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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0019, 1945-11-26.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0099

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No.99 Date: 26 Nov 45


ITEM 1 Disposal of Silver Commected From People in War Time - Nippon Sangyo-Keizai - 17 Nov 45. Translator: T. Okamura.
The total amount of silver collected in a nation-wide movement launched by the government for the munitions industry, between October of last year and March of this year aggregated 277,380 metric tons, 267,270 metric tons of which was offered by the general public, and 10,353 metric tons from silver dealers.
Of the total, 38,938 metric tons were allocated to the Aircraft Ordnance Board of the Munitions Ministry for the manufacture of axle assembly parts, while the remainder was left untouched in the mint because of damages sustained by melting equipment.
Of the metal delivered to the munitions Ministry, only a small amount was used, since the Ministry still had access to its own stock.
Silver bullion left in the mint was turned over to the Bank of JAPAN at the command of UNITED STATES Army Headquarters. One-third was sent to the IS[illegible]Light Metal Industrial Company (KINZOKU KOGYO KAISHA) for refining. The rest is to be used at the mint when refining apparatus has been repaired.
The silver in question will be bought by Gold Fund Special Account Section after which it will be used either as exchange for imports or as indemnities, depending on instructions from the UNITED STATES Army.
Some of silver which the Gold and Silver Transaction Corporation collected from silver dealers will be utilized in the manufacture of souvenir articles for American soldiers. Silver coins collected during the campaign totaled eight million yen, which are now being stored at the Bank of JAPAN.
ITEM 2 Commerce and Finance Ministry Bureaucrats Asked to Reflect on Their Grave misdeeds - Yominuri Shimbun - 17 Nov 45. Translator: T Kitagawa.
Desperate and imprudent bureaucratic national control of business began in November 1936 when "The Essentials of the New Economic System" was drafted by the KONOD Cabinet. This bill intended to insure the armed invincibility of the nation, abolish laissez-faire economy, and control the national economy as a unit.
Even before their premulgation these "essentials", met with frequent

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
objection, and were modified as a consequence. But since the outbreak of the war against the UNITED STATES, the original plan was, in fact, forcibly practiced. The "Essentials", together with the National Mobilization Law, produced powerful bureaucratic economic control. Its abuse has been so thoroughly discussed that the only thing left is its complete abolishment.
During the enforcement of "the essentials" JAPAN experienced ceaseless tragedy. Wholesalers as well as merchants with small funds were mercilessly forced to close their shops or merge with some other larger enterprise. The textile industry, the life blood of JAPAN, was destroyed to provide Japanese armed forces with a trivial amount of metal, without the slightest consideration to postwar reconstruction. In addition to this the SUZUKI Cabinet, resigned to JAPAN'S inevitable defeat, exposed the whole land to endless bombing.
Commercial Organizations Must Be Revived.
Discussion on recovery of the shipping business, shipbuilding, marine products, industry, and textile industry will proceed after several cabinets have been organized and dissolved. Our present consideration should be confined to abolition of fixed prices, the widely practiced control system, and the recovery of destroyed distribution agencies, such as groceries and fish mongers, to improve the food situation.
Compensation for Wartime Industry.
The Japanese armed forces forcibly converted almost all industries into munitions plants without any consideration for postwar reconversion. This has placed JAPAN in another difficult situation, that is, indemnities.
The Commerce and Industry Minister disclosed in a paper on 1 November that indemnities would amount to roughly 42 billion yen. This payment will have an incalculable effect on industry and finance. But it is reported that property taxes and surplus property taxes will bring in 60 billion yen in revenue. Other taxes and, proceeds from the disposition of government owned properties, and the abolition of government enterprises, will, we hope, be sufficient to meet the cost of indemnities, Allied occupation, and relief for war victims.
ITEM 3 Summary of Articles in all Newspapers on Reactions to Abolition of Price Control - All papers - 18 Nov 45. Translator: Lt. Matsumoto.
The significance of the abolition of price control of perishable food is that it allows free purchase by dealers, but limits their profit. The new measure will enable the populace to buy fresh fish and vegetables, which heretofore had been going only to the rich. Purchasing of vegetables directly from the farmers is no longer illegal. However, the question is whether the farmers will be willing to ship more produce to the urban areas.
With emphasis placed on production of staple foods, the production of vegetables by truck farmers in the suburban areas all but stopped during the war, but the new measure may be an inducement for a return
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to truck farming.
Some check system on final distribution should he established. Establishment of consumers co-operatives is desired. Sale prices should be controlled by placing price tags on goods, periodic investigations by neighborhood association committees, and by broadcasting market conditions.
Increase in production of fruits is not expected for a year or two due to the condition of fruit bearing trees brought about by lack of fertilizer and care.
Prices of marine products may stay around the present black market rates temporarily. The fishermen are in need of fuel for their boats, and also of fishing nets.
Coments by the TOKYO Vegetable and Fruits Distribution Control Association and Marine Product Distribution Control Association are as follows:
Since much of the urban population is living in the country, most vegetable produce is consumed there. Transportation is still a big problem. As for purchasing prices of the wholesalers, the farmers may insist on auctioning their produce to better regulate the wholesaler's purchase price. Free trade may bring about equal distribution, but if retail prices become too high, the system of selected distribution may be applied. On the whole, a slight increase in vegetable consumption by the general public is envisaged.
Fish may become abundant around April to June of next year. The price may rise, but consumers will have a choice to suit their purses. The situation may require that fish in greatest demand be put in general distribution, but expensive marine products, such as sea bilam (TAI), lobster and crab, may have to be put on restricted distribution.
Official control of sales prices hampered the free flow of marine products into TOKYO. Now, with the abolition of control, TOKYO money will bring fish into the city. However, sales prices may jump to five or six times the control prices.
Vegetable prices are expected to rise, but direct sale to the consumer by the farmer is predicted because of the daily rise and fall in market prices. Vegetable and fish peddlers are expected to appear on the streets again.
SAITAMA-KEN does not expect an increase in trade because the production of vegetables in that prefecture has fallen to 30 to 40 per cent of normal.
CHIBA-KEN expects an increase in local trade now that the sales will be made to the highest bidder.
YOMIURI quotes a statement made by KAWAI, Vice-minister of Agriculture and Forestry, on expected result of abolition of price control:
"A temporary rise in prices is inevitable, but according to economic laws they should settle before long. Circulation of food should
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 19 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
improve. If not, the new system must be revised to meet the situation. The control on processed marine products will be removed before long."
TOKYO SHIMBUN quoted a statement made by ISHIHARA, head of metropolitan Bureau of Economy: "The aim of the abolition of price control is to increase the delivery of vegetable and fish into the city. We expect the full co-operation of the Farmers' and Fishermens' Associations.
"Increase in the supply of fish may be expected, but sudden increase in the supply of vegetables cannot be expected."
TAKANO, in charge of Perishable Food, Metropolitan Bureau of Economy, asserted:
"With the abolition of price control, the Price by Agreement of the agricultural region may become the controlled price. The present condition of farms may not permit an increase of produce in the markets. However, the farmers who have been speculating on the abolition of control may now ship their vegetables."
Statement by TOKYO Vegetable and Fruits Control Corporation (TOKYO SEICA TOSEI KAISHA):
"If the farmers had been raising vegetables according to land quotas the market condition might have improved, but at present a large portion of the vegetable fields are used for rice and wheat growing. Furthermore, the storm which swept neighboring prefectures in September has caused considerable damage to vegetable crops. Unless the dealers in the city offer better terms, most of the vegetables will go to local markets."
Statement by TOKYO Marine Product Control Corporation:
"This may necessitate bidding by the consumer co-operatives for the amount of fish they need. It may end up in compulsory acceptance by the consumers of the cost paid out by the co-operative, whatever the price."
Statement by TOYAMA, Vice-president of TOKYO Central wholesale market:
"The abolition of price control was inevitable. Some are in favor of complete free trade, but I think it will be better to retain control of final distribution. Otherwise, only the rich will be able to buy fish. Prices may settle somewhere between the controlled price and the blackmarket price, but increase in shipping by the farmers can not be expected."
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0019, 1945-11-26.
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