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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0168, 1945-12-27.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0534

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 534 Date: 27 Dec 45


ITEM 1 American Japanese Negotiations and Our Reflections - Asahi Shimbun - 25 Dec 45. Translator: K. Nagatani
Full Translation:
A glance at the late Pince KONOE's record concerning negotiations between JAPAN and AMERICA impresses us with the fact that a single man is powerless to save his country from ruin. Lieutenant General SUZUKI, Teiichi, former President of the Planning Board, once declared to KONOYE that entering a war with AMERICA was purely a domestic problem. It is ast[illegible]tending that [illegible]ieutenant General SUZUKI, despite his declaration, devoted himself to adding fuel to the flame of war without making any effort to solve the problem peacefully. However, it is even more astounding to find that MATSUOKA, Yosuke, former Foreign Minister, had been revealing the details of the negotiations to GERMANY and ITALY and had expected a breakdown in negotiations without any govermental intervention. The fact that State Minister SUZUKI put the Army above the State and that Foreign Minister MATSUOKA put GERMANY and ITALY above the State indicated the true intentions of our country.
At any rate, the emergence of the Third KONOE Cabinet was, in itself one of the main causes for our actions. For example, the first work of KONOE's Cabinet after completing its organization was to hold a conference at KONOE's villa, OGIKUEO, TOKYO, at which KONCE, MATSUOKA, TOJO and YOSHIDA, Zengo, attempted to tighten our relations with the Axis Towers. For this alone, the late Prince KONOE is greatly responsible.
However, why was KONOE entrusted with such grave responsibilities of the state three times? Our nation[illegible]was too indifferent to politics, or to be in more exact, we were taking a spectater's attitude despite our grove concern over the situation. We must change this tendency at once. Democracy can hardly be of any help to our nation unless we fully realize that politics decide the welfare of our country.
ITEM 2 The Fundamental Direction In Overcoming the Crisis - Asahi Shimbun - 25 Dec 45. Translator: J. Wada
Full Translation:
The fact that our war economy, which was led by the bureaucrats and ZAIBATSU in the Fascist method, was on the verge of failure even before the end of the war was clearly shown in the frantic efforts on the part of the Ministries of Army, Navy and Munitions to obtain materials at black market prices. The end of the war has completely isolated the old price system from actual values. Now the old price system seems to be the ruin of our war-control economy.

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EDITORIAL SERIES 168 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Is there any new price system under construction to replace the old one which is now nothing more than a relic? Or, what efforts are being made in this direction? This is the question which requires our immediate attention.
We cannot but recognize that the old price system is standing in the way of production since the current official prices prevent the industrialists from buying necessary materials. In competition with black market prices, products are not profitable when they are sold at the official price. However, black market prices are none the less black market prices and cannot be free market prices. The black market can never be the "place" where ca[illegible]italistic production can smoothly function. The capitalism of present JAPAN is finding itself, as it were between two fires, the relics of the official price system and the black market. That means an economic paralysis of JAPAN, where capitalism is a predominant form of enterprise.
Thus it is clear to everyone that the current price system should no longer be in force. From what angle is this old system to be re-examined?
The Government is following a policy of raising prices of fundamental products individually and se[illegible]rately in order to assure manufacturers a commercial profit and invite greater production. But, since the official prices of other materials are low, cost calculation on the part of manufacturers is very unstable. This causes a successive rise in prices because of the resent serious shortage of foodstuffs. Therefore, a raising of one official price, without simultaneous action on other prices, is quite ineffective.
On the other hand, an all-round abolition of the official prices would lead to a catastrophic inflation before it could stimulate production, because of the sheer fact of an absolute food shortage.
So long as the way out of this predicament cannot be found, we cannot combine our efforts to overcome the pressing economic crisis of JAPAN. We must first find at least a direction.
Finance Minister SHIDUZAWA revealed his "direction", in relation with the coal price compensation in the budget committee plenary meeting of the last Diet. He argued that by the year 1949 the new coal price of 85 yen would enable the Government to give up the coal price compensation, in view of the better productive conditions which are expected to be attained by that time. In [illegible]words, he presumed that by 1949 the descripancies between the price system and actual conditions could be successfully adjusted, whether the new price system be "free" of "official". If this rebulous plan should be realized, the price system would be "free". For, coal can maintain a reasonable balance between cost and price only when all other materials are kept in the same favorable balance. If so, the price is naturally a free price.
The optimistic course at which the Finance Minister aims, deserves to be quoted on account of its over-optimism. For we have not been given any reasonable and scientific explanation about the feasibility of his expections, even in the case of coal.
In the actual problem, there is no solution but to establish a planned economy by a political organization truly founded on the will of the masses, taking the place of the control economy by the
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EDITORIAL SERIES 168 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Militarists, bureaucrats and ZAIDATSO, which has completely lost national confidence.
It will be of no avail to relax the regulations and rules which are necessary to tide over the current economic, social and political crisis of HA[illegible]AN, for the authorities cannot have any intention, even at heart, of returning to a capitalistic free economy without definite plans.
ITEM 3 The Necessity for Immediate Solution of the Income Problem - Asahi Shimbun - 26 Dec 45. Translator: H. Furukawa
Full Translation:
The contradictions of a Japanese economy which is now rapidly approaching its collapse seem to be clearly shown in the income problem especially in regard to wages and salaries. The cost of living of the people is steadily rising as a result of the universal increase of commodity prices and they can never live on their incomes which were restricted to wartime levels. It may he said that very few can live only within their incomes and most salaried men and ware earners cannot make both ends meet. Those who have some fortunes are living on their funds earned in the past, but they will seen come to an imposse. As a natural result of the abolishment of price control on perishable articles, black market prices are more than ten times higher than were controlled price was acknowledged by the authorities. So the people were driven to the point of having to withdraw their small deposits to cover their living expenses.
Since the beginning of December, more than 100 million yen of bank deposits have been withdrawn every day, and the note issue of the Bank of JAPAN is increasing by 200 million yen daily. The fundamental cause of the above fact is the defensive instinct of the people, and we cannot pass over it lightly. The daily life of the people deeply reminds us of the results of the deadlock in the income problem. The frequent outbreaks of labor disputes and sabotage are, of coarse, inevitable. Moreover, the laborers refuse to engage in normal work which does not pay well, and, instead, become food brokers. This is a parasitic influence on the economic system. The prices inevitable rise because of many dealers, without any increase of production.
Those who cannot become dealers are led to commit crimes such as stealing, robbery, holdups or prosticution. This is proven by the frequent occurrence of crimes in TOKYO lately. Thus, the apprehension over the shaking of the foundations of our social order cannot be called unimportant, as long as the deadlock in the income problem continues, it will result in moral decadence and social confusion, as well as economic collapse. When we consider the seriousness of the situation, fundamental and immediate measures must be taken. However, the attitude of the Government is still temporizing and lukewarm, and makes us doubt of the Government fully recognize the seriousness of the matter.
At present, wages and salaries are regulated by Company Management Regulations and the Wage Control Act, which may be regarded as typically bad laws of a wartime economy still In effect. A maximum of 100 yen of special allowance for living expenses per
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EDITORIAL SERIES 163 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
month, and an allowance for families is allowed under these 1aws. In reality, however, as frequent labor disputes actually show, wage increases of 200 or 300 per cent are requested by employees and their claims are admitted in general. The people do not wonder at this and the Government, also does not pursue this illegality of such claims. This shows nothing hut self-acknowledgment on the part of Government of its lack of confidence and poor policy, and we cannot expect to reach a solution of the income problem by such an irresponsible and indifferent attitude by the Government.
Since the wage problem is one of the obstacles to the reapening of production, which is most necessary for present recovery, the wage level should be elevated on a rational basis with a decent price scale. The development of labor unions and the legal recognition of the right of collective bargaining will greatly contribute to wage increases. Some people argue that wage increases will cause a more rapid development of inflation. To accomplish this, special measures should be taken immediately to control greater purchasing power. At the same time, the whole price system should be reorganized. We should no longer be content with mere temporizing measures. We feel most dissatisfied with the government's policy in economics which always lags behind, our constantly changing problems.
Especially, on the income problem, the livelihood of salaried people or wage-earners can never be stabilized if the Government always plans their were or salary increases after the increase in prices. We hope that this problem will be consr[illegible]red seriously, in connections with the general enforcement of counter-measures against inflation.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0168, 1945-12-27.
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