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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0023, 1945-11-28.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0126

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No.126 Date: 28 Nov 45


ITEM 1 The plan liquidating the Nation's anxieties about food proposed by Mr. Takeo MITAMURA - Asahi Shimbun - l8 Nov 45. Translator: G. Inoue.
Full Translation:
MITAMURA, Takeo suggests the fallowing emergency plan for alleviating the nation's anxiety about food:
"We should persuade the farmers to offer 20 per cent of this year's rice crop to the government at a price of 100 yen per bale. A low price would also be fixed at which this rice is sold to consumers, and the difference between buying and selling prices paid by the government. The burden of paying this difference should in turn be transferred to the ZAIBATSU and other war profiteers.
This allocation of rice should be offered voluntarily through a good will association and should not be compulsory. A 20 percent allocation means 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 koku of rice, which can feed 40,000,000 persons for three months at a daily ration of three go per person. The government is to distribute enough of this rice every three months to permit a daily ration of three go per person. If this plan is carried out even though temporary, worry over the food situation will be greatly relieved. The remaining distribution should be done through an association organized voluntarily by farmers.
ITEM 2 Agrarian Reform Bill - Asahi Shimbun - l8 Nov 45. Translator: Z. Konishi.
Full Translation:
The bill to reform the Japanese agrarian system aims to limit the size of farms to three chobu and sell off all land beyond that which is in the hands of land owners. The intention is to convert an area of 2,000,000 out of a total of 2,700,000 chobu of tenant farm area into independent farms. The bill was discussed at a Cabinet meeting on economic matters on 16 November.
The main opinions expressed were:
Funds for establishment of the independent farmers system are to be obtained through the Central Agriculture and Forestry bank, and the money which the original land-owners are to obtain from selling their lands is to be frozen by being deposited in trust funds or by exchange to securities in order to prevent inflation. Another measure proposed was that each tenant-farmer should purchase the land with his own funds, which have increased lately.
The question of whether to limit landowners to only three chobu

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 23 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)

was also raised.
There is general apprehension as to whether the agrarian reform bill will he able to be given proper consideration at the coming Extraordinary Diet Session because it will be busy with another important measure, the Election Reform Bill.

Various other opinions were also expressed, the basic principle of this bill has been supported generally. The Agriculture and Forestry Minister MATSUMURA stressed that the agrarian problem has been under investigation for many years, and considering the present situation, the bill should be acted upon quickly and independently at the coming Diet session. Therefore this bill will be reexamined at the regular Cabinet meeting on 20 November and then be introduced at the coming Extraordinary Diet.
ITEM 3 Three steps taken for the complete delivery of rice and wheat - Sangyo Keizai Shimbun - 18 Nov. 45 Translator: K. Yasua.
Full Translation:
The Government, aiming at the stabilization of civilian life, has long been attempting to solve the present critical food problem by increasing the self-sufficiency through land reclamation, encouraging complete delivery of farm produce through raising the price of major food such as rice and wheat which so far has been comparatively low, by applying to the Allied Forces for food imports, by establishing a commodity reward system for farmers who complete their delivery, and by strict punishment of black market or other illegal activities.
Consequently, the Government held a special Cabinet meeting on 17 November, when the following four subjects were brought up for discussion, and after Agriculture and Forestry Minister MATSUMURA'S detailed explanation, and the exchange of views among the Cabinet members, decisions on these four subjects were made without amendment:
Disposition of perishable foods.
Raising the price of rice and wheat.
Enforcement of the special commodity ration system for the security of this year's rice crop.
Strict control of foods to secure the complete delivery of major food-stuffs.

Purchasing Price to be Raised a Great Extent:
Rice to 150 yen per koku, barley to 80.79 yen Per koku, and wheat and rye to 117.94 yen per koku.
According to the purchasing price for this and next year's farming produce fixed by the Cabinet meeting, rice is to be purchased at 150 yen per koku as against 92.50 yen in the previous year, and this price is also to be applicable to rice already delivered; but the purchasing price for landowners will remain the same, that is,
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 23 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
55 yen per koku. As for wheat and rye, the price is fixed at 117.94 yen per koku as against 72.84 yen in the previous year, and that of barley at 80.79 yen koku as against 49.71 yen in the previous year.
With this raise in prices, steps are also to be taken toward the strict control of the black market and other illegal dealings, and. the special distribution of fertilizers (50,000 tons being converted into sulphate ammonium), liquor (about 100,000 koku), agricultural implements and other necessary commodities, among those farmers who have completed their delivery.
The aim of this step is to compensate farmers for their expenses and to promote the delivery of farming produce, in view of this year's unfavorable rice crop. Figures on the rice crop delivery to the government by landowners, peasant-proprietors and tenant farmers, are as fellows:
Landowners, 10,000,000 koku; peasant proprietor and. tenant farmers, 20,000,000 koku. Landowners' privately held rice amounts to 1,200,000 koku.
Details on the Raise in the Price of Rice and Wheat.
The standard purchasing price of 37 yen 60 kilogram for this year's rice crop is to be raised to 60 yen per 60 kilogram. The selling price will be fixed at a later date.
The standard purchasing price for next year's wheat and rye crop is to be 51 yen and that of barley 39 yen per 60 kilograms. Its selling price will also be fixed at a later date.
It should be noted that the purchasing price for this year's rice crop will be applied to the rice crop already purchased by the Government, and that the purchasing price for the landowners' rice crop is to remain at 55 yen. The balance of the general purchasing price, that is 95 yen, is to be given to the cultivator.
Special Commodity Ration System For The Security of This Year's Rice Crop.
Steps are to be taken to ration fertilizers, (50 thousand tons being converted into ammonium sulphate), wines (about 100,000 koku), agricultural implements, clothing and other commodities to those who have completed their crop delivery. Black market and other illegal dealings will be strictly punished.
The Government has decided to eradicate black-market dealings in rice, wheat, and potatoes and to punish violators according to the Foodstuff Control Law which stipulates that violators shall be sentenced to penal servitude for a maximum of 10 years or to a fine of a maximum of 50,000 yen (Article 31 of this Law); or for lesser offenses penal servitude shall be for a maximum of three years or the fine amounting to a maximum of 10,000 yen (Article 32 of the Same Law).
M. NAKANO, issued the following statement concerning the Government's actions:
"It is a matter of importance how we overcome next year's food
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 23 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
crisis, which is now regarded as inevitable as a result of the un-precedentedly bad crop of this year.
The Government, in response to various requests for adequate measures to the the situation endeavoring to encourage the delivery and the increased production of farming produce by raising the price of rice, and enforcing a special commodity distribution system for farmers, together with strict control over illegal dealings in major food. The Public Prosecutor's Office, in accordance with the government's policy has decided to control or to prosecute most sternly, such illegal actions as illegal dealings in major foods, illegitimate actions by collective and distributive organs including the Food Dealers' Association and the Agrarian Association, and the stealing of foods belonging to the Government or to the Food Dealers Association.
The Public Prosecutor's Office has issued a note on the subject to the effect that such practices as asking farmers for major foods as compensation for some action or service must be strictly suppressed, that the delivery of food may be secured without hitch. However, as this control is the latest measure to be taken, it hopes for the full support of people to prevent such illegal actions.
ITEM 4 Recommendation for Erecting Dams by Mr. Sankichi OKAZAKI - Asahi - Shinbun - 18 Nov 45. Translator: G. Inoue.
Full Translation:
In reply to Mr. HOSHINO'S protest on l6 November, in which he stated that the erection of dams is not scientific. I wish to state that dam construction requires the assembling of a great quantity of materials and machines. Since most of the work is performed by machines, it does not require as many laborers as road construction.
The work on two or three dam projects was suspended since the completion requires two or three tons of cement. There are in addition more than two dams whose construction can be accomplished immediately.
Construction of roads, railways and communications require the same type of labor as dam projects, and is considered a solution to the unemployment problem, since more men are used.
In constructing a dam, a river on which many dams have already been erected, is selected, after which a reservoir is built near its source. A dam which requires much steel must be considered in the future program.
The reservoirs to be immediately erected have a power potential of some 80,000,000 kilowatt-hours in winter as well as in the summer. This figure equals that of a coal-power station which consumes as much as 800,000 tons of coal.
The annual average amount of coal consumed in coal-power stations during the war was estimated at as much as 6,000,000 tons.
The amount of coal thus saved can be distributed to other industries necessary for producing consumer goods, including cement, needed for ordinary uses.
In the erection of a dam more than 1,000,000 tons of cement are needed,
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ECONOMIC SERIES:23 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
and three or four years are required for its completion. Four hundred thousand tons of cement are used yearly and coal necessary for producing this amount of cement is more than 100,000 tons.
JAPAN'S present annual cement production is said to be about 3,000,000 tons, but only two million tons of cement are actually produced.
As we can expect the same amount of production, next year, it will not be difficult to acquire enough cement to erect dams.
The amount of coal saved by an erection of a reservoir will be used for cement production and cement thus made will be used in dam erection, thus effecting a saving of coad used in coal-power stations.
Premier SHIDEHARA said that a dam will produce cement and vice versa. Accordingly the erection of dams must be accurately scheduled on a large scale. In view of its important relation to river and mountain improvement, irrigation, reclamation of farm land, fisheries, and scenic and historic spots, an organization composed of the authorities concerned with all aspects of construction and use as above-mentioned must be formed to put the plan into operation at once.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0023, 1945-11-28.
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