Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0052, 1945-12-02.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0179

call-number: DS801 .S84

(View Page Image)
No. 179 Date: 2 Dec 45


ITEM 1 News from Japanese Soldiers Abroad - Asahi Shimbun - 28 Nov 45. Translator: H. Nishihara.
Full translation:
Four or five thousand letters inquiring about the safety of soldiers abroad are sent daily to the Soldiers' Families Department (RIKUGUN RUSU GYCMUBU) at INAGE, CHIBA-Shi; and about one thousand five hundred persons appear daily at the office for the same purpose.
Inquiries vary in their contents, and satisfactory answers are not available because of the suspension of communications. The actual state of communication abroad is as follows: 1. NEW GUINEA. Correspondence stopped since April 1944, but Major TAKEHANA brought the lists of the dead of the Eighteenth Army's headquarters. One third of the troops under direct command of the headquarters and 51 Division died in a submarine attack last May. 2. NEW BRITAIN. Communications continued until the end of the war; so confirmation of the dead is possible. 3. BOUGAINVILLE. In May 1945 the number of living officers and men was reported, but details are not known because of the obscure wording of telegrams. No later reports have arrived. 4. WEST NEW GUINEA. No correspondence since November 1944. 5. BORNEO. No report after the landing of the American forces. 6. FRENCH INDOCHINA, THAI, MALAYA. Correspondence was possible until the end of the war. Confirming the dead is possible. 7. PHILIPPINE ISLAHDS. No reports have arrived since the landing of the American forces. 8. BURMA, No details known after the IMPHAL campaign. 9. MAHCHURIA, NORTH KOREA, and KARAFUTO. No message since the end of the war.
Many reports concerning the death or safety of military men were lost en route to the homeland.
The Soldiers' Families Department handles a business which concerns families of 478,964 persons in 5,920 military units (including civilians in military service). The Department desires that [illegible]men demobilized from overseas will give reports about the death or safety of their friends.
ITEM 2 Kyoto Imperial University Literary Faculty's Winter Holiday - Asahi Shimbun - 28 Nov 45. Translator: H. Nishihara.
Full translation:
The Literature Department of KYOTO University decided to extend the winter vacation this year and to stop lectures between 24 December and 28 February, due to the food shortage. All other departments are expected to follow their plans, though there is no precedent for a winter vacation longer than two months.

(View Page Image)
SOCIAL SERIES: 52 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Free of Charge Lodgings in Ueno - Asahi Shimbun - 28 Nov 45. Translator: H. Nishihara.
Full translation:
At UENO Station, about one thousand vagrants spend the night. General MacARTHUR's Headquarters was greatly concerned about this matter and made inquiry at the TOKYO Civilian Welfare Bureau to make plans to rescue the sufferers. To comply with the inquiry, the Civilian Welfare Bureau ordered UENC Station officers to investigate these vagrants, and found that 100 are literally vagrants and 500 had regular jobs, but owing to the lack of cheap lodgings, they were forced to spend nights at UENO Station.
The Civilian Welfare Bureau decided to use the auditorium of SAKURAOKA National School at SHITAYA for lodging, free of charge, to accommodate the sufferers, and when the repair of the SHINUBUGAOKA National School is completed, they will he removed there.
ITEM 4 5 Asahi Reporters' Discussion on Local Situations - Asahi Shimbun - 29 Nov 45. Translator: K. Minagi.
Question: How is democracy interpreted by provincial people?
ENDO: There was talk in the FUKUOKA Prefectural Office that many people imagine that democracy is a liberalism which would permit a refusal to supply rice to the Government. A united movement of Government and people for educating the country folk is necessary.
SASAYAMA: Apart from any abstract views, they do not know the concrete effects of democracy. They must be shown what is the material importance of democracy instead of its abstract meaning.
Question: How are union movements going on in the provinces?
ENDO: All miners in North KYUSHU have formed a union aiming at the reconstruction of the mining management system. Union movements are prevalent in all mining areas of HOKKAIDO. In September, 800 miners of YUBARI went on strike and this strike spread to MIUTA Mine. Mr. MORI, Ryogen, a communist who insists that one must not spoil industrial organization, formed a labor union at the SUMITOMO Mining Plant and at the SHOWA DENKO Mining Plant. There they say that there must be a continuation of the fight against capitalists.
Question: Are farmers' associations showing any further developments?
SAWADA: In NIIGATA, the North Japan Farmers' Association, under the leadership of TAMAI, Junji and the Japan Agricultural Association were united into the NIIGATA Union of the Japan Agricultural Society with a total membership of 15,000 They started with a movement for reducing tenants' rent and some of them succeeded in getting a 40 per cent cut.
Question: What is the general feeling towards servicemen and officials?
ENDO: The farmers will not offer rice for Government collection unless the military and naval people's misdeeds under the cover of the confusion at the end of the war are brought to light.
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
SOCIAL SERIES: 52 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
NOZUE: Militarists' crimes at the end of the war have caused a general loss of confidence in anything official; All orders from prefectural authorities to farmers are not heeded.
Question: How are crime conditions?
NOZUE: Recently there have been many cases of rice theft in TOYAMA Prefecture.
Question: What do people think of electing provincial governors?
SAWADA: All classes of people advocate it. Fundamental renovation of provincial administration can not be made by electing governors only. Many are of the opinion that village-headmen, and chiefs of the Provincial Affairs Office should be elected. These last two elections will be more practical and handy steps to provincial democratization.
NARITA: In the CHUGOKU districts, some are against elections and others are not. Those who object to it are of the opinion that election could make local governments too independent of one another.
NOZUE Another reason for the objection is that, besides excessively isolated relations of local governments, appointment of officials will be biased. The drawbacks of political parties will be introduced into local administration.
Question: what are the best plans for the election?
NOZUE: Ballots of prefectural assemblymen are too few to represent the will of the majority, but voting by all the people is still more difficult. The plural ballot system would be most suitable.
ITEM 5 What are the Japanese Provinces Thinking? - Mainichi Shimbun - 29 Nov 45. Translator: C. Gilbert.
Allied Headquarters is issueing in swift succession directives encompassing the entire life of the Japanese people. The aim is evidently to effect a swift transformation of JAPAN into a democracy. There is a general feeling that the effort expended in this direction is of a revolutionary nature, the onrush of which is sweeping away the Japanese Government, as well as the people. What are the Japanese people in the provinces thinking under these conditions? The answer is that they are maintaining a conservative attitude, deeply shocked and not trying to swim with this tide of transformation.
The people in the provinces had, in general, put up a genuine effort to win the war. The defeat has left them apathetic. The demobilized soldiers and armament workers, returning with plenty of military goods and the publication of the misdeeds of the GUMBATSU, ZAIEATSU and KANRYO (militarists, capitalists, and bureaucrats) have made the peasants angry and, at the same time, sharply decreased their will to cooperate with the Government to deliver food. This has made black marketing a rampant and serious situation. Only thus can the fact be explained that entire villages in YAMANAHI-Ken, which had been insolvent for generations, have suddenly become fairly
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
SOCIAL SERIES: 52 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
prosperous. Formerly, in this province only one peasant household in a hundred was out of debt. Now the situation is reversed, and each peasant is a small-scale capitalist holding 5,000 to 10,000 yen. In NAGANO-Ken, an apple producing center, all the apples have disappeared into the black market, Village leaders who do not indulge in black market deals are called the "foolish honest".
The over-emphasis of propaganda on the shortage of rice has only made the peasants try to keep back as much rice as possible for their own consumption. In the cities it has led to active black market transactions with citizens trying to hoard as much rice as they can buy. So many food rations are disappearing on the way from producer to consumer in black market channels that a proposal has been made whereby the Government would publish ration quantities for each province, city and village so that the graft of the various organs and middlemen could be checked and controlled. Another factor seriously impeding the delivery of the State rice allotments is that rice has become the equivalent of money in the provinces. The farmer finds he cannot buy farm implements or rubber boots unless he pays in rice.
Under such conditions the food question takes up almost the whole perspective of the provincial people, and questions like the general election and womens' suffrage are evoking little interest. Women are much too busy buying in the black market to concern themselves about political questions that do not involve the immediate livelihood of the family.
Against the demand that all present Diet members and provincial assemblymen resign, the problem arises as to who, with the lack of suitable new men, is to take their places. In the TOHOKU district there exists a tendency among those men who failed during the war as candidates for the Imperial Rule Assistance Party to make a comeback under a democratic mask. IWATE and YAMAGATA-Ken are especially noteworthy examples of this tendency. In the FUKUSHIMA-Ken, provincial assemblymen are the most active political force, and interest in a public election for provincial governor is very small. The masses are totally uninterested; the provincial intellectual class admits the supreme importance of the Governor for the provincial administration, since[illegible]with the exception of the police, appointment of all departmental chiefs are made on recommendation of the Governor and acceptance by the provincial assembly. But these intellectuals are just as helpless when it comes to recommending a new man.
On the question of land reform, tenant farmers in the KANTO district declare that they are not interested in buying land at a high price if the purpose of the Government in effecting land reform is to increase production. They point out that greater results could be achieved by increased fertilizer distribution or imports. KANTO landowners are also of the opinion that the time is inopportune for effecting a land reform, and the Government should wait until present high prices settle down. In YAMAGATA-Ken and the entire TOHOKU district peasants still cling to the feudal system and show absolutely no interest in the prospected land reform. Peasants in YAMAGATA are extremely loyal to the two great landowning houses of HOMMA and SAKAI. HOKKAIDO landowners are mostly absentee landowners. They, however, point out that HOKKAIDO is suitable only for large scale farming. Since tenants have difficulty in getting in touch with their absentee landlords, they would leave the negotiations to the Government.
- 4 -

(View Page Image)
SOCIAL SERIES: 52 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
Provincial people are generally for cancellation of Government War Bonds, saying "We have been fooled, But what is the use of clinging to papers which have lost their value?"
A great majority of the demobilized soldiers and armament workers returning to the provinces become black market dealers; they are becoming a problem. It is pointed out that if the Japanese emigrants to MANCHUKUO should return to JAPAN, this unemployment problem would be accentuated. Therefore the Government must now devise a farsighted plan to cope with this problem. The Japanese prewar stock of silk yarn is 45,000 bales, 30,000 of which is stored in OKATANI in NAGANO-Ken. Ten thousand bales are to be inspected and shipped to AMERICA this year. The outlook for future silk production as payment for Japanese reparations and food imports is at present discouraging.
Japanese farmers show no interest in increasing mulberry plantations; on the contrary they are reducing plantations to increase food production. Their general attitude is that they would be forced to sell their cocoons at cheap Government prices and It is, therefore, more lucrative to produce more rice.
Distribution "X"
- 5 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0052, 1945-12-02.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only