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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0248, 1946-01-15.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0780

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 780 Date: 15 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Black Markets - Provincial Newspaper Chugoku Shimbun (Hiroshima) - 8 Jan 46. Translator: B. Ishibashi.
Much black marketing has appeared in our country with the end of the war. Some people argue against them, while others defend them. However, I think that at present, it is too early to conclude that the black market serves no purpose at all. In fact, people there can buy freely many necessary commodities which can never be supplied through official channels. Hence, it is highly welcomed by some of the people, because this enables them to live their daily lives comfortably than would otherwise be possible. The people had been living under poor conditions throughout the war. It is only natural that they should now utilize the black market without consulting their pockets. Rather, we sympathize with them. If we take those consumers into consideration, it would be impossible to argue that the black market should be abolished at once.
However, it is a lamentable fact that recently black marketeers have come to impose more unreasonable prices than ever on the people, taking advantage of their position as suppliers, with the result that our people's livelihood is about to be ruined. Moreover, they have gone far beyond the limits of supplying necessary commodities, and as a result, the people's livelihood is threatened with becoming all the more rotten, idle, and degenerated. For example, there was recently reported a case of open gambling and the illegitimate sale of basic foods, which are badly needed by the general public.
The gambling was perhaps affected, to some extent, by the recent sale of lottery bonds. However, aside from the question of whether lottery bonds should be sold or not, that such a vicious act as gambling is done openly during the daytime in the markets is bound to affect seriously the mental conditions of the people in general. Also, the sale of basic foods should not be overlooked, particularly when the Government has strictly prohibited it , in order to give effect to the delivery of rice to the Government.
The above two cases are representative of the evils which exist in the black markets at present. With these situations under consideration, it can be said that the black market has come to a stage at which its better elements are going to be disrupted by its vicious elements. It is most necessary that it be supervised and developed before the present conditions have become more serious. However, supervision and development of the black market does not necessarily mean its abolition. The elements which help living conditions should be fostered more than ever, while the vicious elements which are bound to destroy our nation must be eliminated.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 248 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
To put it into effect , an official market system should be established in cities and towns, by reorganizing the existing black markets, or another system set up to make the black marketeer reflect on their own mistakes by forming a self-governing association of their own.
In short, the conversion of the black markets into "sunny" markets is necessary. Only then will our people be able to buy necessary commodities there at reasonable prices and utilize them in their everyday life. It is to be hoped that the Government will take appropriate measures immediately.
ITEM 2 Taxes; Rapid Collection and Proper Usage - Provincial Newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (Nagano) - 12 Jan 46. Translator: I. Hotta.
The Finance Minister has disclosed details of three new taxes, the Property tax, the Individual property increase tax, and the Corporation war Profits tax. By this plan, a revenue of 100,000, 000,000 yen is expected to be obtained. Properties valued at less than 20,000 yen are exempt from taxation. Those who possess property valued at more than 30,000 yen will be taxed and the rates of the tax vary from ten to seventy per cent. The individual property increase tax will be levied on property valued at more than 50,000 yen and the highest rate of this tax is 100 per cent. The decision of new taxes is certainly revolutionary. However, it proves that we are facing a serious crisis caused by inflation. The life of the people will never recover from depression without drastic measures.
Nevertheless, once the property tax was rumored, currency was exchanged for goods, deposits were withdrawn from banks, and the property tax, which was enacted to contro1 inflation, produced the opposite result. In order to prevent the evasion of payments and to insure its fair enforcement, it was also decided that insurance and annuities are also to be taxed and that currency will be exchanged into new currency to tax cash holdings. It is a remarkable change that punishment for tax evasion will include imprisonment, what is most important, however, is the immediate enforcement of these laws.
These three taxes will be collected once during the 1946-47 fiscal year. However, in order to render them more effective and to prevent the growth of inflation, the Government has decided to collect taxes according to the report written, a month after the date of investigation, and settle accounts afterwards. The effect of this revolutionary tax procedure will be lost unless it is performed rapidly enough to check the growing inflation. It is therefore necessary that the Government co-operate with the people. The Government should also consider a moratorium since deposits will also be taxed.
It is said that a revenue of 100,000,000,000 yen is to be used as a sinking fund, but the government must not do such a thing. The budget for the current year shows the need of still more reconstruction expenditures, reparation expenditures, compensation expenditures, etc. The new taxation is taken from the people's property, and the revenue should be used for the people, We may well say that the taxation aims at the propertied classes only if the revenue is used as a sinking fund.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 248 (Continued)
ITEM 3 The Property Tax - Asahi Shimbun - 14 Jan 46. Translator: H. Furukawa.
Full Translation:
A large property tax plan which is scheduled to save Japanese economy from collapse was disclosed on 10 January by the Finance Ministry. This tax plan is divided into three sections, i.e. a property tax, an individual property increase tax, and a corporation war-profit tax. The revenue anticipated from these taxes amounts to approximately 100 billion yen, or one quarter of the total national wealth of just over 400 billion yen. Nearly two million people will come within the scope of these taxes. We can imagine how far-reaching these taxes are. The necessity for this property, tax can be seen in that it aims at capital levy and was planned by the well-known conservative ministry.
At the end of last year, the note issue of the Bank of JAPAN finally reached 55 billion yen. This is three times more than a year before. The cause of this expansion of currency is the hasty purchase of goods due to the fear of a property tax ironic. One reason why the people's subsistence has been exposed to danger is due to the abolition of government control on fresh food last fall. The bureaucrats must be blamed bitterly for the present situation.
At any rate, the signs of vicious inflation are apparent to everybody, and now the matter cannot be neglected even for a moment. Moreover, social antagonism becomes more severe through the development of inflation. The behavior of the wealthy class, especially that of war-profiteers is so unpardonable that the anger and fury of the poor, war-sufferers, and jobless people now reaches its height. The budget for the next fiscal year shows a nominal surplus of 500 million yen. It is clear, however, that the budget will show a deficit when a supplementary budget is required to meet reparations, compensation for overseas industries, the recall of Japanese currency, and the cost of the occupation for us.
The inflation can never be stopped by financial measures, but will be even increased by them. The situation cannot be helped at all while things go on in such a way. The emergency measures of a property tax is required to absorb purchasing power, social equalization of income and the stabilization of state finance. We doubt whether the people or even the Government have a perfect knowledge of this affair.
First, the people are making strenuous efforts to conceal or waste their properties, to say nothing of exchanging money for articles, or withdrawals of deposits, since the property tax plan was reported. We don't know how to criticize their ugly behavior. This ugly behavior is the result of their ignorance. The authorities are confident enough of defeating the ordinary methods of evading tax by a modern taxation system. This can be judged from the deposit report system lately announced. It's efficiency is such that the authorities cannot be trifled with.
Some of the people who are so selfish must be required to reconsider. They should ponder deeply whether they prefer the levy of a property tax or inflation. They may hold their property temporarily by concealing it or exchanging it for things, but the collapse of inflated economy will oblige them to lose all. Then, what is to be said of the attitude of the Government? It is reasonable for the people to be warned of a property tax, by an announcement, three months before its details are disclosed. However, since the situation has become
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 248 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
such as it is, the Government should carefully consider whether the present situation can be neglected or not. The sooner the limitation on the withdrawal of deposits and the payment system on rough estimates is carried out, the better.
By the way, we can hardly understand the attitude of the Government in adhering to the payment of indemnities to the munition firms. We don't touch here on the problem of the suspension of indemnities [illegible]which we have repeatedly discussed. It is manifest to everybody that the munitions companies will get a big profit if an indemnity amounting to 46.5 billion yen were paid to them. A total sum of 25 billion yen is to be obtained from them.
Although some indemnity is to be collected in the form of individual property tax or property increase tax, this does not indicate a nationalization of indemnities. Therefore, it depends only in the Government's attitude whether the property levy will be made really effective or not. It is financial capitalists who are most favored by the Government's compensation. They can withdraw their loans from munition firms. The financial capitalists who hold 90 per cent of the total amount of national bonds, are also the biggest beneficiaries of the 100 billion yen obtained from the property tax.
In the enforcement of the property tax, however, full co-operation of financial capital is necessary in order to supply funds to enterprises so as to continue productive activity. In such various but closely connected circumstances we feel, keenly, the necessity of a radical reformation in the financial system, in order to administer the property tax.
The financial capitalists must be prevented from special favors. It depends in the resolution and awareness of the Government and the people. The danger of economic collapse can be averted at the last moment by carrying out the property tax plan effectively . Let us think about this problem sincerely and thoroughly.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0248, 1946-01-15.
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