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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0187, 1945-12-31.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0583

call-number: DS801 .S82



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GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
ALLIED TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER SECTION
PRESS TRANSLATIONS
NO. 583 Date: 31 Dec 45

EDITORIAL SERIES: 187

ITEM 1 Demand by Metropolitan Employees - Yomiuri Hochi - 29 Dec 45. Translator: K. Takahashi.
Summary:
The demand for a raise in wages made by the Metropolitan employees including street car workers, has been rejected by the authorities because of the lack of financial resources. Yesterday's paper, however, reported that a further increase in tram fares was likely to be considered in view of the higher expenditures due, in part, to the anticipated raise in wages.
This is an unfair device by the authorities to create antipathy among the citizens against the street-car workers' campaign. Their monthly average income amounts to about 150 yen per capita. How they sustain their living is a mystery in these days of soaring inflation. Their need for a minimum standard of living, to maintain their welfare without black market dealings, is past the discussion stage. In the event they win their point completely they will receive only about 430 yen per month. Their request should surely receive our citizens approval and sympathy.
If their wages are to be improved in accordance with the recent government decision to raise wages and salaries, temporarily, they would receive nearly twice their present wage, or only 270-odd yen. We metropolitan employees know very well of the unhealthy financial condition in the metropolitan district where the income does not oven approach a balance with the expenditures. Nevertheless, the authorities, under the pretense of an "estimate", must not be allowed to pursuade us to compromise with them or to withdraw or request. With a determination to consider carefully the metropolitan debt which is over 1,400 million yen with an annual interest 5,250,000 yen, the authorities can manage to better the treatment of employees and provide certain reasonable solutions of problems concerning taxes, commission fees, and tram fares. Now is the time when firm resolve is required.
Not only a monatorium payment of interest, but also the cancellation of the debt should be adopted in a manner similar to the government's financial policy on property, wartime profits' taxes, and indemnities for munitions industries. Only the financial capitalists and bureaucrats deem this to be illegal, and the Metropolitan citizens and employees, of course, stand opposed to the capitalists. This is the golden opportunity for them to vindicate themselves from unpopularity and discredit. If they do not take this opportunity, the only alternative is instant resignation from their present posts.
Financial capitalists, too, will be our public enemy, in case they oppose this plan. We eagerly seek our comrades' hearty

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 187 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
support and assistance in our fight which will be started anew early in the coming year.
(Contributed by a clerk of the TOKYO Metropolitan Employees' Union, TSUBOTA, Toshio.)
ITEM 2 I. Black Markets on the Streets. II. Free Choice at the Retainers Shop. III. Shopkeepers are Becoming Stall-keepers. IV. Stallkeepers and Taxes. - Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Dec 45. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
Today street stalls, where everyday necessities are sold at exerpitant black market prices, are to be found everywhere in TOKYO. Despite the prices, the public is forced to buy such necessities. It is natural that we are compelled to buy things that we always need. Quantities of alluring articles are found displayed in these booths, and the people, forgetting their household economy, are enticed to buy one article after another until at last they find themselves penniless and the fruit of one month's toil is gone, What a miserable condition this as! After they have spent all their money they heave a deep sigh of despair over what they have done. The gap between income and prices is so great that a mere temporary improvement will be of no avail.
The existence of the black market on the streets only serves to aggravate inflation, and causes catastrophic misery among the low-salaried class. Effective countermeasures are required to abolish the black market stalls from the streets and re-establish the former stability of prices and income.
(Contributed by FURUKA)
II
Fish and vegetables distributed to us by the Neighborhood Associations are sold at exorbitant prices. We are allowed to refuse to buy these articles by reason of their high prices; however, we do not dare to do so for fear of arousing the displeasure of the authorities. We are, therefore, forced to buy things by compulsion though doing so meances our household economy. Despite the fact that the free-sale of perishable articles has been declared, in actuality, the situation is as described above. Our only hope is for a return to the former system by which articles were displayed in retainers' shops and purchasers bought of their own free will. Continuance of the present conditions will lead to the inevitable—the homeless at UENO will welcome us as new arrivals to their ranks.
(Contributed by OKAMOTO)
III
Traders are in the habit of avoiding taxes to prevent a decrease in the number of customers. They usually fix taxes on purchases at a reduced rate of 40 per cent rather than 60 per cent. Their trade will be profitable even considering the fines which may be imposed in the event of the detection of their fraud. Honest merchants prefer to close their shops and open stalls on the black market which are free from taxation. Thus we find that shopkeepers are decreasing. Firm steps are required by the Government to establish a war profits' tax accompanied by the
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 187 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
abolition of taxes on goods. Let us introduce a bright atmosphere into the streets and into the consumers' homes, and protect the honest shopkeepers.
(Contributed by a merchant.)
IV
Although I am but a small salaried man with an income of just 150 yen a month, I am obliged to pay a tax, while the black market merchants appear to be free from taxes, despite their enormous profits of several hundred to several thousand yen in a single day. This is obviously unfair. Trade licenses should be required of these profiteers to prevent evasion of taxation.
(Contributed by YOSHIDA)
ITEM 3 Property Taxation - -Mainichi Shimbun - 30 Dec Translator: S. Inoue.
Full Translation:
The two property taxes have been decided in their final form and will be presented to the Supreme Headquarters for Allied Powers for authorization. The recent restaurant boom and the confusion in railway traffic seem to be tax-dodging methods, and so we must adopt a prompt and effective policy—very popular in war-time to check the inflationary current even with drastic measures, which may be somewhat undemocratic. Otherwise, ordinary policies may not be strong enough to cope with the currents of inflation. The two present taxes will concern those persons who own middle class property. However, these persons should not complain about taxation. These taxes are by no means confiscatory rather they protect property. The exemptions, as low as 20,000 yen, will reach the majority of salaried men who number as many as several millions. We need not pay any attention to their contention that the state has no right to redistribute the properties of the nation and that this is contrary to free and sound democracy in a rehabilitated country. At any rate, on assessment of 3,000 yen on 30,000 is a better protection for the state than to make the 30,000 yen scraps of paper through malignant inflation. This is far from a bad tax measure. It should rather be called a "middle-class protection tax." If the GERMAN precedent of malignant inflation did not exist, Finance Minister SAWA would not hint at property taxation which amounts to 100 billion yen. If GERMAN had made such a decision, she would have been able to avoid inflation. However there remains the necessity of a tax revenue of 100 billion yen. Nothing is more difficult to avoid than property taxation. Currency notes stocked in safes may be exchanged for new notes and bearer bonds may be stamped for exemption. However, we are afraid that money will be divided into small sums for tax evasion. Postal savings are difficult to examine and taxation of daily needs by door-to-door examination is almost impossible. It is very natural that here should lie the reason for exchange of commodities. Even if we adopt a democratic instead of a bureaucratic, method of taxation, fair method cannot be reached without a preponderant real tax. Houses which have escaped devastation should be taxed heavily. It may be difficult to rehabilitate our country unless we reach a general poverty tax. However, we think the government should take advantage of the concern for property which they held during the war.
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