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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0002, 1945-11-06.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0002

call-number: DS801 .S81

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ECONOMIC No. 2 Date: 6 Nov 45
ITEM 1 Black Market transactions in FUNABASHI - Tokyo Shimbun - 2 Nov 45 - Translator: Y. Akabane
Full translation:
Black market transactions amounting to ¥ 1,000,000 daily, says a report from FUNABASHI. The so-called black market price of sardines in that city is from ¥ 25 to ¥ 30 for one KAN while the official retail price is ¥ 4.30 only. Satoimo (Taro) costs ¥ 18 for one KAN ([illegible]) including packing. These are comparatively moderate prices. Two and a half pieces of sardine for one yen, five pieces of kanagashira for nine to ten yen are examples of higher prices. Under the circumstances, almost all the fish landed on the coast of the CHIBA PREFECTURE are concentrated at FUNABASHI and there they appear on the black market while the people of TOKYO cannot get any fish. Among the passengers getting on and off at the FUNABASHI Station, about 20,000 are supposed to be customers of the market. If each pays ¥ 50 for fish or vegetables, the prices will amount to one million yen daily.
At present Mr. KAWAI, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, is reported to be considering a plan to abolish the control of prices for foodstuffs and the abandonment of government distribution. It is doubtful whether the people can manage the collection and distribution of foodstuffs independently.
ITEM 2 Where are the fish? - Tokyo Shimbun - 2 Nov 45 - Translator: Y. Akabane
Full translation:
Citizens of TOKYO and other large cities in JAPAN are in danger of starvation. An immediate supply of food is necessary to save them from starvation. As winter approaches rice and vegetables are becoming scarce. Fish has disappeared completely. Where are the fish? When can we citizens of TOKYO expect an efficient distribution of fish?
Sardines exchanged for Rice
Fishing boats are now only 20 per cent of the prewar number. Many were destroyed by enemy raids during the war. Fuel is scarce. The importation of manila rope has stopped. The shortage of labor should have ended with demobilization, but some of the returning soldiers are not inclined to engage, at once, in their former business. It is necessary to obtain permission from the Allied Forces before fishing in certain waters. Comparatively wide extension of the fishing area is permitted on the waters of HONSHU, SHIKOKU, and KYUSHU etc., but JAPAN lost fishing grounds in CHISHIMA and other northern waters; so it is difficult to get large quantities of fish. Thus fish production is not good, though the war has ended. Moreover, a large part of the fish catch is not going into normal channels of distribution but to the black markets.

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ECONOMIC No. 2 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Various materials are needed in building ships and these materials cannot be found in sufficient quantities on the open market; so fishermen are obliged to buy them on the black market. Merchants having materials demand payment by articles ant not by money, so it is natural that the fishermen trade their fish to these merchants. In fishing villages, as in large cities, people need rice, so the exchange of fish for rice is now widely practised. Farmers use sardines and other fish thus acquired mainly as fertilizer. Official distribution of fertilizer to each farmer is very scanty. Fishermen state that they cannot sell at the fixed price, fish which were caught by using materials bought at the black market prices. Under these circumstances, it is natural that fresh fish do not appear in cities. To add to this, a lukewarm attitude is taken by the authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in regard to perishable foodstuffs. The official intention, of abolishing the control of perishable foodstuffs, was made public by the former Cabinet, but whether fish is included in this control or not is not clear. In some places the control of fish is thought to have been abolished, but the control regulations are still in force. If the control is abolished, fish will be sold as near as possible to the respective fishing villages. At present, the purchasing power of local towns and villages is as strong as TOKYO. Thus fish are apt to go only to a part of the privileged class.
ITEM 3 Rationing of Staple Foods - Editorial -Mainichi Shimbun - 2 Nov 45 - Translator: S. Sano
Full translation:
It is the desire of the nation that the present ration of staple foods be increased. With the obvious shortage of more than 10,000,000 "koku" it is very difficult to ask for an increase in the ration, nevertheless such an increase will mean the difference between life and death for great numbers of the population. Now we hear that the government has decided to increase the ration of staple foods somewhat by an occasional supply of potatoes, etc. in addition to the basic ration of 2.1 "go" of rice or wheat. (The present ration of 2.1 "go" will remain as it is.) This is because the government can no longer plead ignorance as to the food crisis in JAPAN. We do not want to blame the poor policies of the Government which in the past brough us face to face with starvation but we regret that the present plan is to increase the ration to 2.3 "go" rather than to the essential level of 3 "go" per day. We say this because the former ration of 2.3 "go" was arbitrarily decided, not on the basis of what the nation actually required, but rather as a compromise between the demand and the supply of staple food available at that time. Yet the policy of increasing the ration is one of maintaining the present staple food allotment, and adding a synthetic ration of various foods. Already a great amount of synthetic food has been added to the present ration the object being to lessen the feeling of shortage in amount of staples allowed. This is a halfhearted and negative policy on the part of the government, and while this policy is in effect, a solution of the vital food problem is well nigh impossible. We recognize fully that a shortage of staple foods exists. However, the problem is not a technical one of having to face an emergency for a month or so, but one of halting starvation now. This must be the most important and fundamental consideration.
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ECONOMIC No. 2 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
We believe firmly that the government must inaugurate a new and positive policy in order to give confidence to the nation, such as, "We can live somehow by such and such a rationing of staple foods", and the people would try to get along somehow. Generally, the government authorities have tended to give too much consideration to the technical balance between supply and demand. A food conservation system can easily be put into effect, but will not solve the problem. Orders sent out by the Central Office to local offices fail to take into account the conditions that prevail locally. Central Office schemes which took these realities into account would be much more applicable. It is useless to say that an attempt has been made to obtain permission to import 3,000,000 tons of rice. This is not enough. Take all measures necessary to assure increased food production. There can be no objection to this if it saves the nation from starvation. Now the industry of JAPAN, not to speak of production of coal (the fundamental material) is almost at a standstill. The causes of this must be considered as a separate problem, both now and in the future, but except in some special cases the whole thing finally depends on the solution of the food problem. We must recognize changes of supply and demand, but if we adhere to this phase of the problem only, the present food condition will be forever unsolved. It is clear that JAPAN will never be saved without the complete solution of the food problem. The government must find some more suitable policy to attain this vital end.
ITEM 4 Revival of Co-operative Silk-Reeling - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: Lt. Kayano
Officials from the eight leading silk producing KEN's (GUMMA, SAITAMA, NAGANO, YAMANASHI, AIC[illegible]I, GIFU, KANAGAWA and SHIGA) were invited on the 1st to the headquarters of Japan Agriculture Association at KOIHIKAWA to discuss problems on sericulture. The leaders of the Kens agreed in the discussion to:
Revive co-operative silk-reeling.
Revive industrial co-operative silk-reeling.
Rename the organization The Agriculture association for silk-reeling.

They also agreed to establish a research organization for the study of silk to be known tentatively as the Sericulture Promotion Research Association. The association will consist of persons concerned with sericulture, and will study prevailing problems in the manufacture of raw silk, and, especially, those problems arising between the authorities and the workers.
They further agreed to establish silk-reeling companies by issuing stocks to Silkworm-egg growers, silk-realers, and agriculture association in accordance with the existing conditions in each area.
ITEM 5 Conditions of Alcohol Production - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: R. Aoki
The production of alcohol for the coming year has been estimated at 80,000 kilo litres by the Department of Commerce and Industry. 50,000 kilo litres, it is estimated, will be manufactured by state owned factories and the remainder by civil factories.
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ECONOMIC No. 2 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
The raw materials for alcohol are potatoes and sweet potatoes, the geographical distribution of which is said to be reasonably good. Consumption of potatoes and sweet potatoes for the coming year is estimated as follows (in KAN):
Product (Kilo litres)
Sweet potatoes 143,000,000 71,750
Potatoes 33,000,000 8,250
Total 176,000,000 80,000

The total production of sweet potatoes and the amount estimated for use in the production of alcohol from 1941 to date is as follows:
Years Production Used for Alcohol Ratio
1941 1,071,000,000 126,000,000 11.8%
1942 1,005,000,000 75,000,000 7.5%
1943 1,209,000,000 65,000,000 5.4%
1944 1,145,000,000 94,000,000 8.2%
1945 1,958,000,000 143,000,000 7.5%

ITEM 6 Establishment of Western Japan Coal Miner's Association - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: Lt. Kayano
About 200 minors from the three coal control unions of YAMAGUCHI, Western KYUSHU, and Northern KYUSHU met at FUKUOKA-SHI. They discussed the basic problems of mine repairs necessitated by careless war practices, reconstruction of damage done by flood and typhoon, adjustment of coal prices, etc, They decided to dissolve the three control unions and to establish a self-governing organization, to be known temporarily as the Western Japan Coal Miner's Association. A committee will soon be formed to work out the details of organization.
ITEM 7 Coal Tar and Pitch Quota - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: R. Aoki
Full translation:
The Coal Tar Control Company announced the rationing of coal tar for the third quarter and that of pitch for the 2nd half year period as follows:
Coal tar quota for the third quarter-Iron and Steel Control

Ass. (for furnace materials) 500 tons
Soda Section, Chemical Industry Control Ass. (for anticeptic materials) 50 tons
Carbide Section, C.I.C.A. (for carbide) 300 tons
Vehicles Control Ass. (for anticeptics) 20 tons
Nippon Mineral Grading Chemicals Control Co. 20 tons
Nippon Shipping Supplies Control Co. 30 tons
Mital Industry Control Ass. (for electric wire insulation) 100 tons
Nippon Carbon Industry Control Co (for electrodes) 300 tons
Dept. of Agriculture (for seine dye) 500 tons

Pitch quota for 2nd Half year-Light Metal Industry
Control Ass. (for pitch cokes) 18,000 tons
Nippon Carbon Industry Control Co, (for electrodes) 9,000 tons
Carbide Section, Chemical Industry Control Ass. (for carbide electrodes) 2,000 tons
Dept of Transportation (for cokes) 4,000 tons
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ECONOMIC NO. 2 (Continued)
ITEM 8 Black market of new rice - Tokyo Shimbun - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: S. Iwata
Full translation:
We expect that the solution of the food problem depends upon the results of this years’ rice supply. The sale of rice on the black market occurs before the early rice is marketable. The Economic Police Headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Board is searching for the men interfering with the rice supply, and is taking decisive action. Some companies, including the MITSUBISHI ZAIBATSU, have already been charged with disturbing the rice supply. They were examined by the police authorities and the food was confiscated and sold by the Food Association at official prices.
ITEM 9 Bad potato harvest in KYUSHU - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 4 Nov 45 - Translator: Lt. Kayano
Full translation:
The production of sweet potatoes in the KYUSHU area will be the determining factor on the food problems in the OSAKA-KOBE and KYUSHU areas, because of the transfer of rice to the KOBE-OSAKA area. According to the KYUSHU Branch of the Japan Agriculture Association, due to unprecedented typhoon damage and forced maintenance of cultivated acreage, the crop will be small.
The cultivated acreage is as follows:
OITA-KEN: Apportioned cultivated acreage - 9469 CHOBU (CHOBU = 2.45 acres); Actual cultivated acreage - 9433 CHOBU; Planned total production - 53,845,000 KAN (KAN = 8.27 1bs.); Expected total production - 33,582,000 KAN.
MIYAGI-KEN: Apportioned cultivated acreage - 19,419 CHOBU; Actual cultivated acreage - 18,511 CHOBU; Planned total production - 97,100,000 KAN; Expected total production - 62,555,000 KAN.
KAGOSHIM-KEN: Apportioned cultivated acreage - 50,456 CHOBU; Actual cultivated acreage - 43,868 CHOBU; Planned total production - 260,549,000 KAN; Expected total production - 161,460,000 KAN.
KUMAMOTO-KEN: Apportioned cultivated acreage - 24,425 CHOBU; Actual cultivated acreage - 23,025 CHOBU; Planned total production 137,287,000 KAN; Expected total production - 88,666,000 KAN.
The main sweet potato producing KEN's have had a poor harvest. In SAGA-KEN, the total planned production of 521 KAN per TAN (.245 acres) resulted in about 350 KAN per TAN. In NAGASAKI-KEN, the total estimated production of 450 KAN per TAN crop will result in about 320 KAN per TAN. Based on the foregoing, the expected government compulsory sales allotment, is as follows: (% = expected government compulsory sales allotment, ( ) shows apportioned amount, and unit = 10,000 KAN).
Fresh sweet potato Dried sweet potato
OITA 70% (1,041) 50% (400)
MIYAZAKI 50% (3,300) 20% (800)
KAGOSEIMA 45% (5,500) 10% (2,000)
KUMAMOTO 50% (3, 480) 30% (2,000)
FUKUOKA 100% ( 800) None
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0002, 1945-11-06.
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