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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1949. The Far East and Australasia (in two parts)

Northeast Asia: Japan,   pp. 601-939 PDF (132.7 MB)

Page 602

controlled labor movement would be very real and immediate. This
is well known to the Communist Party which, as a result, has devoted
almost its entire effort to its infiltration to a dominant position of labor
leadership. The numerical weakness of the Communist membership
does not permit even this effort to extend over a broad labor front,
and as a consequence its tactic has been to concentrate upon those
segments of labor most vital to political and economic stability. It thus
sought to seize control of the two great government unions, communi-
cations and transportation, which would have permitted it almost at
will to paralyze those vital arteries to Japanese life. This move was
effectively blocked by action to place the public service on more stable
ground through the enactment of laws prohibiting the strike and
sharply restricting the right of collective bargaining. More recently,
with the receipt here of the United States interim directive on re-
habilitation of the Japanese economy, existing labor strife, then con-
centrated in the vital area of private industry covering coal and
electrical energy production, was brought under control through the
moral appeal to support the general welfare with, of course, the domi-
nant influence which an occupation requirement and leadership exer-
cises upon all phases of indigenous activity.
   "I do not view with concern talk of a 'popular front' in Japan. So
far such talk has been entirely confined to the Communist Party and
its affiliates. A splinter group from the left wing of the Social Demo-
cratic Party may possibly join with the Communists in the course of
or immediately following the coming election, as there is already great
similarity in political philosophy and tactic, but the resulting coalition
would be of little political consequence. On the other hand, such a move
would leave the Social Democratic Party, cleansed of its most unruly
and troublesome element, in an infinitely stronger position to con-
tribute objectively to the country's need, either as an opposition party
or segment of a government coalition. This party should more prop-
erly be named as the 'Labor Party', as organized and ledby outstand-
ing labor'leaders and finding most of its support in the ranks of labor,
its advocacy of Socialism is at most a long range advocacy and its im-
mediate purpose is to support legislation of direct labor interest.
Apart from its radical left wing mentioned, it is fundamentally more
conservative than conventional Socialism and is openly opposed to
the extreme of either the right or the left.
   "The greatest boost for the spread of Communism in Japan lies in
 the ammunition which from time to time is supplied its local leader-
 ship through thoughtless and irresponsible press statements emanat-
 ing largely from Washington correspondents which instill doubt in
 the Japanese mind that Washington official opinion is in harmony
 with occupation objectives and action. Such statements, usually
 ascribed to anonymous official sources frequently give real encourage-
 ment to: the local Communist leaders and bewilder the Japanese
 masses. Intentionally or not, they are not infrequently timed and
 phrased to checkmate local efforts to ensure the vigorous implementa-
 tion by the Japanese of American policy and almost invariably lend
 aid to the Communist propaganda effort. I am only now bringing a
 glaring example of this condition to the attention of the Department
 of the Army by radio 0-66781 of January 3. In addition, such items
 of manifest discrimination as the area restrictions placed upon Japa-

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