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Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0023, 1945-11-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0076

call-number: DS801 .S84

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No .76 Date: 22 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Endless Repetition of Escapes and Catches of Ueno Vagrants - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Nov 45. Translator: K. Minagi.
The vagrants at UENO have been interned since last June at the ASAKUSA Temple by the office of the TOKYO Municipal authorities and Metropolitan Police Office. Preparations are now going on to divide them into two internment camps, one at SHITAYA Primary School and the other at the old barracks of the 17 Regiment of the East Division.
They are to be divided into a group consisting of the sick, mentally deranged, weak-minded and another group of able-bodied men, who are, therefore, qualified to do some kind of work.
The biggest Problem here, is that of food. As their ration is insufficient they continually escape and return to their old vagrant life at UENO, to beg for food from travelers, and participate in black market deals, until they are caught and brought back to the temple.
Their tendency toward vagrancy is so strong that they seem fated to die in the streets. Policies of relief for them must be established that take into consideration the fact that vagrancy for them is second nature, and endless efforts are necessary to overcome it.
The New Japanese progressive society, the association looking after them say that there are about 15 run-aways every day. Even if they are brought back and scolded, in a few days they again run away. They do not like disciplined community life. Most of them are weak-minded.
ITEM 2 Street Block and Neighborhood Associations must Take their old System of Autonomy - Tokyo Shimbun - 15 Nov 45. Translator: K. Minagi.
Full translation:
Mr. MAEDA, Kenji, the head of the Business Department of the TOKYO Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was first employed in the TOKYO City Municipal Office when we was sixteen years old and has been in the service of the city for more than 30 years since. He was once active in the a formation of the Street Block and the Neighborhood Associations. He made the following remarks on the history of these two associations, and insisted that they must now return to the older form of self-governing bodies.
"Some TOKYO Municipal assemblymen have initiated a self-governing movement in TOKYO. The true self-governing system cannot be attained by the assemblymen alone. It must be based on the spirit of independence and insistence of every individual citizen.

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SOCIAL SERI ES: 23 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
"The Street Block Association and Neighborhood Association, too, were first intended to be autonomous organizations but they are now simply offices under the Ward Office and Rationing Office. When these two associations were first formed, I was in charge of the Inspection Section and Mr. TANIGAHA, the present YAMANASHI Prefectural Governor was in the Ward Affair Section.
"We both agreed that the Block Association should be sub-divided into small units like the five men group association used in the TOKUGAWA Period, so that the spirit of self government may be carried into the very kitchens of home. This was chiefly aimed at mutual neighborhood aid. The so-called "well-side gossip" has been regarded in JAPAN as merely, a little noisy confusion, but it should be encouraged as the first step toward autonomy and the settlement of problems and expression of general opinions of small groups.
It was at the beginning of the Sino-Japanese Incident that these plans were first made but the trend of the situation turned away from our ideal, and the Neighborhood Association became like a branch office of the City Office or an instrument of the Distribution Office whose business was to deal with miscellanies of government administration. This will not do.
"The war is now over. These associations should take their proper form. Of course, the apparent difficulties in forming the associations were alleviated by the outbreak of the war and the management of the associations in connection with rationing and air defense was consolidated. They must be inspired with the spirit of autonomy. Installation of a better system of election would be a great step toward self government.
"In this connection the personalities of the presidents of the block associations will be reflected more widely. The appointment of the block presidents is even more difficult than those of ministers or local governors. Presidents (CHOKAICHO) are always in immediate contact with people, while ministers and governors are not and the blocks with good presidents are always active.
"The present area of Greater TOKYO embracing the area of old TOKYO City is simply an amalgamation of FU (Prefecture and SHI (city). As it includes farming villages and rural districts, it is by no means Tart of the city proper, and it is quite natural that the inclusion of citizens with various different modes of life should bring about some confusion in the management of an autonomous body.
"For an ideal organization the various wards and districts should be re-organized, and those whose interests are at variance with one another should be exempt from joining the organization.
"But what will become of the neighboring cities like KAWAGUCHI, ICHIKAWA, KAWASAKI, is a problem. Their independence is doubtful. It is unanimously agreed that the TOKYO municipality is decidedly lacking in vigor or activity. This is because there is no real reflection of the citizens" state of mind.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 23 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Conditions in Okinawa - Asahi Shimbun - 15 Nov 45. Translator: Y. Akabane.
The following is a summary of the information reaching the OKINAWA Office in FUKUOKA Prefecture with regard to the condition in OKINAWA under the American Forces:
Mr. SHIMADA, Governor, who was reported a survivor is now said to have committed suicide. In the southern district where the greatest battles were fought, about three fourths of the population of the whole of OKINAWA mainland, is still alive though there is no single residence intact because of the war. The inhabitants are engaged in various works under the direction of the American Forces and are supplied with two GO of rice daily, one KIN (about 1 pound) of sugar per head every four days, potatoes, bread, meat and oil being distributed occasionally. They are living in tents and womens' villages of tents are guarded by American Military Police sentries. No American soldier is allowed to approach them. The building of houses is progressing. A seven lane road was constructed between KATENO and ITOMAN and HISHABASHI (a bridge) near KATENO has been transformed into a suspension bridge for pedestrians, automobiles, vehicles, and horses.
The chief police officer seems to have committed suicide. The Chiefs of the Agricultural Section and of the Special Police Section are reported dead, while the Chief of the Local Court and the Chief Public Prosecutor are alive. At present, return to OKINAWA is not permitted. Malaria is prevalent on ISHIGAKI Island where inhabitants are on the verge of annihilation and some urgent measures must be taken at once.
ITEM 4 Repatriation delayed by lack of unity of Japanese Army and Navy Authoritis - Yomiuri Hochi - 15 Nov 45. Translator: C. Gilbert.
Due to red tape, the Hospital ship "TAKASAGO" lay for two months at anchor in SASEBO and just departed on the morning of the 16th for DAVAO. Now the Army Hospital ship ARIMAYAMA-MARU is lying at anchor in SASEBO due to a disagreement between the Japanese Army and Navy. The ship was supposed to have sailed 11 November 1945 for MANILA. But the SASEBO Naval authorities refused to supply the ship with the necessary food as it was an Army ship. Both ships failed to carry letters addressed to the Japanese in the PHILIPPINES and newspapers published for the Japanese abroad by three TOKYO newspapers through the kind consent of the Supreme Headquarters, due to the neglect of the Japanese government authorities concerned.
ITEM 5 Tokyo babies health to be examined - Asahi Shimbun - 15 Nov 45. Translator: T. Ogawa.
The Metropolice authorities are planning to hold the physical examinations of all babies born during the period from 1 April 1944 year to 31 October 1945 (the total number is estimated at 100,000). Until the end of December babies will be examined by the administrative district. A ticket for purchasing necessary food will be given in case where the baby is proved to need such extra rations. The babies
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SOCIAL SERIES: 23 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
concerned will be examined individually in the consultation room of the physician in charge of the infantile physical control section. For those who live in the war-devastated area where no physician is to be found, the examination will be done by medical personnel dispatched from the Metropolitan Hospitals.
ITEM 6 Agricultural Vice Minister inspects ration books - Mainichi Shimbun 15 Nov 45. Translator: Y. Akabane
Mr. KAWAI, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Forestry spent the last few days in the study of the distribution books (HAIKYUTSUCHO) but could not reach a satisfactory understanding of them, so he went directly to three distribution offices in NIHONBASHI and HONJO Wards to inspect the actual condition. He feared the consumers would suffer from the same nuisance.
First, he went to an office in NIHONBASHI and asked the chief clerk to explain the contents of the distribution books that happened to be there on a table. Questions were asked as to the items registered in the book relating to the distribution of bread on 1 November 1945, but the clerk could not satisfy the Vice-Minister, especially as regards the quantity supplied previously, the next distribution day, and the total quantity of foodstuff in the composite distribution book etc. At last he said to the clerk smiling, "With such conditions, consumers can never understand the contents of the book and they can not help leaving distribution entirely up to your discretion."
Then he proceeded to another office and asked if distributions were made regularly. Being told of a week's delay in distribution, he knitted his brows. However he expressed his satisfaction at the explanation of the clerk in charge on the items registered in a rice distribution book. He then dropped in at a consumer's house near KOTOTOI distribution office and asked the old hostess which she preferred, bread or potatoes and also asked if she could understand the contents of the distribution book. He nodded at her response, "Too much bread might be eaten by children as snacks, so I prefer potatoes, as they can be used in many different ways." He returned to his office after inspecting a fish distribution depot in FUKAGAWA-KU.
ITEM 7 Mainichi Correspondent's Memorandum on his Desperate Wandering in Philippines - Mainichi Shimbun - 15 Nov. Translator: K. Minagi.
KAMOI, Tatsuo, a MAINICHI correspondent in MANILA returned on a coast-defense boat carrying forty-five women and arriving at KATIKI, KAGOSHIMA Prefecture 30 October 1945.
Looking back on his struggle to return to JAPAN from January to August this year, he said:
"After the landing of the UNITED STATES Army on MINDORO Island 15 December 1944, the defense of MANILA was precarious. Our military foreces as well as we newspaper men decided to retreat from MANILA.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 23 (Continued)
ITEM 7 (Continued)
On 12 January 1945 seven cars carrying MAINICHI, ASAHI, YOMIURI, and DOMEI correspondents fled to the north, and in spite of the constant air raids and night attacks by guerrilla forces, after a week's hard trip, we arrived at BAYOHBONG, in the VISCAYA District, and joined 1,500 Japanese evacuees led by KIHARA, the Japanese Consul. There we planned to be self-sufficient by the cultivation of land, but it did not last long.
While wandering aimlessly toward the north we heard all the bad news. In the middle of February the tide turned. Two generals, YAMASHITA and OKOCHI, had to transfer their headquarters from one place to another.
After many difficulties we entered TUGUEGARAO which was now a completely burnt, open field. Here, again, since guerillas were lying in wait, we had to creep on all four deserting our trucks. Creeping to escape to NIABRANCA* SAN JOSE was hell on the earth. We suffered from malnutrition, tropical diseases, starvation, and our comrades died one after another. There was no time for burial in such a hasty escape. The dead bodies rapidly turned into white bones. It may be called "sukoru* burial" rather than "open burial".
That is the violent rains combined with the strong sunshine acting on the dead who were robbed of their clothes soon turned them into bones. The rains in the jungle were furious; splashes of mud as well as leech like worms were thrown into one's eyes. Some of us ate potatoe leaves, leaves of trees, rats and cockroaches.
Raids by the UNITED STATES Army observation plans' were most terrible. On 22 August 1945, a Japanese who went out of the jungle brought back a pamphlet printed in Japanese. On it was written TEISEN (truce), and in English, "Unconditional Surrender". Our store of rice was exhausted. On 6 September 1945, we surrendered. We were taken to APARRI* Prison first, then to CANIUBAN* in the south of MANILA. On our way there Filipinos threw stones, crying PATAI (death) and threatened to harm us.
Groups of 20 or 30 Japanese soldiers who surrendered came from various mountainous districts. Many fell dead the moment they arrived at the prison.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0023, 1945-11-22.
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