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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0229, 1946-01-30.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-1015

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No. 1015 Date: 30 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Inflationary Trend Seems Very Rapid - Tokyo Shimbun - 28 Jan 46. Translator: Z. Konishi.
A national will to rebuild a new JAPAN has been Cultivated for a half year since the war ended. However, due to the present tendency toward inflation, its advance is in fact being obstructed. The index of wholesale prices last December in TOKYO had increased to 794.2, a rise of 43.3 per cent as compared with the previous month of November while the index for retail prices at that period indicated a figure of 827.1 as compared with 434.7 for the previous month. Particularly, the index for foodstuffs, which is most closely related to the national livelihood, [illegible]suddenly to 1,258 as against 458 for the previous month, November. If these figures are studied we can understand how the nation's standard of living is suffering from the present inflation. On the other hand, we can look over the actual figures of various accounts at banks. For instance, at the TOKYO Bank Association (TOKYO GINKO KYOKAI) the total of deposits and savings at the end of December was 31, 883,000,000 Yen showing a decrease by 1,331 million compared with November. At the beginning of January there was still a decrease of 445 million Yen in addition to the above figure. According to the investigation of principal accounts at banks made throughout the country, the total deposits and savings at that time show a slight increase over expenditures. However, the amount of general savings at the end of November was 34,742 million yen, showing a remarkable decrease of 197 million yen. This seems due to an inclination to evade the new taxes, but it can also be rightly considered as evidence of the vigorous demand for cash. Consequently, the amount issued at the Bank of JAPAN increased remarkably since the end of January by as much as 200 million yen, and on 24 January, it was 57,100 million yen, a higher figure than 55,400 million yen, the highest figure throughout last year. If the present situation stays as it is, we are bound to encounter great difficulties as we can see from the example of GERMANY after the first World War. Despite this crisis Government measures taken so far seem to have come too late and furthermore, seem most ineffectual. New measures are under consideration by the Commodity Price Section (BUTSUKA-BU) of the Ministry of Finance, but whether they will bring forth an effective solution of the present crisis, is very doubtful.
ITEM 2 "Labor Unionism in JAPAN" told by Mr. SU[illegible]HIRO Gentaro - Yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - 28 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Kurata.
Mr. SUEHIRO made a speech about labor unionism in JAPAN today at a round table conference held under the auspices of the YOMIURI HOCHI SHIMBUN. The following is the gist of his speech: "To begin with, I will speak about the Labor Union Law and labor unionism. As I took part in drafting the bill for the Labor Union Law which passed the last Diet Session, I believe I have a fuller knowledge of that

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 229 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
law than most other persons, I shall he glad, if my speech helps you to get a better understanding of this law. First of all, what is most noteworthy in this law is the fact that the right given to all workers to organize is guaranteed in the following three points: (l) Abolition of all laws and ordinances hitherto used to prevent labor unionism, thereby giving the workers every chance to carry out labor disputes without legal interference. As enacted in article 35 the Criminal Low which reads: "Acts necessary for doing one's business shall be justified and shall net be punishable, "such acts an[illegible]the part of unions as calling a general strike, forcing the management to carry out collective bargaining and picketing, which are all necessary for achieving a decision in disputes, will be legalized. (2) The prevention of the management taking discriminating action against workers who join labor unions, thereby protecting them from being discharged or having their wages reduced because of participation in labor unions, and at the same time preventing the management from claiming compensation from the unions for losses suffered through strikes , as has often been the case in the UNITED STATES and GREAT BRITAIN. (3) In the Labor Union Law, those who live on their wages will be regarded as workers, irrespective of their rank and occupation, even the unemployed. (To be continued)
ITEM 3 To Break Through The Pressing Food Crisis the Government has Begun A Vigorous Effort - Tokyo Shimbun - 28 Jan 46. Translator: K Sato.
Full Translation:
The Headquarters of the National Movement to Meet the Food Crisis, which was established on the occasion of the Nation-wide Round-Table Conference held on l4 November at the Premier's official residence for the purpose of solving impending food problems, has started positive and vigorous activity at last by reforming its structure and confronting the actual food crisis which will reach its zenith in February and March. The abrupt decision of the Government to manage the distribution of food, brought about a clash between the Government and such organizations as the Social Democratic Party, the Communists, the Agricultural Corporation and the Democratic Association. To meet the food crisis, which had been making strenuous efforts to achieve a more democratic management of food. Thus the solution of the food problem has now run into a deadlock and this is the main reason for the collection of rice quotas. The Government, therefore, decided to rid itself of bureaucratic habits and to share hardships with both the producers and the consumers. The following are the decisions made by the Government concerning this problem. (l) YAMAME Shinjiro, director of the TOKYO SHIMBUN, will take the place of OKADA, Tadahiko, Chief of the Headquarters, whose tenure of office conflit with the directives issued by the Allied Headquarters. (2) Vice-Chief of the Headquarters KORO, Akiro, parliamentary vice- Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, and HOJO, Takahachi, parliamentary councilor, will be replaced by FUJITA, Keizo, who at present is chief secretary. The Government will complete, the necessary procedure in a couple of days and will carry on a great national movement without any political coloring, for the purpose of overcoming the present crisis.
ITEM 4 Earlier Stabilization of Prices Desired - Mainichi Shimbun - 28 Jan 46. Translator: K. Shindo.
To check inflation and to reconstruct Japanese economy, the price confusion now prevalent must be done away with as soon as possible. There can be no solution of price confusion if there is no sure supply of staple foods. There are many obstacles in the way of obtaining this sure supply. In the first place, the production and distribution of fertilizer, at moderate prices, must be effected. The control of fertilizer must be accomplished in production and distribution. Secondly, the price of rice must be raised. The raising of the price
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 229 (Continued)
ITEM 4 (Continued)
of rice must be speeded up, not only to encourage the farmers' willingness to produce and increase rice-delivery, but also to valuate farming labor fairly. The fair fixation of the rice price depends on the most correct calculation of production costs added to farming wages.
How can farming wages be evaluated? We feel it necessary to analize the farmers' livelihood. It should be remembered also that the feudalistic exploitation of farming labor has been the support of our semi-feudal society. Should one fixed rice price be applied to the KYUSHU and TOHOKU districts, where production conditions are far different from each other? Should a pool system, as in the case of coal prices, be adopted for rice prices? After all, production conditions differ in each production center. The answer to these questions might help solve our problems. After these fundamental problems are solved, something that yet remains untouched is punishment. Farmers who do not deliver their allotted quota of rice delivery must be punished, without any leniency, because a few dishonest acts left unpunished affect a greater number of honest farmers.
While villages supply cities with food, what is given to villages by cities? To meet the farmers' demands industry must be reconstructed. Coal is the most important product, in this respect, because it is the backbone of all industry. Fixing of the coal price will help in fixing the prices of all industrial products. As for materials required for the reconstruction of Japanese industry, hoarded materials must be released to the most important industries, by any legal procedure. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is preparing an emergency economic ordinance for this program. The standardization of wages must be taken up, to stabilize the livelihood of labors, and to make enterprise pay.
The national livelihood demands that routine necessities, such as soy-beans, beanpaste (MISO), edible oils, wine, fibres, perishable foods, and other routine goods come under control again. Transportation is a problem that is next to the labor problem in its need for a solution. Passenger fares and freight rates are to be raised by 250 % and 300 % respectively. If the production of goods under these conditions does not pay, business men can be helped in obtaining a moderate profit by setting up some system of Government buying.
Finally, the problem of the fair distribution of routine necessities comes to the fore. Such articles must undergo control in proportion to their utility, not only in production but also in distribution. A new price system will have to be based on rice, coal, and standardized wages after these steps are taken. These steps will force the Government to bear any financial burden, because they will help check inflation. Any form of indemnity or tax-exemption policy must be avoided, while sources of Government revenue such as the tobacco monopoly, or treasury lottery, will have to help balance the accounts. The loan-reparations policy for JAPAN, though it remains obscure, must, of course, be given special attention. The policies outlined above, in conjuction with the tax on property, will stabilize prices and, consequently, make the Japanese economy healthy again.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0229, 1946-01-30.
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