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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0037, 1945-12-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0189

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No. 189 Date: 3 Dec 45


ITEM 1 One Week After Removal of Control on Fish and Vegetables - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 29 Nov 45. Translator: M. Maruyama.
For some time following the removal of price controls on raw fish and vegetables, the people were complaining of high prices, although they could get as much as they wanted. The prices, however, have now begun to go down. If this condition goes on smoothly, direct distribution to every family is expected to become satisfactory. Prices and arrival of articles in TOKYO during the week following the removal of control are:
Vegetables: Arrivals of vegetables before 20 November were not heavy and the average amount of ration per capita per day was less than 5 momme. On 20 November, when the control was removed, the average increased to 11.5 momme. and on 21 November it further rose to 12.4 momme. The average on the 22nd was 11.5 momme, that on the 23rd was 11.7 momme, that on the 24th was 23.5 momme, that on the 26th was 26.5 momme and that on the 28th went up to 4O momme. The distribution of 50 or 60 momme of vegetables per capita is expected to be realized every other day through the Neighborhood Associations.
Prices have dropped. The price, of radishes per kan was 8 yen immediately following the removal of control, but has dropped to five or six yen. Green radish leaves were priced at six yen. The price has dropped to three yen. Turnips have come down from eight yen to five or four yen. While these perishables have dropped in price, prices of vegetables which can be preserved longer, such as burdock, onions, and potatoes, have also started downward. NEGI, or .Welsh onion, for example, was quoted between 11 and 8.81 yen per kan in contrast to the peak of 26 yen. The general indications are that the prices are tending to go downward and the arrivals to increase. TCKYO is now buying large quantities of onions from SAITAMA-Ken, apples from AOMORI-Ken, and tangerines from EHIMN-Ken. These fruits and vegetables will be supplied to TOKYO people shortly.
Fish: Like vegetables, fish too is increasing in supply in TOKYO. Amounts delivered were 102 metric tons on 20 November; 131 metric tons on the 21st; 151 metric tens on the 23rd; 48 metric tons on the 24th; 114 metric tons on the 25th; 98 metric tons on the 26th; 130 metric tons on the 27th; and 88 metric tens on the 28th. There is more raw fish than fish in cold storage. In the meantime, it will be possible for TOKYO to supply the standard ration of 30 momme of fish

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ECOMOMTC SERIES: 37 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
por capita every six days through the Neighborhood Associations. SHIJIMI shellfish was quoted at 5.32 yen per kan on 20 November, but it dropped to 1.73 yen on the 26th and further to 1.05 yen, going below the Government price. Sardines also went down to 22.90 yen on 28 November from 33 yen on the 23rd. Hereafter, prices of popular fish will be fixed on the basis of those quoted at producing centers. Distribution will then be made according to ration. Prices of special fish, including sea-bream, lobsters, and crabs, will he fixed on bids. Fish is expected to be sold freely.
The Metropolitan Office will investigate the number of poor people who need government protection shortly and will open cheap selling shops in the districts where the population is comparatively dense to distribute fish and vegetables to them. There were many Neighborhood Associations in TOKYO which declined to buy fish, as prices were too high. The distributing offices were dissatisfied with this attitude and said they would supply no more fish to any Neighborhood Association which declined distribution. However, Mr. ISHIHARA, Director of the Economic Bureau of the Metropolitan Office, said in this connection, "Prices of fish and vegetables for supply to TOKYO people arc coming down steadily, but, if there are some high-priced fish, the Neighborhood Association can decline the distribution. All the distributing offices, large and small, are notified of this by the Metropolitan Office. The decline should steady prices. If a distributing office objects, this must be brought to the attention of the Economic Bureau."
HAKUSAI, allied to cabbage, has dropped considerably in price since the removal of the Government price and it was priced at 20 son per kan on 28 November. Some retail merchants, however, sold it for 5 yen, which has caused criticism. The present auction is generally participated in by retail merchants and is naturally affected by then. The HAKUSAI in question was shipped from IBARAKIH-Ken and was not in perfect condition, but these retailers sold it at the very high price. The retail merchants also are criticized for their high commission of 30 per cont.
The Economic Bureau of the TOKYO Metropolitan Office opened the Distribution Consultation Department on 12 November. This department will listen to various requests and complaints of citizens on distribution matters. Complaints of unfair distribution and. the slow operation of distribution offices were the most numerous before and after 20 November. Requests are being made by companies and factories for effort to be made by the Metropolitan Office to buy sweet potatoes, fish, vegetables and other foodstuff, What is most noteworthy is the fact that schools and companies are asking the Economic Bureau for help in establishing necessary plans to - to get food for them. Eighty-five higher girls' schools and women's special schools. have jointly proposed to the Bureau that motor trucks be available for them to go to the countryside to buy food. These women's schools have decided to organize a large-scale cooperative union, through which food will be distributed direct to their students by the schools. Many other requests, including the resumption of special distribution of sweets and alcoholic liquor to factory workers, also are made.
YOKOKAMA has abolished the distribution of raw fish and vegetables and, as a provisional measure, will open sale of these products by
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 37 (Continued)
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merchants at several places in one street. This has arisen because prices of these necessities have risen very high since the recent abolition of government prices and because most of to consumers can not afford to buy them. After the abolition the YOKOH[illegible]Municipal Economic Bureau fixed prices based on an agreement of merchants, but this system also was eliminated. The prices then were fixed by auction, but still the result was not satisfactory. Finally, the city authorities have decided to let merchants open shops in the street, so that consumers need not buy products, if prices are too high. Moreover, they can select any hind they want in that way.
The JAPAN People's Association has decided to start a movement urging farmers to sell their products cheaply to urban consumers. The first group of farmers to respond to the call carried greens totalling about 1,000 kan by motor truck from KONO-Machi, SAITA[illegible]-Kan, to a large area near SHIMBASHI Station on 29 November and sold them to the people at cheap prices.
ITEM 2 Silk Industries in JAPAN - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 20 Nov 45. Translator: J. Okarmura.
The Supreme Command of the Allied Powers on 24 November announced its approval of import of foodstuff, raw cotton, oil and salt, giving JAPAN a chance to advance toward economic, recovery. The import of these vital products is to be made in exchange for collateral securities of silk and its manufactures, coal, lumber, and works of art. Thus the present stocks, the production capacity for next year together with the reconstruction of the silk industry will be vital influences on the economy of JAPAN.
The following are data which the journal obtained from various sources in connection with silk, and the silk industry. According to an investigation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the total stock of silk of which the Government can new dispose numbers 46,200 bales, including 29,000 bales of "14's medium," and 12,200 bales of "21's medium." Classified by brand, they are 12,200 bales of above the quality of "2A" brand, 30,000 bales of above the quality of "D" brand, and 4,000 bales of above the quality of "3A" brand.
When these amounts are calculated at the rate of the silk exportation price of 4,l60 yen for the "14's medium 'D' brand", the total will amount to some 200 million yen. Though the dollar-yen exchange rate has not been fixed, yet the quantity will not amount to a large sum of money. However, when these silks are exchanged for rice at the rate of 45 koku of rice for one bale silk, a t total amount of rice which can be imported will aggregate 2,120,000 koku.
This silk-rice exchange rate was proposed to the Supreme Command about the middle of this month by chairmen of the prefoctural assemblies of ten principal silk producing prefectures, when the Supreme Command approved silk as collateral for the import of the vital products which JAPAN needs most. The Japanese Government too supports this rate. Consequently in order to import 18 million koku of rice, silk of 400,000 bales will be necessary. The total amount of silk which the Government estimates it is able to export by the end of
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next fiscal year, will be about 160,000 bales, including the present stock of 46,200 bales. The amount will be valued at 670 million yen, when calculated at the quotation of "D" brand.
The average yearly production capacity of silk in JAPAN was around 700,000 bales between the early part of the SHOWA Era (trans: begins in 1925) and the period prior to the outbreak of the war. The capacity, however, declined sharply after 1941 with the suspension of silk exports. The production in the current fiscal year is anticipated to be about 120,000 bales.
The silk factories in JAPAN number 160 at present, containing 28,300 basins, the production capacity of which is 97,000 bales per year. In order to meet increasing demand, the Government is planning to have 26,000 basins installed. These will be comprised of 13,500 basins to be installed by May next year and the rest by January of 1947. When these basins are installed, the production capacity will be 18,000 bales a year, which is equivalent to 8,100,000 koku of rice to be imported at the exchange rate of 45 koku.
The acreage of mulberry trees was maintained at 500,000 chobu prier to the outbreak of the war, but in proportion with the shortage of foodstuff, the acreage decreased to 214,000 chobu in the first half of 1945. Further decline of the acreage measuring 150,000 chobu was to be seen in the latter half of the year. The Government also planned to cut down mulberry trees, but this project was suspended by a directive from the Supreme Command.
The total acreage to be left for planting mulberry trees, after readjustment of fields for the cultivation of vital crops, will cover 170,000 chobu next year. The land will turn out 22 million kan of cocoons, which is equivalent to 170,000 bales of silk. The production of silk is not to be increased by installation of machineries or basins, but the recent food crisis compels the cutting down of mulberry tress, despite governmental orders to the contrary.
The acreage of mulberry trees and the silk production since 1937 were as follows:
Acreage of Mulberry Trees Unit: (1,000 chobu) Silk Production (bale)
1937 561 697,909
1938 549 719,202
1939 533 693,622
1940 534 719,202
1941 594 536,225
1942 412 467,446
1943 364 306,572
1944 305 142,722
1945 214 120,000 (estimated)
1946 170 (estimated)

The outbreak of the second World War in September, 1939, brought a sharp decline in the price of silk, which resulted in freezing
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silk producing equipment by major industries in JAPAN. The situation was aggravated further by the suspension of exports to the UNITED STATES in 1941, when 40 per cent of the plants wore abolished. However, to meet the demand for domestic use, the silk industries were managed under the sole control by the JAPAN Silk Manufacturing Company established as a monopolistic controlling organization for the silk industry. The Cooperative Silk Association was established for similar purposes, after the outbreak of the war.
After the termination of the war, movement to dissolve the Manufacturing Company was started under the joint sponsorship of the major silk industrialists and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. This movement came into existence when the Manufacturing Company, the silk controlling companies, and the cooperative controlling associations were dissolved by a directive from the Supreme Command. Thus the silk industry in JAPAN has to be reorganized.
By the dissolution of the Manufacturing Company, the production situation has returned, to the stage seen in 1943, prior to the establishment of the company. The present conditions, however, are quite different, due to the fact that JAPAN has been defeated. As a result, many a minor industrialist, in spite of the su[illegible]osedly favorable democratization is placed in a difficult situation. This is mainly due to the decline in the field acreage for mulberry cultivation and subsequent difficulties in collecting cocoons. Only silk industrialists with largo capital arc estimated to be able to manage the industry.
Compared with other industries, the silk industry is blessed, for the raw materials are produced in this country. As a result, major industries, such as the four big manufacturers of KATAKUR, GUNZE SHOEI and SHINEI, act independently. The number Of silk factories and the numbers of their basins since 1937 are as follows:
Year No. of Factories No. of Basins
1937 1,754 235,924
1938 1,625 225,513
1939 1,915 228,325
1940 1,552 222,430
1941 1,347 210,709
1942 552 128,062
1943 543 98,544
1944 496 37,344
1945 (at Present) 160 25,265

The silk products made for domestic consumption were used in proportion to the gradual decrease of exports, but the suspension of exports to the UNETED STATES made it imperative to be used only for domestic consumption. In order to protect the silk industrialists from a sharp decline in price, the JAPAN Silk Control Company was established by the Silk Industry Control Act. The corporation, during the war, has been the sole controlling organization during the war. The establishment of the JAPAN Silk Industrial. Association, to be organized as a new cooperative organization by direction of the Supreme Command, has not been approved. The in-
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tended organization, which will make its debut as a self-assertive structure of industrialists, is anticipated, to be only a re reorganized Silk Central Company, which is afraid to continue its former bureaucratic control.
Soon after the issue of the directive from the Supreme Command ordering the dissolution of the Silk Control Company, the authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, established a plan to organize a silk sales company, but on opposition from the industrialists, they cancelled their plan. This fact is also indicative that the authorities have a keen interest in the assignment and control of silk.
In order to collect silk for export, drastic measures must be taken in collection of silk worm egg cards, cocoons and silk because of the present economic situation.
Reconstruction activities of the silk industries have been commenced by the directive of the Supreme Command dated 13 October. JAPAN was requested by this directive to do her utmost for mass production, and to establish a new co-operative organization to be composed of representatives from various silk industries. It is to be organized to substitue for three controlling organs, which are ordered dissolved.
In looking into the process of the establishment of the new organization and the post, war movement in industrial circles, we find no positive changes to meet the new situation. They seem to be solely absorbed in useless scheming and compromise. Freedom from, feudalism is most essential for the reconstruction of the silk industries. The remarkable development of the silk industry in JAPAN is generally believed to have been brought about by sacrifice of the sericulturists. Compensation was made for the losses of the manufacturers by the government through three yeras, MEIJI, TAISHO and SHOWA. No such measures were taken toward sericulturists. Hereafter consideration must be paid to the maintenance of equality among such classes.
The directive from the Supreme Command ordered an increase in silk production through the sericulturists, but government officials were not to waste tire in planning or drawing up the structure of the controlling organizations. Unconditional compensation for the losses of silk industries will bring forth corrupt relationship between the capitalistic industrialists and bureaucratic officials, and will make active silk industrial circles slow down prediction. Compensation for the losses will be discussed often hen after, but the industrialists should never entertain too much prospect of getting such state compensation. They should reconstruct their industries by their own efforts, through the elimination feudalism.
Distribution "X"
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0037, 1945-12-03.
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