Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0141, 1946-01-09.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0681

call-number: DS801 .S81

(View Page Image)
No. 681 Date: 9 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Japanese Economy - Provinical Newspaper-Kahoku Nipoo (SENDAI) - 1 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Kuruta.
It goes without saying that the history of Japanese economy from the KEIJI Restoration to the end of this war is nothing out the history of her capitalistic development. During this period, the population increased by more than three times from 30 million to 100 million, while her territories had also expanded from 380,000 square killometers to 680,000 square kilometers.
Although the question of how such an expansion was carried out is not so important at present, yet it is necessary to study the many conditions under which our economy made this expansion. Needless to say, the greatest difficulty in Japanese economy consists in her poor material resources, insufficient to feed her huge population, which has increased threefold in 80 years. The density of population in cultivated areas is 1,169 per square kilometer. This accounts for the uniqueness of Japanese agriculture.
The proportion of farmland within our territories in 1933 was only 17.4 per cent, including overseas territories, while the proportion in a highly industrialized country like GERMANY was 44 per cent in the same year. Now that the reclamation of farmland in HONSHU has just reached its limit, we cannot expect an increased yield of farm produce by the expansion of irrigation facilities and the drastic reform in the technical process of production.
To balance that, however, sea foods are quite abundant, JAPAN being geographically favored in this respect. However, though we have various kinds of mineral resources, the volume is quite insufficient to meet industrial demands. This scarcity of mineral resources has in its turn caused industry to specialize. At the same time, we should mention that our industry is taking advantage of the abundant hydroelectric power instead of coal power generation.
According to the 1940 census, of a total 64,000,000 population, 29,600,000 people (or 46 per cent) were engaged in farming, industry [illegible]commerce; 48 per cent in farming; 20 per cent in industry; and 17 per cent in commerce. Other activities are fishing, mining, transport, etc. It is therefore apparent that the rural population is the largest segment of the total population. It can be said that farming is the major occupation in JAPAN.
Nevertheless, industry produces a far greater amount of goods than agriculture. For instance, in 1936 the industrial products equalled 71 per cent of total annual production while farm products comprised only 21 per cent.
About 70 per cent of all farmers have only about one chobu of farm land. With such small holdings that they must engage in intensive

(View Page Image)
ECONOMIC SERIES: 141 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
farming. Therefore, unless the scale of farming is widened, living standards of the farmer will not he improved.
Rice is the chief agricultural product, averaging annually about 65,000,000 koku. With a growing population, JAPAN has found it impossible to depend upon the domestic rice yield alone to feed her people. She has relied upon the import of foreign rice amounting to about 30,000,000 koku.
But, now that we have lost KOREA and FORMOSA, the rice shortage will be more serious than ever. Self-sufficiency in rice is absolutely impossible.
ITEM 2 Coal Shortage Severely Felt-Supply Insufficient for Industry. Coal Conditions of Each District - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 7 Jan 46. Translator: H. Sato.
The coal shortage and the food shortage are the most serious problems facing JAPAN. The effect of the coal shortage on industry in various districts was disclosed as the result of a recent investigation.
KANAGA[illegible]A Ken: Private industries are at a standstill. The supply of coal fell off sharply just after the termination of the war, but recently an average of 30,000 tons has been supplied monthly. Nevertheless, supple to general private industries is extremely restricted as priorities are issued to the occupation forces. For instance, the TOKYO Gas Company (TOKYO GASU KAISHA) of this district has a supply of only 300 tons a day against its minimum requirement of 1,500 tons a day.
CHIBA Ken: Food industries suffer little. The canned soy-bean sauce industries, principal industry in the CHOSHI district, suffer comparatively little from the coal shortage. Because the factories of these industries were severely damaged by air raids and also because of the lack of raw materials, they are working only at one-tenth of their whole productive capacity. They surmount the coal shortage by using lignite, scrap wood, bamboo waste, or sawdust.
SAITAMA Ken: Production of cement and chemical fertilizer has decreased sharply. The coal shortage severely affects the SHOWA Electric Co. (SHOWA DE[illegible]KO), [illegible]kers of nitro-lime, and the CHICHIBU Cement Company (CHICHIBU SEMENTO KOGYO). Their production has shown a remarkable decline due to the ever decreasing supply of coal. If present conditions are not improved, they will have to stop production in the very near future.
TOCHIGI Ken: The ASHIO Copper Mine (ASHIO DOZAN) is quite paralyzed, suffering most severely from the coal shortage. Although its minimum monthly requirement is 1,200 tone (800 tons for smelting and 400 tons for boilers in the dressing plant), they had no supply in November except for 60 tons of powdered coal. Stocks on hand are only 400 tons. They have suspended work since the 30th, and there is yet no prospect that work will be resumed.
FUKUSHIMA Ken: The supply is only l6 per cent of the requirements.
- 2 -

(View Page Image)
ECONOMIC SERIES: 141 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The factory of the IWAKI Cement Company (IWAKI SEMENTO) in YOTSUKURA has a productive capacity of 13,000 tons of cement per month, but they succeeded in producing only 1,600 tons in December. The NIPPON Chemical Industry Company (NIPPON KAGAKU), makers of fertilizer, The NIPPON Hydrogen Company (NIPPON SUISO), makers of ammonium sulphate, and the GOU Chemical Industry Company (GOU KAGAKU), makers of potassium phosphate fertilizer, have a suspended work. The silk industry of this prefecture is also suffering from the coal shortage.
YAMAGATA Ken: Lignite production is anticipated. Even in this noted lignite producing prefecture the coal shortage is felt so severely that many industries have had to suspend work in January. Although a big cut was made in railway operations, consumption of coal amounts to 350 tons per day. Moreover, greater shortage is forecast as it will be necessary to drive snow plow locomotives. For the purpose of obtaining this coal, 200 railway workers have been sent to the HOKKAIDO mines to secure a sufficient amount.
AKITA Ken: The production of ammonium sulphate has stopped. The AKITA factory of TOHOKU Fertilizer Company (TOHOKU HIRYO), one of the leading producers of ammonium sulphate, had been aiming at producing 1,500 tons of ammonium sulphate, but it had to suspend its work since November due to the lack of coal.
ITEM 3 Supply of Transformers to be Increased. Repairs Begun - Yomiuri Hochi - 7 Jan 46. Translator: T. Kitagawa.
Full Translation:
In order to prevent frequent interruptions of electric current owing to the use of electric heaters. The Commerce and Finance Ministry set up a period for repairing and improving transformers set on the electric poles, to run from 1 January to the end of February.
The Ministry seems to be quite determined to solve the problem and is calling for the help of the local administrative departments of the Ministry and nine electric current distribution companies. Their object is to secure 40,000 fifteen kilowatt high tension heaters, including 15,000 for household use, 5,000 for use in repairing war damages, and 20,000 for factories.
In enacting the program, the Ministry is about to take three steps:
Earliest utilization of transformers which are to be returned from Allied Forces.
Utilization of apparatus abandoned in factories.
Facilitation of repair of damaged transformers.

Transformers to be turned over by former Japanese forces to the civilian use are supposed to number about 10,000, and are now in armory storehouses. The authorities will direct quick action to be taken by electric current distribution companies to locate and secure these transformers. Allied Headquarters is reported to be aiding the collection.
It is also hoped that l,700 new transformers will be manufactured monthly, with the assistance of OSAKA Transformer Company (OSAKA HEWATSUKI), HITACHI Manufacturing Company (HITACHI SEISA[illegible]UJO), and MITSUBISHI which have been producing 90 per cent of the country's
- 3 -

(View Page Image)
ECONOMIC SERIES: 141 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
supply. Of the 100,000 burned transformers, 60,000—including the 36,000 damaged in TOKYO—are repairable. The materials necessary for the repair, such as cotton thread, oil, and coil are expected to be supplied to the repair shops through the assistance of the Ministry, which will provide double the facilities for repairing. Interruption of current supply due to repairs going on will be taken care of as quickly as possible. It is expected that increased use of bicycles by electric repair workers will help speed up the job and result in a minimum of inconvenience to families.
ITEM 4 Export of Fine Art Objects - Nippon Sangyo Keizai - 7 Jan 46. Translator: Y. kurata.
Full Translation:
The Foreign Trade Office has decided on a plan for the increased production of fine art objects to meet coming food imports. The principal reasons for this decision are as follows: (1) There is no lack of materials; (2) These objects can be produced with the minimum of materials and can be sold at the highest prices; (3) Japanese people have the skill at handiwork necessary for the production of these goods; and (4) Because of their special qualities the sale of these goods in the international market will be guaranteed.
In addition Supreme Headquarters is quite interested in this plan and has already offered us a large number of samples and designs suitable for export, while certain foreign experts are expected to come here to give us help in this connection. Goods other than fine art objects which are also earmarked as payment for imports are toys such as electric cars and locomotives, the production of which is now under way by the HIDACHI Manufacturing Plant (HIDACHI SEISAKU-JO). It is reported that the Foreign Trade Office is now preparing for the organization of an association consisting of all entrepreneurs concerned for the more effective realization of this plan.
- 4 -
HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0141, 1946-01-09.
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only