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Press translations [Japan]. Political Series 0357, 1946-02-19.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: political-1431

call-number: DS801 .S85



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 1431 Date: 19 Feb 46

POLITICAL SERIES: 357

ITEM 1 Restoration Of the Peace Of JAPAN Possible Within Shimbun 18 Feb 46. Translator: H. Naoji.
Full Translation:
On 15 February a spokesman from SCAP announced the text of a statement by American Secretary of State BYRNES, which was made public at a joint press interview. It was suggested that all Japanese newspapers explain and discuss this text. Secretary of State BYRNES was asked for his opinion concerning reports that peace treaties with GERMAN and JAPAN were expected to be completed within a year or 18 months. He said that this did not seem impossible to him and others who were doing their best. He added that he intends to commence work on peace treaties with GERMANY and JAPAN when those with ITALY and various BAIKAN countries were completed. He felt that one year would be sufficient for occupied countries to recover their normal p[illegible]war conditions. Moreover, he added that in such a country as JAPAN where the Government is assuming its function, the situation will be more favorable for concluding a treaty.
A telegram from WASHINGTON the other day reported that it will be a year and a half before the peace treaties are concluded. This statement reveals that the recovery to a normal prewar status could be accomplished in about a year. Moreover, according to a statement by ATCHESON, Under Secretary of State, preliminary discussions concerning a treaty with ITALY are now taking place in LONDON, and the bus[illegible]of concluding a peace treaty with JAPAN would begin shortly after the former was completed. Therefore, judging by these various facts, it is not necessarily over-optimism, to believe that a peace treaty with JAPAN will be concluded earlier than one with GERMANY.
Moreover, according to the spokesman, the Japanese Government must be a responsible government representing the will of the people, as stated in the POTSDAM Declaration and such a government is expected to be created within a year and a half. In other words, a responsible government with authority to negotiate with the Allied Nations will be created within a year or 18 months. And it goes without saying that such a government will consist of a cabinet which is chiefly composed of a major political party following the coming general election In other words, it can be said that the coming general election has the duty of creating [illegible]a responsible government for the conclusion of a peace treaty and that all voters within the nation have an equa[illegible]burden in casting serious notes, hoping and praying for a good beginning in establishing JAPAN as an independent country once again.
Meanwhile, it is said that a revival of foreign relations with JAPAN and the length of the management over JAPAN by the Allied Nations, etc., will be prescribed in the peace treaty and is dependent upon the extent to which the Allied Nations consider that JAPAN has been dem[illegible]

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POLITICAL SERIES: 357 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Therefore, the creation of a responsible government as well as a new start as an independent country depend on whether or not the people make strenuous efforts in this direction.
The preparations for a peace treaty has already begun. Even if it will take ten or fifteen years until the occupation by the Allied nations is finished, it has now become evident to that it will only be a short time before JAPAN is recognized as an independent nation. In view of the fact that our country, in contrast with GERMANY which has no government assuming necessary functions after the war [illegible]we can be more hopeful and prosperous in the future. We should also be conscious of our responsibility and rouse ourselves to fulfil it.
ITEM 2 Reaction to the, Economic Emergency Measures - Asahi Shimbun – 18 Feb 46. Translator: J. Weiller.
Full Translation:
What are the attitudes of the various political parties toward the economic emergency measures? If the impending catostrophe of our inflation which is threatening the nation is to be avoided, the people must exert every effort to cooperate with the Government. The danger is considered so serious that all the parties who formerly regarded the SHIDEHARA Cabinet as a mere interim Government with the sole mission of conducting the general election are now fundamentally supporting Government measures for the prevention of inflation despite certain faults in its policy. The Communist Party is the only exception, and it is continually attacking the Government.
On the fundamental issu[illegible]involving the present measures, the progressives, liberals, social democrats, cooperatives and the communists are clearly illustrating their respective difference. Both the Social Democratic and the Communist Parties strongly maintain that the basic circumstances of inflation differ according to a nation's winning or losing a war, and at the bottom of the questions on increased currency and decreased production, which the Government is taking up as objects of policy, the problems of war debenture, State indemnities to munition factories and others are hidden. Consequently, as measures against inflation in a defeated nation these two obligations must be annulled. They assort that as long as these questions are ignored, success can hardly be expected however cleverly the measures are devised. They maintain that the closer the measures are to perfection the more capitalists and the privileged classes would be relieved at the expense of the masses and this is against social justice and undesirable for the democratization of JAPAN. The Social Democratic Party further advocates the adjustment of industrial companies funds in conjunction with the present measures.
On the other hand, neither the Progressive nor the Liberal Party makes any reference to this point. Both of them take it for granted that the Government will not take steps for cancelling national bonds and indemnities to munition factories. In any case, measures against inflation conceived by the non socialistic parties, with various differenced in technique, coincide with the Government plan on fundamental issues therefore in supporting the Government they are naturally more zealous the the rest. Comments of the various parties can be summarized as follows.
Since everyone felt that following the defeat inflation would develop in vicous cycles, the SHIDEHARA Cabinet should have taken up this question immediately after its inauguration. This is the opinion of all the [illegible]e The Social Democratic party concludes however, that because of incompetent[illegible]the present Government is slow in action, but that at the same time by feigning incompetence it delayed the execution of the measures in order to let the capitalists gain time to devise the means of self protection.
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POLITICAL SERIES: 357 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
A certain section of the Progressive Party think, though as individuals, that they see no necessity for the Government adopting such drastic measures before the general election. They cite the increased issue of currency to the 10,000,000,000 yen level each month as a gradual inflation, for the result would be the same if the situation remained as it is until about next June.
All the parties entertain grave doubt as to whether or not the Government can successfully accomplish such a broad policy which necessitates the calling forth of high-handed measures, in view of its isolation from the people's positive support. Except for the Communist Party, they are determined to give the Government their full support in order to make the present measure a success, Furthermore[illegible]both the Social Democratic and the Communist Farcies conclude that the people's organization is a prerequisite in the solution of such a grave problem consequently only a government firmly rooted in the people can be trusted. Therefore, the formation of the democratic front must be speeded up as far as the circumstances permit.
Even if an attempt is made to fit the masses' living expenses into a certain groove by establishing a commodity price system based on the price of rice at 300 yen, it simply moans the limitation of living expenses, but as long as the prices of daily necessaries are not stabilizer the people's living will be made difficult and the natural consequence will be social unrest. All the parties are seriously considering this point.
The Cooperative Party regards it as dangerous unless the living standard per household is raised by a fair margin.
The Liberal Party demands that the Government carefully work out some measure, as the immediate elimination of a free market without being backed by daily necessaries will invite instability in the masses' livelihood. The Progressive Party requests the Government strictly prohibit the bartering of staple foods for it anticipates an increase in bartering as a result of the tightening of living funds. It fears that bartering will tend to raise the prices of staple food.
Regarding the people's living, the Communist Party is firmly criticizing the Government. They state that (1) since the minimum livelihood by a ration system is not guaranteed such measure will drive the masses into destitution. (2) The ceiling of wages will not only to instrumental in restricting a rise but will result in their lowering. The raising of the rice price means in substance a reduction in wages. (3) The restriction of payment of deposits threatens the living of medium and small businessmen and working people.
All the parties believe that along with the currency measures increased production is necessary to prevent inflation.
Progressive Party. For the purpose of increased production complicated procedures should be abolished to obtain the required fund for development of industries. Means should be worked out so that positive and speedy accomodations are created.
Liberal Party, The Government must inform the nation about the question of importing rice in order to remove any uneasy feeling. When the foreces about food is made a clear economic order and the will for production can be realized.
Cooperative Party. The Government should issue orders for the production of consumers' goods and necessary material for production (especially fertilizer) in the same manner as it did for rice. Some capitalists
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POLITICAL SERIES: 357 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
are sabotaging and witholding manufactured goods from the market. In case a factory refuses a production order it must be placed under control according to the cooperative society system. The capital levies and wartime profit taxes, when collected, should be allotted to the restoration of production and unemployment measures. The funds expended must be closely supervised so that the same should be linked with production.
Social Democratic party. One of the fundamental flaws in the Government's measures is that there is no positive plan for the restoration of increase production or methods of monetary accommodation for that purpose; the establishment of a definite plan so urgently required.
Communist Party. The fundamental measure against inflation is production increase. The Government is permitting the scandalous sabotage by capitalists.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Political Series 0357, 1946-02-19.
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