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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0249, 1946-01-16.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0790

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 790 Date: 16 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Active Political Power - Provincial Newspaper Kobe Shimbun (Kobe) - 8 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Suzuki.
Full Translation:
This is our year to establish a new JAPAN, it is also our year of great suffering. We have to endure the food famine which it is predicted, will face us about the end of March or April. At any rate we have had almost continuous famine since 1899, and our expectations for importing food are hopeless, so it is clear that the time will come when we will be more apprehensive over a food shortage. The main point is how the Government will operate when the crisis is at hand, and what preparations will the people make at that time. However, glancing at present conditions, one cannot say they are trying to do their best. They are idly sitting by waiting for the famine to come. The Government says it has taken every possible measure, but the problem is the administration of the decisions. Decisions are of no use if they are not carried out.
For example, let us consider the social consultation meeting of the people's movement for surmounting the food famine, held last November. It was attended by the following ministers of the cabinet: Finance, Justice, Agriculture and Forestry, Commerce and Industry. Premier SHIDEHARA was there as chairman with 50 other men representing local leaders. Although they consented at this meeting to establish a committee for concrete decisions on the food problem, the committee broke up in disagreement and never achieved it's aim. We can understand why they would stop if they realized that it was absolutely stupid to provide mental suggestions after the people had suffered unbearable spiritual disasters during the war. Abstract ideas could not bring any improvements on the famine. Nevertheless, we cannot conceal the truth that the majority of local to and village headmen and the people concerned with rice deliving, showed little leadership. This is proof of how instable the Government is.
In addition the Premier made a speech at the meeting saying: "We must go through this crisis with sympathy and understanding of producers and consumers. I do not approve of rigorous measures, but for the sake of saving the lives of the people I have to take into consideration all possible measures. However, at present the "producer's sympathy" and "consumer's understanding" are not in the least propelled by any policy
One koku of rice means, in the farmer's domestic account book, an amount of 505 yen 50 sen, even after subtracting the expense for seeds, manure, and agricultural implements, besides taxes and public charges.
To what extent did the Government raise the price of rice to satisfy the producers? What bill was issued for implementing agricultural rations for farm villages which cannot get any tools? Closely investigating, we find only inactivity and lack of policy, which only depends on the ethical will power of the producers. The Ministry of Agricultur and Forestry, itself, does not know the actual conditions of farm villa so even the Minister cannot understand the need for shipment until

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 249 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
he investigates the provincal districts. It may be wrong to expect an able administeration in farm villages. However, if nothing is done, the rice shipment will become critical because of illegal food sales. It is an inevitable omen of famine. Fortunately HYOGO-Ken is in a satisfactory condition. Improvement of the outlying provinces is almost impossible. If rice shipment cannot be improved, there will be even more difficulty in importing food.
We must do something to restore normal rice shipments before we actually succumb to a food crisis. There is no need to repeat; we must find a way to carry out this increase. Above all, we must put these measures into practice immediately. For this effort, we cannot avoid some sacrifice in many provinces. To prevent the starvation of the people, ethics will not be sufficient. A steady and active political power must be put into effect.
ITEM 2 Be Thorough in Economic Control - Provincial Newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (Nagano) - 11 Jan 46. Translator; K. Sato
Full Translation:
Now that the national economy is apparently plunging into a state of vicious inflation, the taking of direct measure to conserve the rapid issuance of currency is absolutely necessary. A proposal for a currency blockade restriction on the withdrawal of deposits was advanced by the Progressives. It is needless to say that such general delaying tactics are merely ultra-emergency measures. Since the end of the war, experience has clearly illustrated that the abolition of price control, far from checking inflation, aggravates the rising trend of "supply".
We have already pointed out that liberation of land, dissolution of plutocracy, democratization of economic mechanism and democratization of management in production by mutual control of labor and capital are inevitable results of the organization of labor union. All these facts do not permit liberalism in the field of economy and finance; on the contrary, it is necessary to establish voluntary control in place of militaristic and bureaucratic regulations.
Towards this vital problem the attitude of the Cabinet is unsettled and apparently opportunistic. Notwithstanding the deplorable results due to the abolition of raw food regulations which were enforced regardless of the critical foodstuffs shortage, the Government again, on 31 December, entreated SCAP for permission to abolish controls on vital commodities and kitchen utensils, such as pots and pans, GETA's, stationary, etc. This was refused on the ground that the goods would find their way only to those people possessing high incomes. The output of vital commodities since October has been such that production of pots reached only four per cent, and pans nine per cent, of the intended production. This fact brought to light the cunning policy of those concerned. Because of the authorities' lack of a fundamental policy, and because of their intention to protect the proper[illegible]tied, class under the pretext of economic democratization, we must definitely demand, and achieve, on behalf of the working masses, a regulated economy in ore[illegible]er to halt inflation.
Though denied by SCAP. Minister of Commerce OGASAWARA revealed to the press that regulations on vital commodities should continue, and that with this end in view he is planning to establish a "Control Bureau."
Thus he disclosed the alteration of the Government's policy: "Though a trend to restore liberal economy was shown, control is necessary after all." This is surely a remarkable change. His irresponsible policy of resorting to such a bureaucratic body as a "Control Bureau" should be closely watched.
The Government formerly instituted a price section within the Finance Department. However, the objective of restricted economy can never be
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EDITORIAL-SERIES: 249 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
attained by increasing the number of administrative bodies. Liberal economy and controlled economy are not so distinctly separated that we can jump from one to the other. They are in a close and involved relationship and must be assiduously overcome, step by step.
"Control economy" might well arouse the same disgust and opposition among the people as the national uniform or standard suit does. Nevertheless, MOMPEI is still in vogue because of its warmth and practicality The method of saving ourselves from the hell of inflation is not "controlled economy" through militarism, but economy controlled by ourselves By the revival of a liberal economy which abuses democracy, what the working masses will gain is freedom to starve and to be destitute.
The authority of the Government bureaucrat is being flatly trampled in the street. It is too obvious that to abolish control unconditionally will not lead to an increase in production but, rather, a disastrous rise in prices. In order to effect economic control to tide over the crisis, unprecedented boldness and perseverance are necessary.
First of all, we must courageously make up our minds and come to a decision. It must be emphasized that we should be strong-minded and positive enough to demand boldness and perseverance from the persons with administrative responsibility.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0249, 1946-01-16.
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