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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0105, 1945-12-26.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0516

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No. 516 Date: 26 Dec 45


ITEM 1 Steps for the Winter - Asahi Shimbun - 24 Dec 45. Translator: Y. Kurata.
Full Translation:
With the coming winter cold, War victims are now trembling in their temporary shelters, having neither sufficient housing, food, and fuel nor available medicine, while a good deal of food and commodities is being sold through black market channels. Such is the present living plight of all war victims. Therefore, what steps the Government will take in this connection, is now arousing great concern among the people.
According to the plan of the War Calamity Rehabilitation Board (SENSAI FUKKO-IN), there is an urgent need for building 3,250,000 houses for the use of war victim's and ex-servicemen, of which only 20,000 houses are reported to have been completed by the end of November, while some 60 or 70 thousand houses have been built thus far with black market materials, despite the KOBAYASHI's plan to build 150,000 houses by the early part of the spring. Therefore, the Government is now making every effort to accomplish this plan, either by constructing more houses or by repairing damaged buildings for use as war victims' apartments. Thus, a total 390,000 houses are expected to be built by the end of this year, but there is still a shortage of 30,000 houses to meet immediate demands. However, we must remember that whether the plan can be put into effect without a hitch, or not, depends upon the availability of building materials.
Mr. NAMIKAWA, Chief of the Food Management Office made a statement concerning the present food situation that although the Government has taken every conceivable measure to secure food by the rice delivery System, increase of the purchasing price of rice, and the commodity reward system, the present food situation is still so unfavorable that new steps are being studied to overcome this food crisis. Even if 3,000,000 tons of food imports are received, the three go rice ration system can not be expected to be realized. As for hitherto unused substitute food items, some 30,000,000 koku of this food will be produced before long, now that about 8,000 milling machines are ready for production.
Furthermore, although there is great possibility of epidemics of bronchitis and pneumonia, drugs for these disease are unavailable on account of a serious shortage of coal and salt, both vital to the medicine industry. Although a fairly great amount of drugs, formerly stocked for military use, are to be made available for civilians, most of them are not applicable for general diseases. One drug absolutely lacking at present is ZURUFUON.

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 105 (Continued)
ITEM 2 Labor Disputes - Tokyo Shimbun - 24 Dec 45. Translator: T. Okamura.
With the wholesale defeat in war as a turning point, a democratic revolution has set upon JAPAN. The movement for democratization of JAPAN, by the general public is manifested in the urgent demand for a fair and liberal life by the masses. Laborers, peasants, the lower middle class and war sufferers, by forming their own unions, have commenced a large-scale movement for the realization of democratization of a new JAPAN.
The following are the usual characteristics of the labor disputes witnessed since the end of the war: (l) Opposition by the capitalists to demands of laborers is still strong, which shows the fact that such demands are not always supported 100 per cent by laborers; (2) Executive committees of the unions representing laborers seem to have defensive attitudes, as a result of which most solutions are conciliatory: (3) Positive attitude of laborers for the increase of production, as against the opposite attitude by capitalists is manifested in the continuation of operations during the time of disputes; (4) Possibility of the development of such disputes into political problems is anticipate.
Demands by laborers are mostly directed at the re-employment of repatriated servicemen, resumption of operations by factories suspended since the war's end, raise of wages in proportion with the sky-rocketing cost of living, establishment of an eight hour working day, participation in business management by laborers represented by their unions, and the warning to capitalists to show their real earnestness for production to meet the new situation.
It is also noteworthy that disputes which were led by the Japanese Communists ended successfully with their demands being accepted 100 per cent, as in cases of the JAPAN Vehicle Manufacturing Corporation (NIHON SHARYO SEISAKU KAISHA) and the IKEGAI Motorcar Manufacturing Company (IKEGAI JIDOSHA KAISHA). On the other hand th[illegible]disputes which were conducted by the JAPAN Federation of Labor Unions (NIHON RODO KUMIAI SODOMEI) ended in a conciliatory settlement, with some demands subject to amendment.
The impending crisis of the food situation will force laborers into a more aggravated condition. When such a situation comes, it is anticipated that laborers, who at present demand only a raise in wages to meet the high cost of living, and the betterment of their treatment or of labor conditions, may result in political strifes.
Labor disputes, which are now prevalent, are being conducted mostly in mines, traffic organizations, and machine and tool factories. It is now anticipated that such disputes will spread to other industries throughout the country. The number of disputes registered are two in September, 30 in October, and 56 in November, and the number is tending to increase in proporation with the rise of prices of commodities. Disputes at coal mines are most conspicuous, because most of the miners were Chinese and Koreans, who, when the war ended, went on strike, blaming inadequate measures taken by the mine authorities in connection with return to their countries. Such strikes affected over 50 mines, which are 30 per cent of the total mines in JAPAN. The number of mining laborers who participated in strikes totaled 90,000, which is some 70 per cent of the total miners. Demands submitted by these strikes for the most Part originated in the unfair disposal by mining authorities of food and clothing, which were assigned for distribution among miners.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 105 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
In December, a similar dispute spread to the MIUTA Coal mine operated by MITSUI, and further to the SHIN-MIUTA mine of the same corporation, and it is now expected that it will further spread to the YUBARI Coal Mine under the management of MITSUBISHI.
Most labor disputes have originated from economic causes, as shown in demands to raise the wages to cope with the recent soaring of the prices of commodities. Blame for the war criminal responsibilities to be assumed by executives of organizations, and the eager wish to participate in factory management by laborers are also counted among the causes. However, there is a tendency for these disputes to assume a political aspect. Recent disputes have been characterized by the demand for a high rate of increase of wages, as seen in the cases of the KEISEI Electric Transport Company (KEISEI DENKI TEISUDO KAISHA and the IKEGAI Motor Car Manufacturing Company, the first of which demanded a triple increase in wages and the latter an increase of fine times.
Another distinction feature is the demand for the creation or re-enforcement of welfare facilities for laborers. These demands are being supported by the Federation of Labor Unions, which holds the idea that welfare assistance be given in goods instead of cash, since the value of money has declined so markedly.
Stimulated by the frank and open expression of opinion and publicity, labor disputes have come to bear a political cast. The demand to approve the right of group negotiations and the severe criticism against corporation officials as being war criminals may be counted as part of the political aspect of these disputes. The demand for group negotiation is also looked upon as having political as well as educational significance for laborers.
The conspicuous features of the recent strikes are found in the methods of striking to which laborers have resorted. Strikers are always conscious that their demands are common to those of the general masses. For example, at the strike of the KEISEI Electric Transport Company, employees worked as usual during the time of disputes, operating traffic for the benefit of passengers. Such a phenomenon had never been seen in former strikes. It is reported in connection with the KEISEI disputes, that employees worked harder than usual, during the strike, and the number of cars repaired was 18 a day, instead of one or two as on usual days. Better service was also rendered to passengers during the disputes.
In the case of the YOMIURI disputes, the employees of the newspaper are said to have discharged the heavy mission entrusted to them as a social agency, in defiance of the strong opposition and oppression by its president. The employees of the paper continued their assigned daily work, and did not stop the publication of the paper even a single day, and finally succeeded in an amicable settlement.
Those semi-feudalistic capitalists of JAPAN who, during the war, considered the word "labor" pink, and labor" disputes or strikes red, and were so afraid of labor problems that even discussing them was consedered radicalism, are now being named as suspected war criminals by the Supreme Command of the Allied Forces. Notwithstanding this fact, semi-feudalistic elements are still in existence among the present day capitalists, and they are trying to strengthen their control. They are very eager to ask the police authorities for suppression of strikers, but are prevented from doing so because of the existence of the Supreme Command.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 105 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
As the committee meeting concerning the Labor Union Bill held in the House of Peers, Welfare Minister ASHIDA declared, "The general strike, different from the objectives of this bill, has a political tinge and as such is a different problem having nothing to do with the right to strike for economic aims. The Government may therefore order the prohibition or suspension of strikes in public enterprises to prevent their turning into general strikes." Thus, the ruling classes of JAPAN seem to limit the present strikes or labor disputes within the category of economics, trying to prevent the disputes from becoming political problems.
Despite such measures by capitalists, present disputes have gradually come to have connection with political strife. This tendency seems to develop with the recently accelerated publicity activities. Labor disputes were conducted not only among industrial plants but also in Government offices. Among those connected with transportation are the TAKAZAKI Supervisory Office of the TOKYO Government Railway Bureau (TOTETSU TAKAZAKI KANRIBU), the TOKYO Subway Traffic Company (TOKYO CHIKATETSU), the TOKYO Traffic Laborers' Union (TOKYO KOTSU RODO KUMIAI) the TOKYO Express Company (TOKYO KYUKO), the YOKOHAMA City Electric Bureau (YOKOHAMA SHIDEN), the KEISEI Electric Traffic Company (KEISEI DENTETSU), the KOHRIYAMA Technical Office of the SENDAI Railway Bureau (SENTETSU KOHRIYAMA KOHKIBU), the OHMIYA Technical Office of the TOKYO Government Railway Bureau (TOTETSU OHMIYA KO[illegible]KIBU), and the ASAHIKAWA Technical Office of the SENDAI Railway Bureau (SENTETSU ASAHIKAWA KOHKIBU).
Among the machine and tool manufacturing organizations, where also such disputes occured were the SAITAMA work-shop of the SANSHIN Industries (SANSHIN KOGYO SAITAMA KOJO), the WARABI Work-shop of the Japan Vehicle Manufacturing Factory (NIPPON SHARYO WARABI KOJO), the SAITAMA Work-shop of the TOKYO-SHIBAURA Electric Company, (TOKYO SHIBAURA DENKI KAISHA), and the IKEGAI Motor car Manufacturing Company.
The HOKKAIDO Federation of the Coal Mining Unions (HOKKAIDO TANKO RODOKUMIAI RENGOKAI), and the MIUTA Coal Mines of the MITSUI are among major mines where labor disputes occurred also.
Governmental Offices involving labor disputes included the TOKYO Branch of the Mint, (ZOHEIKYOKU), the TAKINOGAWA Factory of the Cabinet Printing Bureau, (KAIKAKU INSA[illegible]SUKYOKU), and the YAMATE Police Station in YOKOHAMA.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0105, 1945-12-26.
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