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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0042, 1945-12-03.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0202

call-number: DS801 .S81

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NO. 202 Date: 3 Dec. 1945


ITEM 1 Original Draft of Agricultural Land Reform Proposal, Sponsored by Agriculture and Forestry Ministry - Nippon Sangyo Keizain 21 November 1945. Translator: M. Maruyama.
The agricultural land system reform proposal has a really great significance because the Government is going to carry out epoch-making enterprises involving the establishment and strengthening of land farming and the payment of tenant fees in kind. Such large-scale reform was not undertaken even at the time of the MEIJI Restoration. The draft was submitted to Tuesday's Cabinet meeting on 20 November 1945 by Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA who explained the proposal in detail. The opinion advanced by other Cabinet Ministers was that the provision for selling land covering more than three chobu should be revised to five chobu. The original draft is summarized as follows:
Over a period of five years, the five years, the Government will take necessary steps to cause about 2, 000,000 chobu of agricultural land, owned by both the absentee landlords and landlords on the spot, each owning more than three chobu, to be sold to tenant farmers through decision of the city, town or village committees for agricultural land readjustment. The objective is to strengthen the measures necessary for the establishment of land farming. If the committee deems it necessary, however, even the land covering less than three chobu will be sold.
Out of the necessity to carry out large-scale dealings at one time, it shall be arranged that the deals are left to the city, town, or village agricultural associations, which will buy land collectively and redistribute it.
Money shall be paid to landlords in the form of trust deposits or Government bonds to restrict its use and disposal so as to prevent inflation.
It is preferable that tenant farmers use their own money to buy land, but, if this is difficult, they can depend upon the present system of loan accommodation for the maintenance of land farming. Through this means they can borrow money at a low interest rate of 3.5 per cent (of which the Government indemnifies .3 per cent) from either the Deposits Bureau of the Finance Ministry, Eypothec Bank

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 42 (Continued)

ITEM 1 (Continued)

of Japan or Central Agricultural Bank on a 24-year installment basis. The Government tentatively estimates the amount thus to be advanced at 2,000,000,000 yen a year.
Prefectural governors are vested with the right to require landlords who do not comply with the requests of the committees to sell their land by compulsion.
The prices of agricultural land to be sold are generally about 40 times the price officially registered for paddy land and about 48 times non-riceland price. The Government gives encouragement funds to both the landlords and tenant farmers to make their conditions better.
Commencing the next rice year, the payment of tenant fees shall be done in cash instead of in kind. The price shall be fixed on the basis of this year's producers' rice price. The city, town, or village committee for agricultural land readjustment shall consist of the representatives of landlords, landed farmers and tenant farmers.

Much active discussion is expected on the compulsory selling, freezing of money, and fixing of standard buying price of land, politically, however, the reform will accelerate the democratization of agricultural villages and economically it will check their economic "boom" from becoming more unusual than ever. Moreover, the reform will basically improve the status of tenant farmers.
The proposal, when approved by the Cabinet will be laid before the Extraordinary Session of the Diet in the shape of a bill revising the present Agricultural Land Readjustment Law.
Land owned by landlords was made an object of discussion among officials of the Agriculture Ministry. Mr. MATSUMURA at first insisted on an average 1.5 chobu throughout JAPAN, but officials under him supported the "more than three chobu" plan. The three chobu plan, however, is not uniform throughout the country. In some KANSAI districts, where the climatic and soil conditions are very good, the lowest limit of the climatic and soil conditions are very good, the lowest limit of land sales is two chobu, while in the TOHOKU district the limit is four chobu. Three chobu is the average for the whole country. Agricultural families owning land covering the areas between three and five chobu are estimated to total 221,178 (about 46,000 of which are absentee landlords). The acreage of their land totals 1,500,000 chobu, including that owned by absentee landlords. The land is both paddy and non-paddy. Agricultural families owning land covering the areas between five and ten chobu are 111,112 and those owning more than ten chobu are 49,183. The total of the last-mentioned landlords is about 150,000, of which absentee landlords are 13,000. Their total acreage is 1,000,000 chobu.
ITEM 2 Reformation of the current land system and Population Problem - Mainichi Shimbun - 24 November 1945. Translator: K. Nagatani.
Full Translation:
In connection with the reform of the agrarian land system it was decided in the last Cabinet session that the size of lands which landowners are allowed to maintain be raised from three Chobu to five chobu. It should be very interesting to inquire into this decision and to
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 42 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
determine who was instrumental in making this revision. In the present Cabinet, too, many ministers are influenced by advice from landowners, but unresponsive to advice from tenants. In the Government Farm Land Bill, landowners are to be permitted to hold five chobu so that they may remain as the "leading class in villages." The majority of the so-called "leading class in villages" are bureaucratic. To make matters worse, they proved to be apportunistic turncoats during the war. Up to the present, this class of landowners has firmly grasped the leadership in villages. Therefore, the Japanese agricultural problems have always been viewed from the standpoint of the interests of these landowners. For the present Cabinet decision we are grateful to Agriculture Minister MATSUMURA. But it can not be denied that the nation-wide democratic trend and the directives from General MacARTHUR's Headquarters strongly influenced the decision. It is apparent that in the coming extraordinary Diet session there will be lively discussions on this bill, and that the original bill may be revised to some extent. The Diet's move is worthy of our attention. In order to increase agricultural production it is obviously more promising to reform the current agrarian system than to attempt to exploit 1,500,000 chobu of waste land. Since it is an established fact that tenant lands yield less than small-holders' lands, it clearly demonstrates that a reform of the agrarian system is urgently needed. In addition, the proposed abolition of crop rent payments must be made more effective. The Japanese absentee landowners include some peers descended from the DAIMYO or Japanese feudal lords. The term DAIMYO is derived from MYODEN meaning rich field. DAIMYO peers deprived of their farm lands and political privileges, will merely become useless appendages in a democratic JAPAN. Among many foreigners who have studied the Japanese population problem, Mr. CROKER was the most influential authority. His remarks were often quoted in LORD LYTTON'S report to the League of Nations and were very instructive to the Japanese experts on this matter. Perhaps his works are used by the Allied Powers in managing Japan. He stated that Japanese statistics do not make clear whether or not the law of diminishing returns is already affecting Japanese farm lands. He further declared that we can not decisively admit to overpopulation in Japan until we examine whether or not more labor power is required in order to produce the essential foods necessary for feeding the population.
ITEM 3 Agricultural Chemical Institute to be Established in SHIZUOKA Prefecture - The Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 27 November 1945 Translator: T. Okamara.
Full Translation:
In order to conduct scientific investigation of food production, the SHIZUOKA Agricultural, Association has decided to establish the [illegible]Agricultural Chemical Institute in TAKAOKA Machi, FUJI-Gun, it has been learned.
The First Naval Technical Institute located in the same town, which has been engaged in organic chemical investigation up to the termination or the war, has been selected for the site of the new organization. The projected institute will conduct studies of food, medicinal herbs, and other problems connected with provisions, and will take up as immediate work the study of flour foods and utilization of pine tree root oil and tar, the production of which has been suspended since the end of the war. Preparations for the equipment and accommodations for the study are now being carried on. Mr. HIRAYAMA, Shinichi, [illegible]has been appointed superintendant of the institute.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 42 (Continued.)
ITEM 4 Control of Silkworm Eggs to be Abolished - Nippon Sangyo Keizai 27 November 1945. Translator: T. Okamura.
Full Translation:
All control upon silkworm eggs, the business of which was managed by the state for the last few years, will be abolished in the near future. In view of the unfavorable conditions one resulting from state management, Government authorities submitted for approval at the Cabinet session on 26 November a plan for the abolition of all controlling regulations in the silkworm raising business, but did not come to a settlement. The draft of the bill will be submitted again at the next Cabinet session for further discussion and be submitted to the extraordinary session of the Diet.
ITEM 5 Sea and River Weeds to be Utilized as Fertilizer for Sweet Potato Cultivation - Nippon Sangyo [illegible]Keizai - 27 November 1945. Translator: T. Okamura.
Full Translation:
Sea and river weeds will be utilized on a large scale as vital fertilizer for cultivating sweet potatoes, as a result of successful experiments conducted in CHIBA Prefecture. This experiment has been made mainly among villagers along the coasts of the same prefecture in order to solve the shortage of chemical fertilizer in recent years. The experiment conducted under the sponsorship of the Agricultural Association and other similar Agricultura1 organizations since last year proved very successful, and farmers as well as villagers voluntarily used such weeds this summer with favorable results.
It was proved by the experiment this summer that the production of sweet potatoes increased by 20 to l00 per cent, over other cultivation by using fertilizers other than chemical. Next spring, weed fertilizer will be used in the cultivation of potatoes by farmers in this district.
Sea and river weeds are said to have had more effect on the cultivation of potatoes than chemical or human fertilizer. They are also assumed to be effective in the cultivation of rice and wheat. They will also be used experimentally on the large scale in barley cultivation.
In making sea weed fertilizer weeds are placed in piles for more than a month and kept covered with straw mats to prevent wetting by rain. A mixture straw ash will further improve the fertilizer.
ITEM 6 KANAGAWA. Agricultural Technical Assoc. Will be Absorbed by Central Agr. Tech. Association - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - [illegible]27 November 1945. Translator: T. Okamura.
Full Translation:
The Agricultural Technical Association of KANAGAWA-ken will be absorbed by the KANAGAWA Chapter of the Central Agricultural Technical Association. This plan has been drawn up by the prefectural government in order to alter the isolated, self-complacent attitude which Agricultural technicians are apt to take.
The now organization will have its head office in the prefectural Agricultural Experimental institute at OFUNA, and will conduct investigations on agricultural techniques, introduction of publications, sponsorship of secture meetings accommedation of clubs, offices, and experimental farms.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 42 (Continued)
ITEM 7 Production of Sickles in SAITAMA-KEN will be Increased - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 27 November 1945. Translator: T. Okamura.
Full Translation:
To meet Increasing demand, the production of sickles in SAITAMA Prefecture will be increased in the near future, it has been learned. SAITAMA Prefecture manufactured thousands of sickles a year, and now again much raw material is being imported from NIIGATA and HYOGO Prefectures for this purpose. Consequently, the SAITAMA Agricultural Tools and Industrial Equipment Association dispatched two engineers to the SANYO Tools manufacturing Company to study the mass production of sickles. The engineers have recently returned, and have started the manufacture of the tools by machines.
In SAITAMA Prefecture, altogether 23 factories are registered as manufacturing tools for agricultural purposes but products are probably being sold on the black market, since few are being distributed among farmers.
The association, in view of the situation, will start rationing materials for these manufactures in accordance with the number of their products, and all the tools will be sent to the Metallic Utensil and Tool Controling Association by which they will be distributed among farmers through the agricultural association.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0042, 1945-12-03.
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