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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0327, 1946-02-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-1412

call-number: DS801 .S81

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No. 1412 Date: 18 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Revolutionary Emancipation of the Land - Economist (published, semimonthly by Mainichi) - 1 Feb 46. Translators: Mr. Sugasawa. T/4 Ikimura
A Prelude to Democracy in the New JAPAN
The most significant of all the new democratic policies is the Agararian Adjustment Law. This new law for the first time gives to the feudally oppressed farmers the right to acquire land and to operate it freely. Past land laws dealt only with the problems of increasing farm production and controlling the prices of farm products; they never touched on the fundamental problems of the corrupt land system. This is largely due to the fact that the leading classes in farm villages were all landowners and that unions, agricultural societies, and even the Diet itself were to a large extent controlled by landowners. It was natural under such circumstances that nothing disadvantageous to the landowners was ever approved or passed.
MATSUMURA, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, ordered WADA, Denju, the Chief of the Agricultural Administration Bureau, to draft a land reform bill. WADA, Denju, at one time suspected and imprisoned as a Communist, drafted a very revolutionary bill which called for a compulsory release of all land in excess of three cho. When presented to the Diet, the bill caused a great deal of discussion and revision; the final result was the increase of the maximum land holding from three cho to five cho. This change weakened the policy somewhat; nevertheless, it can be considered a prelude to democracy in JAPAN's rural communities.
Proper Land Disposition and Purging of Feudalistic Remains
In JAPAN the total arable land is 6,000,000 cho, and the number of farms totals 5,500,000,; thus, the average land per farm is 1.1 cho. The area of arable land required to make an average livelihood is said to be 1.7 cho, which is 0.6 cho more than the average farm. The farmers cultivating less than one cho total 3,690,000, which is 66,4 per cent of the total number of farmers; but they in turn cultivate only 30 per cent of the total arable land of 6,000,000 cho. On the other hand, l,460,000 purely tenant farmers and 2,300,000 semi-tenant farmers, or 69.8 per cent of the total number of farmers, rely entirely on the 2,600,000 cho of tenant land available.
These desperate conditions are the basic causes of the increasing struggle for tenant farms, of the high rent and the high cost of land, and the deterioration of agricultural management. Until this basic land problem is solved, therefoer, Japanese agriculture cannot hope to make any substantial progress. In 1926, a measure was introduced by the Government to increase the number of owner-farmers: because there was no compulsory enforcement, however the total increase in 19 years was only 378,000 owner-farmers, cultivating 250,000 cho of land. Of these; 18 per cnet have fallen back into the tenant-farmer class. The new law, though conservatively revised, means that 1,500,000 cho, nearly 60

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 327 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
per.cent of all tenant land, - is to be given to the1 farmers during the next five years; therefore it can be said to be very revolutionary.
In spite of the revolutionary law, however, there still remains the problem .of landowners and tenant farmers who hold less than five cho. This situation is somewhat eased by the cash rent policy, which is really the most important feature of the new law. The primary aim of the bill is to improve the operation of these tenant farms by establishing a just cash farm rent. The present tenant fee in JAPAN is in kind; the rate for a paddy field is approximately 47.8 per cent of the harvest, and the fee for a dry field is 31.4 per cent of the harvest. Then figures vary in different districts; but 35 per cent to 50 per cent is a very high rate compared with ENGLAND' s 11 per cent and FRANCE's 30 per cent. With such high rent fees , the farmer, after putting away enough rice for next year's seeding, does not in many cases have enough to eat, let alone to sell .
The Government's recent increase in the price of rice, though intended primarily to compensate farmers for the increased cost of production, was actually very profitable to the landowner, who collected rent in kind; the farmer himself, on the other hand, received relatively little compensation, for he had to bear the increased costs of production. The new cash rent policy will not only correct the situation, but will also stimulate the farmer's will to increase production, since his efforts will be realized more immediately in profit.
Increase of Production and Improvement of Deliveries
Our primary concern in the present acute food situation is to increase food production. But a great many factors stand in the way of increased production, such as the shortage of chemical fertilizers, farm implements, etc. By far the most important factor, however, is the problem of land and land rents. The 69.8 per cent who are tenant or part-tenant farmers are enormously handicapped by the high rents they must pay; until they are relieved of this burden, they cannot be expected to increase production to any great extent. The tenant and semi-tenant farmers do not think ahead about soil preservation; they care nothing about land improvements, fertilization, and other scientific measures, as do the farmers who own their own land.
The following table will classify the differences between owner-farmers, semi-tenant farmers, and pure tenant farmers;
Percentage of Total Outlay
Self Owned Semi-tenant Pure Tenant
Housing expenditure 4 35 2.14 1.88
Equipment expense 6.28 3.76 1.68
Seeds & Plants 2.15 1.17 0.98
Silk seed expense 1.57 1.21 0.56
Breeding expense 13.91 8.20 6.25
Fertilizer expense 36.78 27.67 22.55
Labor expense 5.62 3.89 2.23
Interest on debts 1.52 1.20 0.97
Taxes 11.12 4.58 1.52
Tenant fee 4.21 35.16 49.82
Miscellaneous expense 12.50 11.01 9.55
These figures show how much more the owner-farmer puts back into the soil they also show, why the tenant farmer is unable to put anything back into the soil because of the high rent rates. In order to improve production; we must first improve the land; and the release of all tenants and semitenant farms to the farmers who cultivate them would result in the improvement of their lands, which in turn, would increase rice production by approximately 6,000,000 koku.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 327 (Continued)
ITEM I (Continued)
The revised law will he influential in increasing the amount of rice delivered. At present, food delivery has all but come to a halt, because the farmers have lost confidence in the Government policies of the past. The new law will regain the lost confidence, and promote better delivery. Also, the fact that the farmers themselves, instead of the landowners, are to he placed in charge of deliveries should increase the delivery of all food products.
Present Influences of the Law
Tenant farmers are strong supporters of the new law. In a recent survey of 211 villages; 79 villages supported it 100 per cent; 19 villages supported it 90 per cent and the rest were also in favor by a large majority.
Landowners are, of course unanimously opposed to the law, which has dealt. them a severe blow. Many of them have decided to cultivate their own land in order to retain it, and have thus-forced their tenant from their land. This trend is shown in the following table based on a survey of some 300 villages:

Number of Villages % Total
Landowner's demand for return of the tenant land 170 51.1
Nominal removal of ownership 81 24.4
Profit selling of land before the law becomes affective 12 9.3 (TN Sic)
Competitive purchase of profitable lands 10 3.0
No great change 33 10.0
In a survey of the land ownership situation in IBARAGI prefecture at the end of last year, the number of applications for the purchase of farms mostly by black market profiteers exceeded 1,000. Moreover, the number of landowners taking over tenant farms for their own cultivation is more than 200 per month, although such moves are outlawed by the new regulations. New problems such as this are constantly arising, and further legislation will be required to meet them.
Further Improvements Are Needed.
When we consider that this new law was passed by the SHIDEHARA Cabinet and the farmer Diet, both of which represented the old influences, we can easily understand why the law is still favorable to the landowners, and why it does not give to the farmers all that they should have; but it can be said to be a pr[illegible]to a revolutionary land policy and the eventual emancipation of farmers. The complete solution of the agricultural problem still remains in the future; but the recent SCAP directive has opened the way to democratic Japanese agriculture.
ITEM 2 Food Imports - Magazine: Economist (published semi-monthly by Mainichi) -1 Feb 46. Translator: Iwasaki and T/4.Tokirio
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry disclosed the following figures concerning the food situation for the coming year:
1946 Estimate of Food
Rice stock reserved from prevous year 2,500,000 koku
Rice Crop delivered in 1945 47,200,00
Rice delivered in 1946 2,800,00
Wheat Production 7,500,000
Potato Production 4,500,000
Cereal Production 300,000
Total 64,800,000
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 327 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Farmer's Reserve Stock 28,000,000 koku
Public Consumption 50,900,000
Sake Production 850,000
Mescel 1,050,000
Reserve Stock for next year 2,500,000
Total 83,310,000 Koku
As seen in the above tables, there is a tremendous shortage of food totaling 18,510,000 koku or approximately 3,085,000 tons, for the coming year. To alleviate this shortage we can expect the following imports:
BURMA, SIAM, FRENCH INDO CHINA 350,000 tons of rice
KOREA, FORMOSA 1,000,000 tons of rice
MANCHURIA 500,000 tons of soy beans
If JAPAN is allowed to import this food from these respective areas, the total rice import will be 1,350,000 tons which will still leave a shortage of 1,150,000 tons. For this, we will negotiate with the UNITED STATES for cereal products to fulfill our food import requirements. However, to import this food we will eventually have to resort to a highly industrialized economy.
Concerning our capacity for producing industrial goods for export, the following figures were disclosed by Minister of Commerce OGASAWARA in the DIET:
1945 Yen I946 Yen
Raw Silk, Silk Goods 287,000,000 1,217,000,000
Chemicals 46,000,000 313,000,000
Machinery 113,000,000 316,000,000
Agricultural and Fishery Products 26,000,000 223,000,000
Miscellaneous goods 157,000,000
Industrial goods 5,000,000 200,000,000
Total 478,000,000 2,523,000,000
Therefore, the only practical solution is for JAPAN's industries to produce goods for export so that, with the proceeds of her sales abroad, she can pay for her imports of food, as well as the charter fee for the ships she must borrow for use in her foreign trade. In relation to the present food crisis, there are various opinions as to when it will reach its peak. Pessimists say it will come as easly as March while optomists say it will be as late as July. Nevertheless, certain measures must be taken to prepare JAPAN for the inevitable food crisis, such as:
Farmers must co-operate in their delivery of their rice quota, to the Government, and if this fails, sterner means must be used to get the quota from the farmers.
Industrial workers must work for a higher production of export commodities.
The Government should give the workers and farmers alike a square deal based on a concrete program handed by highly efficient administrators .
The government must request the co-operation and understanding of the Allied Powers in meeting the food crisis.

The Government must pursue the problem along the above-mentioned lines immediately to do its utmost to stave off the inevitable food crisis is or the lives of 10,000,000 people will be lost through starvation by the end of this summer.
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 327 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Negligence of Administrators of Provisions - Provincial Magazine: Shimane Mimpo (Matsue) - 10 Feb 46, Translator: T. Kosaka
The most difficult problem of national living today is the dearth of provisions, which not only makes the people down hearted but also deprives them of all the higher human qualities. As the old saying in JAPAN tells us, "politeness can come only after sufficiency of provisions and clothing."
The government says that it is definitely impossible to increase the present ration of 2.1 go of rice per capita per day. This shows an apparent indifference to the hardships which the lower classes are undergoing, since a large amount of hoarded provisions are being hid en by wartime profiteers and the wealthier classes. Be that as it may, what we cannot help thinking of is the negligence on the part of the authorities in charge of provisions, namely those recently in charge in Shimane prefecture.
Owing to the deterioration of transport service, warehouses are filled with the deliveries of last year's crop, and there is no space available to store this year's crop of rice. As a result, the people in that district ignore the dearth of rice and are not aware of the emergency. In HIKAIA district, because the warehouses there are also filled with military materials as a result of poor transportation, rice shipments have been cut down. In the city of IZUMO, public censure was brought on by the fact that provisions were left in the warehouses to be eaten by rats.
From these facts we can see clearly the negligence of administrators of provisions in not planning adequate rice distribution to the starving millions of JAPAN. This can never be overlooked by the people as well as the Government. Such negligence impedes the smooth turn-over of the rice crops, cuts down rice consumption, and deepens the people's doubts as to the administration of their provisions.
Considering the problem from all different angles, the peak of the food crisis may come in May or June of this year. But it might not be impossible to overcome the crisis if measures are taken soon to make use of the heretofore wasted stores of rice. There is also an estimated 1,900 koku of hidden provisions in SHIMANE prefecture and this figure may not be entirely groundless. Hence, it is desirable for the Government to exercise greater force and authority to stop the activities of profiteering farmers and black marketeers and to reform rice distribution methods to get more food to more people
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0327, 1946-02-18.
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