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Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0092, 1945-12-17.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0364

call-number: DS801 .S84

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No. 364 Date: 17 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Farmers Opinion on Attitude of Diet to Land Reform Bill - Yomiuri Hochi - 14 Dec 45. Translator: C. Gilbert.
YOMIURI-HOCHI comments editorially on the Diet's attitude toward the Land Reform Bill, stating that the landowning Diet members have been trying to sabotage passage of the bill, but that a timely directive from GHQ, on land reform, has put a stop to this. The Government has prolonged the Diet session to effect a passage of the major bills. The farmers, especially the tenant farmers, are, according to the YOMIURI, by no means satisfied with the Government bill on land reform. They are, however, concerned over the reactionary attitude of the Diet members and demand a passage of the bill. YOMIURI conducted a poll on the farmers' opinion of the Land Reform Bill and the attitude of the Diet towards it; the survey has shown the following opinions among the farmers:
An AKITA tenant farmer says that Diet interpellations show that the Die has no true picture of the condition of the Japanese farmer and there are no real farmers' representatives amongst the Diet members. The la[illegible]reform in question is an ideal, but at present the price of rice is, by far, more important for the livelihood of the average farmer. The Government has given no guarantee regarding this vital price question. I the average tenant farmers the crop rent question is all-important. At present the crop rent is too high in many cases, for the tithe should [illegible]be more than 10-20 per cent of the harvest. The third most vital question for all farmers is how much of the rice a farmer produces will be left for the consumption of his household. The Government has given guarantees for an increased ration of rice for coalminers, but farming is also heavy labor and the farmers produce the food on which the Natio[illegible]subsists. It is, therefore, only fair that the farmer be guaranteed a heavy labor ration from his own produce.
An OSAKA tenant farmer declares that the Land Reform Bill is a heaven-sent blessing. The main question is, however, the one concerning land payment on an equitable basis.
A NAGOYA tenant farmer is of the opinion that limitation of the expropriation to landowners above five chobu is not enough; it should be fixed at least at three chobu, as the average Japanese farmer does not till more than one chobu of land himself.
A YAMANASHI tenant farmer declares that YAMANASHI is a province of small scale land owners and, that hardly any tenant farmers will become landed when the limit is fixed at five chobu. The necessary reform for YAMANASHI tenants is a law to the effect that the tenant can effect the payment of his rent in money instead of in kind, and second, that he is assured a necessary supply of fertilizer.

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SOCIAL SERIES: 92 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
A MIYAGI tenant farmer: The Government apparently thinks that it will achieve increased production by making the tenants landed farmers, but this is a fallacy. To be a landed farmer one needs capital, and many tenant farmers have none. If they borrow capital, they will have to pay interest. As this will be in addition to the Government rice allotments and taxes, it will make the economic conditions of the landed tenant farmer far from enviable. Some say the farmers have money because they indulge in black market dealings. It is, first, an open question as to how many farmers indulge in such dealings and, second, even if they do, it must be understood that the farmer finds himself surrounded by black market dealers and he cannot buy his daily necessities unless he trades with them.
A FUKUSHIMA tenant farmer: The Land Reform Bill is a blessing desired by all tenants, but in FUKUSHIMA some land owners are now demanding their land back as a result of the introduction of the bill in the Diet. Therefore, these tenant farmers are not only far from becoming landed farmers but are in danger of losing their right to till the fields which they have tilled for years.
A GUNMA tenant farmer declares that, as a result of the bad crop, many land owners are demanding their land back from tenant farmers. It is, therefore, an urgent necessity to take land, especially from absentee land owners. The tenant farmers in GUNMA all have a little money and are quite willing to pay for their land in order to become landed farmer
A TOCHIGI tenant farmer: The idea of turning tenant farmers into landed farmers is no doubt progressive, but the tenant farmer is much more interested in the right of land tillage than of land ownership.
A GUNMA land owner: That the original proposal of a three chobu limit was changed to five chobu shows that the present Government itself is reactionary. The introduction of the Land Reform Bill should be postponed until after the general elections, as the present Diet itself is composed of too many reactionaries. The redistribution of Land should not be effected by the agricultural society, but by a special land redistribution commission elected by the Japanese village populations.
A HOKKAIDO land owner is also of the opinion that the reform bill should be postponed until a new Government and Diet has been formed.
A NIIGATA landed farmer: The land owners want to keep their land; there fore, the Land Reform Bill has come as a shock, even to many small land owners who are now driving their tenants from the land to take up farming themselves. The effect of the introduction of the bill has been to drive farmers from the land they have tilled for years.
ICHIKAWA, Chuji, of the HOKKAIDO Prefectural Office, section for tenant farming: 60 per cent of HOKKAIDO's non-farming land owners on an average own less than five chobu of land. They have, however, an authoritative voice in the Agricultural Association. Many HOKKAIDO tenant farmers are, however, tilling five chobu of land which they have rented from two land owners. These tenant farmers could never become landed farmers under the Land Reform Bill proposed to the Diet, which thereby shows its impracticability.
A council of a village in AOMORI: The raising of the expropriation limit from three to five chobu makes the bill almost ineffective and shows the weakness of the present Government. The present Agricultural Association is undemocratic. A redistribution of land through this association, without previous thorough democratization of the organi-
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SOCIAL SERIES: 92 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
zation, will hardly achieve equitable results. The present land price is too high, for if the tenants are forced to buy at this high price, it is to be feared that they will not have any money left to buy agricultural implements and fertilizer.
Chief of the TOYAMA Agricultural Association, MORIOKA, Masatada: Raising the expropriation limit to five chobu shows that the Government either does not know the Japanese farming conditions or is trying to protect the land owners. The Japanese tenant farmers have money at present so they will have no difficulty in buying land; therefore, it is better that this bill be passed than none at all.
A member of the SKIZUOKA Agricultural Association: SHIZUOKA does not have many tenant farmers. The Government should, however, be warned against compulsory buying of land at prices which are tantamount to expropriation. As a result of such ill-planned expropriation measures many tenants are actually driven from land they have tilled for years and are becoming landless rabble.
ITEM 2 Land Owners with more than 5 Chobu of Land - Asahi Shimbun - 14 Dec 45. Translator: H. Nishihara.
Full Translation:
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry has investigated land owners who own farms of more than five cho and which should be sold as a result of the reform of the rural land system. The Ministry stated that there were about 100,000 persons who owned farms of more than five and less than 50 cho, and the aggregate amount owned by all land owners in this class was 120,000 cho. Three thousand persons owned farms of more than 50 cho, and an aggregate area of 250,000 cho was owned by this class of land owners. 25 persons owned more than 1,000 cho.
The big land owners are as follows: Baron FUJITA, Koichi, owns 1,800 cho in KOJIMA-Gun, OKAYAMA-Ken; the well-known HOMMA family owns 1,750 cho in AKUMI-Gun, YAMAGATA-Ken, the property being under the management of the SHINSEI GOSHI KAISHA; in NIIGATA-Ken, ICHISHIMA, Tokuzo, owns 1,348 cho; ITOH, Bunkichi, owns 1,346 cho; SHIRASE, Masae, owns 1,220 cho; TAMAKI, Kentaro, owns 1,200 cho. In KUWANA-Gun, MIE-Ken, MOROTO, Iroku, owns 1,200 cho.
Among the members of the House of Representatives who are regarded as siding with the land owners, there are many absentee owners, including HATOYAMA, Ichiro, leader of the Liberal Party, who owns 267 cho in HOKKAIDO.
Among the peers, Marquis TOKUGAWA, descendant of TOKUGAWA Shogunate, owns 450 cho; Marquis SAIGO owns 128 cho; Prince SHIMAJU owns 506 cho; Marquis MAEDA owns 431 cho.
ITEM 3 Destruction and Protection of Culture - Yomiuri Hochi - 14 Dec 45. Translator: C. Gilbert.
I have heard of a case of Japanese soldiers ravaging the library of a Chinese university and using the books as fuel. Some soldiers are said to have tried to prevent this act of vandalism, but the Japanese
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SOCIAL SERIES: 92 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
officers merely looked on idly, and this case was by no means an exception.
In the wake of the Japanese advance in CHINA and the PHILIPPINES, there followed the wanton destruction or pilferage of schools, libraries, museums, churches and hospitals, which were by no means always actuated by strategic necessity. The Americans bombed the Japanese cities, but spared KYOTO and NARA, the center of Japanese cultural monuments. In the some way, the Soviet troops are said to have avoided bombing European cities of culture and art. These actions of the two opposing forces show which side was truly cultured. It is true that only a very small percentage of the Japanese are illiterate, but that does not mean they are cultured, because Japanese school education and the majority of the Japanese books have been in the past of very low cultural, if not anti-cultural, standard.
General Headquarters has already published accounts of brutality, piracy and rape in the PHILIPPINES and in CHINA, but yesterday a Japanese paper reported that Japanese soldiers had resorted even to cannibalism in the mountains of the PHILIPPINES, killing children of Japanese civilians who had gone with them for this purpose. The Japanese people will do well to consider that Japanese officers who had received high Japanese education must have been witnesses of these acts of cannibalism. Such inhumanity is, however, closely related with the will to destroy culture. This proves that although feudalism was abolished outwardly with the Meiji Restoration, the feudal bases remained and became visible in the Japanese education. The result was the mass murders and cultural destructions by the Japanese armed forces in the present war.
This war, however, teaches the Japanese people one lesson: a state and a people who do not respect humanity and culture cannot continue long to exist. The Japanese people must learn this lesson from the progressive democratic countries.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0092, 1945-12-17.
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