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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0059, 1945-12-12.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0293

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No 293 Date: 12 Dec 45


ITEM 1 The establishment of the Coal Office - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 7 Dec 45. Translator: R. Shibata.
Full Translation:
The coal situation has become a very urgent problem, and it has become clear that Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Forces intends to approve of a plan for a strong, consolidated government office for its administration. Therefore, the Government, which has been studying a fundamental solution for this problem, has decided to establish the Coal Offi as quickly as possible and to promote strong and unifying measures for consolidating its supervision. The proposal for establishment of the Coal Office was formally decided at the Cabinet meeting on 6 December. It will become effective about 20 December, as soon as legislative procedure concerning the official system is promulgated.
The Coal Office will be set up as an outside office of the Department of Commerce and Industry. An influential man in the circles of civil enterprise will be appointed as its chief. The appointment is now under the investigation of Mr. OGASAWARA, Minister of Commerce and Industry. Mr. MATSUMOTO, Kenjiro and Mr. UEMURA, Kogoro are being considered as likely candidates. The Coal Office is to deal with the over-all problems of production and distribution of coal and lignite are also with the administration of labor and food. For its local organization, it is intended to establish a strong, administrative mechanism as an outside office of the local administrative office. This will be accomplished by bringing together the Local Mining Bureau and the Local Commerce and Industry Administrative Section, with the expectation of it a central body to facilitate the administration of commerce and ind[illegible]Details concerning the central and local organizations are as follows:
Organization: 1. to establish the Coal Office as an outside office of the Department of Commerce and Industry. Its personnel will be composed of men of ability as well as officials of the departments concerned; 2. the Coal Office is to have a strong, unified jurisdiction over administration of the production and distribution of coal and lignite, as well as of gas and coke.
Local Organization: 1. to unify the Local Mining Bureau and the Local Commerce and Industry Administrative Section in order to establish a strong administrative organization (it is temporarily named the Local Commerce and Industry Bureau) as an outside office of the local administrative office, and to make it a central body for facilitating administration of commerce and industry; 2. taking into consideration the present coal condition, to establish a special headquarters to

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 59 (Continued)

ITEM 1 (Continued)

increase coal production through an official organization; 3. the said headquarters should make every endeavor co-ordinate the efforts of the local offices which are concerned with an increase in coal production in their respective districts, and to bring fully to bear its over-all powers; 4. for the time being, districts where the said headquarters are to be established are HOKKAIDO, JOBAN and KYUSHU; 5. all matters decided by the said headquarters should be put into practice without delay by the local offices concerned.

ITEM 2 Raising the Price of Timber - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 7 Dec 45. Translator: T. Mitsuhashi.
Full Translation:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has revised the price of timber and has put this revision into effect as of 4 December. The new price will be more than twice the former price. Of late, production of timber has been slackening along with the slump in food conditions, and the productive cost of timber has risen too much to carry on scheduled production at present prices. The price of timber had been revised in the past in consideration of its production cost alone. Consequently, although the price of timber is raised, the cost of a tree remains unchanged and sometimes it even goes down below the original price. The price of a tree is always calculated from the price of timber, from which the production cost is deducted. Many owners of forests have therefore become unwilling to offer trees for sale. Under these circumstances the price of timber will be revised, taking into consideration both the price of a tree and the cost of production so that trees may be offered willingly and the production of timber may be promoted.
The following are the key points in the revision of price: 1. The price will be increased 30 yen per koku in the case of raw timber and 50 yen in the case of processed timber. It represents substantially an increase of 23 yen for raw timber and 38 yen for processed timber. An addition of 7 yen and 12 yen, respectively, has already been made. For instance, the price of cryptomeria logs will be double the present official price, which is about 21 or 22 yen; 2. As the standardized crileria in appraising timber was not adopted during the war. New standards will be set up to take the plan of the former distinction in quality. Prices will be fixed to match the quality of lumber. The system previously employed for appraising the value of lumber has become out-moded in the post-war period considering the potential utilization of timber; 3. The price of timber for such products as stakes, electric poles, and ties has also been revised to equal those in general use. The prices of semi-processed timber, such as veneer and the arms of electric poles, will be calculated from the revised price of ordinary timber, and this price is now being determined.
ITEM 3 Diet Interpellation on Coal Shortage - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 7 Doc 45. Translator: T. Kitagawa.
It was agreed that the Transportation Ministry would not have more than 410,000 metric tons of coal available resulting in a 34 per cent transportation cut, it was revealed by Transportation Minister TANAKA. This was an apologetic reply to an interpellation by NANJO, who assailed the Ministry for announcing a decrease in transportation facilities. It is
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 59 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
less than two weeks since the Ministry boasted of a program for easing transportation difficulties. The Minister asked the Nation's co-operation in restoring normal conditions in transportation and promised to improve railway workers' economic welfare, providing them with work in several ways. He also promised that the 1947-1948 fiscal year will see an increase in passenger and electric cars.
Strikes in factories administered by the Ministry, are found to be based on low wages, and not dissatisfaction over the work, first believed. The Minister explained that the coal crisis permitted the JAPAN Steel and YAWATA Steel Works to produce but a minimum of steel and the JAPAN Steel Pipe Company has been supplied with barely enough coal to keep their furnaces warm. The same condition exists in gas and ammonium sulfate production. The output of calcareous nitrogen is the only exception since it is produced by employing coke from WANISHI. Korean and Chinese mine workers in HOKKAIDO, 35,000 in total, are the only miners to be repatriated, within the year.
Regarding the national compensation for the coal industry, the Minister d[illegible]closed a program as follows: 790 million is appropriated for compensation for the output of coal during the latter part of the year amounting to five million metric tons; 796 million yen in 1946-1947 for 25 million metric tons of coal; 484 million yen in 1947-1948 for 30 million metric tons of coal; and 290 million yen in 1948-1949 for 35 million metric tons of coal. From 1950 on the compensation system will be entirely abolished. Closer relations between central and local coal authorities now exist, the Minister said in answer to NANJO. The latter has asked whether the newly fixed price of 80 yen for a metric tons of coal will induce the proper coal output.
The Diet, Wednesday, agreed on establishment of the Coal Bureau, and a mining bureau will come under the control of the Home Ministry. The program includes the establishment of three headquarters designed to increase the output of coal, in JOBAN, KYUSHU and HOKKAIDO. The minister intends the headquarters to be closely linked to the central administering organization.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0059, 1945-12-12.
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