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Press translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0331, 1946-02-19.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: economic-1428

call-number: DS801 .S81



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
No. 1428 Date: 19 Feb 46

ECONOMIC SERIES: 331

ITEM 1 Drastic Preventive Measures Against Inflation Started - Asahi Shimbun - 18 Feb 46. Translator: T. Kitagawa.
Summary:
The Government on 17 Feb finally took measures to check the over whelming amount of inflation. The Nation is trying to grasp the Government's epoch-making announcement. Echoes from the various walks of life are reported to be as follows: Housewives are very anxious to learn whether or not the price of perishables will really come down, for, if not, the ban on money drawing in excess of a specified amount from the bank will result in the collapse of kitchen-economy.
In this respect the TOKYO Perishables Control Company's spokesman was reported to have made the following statement: "The population of TOKYO is roughly 31/2 million. Assuming 30 momme of vegetables as the minimum requirements for each person, the total daily vegetable consumption of the city will amount to 105 thousand kan, while actually they are being supplied with less than half of this amount. Thus, there is no hope for the present, of a fall in the price of vegetables, except of an expensive kind. For the present, housewives are requested to buy vegetables at longer intervals to cope with their needs. But by the end of March, the supply of so called March vegetables (O-HIGAN YASAI), such as turnips, spinach, and so forth, amounting to 100 thousand kan daily from the KOTO district, is expected. The price of this kind of vegetable will then be cut in half. Grocers, as one of the nearest distributers of perishables to consumers, who numbered 20 thousand before the war, have decreased now to 5 thousand. Some groups of grocers are reported to be making 20 thousand yen daily profit. More vegetable dealers on the private enterprize system with long experience should be encouraged to return to their job. This will lower the vegetable price and eliminate street traders and odd-job traders. Regarding the future of fish, authorities of TOKYO Aquatic Products Control Corporation (TOKYO SUISAN-BUTSU TOSEI KAISHA) are reported to have said that the people most hard hit by the Government anti - inflation measures are the street vendors. Customers of street booths have decreased due to their nearly emptied purses. Even street traders with trade stocks will find their positions difficult. Fishermen, too, will ship their haul only to the regular market, for street vendors will not be able to afford the purchase of fish in quantity with limited funds. Meanwhile, fish hauled without the official supply of petroleum, which is sold at fancy prices, will be lowered in price later on due to the more frequent appearance of fish caught with the help of official oil supply. The TOKYO citizens have been supplied with the link system fish three times since 13 January. During January the daily link system fish supply in the city was 30 odd tons out of 97.84 tons of total shipment. In February, however, it increased to 80 tons out of a 103 tons total. One kan of link system tunny cost only 40 yen, while the same, not linked, cost 320 yen. The authorities entertain a rather optimistic view, saying, that since fish are perishable, dealers are anxious to dispose of them to

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ECONOMIC SERIES: 331 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
the markets as early as possible, and also saying that, since the worst months for fish of January and February have been negotiated with some success, there is a hope for an abundant supply of fish in the coming months. Aquatic Food Delivery Control Associations (GYOKAI-RUI HAIKYU TOSEI KUMIAI), are preparing to establish stores in every ward of the city for consumers. The TOKYO Aquatic Food Control Corporation, in co-operation with the TOKYO Aquatic Food Products Delivery Control Association, is determined to open the central market to the public. They will also provide urban people with shops for consumers after the 20th of this month."
Theaters are rather optimistic with regard to the drastic economic change. Their spokesmen, though, expressed their hope that they would be partly relieved of the tax that at present is levied at 200 per cent on admission fees in excess of one yen. They entertain the hope that a new economic deal will cut their unhealthy running expenses. The president of SHOCHIKU. Theatical Company, OTANI, Takejiro, is reported to have said that the new deal will not effect the number of theatre goers. Those concerned with theaters will do their best to supply the nation with highly artistic performances. The principle of the survival of the fittest will hold good in theater circles.
A motion pictures spokesman expressed his worries about the probable difficulty of (drawing money for production. A roll of film cost 600 thousand to 800 thousand yen. The motion picture being the most popular national amusement, the Welfare Ministry should utilize it as a means of national enlightenment by giving its employees a secure standard of living. At the same time, the Ministry of Education is hoped to show its willingness to draft an art encouragement law, covering the spheres of drama, moving pictures, and music.
The consequences of the new deal on students were explained by the director of Students' Administering Section, OMURO, Teijiro, who made an investigation of 100 students who had applied early this month for side-jobs. He said that a lodging student's monthly expenditure amounted to 290 yen with the fear of its swelling to an unknown figure, He expressed, his hope that students would be allowed to draw the same amount of money from banks as a family-head. There must be opportunities for study for promising youths, and not only for those who belong to wealthy families.
ITEM 2 100% Rice Delivery by the Farmer Still Brings Good Crisis after June—One Month Earlier in Consuming Centres - Mainichi Shimbun - 18 Feb 46. Translator: T. Ukai.
Summary:
It will be taken for granted that a food crisis is inevitable and its arrival will be decided by the speed of delivery and quantity of rice harvested in 1945. If all the delivery assignments made by the Government in 1945 were completed and the transportation were fully and smoothly carried out as had been projected, a food crisis would be expected after June or more populous areas around May. Of course, the present state of demand and supply of foodstuffs is not very satisfactory.
However, the bookkeeping of the Government, from November 1945 to January 1946, has been very great and complex, and is, so to speak from hand to mouth. The balance at the end of each month showed a slim possibility of tiding over the next whole month. The former estimate or program prepared by the Government as to the demand and
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 331 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
supply of rice has had to be revised and is at present in the process of preparation. According to some revised figures, the supply of rice harvested in 1945 and to be harvested in 1946 stands at 23,600,000 Koku, a decrease of only 20,000 Koku from that of the previous crop. But the not supply also includes, besides rice and grains of 1946, the yields of potato and other crops. These supplies are not to be counted upon before August, and have nothing to do with the prevention or solution of the impending food crisis.
The revised program of demand and supply emphasizes supply and is somewhat weak regarding demand. Hitherto the Government would have some 20,000,000 Koku of rice at its disposal and could make any adjustment in the relation of demand and supply without regard to time. Now the circumstances are different and the Government is at present a little short of 6,000,000 Koku. If the monthly demand of the whole country is to be estimated at about 4,000,000 Koku, the above figure means, roughly, a stock quantity for one month's consumption at best, and the Government would be able to do nothing if something irregular were to occur.
Taking into consideration the fact that no wheat or potatoes will be available for the time being, we may conclude that our livelihood Will rely solely upon the success of rice deliveries to the Government of the rice harvested in 1945. Naturally, the Government is convinced of the absolute necessity of obtaining 14,465,000 Koku of rice not yet delivered, which corresponds to 31/2 months' consumption. With the addition to this of rice on hand, about four months' supply seems sure. This leads us to the supposition that the food crisis in question will arrive in May or June. It has also caused the authorities to carry out every possible measures to solve the problem. For example, it has tried the transportation of foodstuffs from productive areas to consuming ones, to achieve a balance between urban centres and the farm-villages.
Mr. SOEJIMA, Minister of Agriculture, is reported to be making all possible efforts before resorting to coercive measures, in the disclosure of concealed and hoarded goods, overcoming at the same time obstacles that night stand in the way of foodstuff circulation. The farmers are convinced of the real meaning of the food situation in the country and the progress of rice deliveries to the Government has been speeded up recently. Though difficulties as well as many complicated problems exist concerning rice deliveries, the nucleus of the food, problems is the one of rice delivery by the farmer himself to the Government.
ITEM 3 The Ethics of Inflation—Extravagance is a Public Enemy of Society By YAUCHIBARA, Tadao - Mainichi Shimbun - 18 Feb 46. Translator: K. Sato.
Full Translator:
I do not intend to analyse the causes ox inflation, nor will I try to discuss its counter-measures from a political viewpoint. Complying with a request made by the editorial staff, I want to write a few-words on our mental attitude as human beings or as a nation in the midst of the present social agitation.
Inflation brings about a great change in the distribution of wealth. It makes difficult the lives of the populace, especially the salaried men and those living on the interest of bonds and loans on the one hand, and aggravates the extravagance of those who make gains by
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ECONOMIC SERIES: 331 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
inflation on the other. This tendency is evident as we examine our country prior to the enforcement of the Property Tax. Look at the shameful conduct of those who make gains from inflation. They are nothing but a herd of swine. The fall in the price of currency signifies the degradation in their character. They wallow in dissipation, spending several hundred yen in a night. By such behavior they become not only the public enemies of society, but they hurl themselves into the rank of swine, profaning the dignity of human beings. Such behavior must be severely censured by the public.
Meanwhile the majority of people, far from being extravagant, are compelled to cut down their living expenses. What should be done to cope with the present situation? The solution is nothing other than production, both from the individual and social standpoint. Eating the bread of idleness and evasion of labor are equally the common enemy of mankind and the disgrace of men. Of course it is altogether a different question when people are compelled to be idle for special reasons; for instance, unemployment, old age, and sickness. But even under such circumstances the will to work must be intense. At a time when the foundations of living are shaken by inflation the reflection on the price of currency must go back to a consideration of man himself. What is the purpose of life and by what does a man live? CHRIST said "Men do not live by bread alone, but by the words of God," and again He taught, "Do not worry about what to oat, and drink, or about what to be clothed with." This is not simply a teaching of a nomadic age when people had no experience with inflation, but calls our attention to the fundamental principle of life.
Human life, its value, and its dignity, cannot be determined by broad alone, but by the words of God, that means truth. Dying with truth is more precious than living as swine. However as God does not fail to protect those who seek after truth, they have no need of worry as to food and clothing. Those who have no worry have peace and composure of mind, and this peace within shines in their eyes. This is the way to be delivered from the difficulties of life both individually and socially. As inflation is an economic phenomenon it must be controlled through economic methods and finally enforced by political authority. I do not intend to replace by any means economic and political methods by spiritualism or faith. However I firmly believe that the peaceful mind free from anxiety is the basis of clear judgement and the courageous deed.
Inflation was conceived during the war, and was born with the confusion at the end of the war. Being spoiled by a sense of superficial safety, people are now running wild like naughty boys. What f we must warn against at the present moment, is selfishness, debauchery, and consternation, while we need patriotism, the consciousness of human values, peace and composure of mind, wisdom and courage. Inflation is a calamity imposed on us by the war. We must think what a sin and crime war is. Furthermore, we must save our country from economic and spiritual dissolution by enduring bravely the present adversities.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Economic Series 0331, 1946-02-19.
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