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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0251, 1946-01-16.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0797

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 797 Date: 16 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Reserved Area of Farming-land for Landowners in Niigata Ka - Provincial Newspaper Niigata Nippo (Niigata) - 11 Jan 46. Translator: T. Unayama.
In the Assembly for Agrarian Land Investigation, which met in TOKYO on 7 January, the area of agrarian land reserved for landowners was discussed, and it was decided that the respective area for the landowners in our prefecture should be five cho, two tan which was two tan more than the average area in the rest of country.
When the hill for the Agrarian Land Re-adjustment Law was submitted to a Cabinet council, there was a heated discussion centering about the reserved area, and the reserved area of 3 tan the original bill was raised to five tan, for the landowners' benefit. If this question is left in their hands, the reserved area will be increased more and more, and the intention of the bill, which has an epochmaking economic significance as the first step in the democratization of agriculture, will be destroyed. This trend of the political circles in JAPAN shows that the influence of landowners, capitalists and privileged classes is working in the under-currents of politics. Therefore stands to reason that the farmers, who were well-informed, were mortified.
Some landowners might be discontented with the area of five cho two tan, but the landowners in the mountain regions might set their minds at rest. In the mountain villages, anyone who has a cultivated area of five cho two tan is still a "danna-sama", a gentleman, to the tenant-farmers, and can make good living without laboring in the fields; but in a flat country, a man who has the same area may be unable to maintain his dignity, and has to work hard himself, and get smeared with mud. In short, landowners' circumstances are of various kinds according to environment. It is, therefore, too hasty a conclusion to say that the release of farming-lands by the law means the democratization of agriculture.
If the Government has intentions of a real reformation of the land system, it should release uncultivated lands owned by the villages and the government, to say nothing of the lands held by landowners who have not engaged in farming personally. The law may be made, but the measure to meet the real state of things must not be a slave to the law. Anyhow, the application of the referred Agrarian Land Law is to fall into the hands of the Agrarian Land Committee, which is to be established in the near future.
Hence, we require that the committee should be made up of persons who are worthy of taking charge of the solution of all agrarian land problems, and that the landowner character of the law should be removed by the committee. Moreover, we dare to advice the committee to realize that the feudal system of Japanese farming is not dissolved by the establishment of peasent-proprietors, in the present situation of farm-villages.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 251 (Continued)
ITEM 2 The Prospects of the Farmers' Movement - Provincial Newspaper Niigata Nippo (Niigata) - 12 Jan 46. Translator: K. Ketel.
With the democratic revolution, farmers' associations are making brisk developments throughout the country. It has been reported that various associations are ready to carry cut economic warfare in order to solve the food and land questions, and that they are meeting with success. Another report has revealed that the JAPAN Farmers' Association held a permanent committee meeting and that it planned to direct the coming farmers' moverment throughout the country.
The first time a representative farmers' movement was carried out was in April, 1922, at the foundational mass meeting of farmers' associations in OSAKA. Since then this organization has fought against oppression for more than 20 years in order to protect the living standard of the poor farmers.
At the end of the TAISHC period (around 1925) a signal was given to the farmers of our prefecture (NIIGATA) by the OZAKI and OBATA Affairs and a resolute movement developed. After that, suppression by the bureaucrats started and the movement grew more and more. However, in spring, 1937, when the people's front was formed the farmers' organization collapsed and a Farmers' Association of greater JAPAN was established.
When hostilities between CHINA and JAPAN broke out, the oppression of farmers was cast down by the dissolution of the Farmland System Improvement League ordered in 1942. However, since the end of the war, the great waves of democratic revolution have washed away despotism and revived the old organization.
In November last year a general meeting was held in order to prepare for the new farmers' movement in NIIGATA prefecture and various farmers' association have been re-established.
There are two distinctive forms of movements, due to their different standpoints and ideals. The Farmers' Association led by executives of the Social Party stands vis-a-vis the farmers' committee under the direct leadership of the Communist Party. The Social-Democrats are trying for economic warfare by using the Farmers' Association, while, on the other hand, the Communists are going to advance into the political sphere of influence.
Our prefecture proposes four Social-Democratic leaders who have been recommended by the farmers' association to run as candidates, and expects that they would bring closer relations between the movement of the farmers and that of the political parties. The Communist Party holdly tries to carry out political warfare by means of the farmers' committee and by dissolving the agriculture associations. However, the Communist Party of our prefecture has not yet been completely organized, and it is said that it will still be a long time till this party is fully organized throughout the country.
Those parties are eagerly pressing towards a quick execution of revolutionary movements, but, on the other hand, the farmers of our prefecture are extraodinarily phlegmatic and many of them are still adhering to the feudal system. Furthermore, the bureaucratic organization remaines unchanged and the power of the landlords is rooted in the mind of the farmers.
The former Minister of Agriculture and Forestry MATSUMURA showed an unchanged bureaucratic tone in his speech in the Diet and many individuals are blocking the way of the farmers' movement. SCAP's directive regarding the release of the farmers will be of great significance and we are anxious to observe how the leaders of this movement strive foresuccoss.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 251 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Comments on Three New Taxes and Conditions Limiting Use of Tax Income - Provincial Newspaper Chubu Nippon Shimbun (Nagoya) - 13 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Ebiike.
The general outline of the Government-drafted plan for levying three new taxes of an epochal magnitude was revealed on 10 January. Now the only thing that remains to be seen is what amendment will be made on it along democratic lines by the new Diet's decisions, and how the revenue from these sources can be collected and used by the Finance Authorities most effectively, that is, for the purpose of relieving the present national distress.
When viewed from the degree of urgency, the aims of these new taxes should be the prevention of vicious inflation, reconstruction of financial policies, confiscation of war profits and redistribution of property. Of these taxes, the Corporation Property Tax is estimated to yield 20,000,000,000 yen, the Individual Property Tax, 50,000,000,000 yen, the Individual Property Increase Tax, 25,000,000,000 yen, and the Corporation War Profit Tax, 5,000,000,000 yen. Thus the sum total amounts to 100,000,000,000 yen, and over 2,000,000 households are supposed to be affected by the new taxation. If the recently acquired assets of individuals and corporations in JAPAN, as represented by savings and desposits, are estimated at 150,000,000,000 yen in each case, about one-third of this amount is going to be collected as tax. In other words, a sum three times as large as three years' income of the peopel will at once be turned into the coffers of the state, since the people's income is estimated to total 30,000,000,000 yen this year.
In these critical days of aggravating inflation, the three kinds of property tax are charged with a very important mission which aims at absorbing one-third of both the potential and immediate purchasing power, and thus at stabilizing the value of the currency. We can not be sure, however, that these new taxes might not turn out to be taxation of the masses and their income to be financial capital instead of industrial capital. Therefore the people, to say nothing of the Diet members, should be critical of the nature of the new taxation and vigilant of the ways the Government spends the revenue from these taxes.
The key to successful enforcement of taxation depends upon a fair and balanced rate of taxation and speedy collection of taxes when the amount has been fixed. If delay in payment to be outlined for special cases provided in the draft should be excessively resorted to, some people may take advantage of this provision in anticipation of the aggravating inflation in the future, which will result in reducing their burden. Again, if the authorities' attitude was too stern in the appraisal of these properties whose value is rapidly expressed in currency denomination, while on the other hand too generous in that of lands factories or machinery which will rise in price in the future, it win result in such an estreme inequity that only those who posses means of production will be rich someday, while almost all middle class working people will be brought to ruin in the end.
What is wrong with the new taxation plan and what apprehension de we have about it?
First, when viewed from the stand point of the rate and the exemptions in the taxes, properties of a medium or small size are taxed, rather heavily. The low exemption rate of 20,000 yen gives us some apprehension that the new levy may prove one that hits the masses hard. As for the individual property tax, which levies 10 per cent for 20,000 yen to 30,000 and 70 per cent for more than 50,000,000 yen, the adoption of such a progressive taxation as this will result in making little difference with millionaires whose taxation rate is not much higher than that for ordinary property. Therefore to avoid such mass taxation the exemption point should be raised to 50,000 yen at least and the highest rate of taxation to 90 per cent.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 251 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The second defect is the heavy taxation on individual properties as compared with the light taxation on incorporated properties. The corporations' reserve funds, which are the chief objective of the corporation taxation, are taxed as low as 20 per cent. Reserve funds, in fact, are not needed in those factories which were damaged in the recent war. In case, however, their production increases someday, they had better collect more capital from the masses, preferably from their employees.
The third defect is the unfair estimation of both movable and immovable properties. All measures are taken for recognizing and taxing those movable properties whose value is expressed in terms money, while low-value estimation is made for such immovable properties as war-ruined land and those lands possessed by big landlords. Therefore, farm rent payable in money instead of in kind should be encouraged from the viewpoint of a fair taxation too
All in all, since the main object of the new taxes lies in the prevention of inflation and the stabilization of the people's living, the immense tax income should be spent in accordance with this object and the Diet should see to it that this object is attained successfully through legislative measures. In these circumstances the revenue accuring from this source should never be used for the purpose of indemnifying munition industries.
Next, one half of this income should be appropriated for reconstructing the national economy, encouraging production, relieving the unemployed, while half of the remaining amount should be set aside for redeming the public bonds now held by the Bank of JAPAN, and also for reducing its bank note issue by half, thus paving the way to the return to the limited currency issue system.
Next in importance comes the redemption of the public bonds held in other banks, who in their turn will be able to pay off their liabilities with that money. At the same time, loans hereafter should be restricted to those enterprises which are indorsed by production.
These measures alone can free us from the impending inflation on one hand, while safeguarding us against possible deflation on the other. If the three major taxes should be carried out without master statesmanship and courage, the new measures will end only in a mere shifting of funds without any practical benefit realized.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0251, 1946-01-16.
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