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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0017, 1945-11-25.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0091

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No. 91 DATE 25 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Salt production for use in Japan - Nihon-Sangyo-Keizai - 16 Nov 45. Translator: T. Mitsubashi.
Full Translation:
The MITSUI Main Office has directed its eighteen subordinate companies to act on salt production for use in Japan. The MITSUI Trading Company, a subsidiary has accordingly formed a salt production section, and other subsidiaries have made efforts to locate suitable salt production areas. The aim of the parent company is to achieve an annual production of 200,000 tons.
The HOKKAIDO works of the Oriental High Pressure Company has begun to operate and expects to produce 100,000 tons per year. Works of the MITSUI in operation or on the point of operation are as follows:
Names of Companies Numbers of Works Estimated Production (Unit = TON)
MITSUI Trading Company 19 63,000
MITSUI Mining Company 15 20,000
MITSUI Chemical Industry Company 4 20,000
Oriental High Pressure Company 3 20,000
Orienta1 Soda Company 1 20,000
Eastern Synthesizing Company 4 17,000

The Chief of the Salt Production Section of the MITSUI Trading Co. made the following statement. "The salt produced is to be purchased by the finance authorities at 600 yen per ton and is to be distributed to the people at 250 yen. Although it seems a profitable enterprise, production costs will be over 600 yen per ton. Futhermore, maximum production is about 100 tons per chobu (2.5 acres). The MITSUI company will however carry on salt production regardless of profit."
ITEM 2 Most of Food and Clothing To Be Disposed of By American Occupation Forces, Medicines and Medical Appliances, too: - Mainichi Shimbun - 16 Nov 45. Translator: S. Iwata.
According to a statement by the Public Relation Office of American Forces, 15 November 1945, American Occupation Forces disposed of most of the captured food and clothing to the Home Ministry for civilian use. Some of the supplies given to the House Ministry by the 27th Division are as follows:

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 17 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
1. Food: (unit = pound)
Rice 213,000
Wheat 37,100
Barley 87,100
Oat 335,000
Starch 127,400
Indian corn 252,000
Salt 47,000
Tea 146,940
Peas l64,300
Cereals 33,000
Wheat flour 355,150
Deccan-grass 125,750
Fish goods 318,000
2. Clothing:
Blankets 67,000
Boots 153,000 pairs
Coats and over coats 154,740
Underclothes 184,000
Gloves 106,700 pairs
Shirts 273,225
Shoes 370, 250 pairs
Socks and stockings 36,460 pairs
Pants 249,385

Some scrap of metals and arms were also included.
At NIGATA, remnants of 40 barrage balloons, about 80 fishing boats, as well as most of the valuable medicines, and medical appliances were handed over to the Prefectural Government.
ITEM 3 Import of superphosphate asked by superphosphate association - Nippon Sangyo-keizai - 6 Nov 45. Translator: H. Shindo.
Full Translation:
The reconstruction of super-phosphate fertilizer industry depends on the import of its raw material, phosphate rock. To deal with this the Phosphate Rock Committee has been formed chiefly, by the Superphosphate Ore Association (KWARIMSANKŌ KUMIAI), the NIPPON Fertilizer Association (NIPPON. HIRYŌ KUMIAI), and others. The committee has been studying how to import phosphate rock, and has applied to Allied Headquarters through the committee chairman, WAMURA, KAZUKI, for permission to import 150,000 metric tons of ore as the intial step in a program calling for 800,000 metric tons per annum.
The current food condition requires super-phosphate of lime for better results in barley production. The secondary fertilizing of barley should take place in early March. Therefore to meet this need an urgent application to permit import of super-phosphate fertilizer must be made to Headquarters and the required quantity must be produced by the end of January.
The committee in its application requests shipping tonnage for 15,000 metric tons from. RUSSELL Island, 12,000 metric tons from NORTH DAITŌ Island, 23,000 metric tons from KAISHŪ, 50,000 metric tons from FRENCH INDO-CHINA, and 50,000 metric tons from CHRISTMAS Island.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 17 (Continued)
ITEM 4 A Plan to establish New Companies - Asahi Shimbun - 16 Nov 45. Translator: Z. Zonishi.
Although the war is ended, the conversion of the munitions industry to civilian production has not made progress. This is due to the following reasons, namely, the pending question of national compensation; the difficulty of securing funds; the confusion brought about by the breaking up of the ZAIBATSU; and especially by lack of the basic materials with which to carry our production operations.
In order to iron out the present condition, it is very necessary to facilitate the availability of funds so that businesses can be operated properly. With this motive in mind, the following plan for conversion is being strongly sponsored in various circles in order to effect the democratization of capital funds. The plan is to seperate those properties which can be converted from the others and establish a new company which has as its purpose the production of necessary materials for the public. Furthermore to dispose of or lend properties to existing companies who are producing necessary goods for the public.
By this, the conversion of munitions companies will be speeded up. However, it is necessary to obtain permission from Allied Headquarters and then offer stock for public subscription. With reqard to capital funds, this new company plan is meeting with public favor. At present, financial transactions are at a standstill and money is not available. If the new companies are established then they can secure funds in accordance with their soundness and reliability.
With this projected plan for hastening the conversion of enterprises by the formation of both an entirely new company and an adjusted company from the former large enterprise, the desired economic democratization can be brought about. This change will also be put into effect in companies of the ZAIBATSU.
For the plan to have effect, it is absolutely necessary for the company to have adequate financial machinery. Furthurmore much attention must be paid to the technical end so as not to raise production costs and thus make it impossible to settle their debts. In addition, the investment in these new enterprises must be considered in determining the price of the merchandize to be produced.
ITEM 5 Agricultural Land System Reform Proposal Submitted to Cabinet Meeting: Reform of Land System (First of the Series) - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 16 Nov 45. Translator: M. Maruyama.
A proposal concerning the reform of agricultural land, centering on the consolidation of landed farming and sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, was submitted at the Cabinet meeting of 16 November. The cardinal object of the proposal is to effect radical reform in the land system. The Government will submit a law concerning this epoch-making reform to the forthcoming Extraordinary Diet.
Reform of the agricultural land system has come into the limelight following the recent disintegration of the ZAIBATSU as one of the most vital factors in the democratization of JAPAN. The swelling
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 17 (Continued.)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
tide of democracy in this country is one something which some intellectuals find hard to believe. There was a time when even an opinion favoring payment of tenant fees in cash instead of in kind was considered a dangerous thought. Furthermore any argument in the lowering of tenant fees or nationalization of land was an object for control by the provisions of the Peace Preservation Law. This was due to the fact that such viewpoints, if realized, will radically upset the interests of landlords as well as the tenant system, which forms the agricultural artery of JAPAN. Those who object to the reform also say that such a rash step would destroy the simple and virtuous customs of rural communities and shake JAPAN'S traditional family system to its foundation, thereby throwing the agricultural production into confusion. When this legislative bill was proposed previously both the House of Peers and House of Representatives were completely agreed in their opposition. The authorities of the Home and Justice Ministries also kept a vigilant eye on those who referred to this subject. Under these circumstances, the agricultural land reform question was completely buried both before and during the war. Not only the Government, but even tenant farmers themselves used to ignore the question in the light of their traditional submission to the idea that the maintenance of that 1andlord-tenant system had been an established fact since the days of their forefathers. Times have changed. The solid, realities of the defeat and the food crisis have brought JAPAN to such a critical point that she must solve the agricultural land system by any and all means. The Supreme Allied Headquarters is paying profound attention to the improvement of the enslavened condition of Japanese farmers. Turning a deaf ear to the harsh criticisms directed, against them for their misguided policy of the past, the Agricultural and Forestry officials, with agriculture minister MATSUMUMA in a conscientious effort to remove the greatest obstacle standing before the development of agricultural production, are trying hard to play progressive role in this great task. The last vestige of JAPAN'S feudalism thus has been brought to the surface through pressure from the government itself in an effort to arrive at a solution even before the farmers themselves can exert pressure in force. How far this reform will go to solve the present food crisis will require careful study. JAPAN'S food crisis is destined to come in the three or four month period following the spring of next year.
The immediate question in connection with this crisis is how smoothly the Government can handle the problem of inducing the farmers to deliver this year's new rice to the Government in accordance with the annual compulsory assignment program. The farmers in general are of opinion that they will comply with the Government's request if the Government improves the rice assignment system and supplies them with enough fertilizer, agricultural implements and whatever else will contribute to increased production. The most important point in this connection is this fact that the farmers are definitely expressing the opinion that they will be only too glad to deliver their rice in full even at a sacrifice to help the urban food crisis, provided the Government reveals a policy to stagilize their livelihood and to set up ideal agricultural communities.
Their desires are concerned with the steps the Government will take to assume large-scale public works to prevent farm production from being affected seriously by weather conditions as well as with the reform of the agricultural Land system which stands in the way of agricultural development. This latter reform will raise their level from the status of tenants to that of landed farmers. Most
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 17 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
of the farmers who attended a meeting on the compulsory rice assignment question held under the sponsorship of Agriculture Minister OGASAWARA at SAWARA in CHIBA-[illegible]on 7 November, expressed definite opinion favoring the above-mentioned measures. A mere reform of the land system will not necessarily contribute to the immediate improvement of natural conditions of production unless reform which will provide for adequate supplies of fertilizer and agriculture implements is realized. However the will to produce on the part of landed-tenant farmers, tenant-landed farmers and tenant farmers will be considerably enhanced by the land reform can not be denied. Because they feel attachment to the land they own and cultivate, farmers will naturally show much enthusiasm in their efforts to improve cultivation and obtain more ample crops. On the other hand in their status as tenant farmers, they do not feel the desire to expend energy in cultivating the land on which they work.
The land reform also is expected to raise the cultural level of agricultural communities because of better economic conditions. The old agricultural technique used during the last 3,000 years may be improved steadily. The deplorable situation in which one tiller of the soil can feed only one man in another occupation can be improved by the use of machines. Bright prospects await the future of land reform on the one hand, but its realization is far from reassured on the other, since so much political friction is presaged.
The feudal legacy of payment in kind to landlords by tenant farmers was inherited intact by JAPAN in the early MEIJI era. The present tenant farming system in this country is more or less modernized in form only. It is true that tenant fees have been reduced somewhat since the MEIJI era, but no revision at all has been made in the traditiona1 system of payment in kind. Previously the tenant fee averaged about 50 per cent of the crop. However is was lowered slightly, both as a result of a democratic tendency and because of violent outbreaks of farmers who were demanding exemotion or reduction of tenant fees and protection of tenants' rights and interests. This took place during the period between the latter part of the TAISHO era and the early stage of the SHOWA period. Large-scale enterprises for agricultural relief were practiced in the early days of SHOWA. This was mainly planned to give the poor farmers a living wage through public works but failed to solve the basic problems involved in reform. The production of fertilizers and agricultural implements was more than adequate and prices were low, but still the poor farmers could not afford to buy them. They could barely earn their livelihood. Prices of farm products were so low that it was necessary to sell them below the cost of labor. This distress in agricultural economy led a great many of the young men of the agricultural villages to seek more lucrative employment in urban districts. Low prices of JAPANESE commercial goods, particularly fiber goods and such, induced industrialists to resort to dumping their manufactures on the world market. This was the result of production based on the low wages for which these young men from agricultural-villages had to work. The causal link between the agricultural land system and the outbreak of the Manchurian Incident and the CHINA Affair also must not be Overlooked. For all this, however, the Government has thus far failed to make any radically effective reform. It has merely carried out sideline remedial measures. For instance, the Tenant Dispute Arbitration Law was enforced in 1924. In 1931 a tenancy bill aimed
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 17 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
at providing for exceptions in the Civil Code which protects tenants' rights failed to be adopted by the Diet. The Landed Farming Bill whose object was the consolidation of landed farming and tenant rights met the same fate in 1937 due to sabotage by the Diet. In the following year, however, the Agricultural Land Readjustment Bill was adopted with amendment. The bill was amended in name, but in fact was mutilated since many important provisions mere removed. However, the bill was legalized then and now it has became the basic law for reform of the agricultural land system. In 1939 the Tenant Fee Control Ordinance was promulgated and enforced in accordance with the National General Mobilization Law. This ordinance was intended to prevent the tenant fees from rising and to keep them at an appropriate level. The ordinance provides that the agricultural committee in city, town or village fix the tenant fees and other incidental conditions. However the prefectural governor is authorized to sanction or to change these. The Government then made an addition to this provision before the ordinance was submitted to the General Mobilization Council stating that the sanction or change, however, requires the consent of those directly concerned in the tenant fees. Authorities in the Ministry of Agriculture stoutly opposed the addition of this clause because the consent of landlords would virtually make forfeit the value of the ordinance. At any rate this ordinance was effective enough to prevent tenant feet from rising rapidly. In 1941 farm land prices showed upward trend throughout the nation. The Government tried to check the price and promulgated the Imperial Ordinance concerning the Agricultural Land Price Control. This was based on the General mobilization Law which pegged the price as of 18 September 1939.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0017, 1945-11-25.
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