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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0353, 1946-02-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1414

call-number: DS801 .S85

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No. 1414 Date: 18 Feb 46


ITEM 1 For the Democratic Revolution - Provincial Newspaper Jimmin-Shimpo (Sendai) - 30 Dec 45. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
The dawn of a brilliant emancipation of our people has at last arrived. The dark, savage and cruel oppressive political and feudalistic autocracy which has been overshadowing us since the days of our ancient forefathers is now rapidly nearing its collapse. Our people have been freed for the first time from the chains of slavery are now acquiring freedom of speech and freedom of action.
Think of our fate in the past. Under the plausible name of "important national duties", we were forced to undertake military service, penal servitude and heavy taxation.
Even political freedom which is the basic right of every man was not granted us. Such rights as were allowed to us were those of starvation and suicide. But now we are being emancipated as really free men. Efforts and plans are now being made to secure the political formation of a democratic society which will safeguard the real peace and happiness of the people of the world and of JAPAN. This must be the greatest and most glorious revolution since the first page of our history was written.
However, this revolution was not brought about by the efforts of the Japanese people. It is being given us under the guidance and direction of the Allied Forces. We are paying our hearty respect and thank to the Allied Forces. In spite of cold and starvation, (the result of the crime of maladministration by cur past rulers) cur spirit is gleaming and dancing with unbounded joy and hope.
Now we must live as men in the light of emancipation and courageously strive to destroy all the feudalistic and autocratic systems and the exploitation and tyranny of the militarists, bureaucrats and great ZAIBATSU and shoulder the responsibility for the construction of a rea[illegible]free, peaceful and democratic JAPAN.
Amidst the crucial turmoil of a democratic revolution, political economic and cultural reforms are all pressing themselves before us as the acute problems which we have to solve by ourselves personally. The solution of the living problems confers around food, clothing, houses and occupations, the thorough exposure and prosecution of the war criminals. Thus, the duties imposed on the people, on their way to a democratic revolution, are very great. In order to accomplis[illegible]the democratization of JAPAN, there will be many conflicts.
First of all, the masses should be broadly organized in their respective divisions and prepare to develop the fight for their rights the sametime, the most urgent necessity is to awaken the consciousness of the people to democracy. For this purpose, freedom of speech, which has been granted to the people, must be utilized by the people themselves. To put it more definitely, the reactionary nature and

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POLITICAL SERIES: 353 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
criminal responsibility of the self-complacent and fascistic newspapers (such as the KAHOKU SHIMPO in this prefecture), must be shown and new organs for the expression of the people's real will should be nurtured and developed.
Those newspapers have oppressed public opinion, put other newspapers out of existence in order to monopolize the whole prefecture. Although they called the Allied Forces by such names as devilish beasts, or "American devils" up to the 14th August, thus arousing the Nation's mistaken enmity, from the very next day by a sudden change of coat the again deceived and insulted the populace, by announcing "we are the apostles of democracy" or "the American Army is splendid" and so tried to cheat the Allied Forces by camouflage. Such are unpardonable crimes.
If the actions of such newspapers do not constitute equal, if net graver, intellectual crimes than those of the Diet members, then we should like to know the reason why. Such fascistic newspapers are still functioning and are still trying to guide the country towards a new and democratic JAPAN. This is the source of our exasperation.
The public feels scandalized at the inconstancy, lack of principle and irresponsibility of such papers and naturally never believe what they say. However, the masses, in fear of overt or covert counter attacks of such fascist papers, do not stand up to prosecute and punish such criminals.
Nevertheless, how irrational that such discredited papers should be accorded special assistance and protection by the military and the Government, because of their services during the war!
"The newspaper is a public organ of society" is simply an ostentatious slogan. In the case of the KAHOKU SHIMPO, it is no more than a complacent private organ of President ICHIRIKI and his family. As proof we can say that the masses have never been able to utilize the paper from the true standpoint of the people. During the past 20 years, we have suffered, s[illegible]a result of cur social movements, a number of arrests and imprisonments and other infringements of our rights, but never once has this paper fought for the protection of a man's right, On the contrary, in co-operation with the reactionary governments, it always persecuted our emancipation movements with intense hatred. It is still covertly trying to do this.
We are not pointing out its criminal conduct during the war only but are arriving at the conclusion by ascertaining its history and substance from the past to the present. At least the system of "one newspaper in one Prefecture" must be done away with since it is instrumental in causing an infringement of man's rights and fascist tyranny. As the big ZAIBATSU are being liquidated and the war criminals are being arrested one after another, the newspapers which are monopolizing business in a fascist manner should be dealt with in the same way as war criminals and their accomplices. (Note, the papers in TOKYO and elsewhere have already liquidated themselves)
We heartily abhor all the savage and long-established feudalistic influences and those who uphold the status quo, who have put JAPAN among the ranks of the inferior countries. We openly hate those in newer and leading positions in the political, economic, military and cultural worlds who exploited the masses. The enmity of those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty can only be understood by those who have similar experience.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 353 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continues)
We Japanese people must zealously expose presecute and eliminate all such public enemies. Unless the people rise up and fifth such injustice and speed up reforms, the allied countries and all the other civilized nations f the world will net take JAPAN seriously. Look at the established influences! what have they done for us since the termination of the war in the nay of guidance and endeavor? Have they realized in the least degree the people's hopes and happiness or the stabilization or promotion of our lives? They have brought about only uneasiness, irritation and starvation.
We people must expel all the old leaders of every description who are not trusted either in the country or abroad and construct a now, just JAPAN, peaceful JAPAN and a democratic JAPAN by our own strength. Such a revolution must be fearlessly, frankly and courageously fought. It is a sacred duty imposed on the Japanese people according to the POTSDAM Declaration.
We, realizing this as our true mission declare once more that we will fight, on the eve of JAPAN's great democratic revolution. As a means to that end, we hereby declare with profound feeling the foundation of our JIMMIN SHIMPO. Our mission is to set up an organ of expression a citadel and front for the people who have been oppressed, intimidated and porsecuted by the reactionary Government. We are to share in the people's fight for the attainment of the democratic revolution. We open our columns for guiding, studying and constructive comments, explanations, positive demands and assertions, attacks, criticism of and prosecution f public enemies, the creation f[illegible]a new and noble culture and vigorous and courageous opinions of the whole people. We hereby selicit your unbounded support and cooperation.
(9th December 1945.)
ITEM 2 A Discussion Meeting on "Women's Suffrage" - Provincial Newspaper Kaheku Shimpo (Sendai) - 14 Feb 46. Translator: R. Ochinai.
The sponsor: although they say that Japanese women have no interest in politics, it is not correct, I think. We can say that they have interest but have no means to express their opinions since they have no proper institutions here. Politicians only advocate and never go into homes or into schools in order to make their opinions understood by the people there.
SASAKI: Since the Japanese women have been kept out of politics for a long time, they seen to be at a loss how to deal with political problem.
The sponsor: What do you think about those in farm-villages?
MOGI: In my home-province, an old woman with white hair has come to ask "What has happened today?"
The sponsor: Don't they have any meeting for studying politics?
MOGI: They do. A local association holds its meeting once or twice in a week.
The sponsor: How many women do you think will vote?
MOGI: Maybe 70 per cent of them.
ABE: Although every woman knows that she ought to do something, she can not decide for whom to vote, and that's by so many abstain from voting.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 353 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
ONO: Those who vote will be mostly urged by their husbands to poll and I think this is better than to abstain.
The sponsor: All the members of a neighborhood association ask one another to go to the office when charcoal, for instance, is rationed. And this habit, I think, may keep them from abstention. How is Lo if they go together to the polling station, discussing the candidates on the way.
SASAKI: If so, they will cone to vote without their own opinion but only follow others.
The sponsor: I'm afraid a woman will be influenced by a candidate's appearance. I hear even in the UNITED STATES many vote for a candidate because his voice is nice.
SASAKI: I think they will vote for a person and net a party in the next election.
ONO: So do I.
The sponsor: The people in the country will feel it troublesome to go and to write their name. Since reading is easier than writing, I wish a more convenient method would be taken.
ONO: But that can not be done in JAPAN.
The sponsor: Isn't there any good example which tells the effect of women's participation in politics?
ONO: Yes, once a WASHINGTON University professor's wife became deputy mayor of PHILADELPHIA, and cleared up a number f difficulties in day nurseries.
The sponsor: Which do you prefer to take a seat, a man or a woman candidate?
SASAKI: I think women can expect much from their sex.
The sponsor: And from what profession do you want to have representatives?
YOSHIDA: As we don't know who and what party is the best to vote for, I think the first thing we must do is to cultivate our knowledge.
The sponsor: What kind of a representative do you want most?
ABE: It is my opinions that JAPAN should be democratic if she wants to stand up once more, so I hope the real democratic party to take the Cabinet. And, since I have lived close to children, I have much interest in then and feel very sorry for then for they have always been forgotten. I expect representatives or the party to take care of them.
MOGI: People are liable to illness when food is scarce, so I want a representative who will solve the food problem.
YOSHIDA: I wish to vote for a man of decency and principle.
HAYASAKA: Since I myself am trying to teach school children with sincerity and earnestness, I want a representative who has religious faith and sincerity. If a man of character participates in policies, the people will feel easy and can trust him to reconstruct the country
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POLITICAL SERIES: 353 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
ONO: I want a representative to look at our country from a universe standpoint. I don't like a professional representative.
SASAKI: I want a young man of enterprise.
The sponsor: Thank you for your opinions.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0353, 1946-02-18.
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