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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0269, 1946-01-20.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0843

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 843 Date: 20 Jan 46.


ITEM 1 The Idea of the New Price System - The Mainichi Shimbun - 18 Jan 46 Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
The most important task of present day JAPAN's economy is taking such measures as will enable the Nation to recover its production. If production is not renewed, the reconstruction of Japanese economy will not have begun at all, It is very natural under prevailing conditions that Japanese economy be reestablished along capitalistic lines since it is based on capitalistic principles of economy. Therefore, if we want to cure the paralysis of production in the Japanese economy, capitalists should be assured that they will be able to obtain reasonable, if not excessive, profits by the revival of production. The lack of this assurance hinders capitalists from doing their best for the resumption of production. One of the reasons capatilists cannot have this assurance is the confusion in the price system, that is, marked i[illegible]regularities in the prices of commodities, and also their anxiety about future price policies. At this time to our great pleasure, the basis for a new price system has been revealed.
The old official prices were decided without principle or system. We may say that they were determined in a haphazard way under the pressure of current needs. On the other hand currency values have continued to fall. It is quite natural that marked irregularities have become evident in the prices of many items, In view of the fact that there are innumerable kinds of commodities, it is extremely difficult, probably beyond human power, to fix again all prices at reasonable levels relative to the degree of the foil of currency value. The best measure for a new price system would be to abolish all price controls for the time being, letting oil prices take their natural course. Upon those naturally settled prices, a new price system should be established. However, under the present situation where inflation is in rapid progress, such a method is out of the question.
Another clever method for a now price system would be to take as a base one or more commodities which most sensitively reflects currency value by its price and is unaffected by its locality or those possessing it. This basic commodity may be demanded in any place and by any person, and must be divisible without the least decrease in its value. In JAPAN, rice has such attributes. Coal may be another commodity.
It is reasonable that the Ministry of Finance should have adopted coal or rice as basic commodities for a new price system. Why can't the plan of the Ministry of Finance be reasonable? Rice may be a basic commodity only if transactions in it are free. Rice new has three prices, the producer's price, the consumer's price, and the black market price. Of the three, the black market price has been fairly sensitive to currency values. The producers' and consumers' prices are isolated from falling currency values. These two prices are a pattern of unreasonableness.
If this unreasonable consumer price of rice is token as a basis and the other prices are balanced with it, the system will be as unreasonable as

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 269 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
the old one. If a new consumer's price of ride is fixed with strict prohibition of illegal transections, and this new price is taken as the basis, the plan may be somewhat justifiable. However, the logical conclusion of this argument is in favor of the NAZI theory that prices can be determined as the Government pleases. The reason is that prices fixed on the basis of the rice price, which is to be set by the Government, will be nothing but Government creations.
The case is quite the same with coal, which the Government intends to put under strict control, allowing no other price than the one controlled price. Furthermore, the same thing can be said of standard wages which will be calculated on those prices. We are now looking for the basis on which we can rearrange prices without irregularities. Accordingly, the basic commodity must be most sensitive to currency values. The Government intends to take as the basis of a new price system the commodity which it chooses by its authority. This idea is not one bit more advanced than the old price theory.
ITEM 2 (I) Future of the Purge Directive (II) Officials Act Willfully - Tokyo Shimbun - 18 Jen 46. Translator: S. Kuniko.
Full Translation:
We don't understand whether the SCAP directives ordering the banishment of the militarists means a formal sweeping away of ultra-nationalistic bodies and militarists or, at the appropriate time, the explusion of old leaders from their positions in JAPAN.
However, we firmly believe that defeated JAPAN or new JAPAN needs the latter, on a large scale for the reason that without a renewal of the human element, the introduction of any new system or law is useless. When the directives are executed in the latter fashion, official business may be hindered for a time or may come to a complete standstill. In this case, however, that which is hindered or comes to a standstill is, in itself, nothing but that which introduced JAPAN to war and defeat. Therefore, it is, on the contrary, a thing to be welcomed.
However, we do not obstinately insist that such a hindrance to, or standstill of official business is absolutely essential for the reconstruction of JAPAN. But, only a highly civilized and prosperous Country can hope to accomplish a great revolution or rebirth without suffering. Such a wish is nothing but the wild fancy of a country which has been deprived of sovereignity and has lost all except
a starving people. Apart from the problem of whether the revolution should be bloodless or not, it will, at any rate, be impossible for a defeated country to evade a painful struggle to survive.
The SHIDEHARA Cabinet, on the contrary, seems to have taken up the former measure and wishes to apply it in a very narrow sense, For example, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was an official body, and the officials chosen of their own accord appointed a prefectural governor as the head of a branch of the Association. Despite this fact, the Cabinet does not want prefectural governors to be affected by the directives. The SHIDEHARA Cabinet, it is clear, wishes to restrict the extent of the directives. Mr. NARAHASHI. the Chief Secretary, in the first speech of the reinstated Cabinet, declared that it would wipe out the remnants of the privileged few. We dare to ask him how will it be possible for a Cabinet we has assumed the abovementioned attitude toward the SCAP directives to do so.
Some days ago, we pointed out in this column under the title, "The Responsibility of the Nation," that the scale on which the directives were
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 269 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
applied, would decide the success or failure of the bloodless revolution of JAPAN, and we eagerly hoped the whole nation would pay great attention to the measures taken by the Government.
It is useless to say that officials must bear a great port of the responsibility for our country's present fate. The extent of their crimes or responsibility for the war may be defined legally or formally, but they are all equally to blame for the present state of affairs. The degree of responsibility which is new being argued is really only a question of opportunity. Even among these who are said to be guiltless, had they had the chance they would have done the same thing. Accordingly, if they are at all conscientious, they should not allow themselves to act in an official capacity any more, nor should the Government call them bock for this purpose.
The late reorganization of the Cabinet, was done by the Government and the Privy Council. It has not much new blood. The personnel of the new Cabinet consists of persons of whom the Nation is weary. Their impudence and shamelessness are in defiance of the Nation rather than derisive. They always say, "There are no men of ability," but the officials are neither hurman nor Japanese. No matter how we may have been defected or starved, we have a population of 80 million. With all this in mind, do they dare to disregard the Nation in order to act[illegible]wilfully and with inability and egoism though the people are on the verge of starvation?
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0269, 1946-01-20.
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