democratization of a village, it is necessary to elect a village headman by public vote directly from all the villagers. All the important problems in a village must be deliberated in a villager's mass meeting. Thus, by participating in village government, farmers will be intereste in prefectural government and still more in state affirs." HIGASHIURA, Sheji leader of the National Agricultural: Association, stressed that the masses engaged in production must together make headway toward the formation of a popular front on order to level up a farmer's productive power. He added that in spite of Japanese economy being on the verge of bankruptcy, only farmers still continue production as the stabilizer for this country. He concluded, that he hoped the younger generation would hasten forward toward the democratization of agricultural industry with conscientiousness and confidence. "It is we that save this country."

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POLITICAL SERIES: 256 (Continued)
ITEM 2 The Man Who Sheltered Mr. BAAMO Was Closely Connected with the Main Officers of the Army - Mainichi Shimbun 30 Jan 46. Translator: N. Tachibana.
Full Translation:
(Report from NIIGATA)
Mr. IMAKARI, Takuzo, 35 year old businessman, in NIIGATA-Ken, MI[illegible]AME UOMUMA- Gun MUIKA- Machi, who sheltered Mr. BAANO, Chief of the puppet Burmese Government, at YAKUSHO Temple, in ISHIUCHI-URA, was a pupil of the chief priest of YAKUSHO Temple TSUCHIDA, Kakujo at the time when he was a teacher of the MUIKA-Machi Elementary School.
Mr. IMANARI left the MUIKA-Machi Middle School and entered the MEIJI Pharmaceutical College. After having returned to his native town because of illness he established a training institute to educate young men at TSUCHITARU-Mura in June, 1940 in obedience to the will of his deceased father. Mr. TSUCHIDA, then Principal of the ISHIUCHI-Mora Young Men's School, took charge of the guidance of young men in that institute, as his supporter. After that the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was organized, and Messrs. TSUCHIDA and IMANARI became members of the Prefectural Association in Co-operation With The Imperial Rule Assistance Association. Then Mr. IMANARI bedame the district chief manager and the prefectural vice-chief of the Imperial Rule Assistance Men's Association. Thus the association in UONUMA-Gun was under the control of Messrs. IMANARI and TSUCHIDA.
Mr. IMANARI furiously struggled with the association of reservists on every occasion on account of differences of view. He, who vas a master of a food manufacturing shop became closely acquainted with the leaders of the Army in TOKYO as a businessman with political affiliations since those days. The main officers of the General Staff Office and the Army Ministry often visited him. Once, through the Headquarters of the NIIGATA Regimental District, the central office of the Army issued an order addressed to Mr. IMANARI, but this order ought to have been issued to the association of veterans, Thus the leaders of the headquarters found, themselves in an awkward situation. He had a very great political capacity and the connection between Mr. IMANARE and the main officers of the Army seem to have developed into the plan for sheltering Mr. BAAMO. The authorities judge that he had Mr. BAAMO remain at his house for a time and then asked his intimate friend TSUCHIDA to shelter Mr. BAAMO. No one called at the YAKUSHO Temple except Mr. IMANARI once a month, and there were no communications at all. About this affair, former Lieutenant Colonel KOSHINAKI, Katsuji, and Mr. KUSAKARE, Ichiro, president of the Seven Oceans Technology Company, (SHICHIYO KOGEI SHA), both residents in MUIKA-Machi, and another man, a member of the NIIGATA Food Technology Company (NIIGATA SHOKUHIN KOGEI KAISHA) were detained as soon as they went to TOKYO, on the suspicion that they secretly took an active part as contact men.
ITEM 3 Survey on the Readers's Comment Column "Voice" in Asahi Shimbun Asahi Shimbun - 30 Jan 46. Translator: R. Ochiai.
Full Translation:
During December 2036 letters were contributed to the ASAHI's correspondence column "Voice." They clearly illustrated a tendency for practical rather than abstract arguments which suggest to us that the people are now seriously watching and thinking about the present critical situation. Let us survey the contributions.
Among 383 letters dealing with politics, 80 were about the Emperor system, 49 support the system, while 15 oppose it, five say that it should be decided by the people, while another five advocate democratization. About 80 percent of them, arguing either for maintenance or abolition are influenced by a passing emotion and only 20 percent of them treat the Emperor system as "having any political characteristics which can be utilized" and explain an alternative plan.
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POLITICAL SERIES; 256 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Only five deal with the problem of constitutional revision. KUWAHARA, Takeo assistant professor in the TOHOKU Imperial University expressed his desire as fallows: "I want the now constitution to be written in democratic and simple terms. Although some say that the constitution should at least be written in literary language, it is preferable to discard the dignity which exists only in language isolated from everyday use. I expect the revised constitution to be guide to our languages as well as politics."
The contributions which dealt with political parties and the forthcoming general election totalled 142. There were nine letters on women's suffrage which also discussed abstention from voting. There were those who seemed to think that if a woman is urged to vote she may do so without thinking; however the proper election should rely on reasonable people properly using their franchise.
Among 19 letters concerning the Communist Party there were t[illegible]opposed and two in favor of it, while other demanded the party to reflect upon its conduct and principles.
About war guilt and responsibility as many as 68 letters were contributed; 20 advocate a close examination of war responsibility, 12 want to punish the war criminals severely and thoroughly and 10 demand investigation of leaders and representatives. Almost 70 percent of the contributors warn war criminals and persons responsible for the war about their manners and want them to behave calmly in order to be understood by everyone.
Discussions on the food problem, which has been the most serious since the war, seem to have bean already solved. Farmers as well as consumers are, so to speak, drifting helplessly in the midst of the sordid current of an economically defeated country. The letters amounted to 186 which was less than 40 percent of those contributed last month. In response to the session of the Diet, 53 concerned the amendment of the Agriculture Bill. Next to this problem, KYOSHITSU was discussed by both producers and consumers. Some discussed the lack of balance between the prices of rice fixed, by the Government and of farmers' necessities (especially the black market price of fertilizers). Since farmers have no intention of selling to the government because of maladjustment, some demanded that coercive measures should be taken, while others insisted that the Government give the necessities to the farmers. Others demanded that farmers' develop a devotional spirit
Among the 290 letters involving culture, 144 discussed education, on which the reconstruction of JAPAN should be based. Nino discussed the problem of our language, among which three advocated the method of writing from left to right. Many are interested in entrance examinations to the schools this year; 21 treated this problem and demanded abolition of the unofficial report system. About school strikes which have frequently taken place since the war, eight wrote; most of them were critical of the students. There were 13 who demanded a fundamental reform in schooling, especially in the normal schools. Five wanted to rewrite our mythological history.
Students who complained, of the housing and food shortages and demanded measures enabling them to become self supporting numbered two, 17 correspondents said that the establishment of an educational authority is urgently needed and appealed to the public to securing a living salary for teachers. Besides these, there were 51 other who touched, on the problem of education: On sincere publications, relations between ancient works of art and compensation, and on writers' living wage, 22 wrote. Twenty desired the uprising of youth and 12 censured film producers' irresponsibility and mannerisms.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 256 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Among 85 who criticized the military, 40 censured its cruel conduct, and 17 were about the militarism and tyranny of professional soldiers; they demanded the exposure of crimes committed at the time of our surrender. On the problem of redeployment, letters came from repatriates who want to be welcomed by the people, and not misunderstood as being militarists; there were some who intend to contribute to the reconstruction of a peaceful JAPAN.
It is the salaried class which suffers most from inflation. Here is a letter, "The Government and black market dealers must not forget that there are many people who are plodding along the road of life with less than 100 yon a month. I have already spent all the money which I saved from hard work." Many discussed the people gathering around out-door dealers and criticized the present state of affairs as "brothers divided by bitter rivalry." Although the people are suffering in everyday living, "still there is unfairness in rationing" and "rice has not yet been delivered though a week has already passed since it should, have been done."
About poor transportation, 22 demanded some measures to be taken, suggesting a coupon system for railway tickets and abolishing the special pass used by railway employees. Much affected by the incident of a baby's death from succocation, some proposed, "having a reserved car for the old woman and children." The fact that out of 74 letters 47 come from TOKYO illustrates that city life is much harder than that of the country.
Besides these, there were number who commented on the correspondence written in the "Voice" column. MR. SHIGA's opinion on the "education for TOKKOTAI" especially produced a considerable response and 15 agreed with his opinion, while 21 boys of TOKKOTAI sent their note to the column.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0256, 1946-02-01.
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