My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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TOKYO—I had an opportunity to discuss politics with both the left and the right wing socialist democratic party leaders. I would consider that the right wing socialist democratic party represented what we would call democratic party principles in the U.S. The left wing would be more radical, perhaps influenced by the Communists.

It is an interesting situation here because the conservative and progressive party are both conservative! They would ordinarily represent the people who would want to return, perhaps not to the militarism of prewar days but to many of the economic and social customs of pre-war days but, under the influence of our early occupation period, they passed a number of rather liberal social security laws and gave rights to trade unions, etc. At present they are trying to rescind the right to strike. I don't think anything has really crystallized in this country as yet. One sees much shifting back and forth and there are possibilities for much more.

I lunched with the International Ladies Benevolent Society at the same officers' mess where I lunched before. This group included quite a number of American and foreign women as well as some Japanese. They are concerned to help the movement for crippled children in this country. There was a time when in certain parts of our country people thought a crippled child was a disgrace and should be hidden from view. The idea has been prevalent here, so the movement to do something has only recently got under way.

After lunch we went to visit the Crippled Children's Home at Itabashi. The head of the home, Dr. Takagi, is ill but they showed us the plant and the work they are doing. From our point of view it would be just the beginning but it is wonderful to have a beginning for it means a great deal of hope for the future in those children's lives.

The ladies also occasionally give assistance to people of foreign nationality who come to Japan and are stranded here without resources and I gathered that this international effort was drawing many people together in work they are finding interesting and helpful.

I had a visit with two publishers who are getting out some English language magazines here. I found them interesting to talk to because their contacts with Japanese publishers and writers are leading them to translate a number of Japanese articles and I think they must have a good understanding of the situation here from their particular angle.

I am disturbed by finding that an incorrect report was made in one of the English papers here on my visit to Dr. Taylor in Hiroshima. I had asked Dr. Taylor for some information and when I received his answer, I said this was information which the Hiroshima officials understood and which they should pass on to the citizens of Hiroshima. The impression given by the paper was quite different. I sometimes wonder whether it is a language difficulty and they do not really understand what is said, or whether they prefer their own version.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Tokyo (Japan) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 20, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.