Diary of Leon Ma. Guerrero

22nd April 1945

Commenting on the “war precepts” issued to the imperial forces, the Times notes that the fifth calls on them to assume the leadership of the people. The reality of army dictatorship has in this case outrun the theory but its assertion at this time may well be a warning against any doubts that the army is the nation. Along the same lines that the Mainichi declared, yesterday that the “precepts” were needed, not so much by the armed forces as by the people at large. “The people too must make them their own.”

If the press is any indication however the people feel that it is rather their leaders who must be reminded of their duties. In the last three days alone Tokyo’s editorialists have come out with a crescendo of criticism. The Nippon Sangyo Keizai, after announcing that inflation has gotten out of hand, blames “mistakes and clumsiness in the economic control heretofore enforced. Many instances of mistaken control could be quoted,” it says. One has been “a lack of understanding” of the problem which has been regarded merely as a currency phenomenon. As a result “black-market transactions are being conducted on an extremely wide scale” and “in all fields, including armament materials, foodstuffs, and labor.” The Asahi, commenting on the recent shifts in central and regional administration officials, accuses these officials of giving themselves up to “idleness, laziness, and ways not befitting the emergency.” Refusing to be optimistic over the changes introduced, it continues: “Just because the chiefs of the regional councils have been raised in rank, it is impossible to expect freshness and vigour if meticulous and senile senior officials are appointed.” The Mainichi, worrying about the situation on Okinawa, complains: “Our armament production in the past could by no means be called smooth. While it is not a pleasant thing to say, one cannot help admitting that because of the weakness of Japanese politics, much material has been allowed, to remain dormant.” Some of this material was concealed; the rest was not utilized because of bureaucratic inefficiency.