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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0267, 1946-02-06.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-1167

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No. 1167 DATO: 6 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Investigation Of Actual Living Conditions At AGEMATSU, KISO Valley, NAGANO Ken - Provincial Paper Shinano Mainichi (Nagano) - 3 Feb 46. Translator: K. Sato.
An investigation into the actual living conditions at a town called AGEMATSU in the KISO valley, a rice consuming area, covering the period from last October to 23 January, was made by the Young Men's Federation for the Maintainance of Living Standards (SEINEN SEIKATSU YOGO R[illegible]EI) of that city. A questionnaire with 23 items was sent out to each of the 1084 families and answers were returned by 786 families, about 50 per cent. The salient points were as follows:
- Applicants for employ ents: 118. Among them, demobilized servicemen were 39 per cent; unemployed, 36 per cent; and others, 25 per cent. It is to be noticed that this group totals 15 per cent of entire number who returned the answers.
- The average deficiency of staple foodstuff per person per month: The 620 families who answered are divided as follows: One sho deficiency, l4 per cent; two she, 18 per cent; 2.5 she deficiency, nine per cent; three sho deficiency, 22 per cent; four sho deficiency, seven per cent. The fact that persons are lacking three to four sho per month is because they are forest laborors.
- The method of supplementing staple food: The following is the result of an investigation of 556 families who are not farmers. The methods of obtaining rice are divided as follows: 42 per cent by black-markets; 37 per cent from friends; 21 per cent by barter. The purchasing price is from five to 60 yen, about 35 yen on the average.
- The purchase of vegetables: The survey was made on 500 families who are not farmers. The total amount of radishes bought per month was 2727 Kan, 54 per cent of the entire amount of vegetables. Next come sweet potatoes, 28 per cent. Potatoes are 15 per cent. The purchasing price of radishes is six yen per kan, and sweet potatoes are 15 yen. The average price is 10 yen.
- The general condition of meals: Those who eat rice at breakfast, out of the 650 families, are only nine per cent; porridge of rice and vegetables, 24 per cent; mixtures of various foodstuffs, 46 per cent; no breakfast, two families. At lunchtime, there are none who eat rice. Porridge figures highest, showing 53 per cent; mixed staple foods, 46 per cant; and no lunch, two families having four and six members. Those who eat rice at supper time are only six families, porridge, 521

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 267 (Continued)

ITEM 1 (Continued)

families; mixed food, 75 families; others 44 families; and no meal, four families.
- Income and expenditures per family per month: An income of 100 to 150 yen is received by 39 per cent of the families. 13 per cent receive under 100 yen, and those who get from 250 to 300 yen are 12 per cent. An income of above 1000 yen is received by four families. As for expenses, 3 per cent have expenses of under 10 yen per person; 8 per cent spend 50 yen per person; and most spend between 60 and 70 yen per person. The deficit per family per month: 10 per cent have a deficit of 500 yen or more; 6 per cent have a deficit of 300 yen; 12 per cent have a 150 yon deficit; 14 per cent have a hundred yen deficit. How can they supplement these deficits? Most of them, 74 per cent, have recourse to the withdrawal of savings; eight per cent supplement them by loans; seven per cent, by cash; others, 11 per cent. Families which have spent all their savings total 11.
- The clothing desired: Tabi, 42 per cent; underwear, 27 per cent; and gloves, ten per cent. Other items are towels, yarn, and cotton bedding.
- Fuel: Of 649 families, 343 buy at the black-market, and 227 do not. The black-market price for one bale of charcoal is from 20 to 50 yen.

ITEH 2 The Revised Agrarian Adjustment Law - yomiuri Hochi Shimbun - 4 Feb 46. Translator: R. Shibata.
Full Translation:
The reformation of the agrarian system which will release farmers from the present state of semi-serfdom, must be a most indispensable factor for the advancement of our agricultural productive power and its democratization. It is highly desired for the people to concentrate every effort on the solution of this serious problem, which may be a most essential problem to decide the destiny of our democratic evolution. The Government is trying to convince the people that the agrarian system has been thoroughly reformed, by putting into practice on 1 February the regulations relative to the application of the revised Agrarian Adjustment Law. However, this law has many defects. Farmers themselves are not satisfied with such a camouflaged reformation of the agrarian system. This law which does not really free farmers from their serfdom has caused dissatisfaction in Allied Headquarters.
Feudalistic elements in this law can be seen in the following points: 1) It binds a great number of farmers to the old feudal land system, the limit of land to be held being raised from the originally planned three chobu to five chobu; 2) The payment system of tenant fees in fixed amounts of money is not established at all by this law; 3) The buying price of land is based on very high tenant fees; 4) It does not give any word for the right of cultivation by numerous tenant farmers who will be left behind to be small holders; 5) There is fear that the agrarian committee may be put under the influence of the landed loss; 6) It does not provide for the release of woodlands, mountain-lands and wild fields, leaving them to the will of land owners.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 267 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Unless the law is improved on these points, real democratization of our agricultural villages cannot be expected from it. We must develope a strong democratic organization of farmers in order to break down feudalism in our agriculture. Next, we will try to examine the above mentioned weak points of this law more in detail.
The Holding Limit of Lands.

It is a characteristic feature of our agriculture that much of the land belonged to comparatively small and middle landowners. The following figures by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry show the tendency that the more the land owned by an individual increases in area, the more it is concentrated in the hands of a few landowners.

Area of a land Percentage of the house to the total Percentage of the area to the total
Less than 0.5 chobu 33.5% 9.5%
From 0.5 to 1 " 29.9 21.2
From 1 to 2 " 26.7 35.7
From 2 to 3 " 6.1 13.9
From 3 to 5 " 2.1 7.7
From 5 to 10 " 0.9 6.2
More than 10 " 0.4 5.8

(N.B. A) Statistics compiled in 194l.)

(B) Land-owning household total ——- 5,524,782)

In addition, according to the figures in 1944, out of the total of 5,624,116 households, the proportion of the small landowners was 28 per cent, farmers who cultivate their own land as well as tenant lands was 39 per cent, and pure tenant farmers was 28 per cent as compared to 3.7 per cent of landowners who rent out land of more than one chobu in addition to possessing their own cultivating land. In these figures we find a fact that most of the tenant land is owned by small and middle landowners of less than five chobu. We can judge from this fact how strong landlord affiliations were in the previous session of the Diet which amended the originally planned limit of three chobu into five chobu. In this sense, the emancipation of farmers will never be realized unless this standard is lowered to a certain degree.
The Payment System Of Tenant Fees In a Fixed Amount of Money.

The high tenant fees in kind of our agriculture offers the smallest landowner an economical basis for being a parasite. Removal of such tenant fees in kind will make it possible to release farmers from the feudal bondage and stabilize them in a position of a free producer. This law permitted tenant fees to be paid partly in kind and postponed the period to April when the paying method in money will be applied, thus checking substantially the tenant fee of this year from being paid in money. We cannot but conclude that the Government intends to let landowners hold a sufficient quantity of staple food without paying any regard to the starving people.
The Buying Price of Land.

This law leaves a way of escape for landowners, who are compelled to sell their land to tenant farmers, by determining the price of lands at very high rate. The prices are 757 yen 60 sen for rice fields and 446 yen 98 sen for other fields. These were determined on the basis of the present high tenant fees in kind.

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 267 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)

After all, buying at such an expensive price, is nothing but payment of a high tenant fee in advance. Moreover, the government subsidy to cover the difference between the price of the landowner and the legal price means to apply the tax-income to a bounty for landlords, protecting them while burdening the people. And yet we hear that some landowners, unsatisfied even with this price, are disposing of their land among their relatives evading the law where the land is to be sold to tenant farmers. The buying price of the land owned by small and middle landowners should be set up at the equivalent price to the tenant fee in kind of about one per cent of the total crop.
Security In The Right of Cultivation.

One of the greatest defects of this law is that it gives assurance of the right of cultivation to the tenant farmers who cannot afford to buy the land. As the Law permits landowners to hold land up to five chobu, they are taking back their land from farmers, causing many tenancy disputes in various places. Tenant farmers are receiving only very lukewarm protection for their right of cultivation by the Commercial Law and the Agrarian Committee. It is most urgent to institute a Tenancy Law or a Cultivation Law which will protect the right of cultivation.
The Imperfect Agrarian Committee.

The Agrarian Committee, to which the Law trusted all rights of disposition concerning agrarian adjustment, is formed in such a way, that the will of tenant farmers cannot be reflected in any way. It is unreasonable that the committee men representing small holders and tenant farmers are only three, equal in number to these representing landowners, who are far less in number than tenant farmers. Besides, the tenant farmers are, as it were, powerless semi-serfs who have been accustomed to the feudal suppression for many years. There is much fear that the Agrarian Committee may get into the control of land owners.
The Release of Woodlands, Mountain Lands and Wild Fields.
The Law does not provide at all for the release of woodlands, mountain lands and wild fields or for the establishment of the right of entering into woodlands to gather fallen leaves. How earnestly this is desired by the farmers who do not raise any cattle and are being checked from increasing production on account of a shortage of fertilizer. Disregarding the farmers' desires, the landowners only permit this on assumption that tenant farmers are in a subordinate position. It is highly desirable for the solution of the present food problem that these lands be opened for the free cultivation by the farmers and the right of entering there is established as soon as possible.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0267, 1946-02-06.
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