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Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0181, 1946-01-19.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0844

call-number: DS801 .S84

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No. 844 Date: 19 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Conditions in the Japan Red Cross Central Hospital - Yomiuri Hochi - 18 Jan 46. Translator: H. Nishihara.
The Employee's Union of the JAPAN Red Cross Central Hospital began a strike a week ago, but no solution is expected in the near future. The Union is taking charge of the hospital and has achieved a certain measure of success in attaining a fair distribution of goods and increasing the employees' pay.
In this strike, the attitude of the girls in the Nurses' Training Institute and in the dormitory YOSHINRYU, has attracted public attention. This institute aims to train girls who are destined to work as nurses in all the Red Cross Hospitals in JAPAN. In this Institute, absolute militaristic obedience is forced upon the girls. If one enters the entrance hall of the hospital, he will see many slogans posted on the walls, "We appeal to you, girls", "Prolong consulting hours" "Purge professional military men". But the girls say, "We would be ashamed of ourselves to start a strike. We wish the slogans were taken off."
The staff-members of the institute, who forced the girls to repeat the slogans, are Major General (Medical) WAJI, chief of the institute, and Lieutenant-General (Medical) FUJIFAMI, president, (who both give lectures on morals), Colonel KITAGAWA and Lieutenant Colonel TSUTSUMI, who give the girls military training. A senior sister is in charge of the dormitory; three sisters and eight senior nurses assist the senior sister.
Regulations called "The JAPAN Red Cross Relief Members Morals," which are totally militaristic, control the girls' behavior. These regulations include strict penalties. For instance, a girl who forgot to hand her name card to the door keeper when she went out, was forbidden to go out for a month. All members of a room were ordered to remain standing for an hour because one of them spoke during roll-call.
This reporter asked a girl, "Why don't you join the union?" and the girl replied, "It is bad manners for a girl to discuss matters concerning money." A graduate said, "I heard that the girls who wish to improve conditions are punished, in spite of the fact that they state their wishes at the request of the senior sisters." The union wanted the girls to write down their demands and promised that strict precautions would be taken not to let the senior nurses know. As a result, 400 girls wrote down their demands which included the abolition of the censorship of letters, permission to go to their families when one of the family is seriously ill, permission to spend a night at their families' homes when a national holiday follows Sunday, double the pay of 14 yen a month, fair distribution of goods, et cetera.
About ten girls run away from the institute every year and the graduates say, "If the senior nurse would resign, matters would be improved." These facts clearly show the oppressive attitude of the staff-members.

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SOCIAL SERIES: 181 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
A medical college graduate receives a pay of 107 yen, 64 sen a month after six years service. This pay is based upon a regulation which was promulgated some 60 years ago, and the girls are being trained in accordance with ideas which go hack 60 years.
The current strike will help change militaristic ideas of the JAPAN Red Cross Association to ideas of humanity and love. And to complete the reform the training of nurses should be revised at once.
ITEM 2 Opinion on Birth Control and Women's Suffrage - Mainichi Shimbun - 18 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Akabane.
Birth Control.
MINOBE: In present-day JAPAN the question of population plays a very important role, so I am anxious to know what stand the Social-Democratic Party will take on birth control.
KATAYAMA: I am of the opinion that birth control should be made a part of Government administration and that full knowledge of its necessity must be given to all, when reaching a certain age, leaving the actual means to physicians or some other specialists.
TANAKA: I think it is fundamentally wrong to consider birth control as a means of solving the population question. I don't know what the Ministry of Welfare means when they say that they are not thinking of, or advocating birth control, but unraturelness or artificiality should be avoided, from the standpoint of religion, moral life and human dignity. Men should refrain from shirking from the result or responsibility due to satisfying their physical wants. It is paradoxical for us to refuse to assume responsibility.
KATAYAMA: At present, actual conditions are such that we cannot properly rear children for various economic reasons. It may be that the Government is not thinking of instituting such policies or is financially incapable of carrying them out. If so I think it better to practice birth control in order to prevent social and financial difficulties arising from focundity.
TATSUNO: Birth control is supposed to be practiced to a certain extent by the bourgeosie, who are rich enough but are leath to decrease their riches. It will not be practiced by the working masses, who need it most. Therefore, it must be made compulsory, even though it may be very difficult.
TAKAKA: There is ample room all over the world to accommodate a surplus population. I think it imperative to call on world wide opinion to accept the Japanese, for instance, in AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL or ARGENTINA. Though it may be difficult to do it at once the future prospect will by no means be dark if such emigrants endeavor to contribute to the welfare and prosperity of the country they go to, with due respect for its customs on the principle of "when in ROME, do as the Romans do."
KATAYAMA: As an urgent expedient at this time, when conditions are extreme, birth control should be officially recognized in JAPAN. If JAPAN is allowed to send its emigrants abroad freely, the matter can be settled easily, but this may be difficult for some time to come, during which period we will be confronted by many difficulties in food and other problems
YAGI: There are two questions facing the country: The population question and the economic question. I support Mr. KATAYAMA's opinion in emphasizing the necessity for birth control to alleviate the difficulties of our economic life.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 181 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Women's Suffrage.
KATAYAMA: Although it is thought in some quarters that, when women suffrage is realized, they will show a rightist tendency. I do not think the tendency will be so apparent in the actual elections. There may be a pretty large number of conservative votes, but this is unavoidable. Women will be educated politically after two or three elections. What is desired is to avoid making them use different voting cards than the men. Women must be treated on the same basis as men. At first, women will be influenced by the men in their families, wives will obey their husbands and the sisters will go to the poles accompanied by their older brothers. This cannot be helped for the time being but will be improved, as time goes by, with the dissemination of political education.
YAGT and TATSUMO: Women under 30 years of age are as idealistic, as young men are and, accordingly, seem to have sympathy with socialists or Social-Democrat policy. The Social-Democrat Party will command the majority of the votes of young people, including, of course, young women.
KATAYAMA: I hope this will be shown by their unbiased votes.
TATSUNO: Another thing I want to add is that voters are anxious to know candidates. It may be difficult to determine for whom to vote, after studying each party's policy. Voters are apt to select candidates according to their appearance rather than according to the policies of the parties to which they belong.
KATAYAMA: A label with the inscription, "One sardine is better than women's suffrage" was posted up near my home. There may be some candidates who intend to gather women's votes, by promising to endeavor, if elected, to supply electors' households with more sardines, without emphasizing political theories or ideologies in their election campaigns.
YAGA: However it may be one sardine in itself constitutes a political ideology. Although we want even one sardine more in these days of difficult living, there are many for whom one sardine is a very trivial question or, rather, out of the question. We ordinary citizens cannot but hold a strong antipathy for these rich people.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0181, 1946-01-19.
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