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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0215, 1946-01-27.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-0971

call-number: DS801 .S81



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 971 Date: 27 Jan 46

ECONOMIC SERIES: 215

ITEM 1 Agriculture and Industry Throw off the Yoke of Feudalism by Dr. MINOBE, Ryokichi - Magazine Economist (published by Mainichi semi-monthly) 1 Jan 46.- Translators: M. Shiine. E. Hoshikawa.
Summary:
LOW WAGES AND SEVERE WORKING CONDITIONS
Although Japanese economy is organized under a capitalists system which is principally monapolistic, strong feudal tendencies are still evident in the economy, especially in agriculture. JAPAN's principal agricultural unit has been the small farm, operated by a small landholder, and the burdens of high farm rent, taxes, high rates of interest, etcetera have lowered the farmers' living standards considerably. Farmers, working under these oppressive conditions, could not even earn their own wages, much less gain any profit. As a consequence, middle and lower class farmers, affected by these conditions, fell into a state of financial ruin and were obliged to become factory laborers in order to sustain themselves.
For these reasons, the surplus population of farm villages has been moving constantly in the direction of the factories. These new factory workers were then subjected to very bad working conditions because of their agricultural failure.
These factors naturally resulted in the reduction of the average wage scale. Originally, under the economic system of capitalism according to the principles of the theory of the value of labor, the money paid to labor should equal labor's value. According to the capitalistic theory, profit is justified only when labor is paid a price equal to the value of its working and producing power. However, this general rule was never put into practice in JAPAN.
In JAPAN, wages have always been lower than the value of labor, there- by guaranteeing surplus profit to the capitalists. This surplus profit can be said to be a product of the feudal land system. All countries should promote the capitalization of their agriculture, but this is especially true of JAPAN today, where the position of agriculture is so much lower then that of the manufacturing industries. Agriculture has heretofore been thoroughly exploited by the manufacturing industries. An outstanding example of this is the extremely low price of farm products today.
We shall now point out the feudal characteristics of Japanese industries, especially in the factories. These enterprises still resemble home industries rather than regular factory industries, and the workers themselves have the characteristics of apprentices rather than wage earners. The entire Japanese capitalistic system may be said to be based on low wages, and the development of a pure capitalistic spirit could not be achieved in our country because of its suppression by JAPAN's semi-feudalistic capitalists. JAPAN has been semi-feudalistic in her social

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 215 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
life as well as in her economic life. This fact is borne out by the stories of KYOKAKU (TN Chivalrous spirit) and KATAKIUCHI (TN Seeking revenge) which occupy an important place in Japanese culture. Thus we can freely say that JAPAN has not developed the true Western capitalistic spirit, culturally or economically.
To destroy these feudal characteristics, the Labor Union Bill and Farm Land Reform Bill have been put into effect. The legal details of the latter are not entirely clear, but, originally, the purpose of the bill was the capitalization of agriculture by doing away with all of the old feudal characteristics. The first requisite is the increase of the average farm area of the peasant and the nationalization of the management of these farms, The existance of these landholders need not hamper the capitalization of agricultural management as long and the landholders are charged reasonable rents. This will insure them against falling into poverty again. The important point is to abolish excessively small farms and to make the farms large enough to be worthy of the farmers investment. Through the enforcement of the bill, farm property will be more limited than before but the existing severe farm rent system will be reformed by payment of taxes with money rather than form products.
The enforcement of the Labor Union Bill and the development of labor unions will naturally result in limiting the supply of working power and improving labor's working conditions. Eventually, labor unions should be able to make labor's wage equal the value of its working power. In order to realize this aim, labor union must have three prerogatives: (1) Organization of labor unions and freedom of joining them; (2) The freedom of strike and other measures deemed necessary by labor; (3) The freedom of collective bargaining.
All future agreement between the union and the employers be concluded by collective bargaining. The labor agreement must be applied to all members of the union, and all factory laborers will be included in the union. If some of the surplus farm population moves into the factories, they too must join the union and obey the labor agreements. This will prevent wages from again becoming lower than the value of the working power. However, as long as agriculture is inferior to industry, we cannot prevent the prices of farm products from falling below their value. The development of labor unions cannot prevent this. Agricultural reform is the only possible preventive measure.
With higher wages, the Japanese capitalist will not get excessive profits as before. Then the feudal characteristics of Japanese industry will be wiped out and a pure capitalistic spirit will be realized economically and socially. Thus the capitalist, deprived of their vantage point of low wages in the world market will be obliged to rely upon pure capitalistic method. This is to be the foundation of the democrazation of Japanese economy.
ITEM 2 The Actual Yield of Paper for Newsprint Is 44,000,000 Pounds - Sangyo Keisai - 25 Jan 46. Translator: S. Iwata.
Full Translation:
According to the investigation of the Commerce and Industry Ministry, the actual yield of paper for newspaper printing is 44,00,000 pounds, which is 85 per cent of scheduled quantity. The estimated quantity of the fourth quarter of the fiscal year is about 30,000,000 pounds, but the actual yield will amount to 24,000,000 pounds, which is 80 per cent of the producing capacity of the pulp industry. This quantity equals half the actual yield.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 215 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Considering the decreased production of pulp, which is due both to the reduction of coal produced in KYUSHU and the difficulties of transportation between HOKODATE and AOMORI, we cannot be optimistic about supply and demand of newspapers in the future. It seems that the authorities should be able to regulate the quantity to be consumed. The following figures are the planned quantity and the actual quantity of paper for newspaper printing deeming the third quarter of the fiscal year (in 10,000 pounds):
Month Planned amount Actual amount per cent
October 1,730 1,772 103%
November 1,730 1,599 92%
December 1,730 1,073 62%
Total 5,190 4,444 85%

ITEM 3 Lectures on Food Problems - Tokyo Shimbun - 25 Jan 46. Translator: R. Aoki.
Full Translation:
The Imperial Invention Society (TEIKOKU HATSUMEI KYOKAI) will hold lectures at the branch office of the TOKYO Commerce and Industry Economic Association (TOKYO SHOKO KEIZAI KAI) 1:00 p. m. on 26 January. The Society hopes that these lectures will help break through the present food difficulties in JAPAN. The topics of the lectures are as follows: "Food Grinding Machines", by Engineer HAMANO of the Patent Office; "Simple Preposition Methods of Sweet Potatoes and the Food Utilization of Starch Wastes", by Messrs. HIROTOGAWA and SHIMURU of the CHIBA Agricultural Experimental Station.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0215, 1946-01-27.
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