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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0282, 1946-01-22.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-0883

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 883 Date: 22 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Shipment of Rice, Stern Measures and Inability of Bureaucrats - Provincial Newspaper Hokkoku Mainichi Shimbun (Kanzawa) - 16 January 1946. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
Full Translation:
We have frequently called attention in this column to the fact that the difficulty in the present food crisis lies in unfair distribution rather than in an absolute shortage of food. SCAP recently pointed out this fact in censure of the negligence and inability of the Government. Nevertheless, the Government does not show any sincere effort to free the people from the menace of starvation. On the contrary, the officials try to shift the responsibility for starvation on the people's shoulders under the pretext of an absolute shortage of food.
Our repeated advice on effective measures for the shipment of rice was ignored and corrupt mechanisms and methods of distribution are still in effect. The result of shipment of rice is very bad throughout the country. Without encouragement, the shipment of rice will never amount to 30,000,000 koku.
The Government astonished at the poor results of rice shipments is menacing farmers by taking stern measures. In this column we do not intend to call to question whether food regulations carrying strict punishment are legally proper or not. It has but a secondary significance as things stand now. The question lies rather in the political attitude of the Government which is resorting to strong action. We must definitely set ourselves against this action; we must completely shake off such a mean and sly attitude of the Government which would try to conceal its inability from the eyes of the people by threatening them.
There are many urban residents who blame the unwillingness of farmers to ship rice, as if they were utterly responsible for the shortage of food. However, a man of reason will easily realize that the responsibility does not rest upon farmers nor upon town residents. Furthermore, snarling at each other, will never solve the question.
The entire responsibility for the food problem should be attributed to the Government. If the Government would only resort to effective measures, hope would surely smile on the solution of the problem. For instance, consider this year's shipment. If farmers had been previously supplied with increased staple food along with farming tools and fertilizers produced and distributed in a carefully planned manner, delivery of rice would have been very much advanced.
However, the Government was too idle to take any decisive steps to encourage the production of fertilizers while, on the other hand, industrial factories have been maintaining their winter sleep as deliberate sabotage.

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 282 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
If the Government has any semblance of vigor to enforce stern measures, why will it not order negligent capitalists to produce fertilizers? If this necessitates the supply of any kind of materials to industry, why will it not resort to strong action to supple them? Lack of sincerity and ability of the Government is the sole cause of the food shortage. Nevertheless, bureaucrats are plotting together with the SHIDEHARA Cabinet to threaten the people with stern measures and to shift the responsibility for the food shortage on the shoulders of the people.
Mr. ITO, Governor of ISHIKAWA-Ken did not fail to display his bureaucratic self-conceit in his conversation after returning from his trip to TOKYO, where he attended the Prefectural Governors' Conference. Referring in his conversations to the possibility of insurrections of town-residents against farmers, he tried to intimidate farmers. We cannot help but laugh at his confusion. His words are those of a man who does not at all realize what is going on today. Will the people today be subdued as before by such threats by bureaucrats? They are rapidly awakening!
The general retreat of the reactionary Cabinet and bureaucrats is the urgently needed key to the solution of the food problem.
ITEM 2 The Rate of the Property Tax and Other Letters - Asahi Shimbun - 21 January 1946. Translator: M. Kawanabe.
I agree completely with the purpose of the new taxation; however, I protest against several points.
The exemptions of the individual property tax are very low in the properties valued at more than 20,000 yen taxed. Most of the people have properties of such value in this time of inflation. It is nothing but a tax aimed at the property of the masses.
The exemptions of the individual property increase tax are too high. Men who have profiteered as much as 50,000 yen in the war are free from paying one sen of increase tax! To them the war was a good business. In conclusion, raise the exemptions of the individual property tax and lower that of the individual property increase tax.
(Sent by YONETA, Tasuku, TOKYO, technical official.)
I may not be the only one who was astonished at the recklessness of the new taxation bills. If their objectives lie in absorbing inflatted currency caused by the war, why doesn't the Government confiscate it thoroughly? On the other hand, properties accumulated by arduous work should not be the object of taxation.
It is the owners of properties valued at 500,000 or 1,000,000 yen that have made unfair profits during the war and not at all those who enjoy properties valued at 10,000 yen or so. Such a taxation system will never effect the distribution of wealth and allow the rich to remain as they have been. The Government should confiscate properties of more than 500,000 yen and not allow anyone at the present to have property amounting to more then 500,000 yen. Everyone should be given a fair chance to start again.
(Sent by ISHIKAWA, Masakuni, IWATE, unemployed.)
According to the taxation plan released by the Government, the exemptions from the individual property tax are set at 20,000 yen, end in case of air raid sufferers, 10,000 yen is specially deducted from the taxable property value prior to the basic exemption. Anyone who knows how much difference there is between properties of non-sufferers and that of war sufferers will easily realize how small
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 282 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
the sum of the special deduction is.
The fact that properties valued at less than 20,000 yen are exempt from taxation is probably because the Government does not consider them worthy. To grant as a Governmental favor a sum half of 20,000 yen, which isn't considered property, is nothing but an act of minimizing war sufferers' misfortunes.
(Sent by OYAMA, Yasubei, NIIGATA, unemployed.)
The reconstruction of the national economy and the stabilization of the social life of the people are the objectives of the new taxation plan, according to the announcement by Finance Minister Mr. SHIBUZAWA in his appeal to the people for support and co-operation. The Government proved itself unqualified to appeal to the people, because it showed no intention of abolishing redemptions for munitions factories and because it is still supporting capitalists.
Furthermore, the taxes to be collected by this new plan are wholly allotted to their redemption of the national loan. We must recall that nine out of ten of the owners of national loan bonds are capitalists. We demand of the Government the abolition of the redemption to munitions factories as well as that of the national loan. Without decisive steps there will be no great success.
(Sent by SUGAMA, Toku, TOKYO, company employee.)
ITEM 3 I. Men Whose Work Is to Hull Rice. II. Foodstuffs Idly Kept in Storehouses - Mainichi Shimbun - 21 January 1946. Translator: M. Kato.
Full Translation:
Last year when those whose business is hulling rice were asked by the farmers to hull their rice, they required one go per bale (400 go), and they got on an average of from six to ton bales. For this charge some of them were arrested by the police. However, for some obscure reason they were set free. Thereupon, they instantly sold this illegal rice at an exorbitant price.
This year contrary to our hope that they would be more reasonable, they dared to demand three times more than they did last year, or three go per bale. Thus they gained in excess about 20 bales of unhulled rice from each mill, along with their dues. The wealthy are confidently attempting to bargain with them regardless of prices.
It is noteworthy that the unsuccessful rice delivery from the farmers is in part attributable to the farmers' anger, which was caused by the evil of these men. Despite the Government declaration that men would be sent from towns or villages, or from the Agricultural Association, for the purpose of hulling rice and investigating the real amount of the rice crop, those men engaged in refining rice are still pursuing their work as a private concern. They are even holding back for their relatives or close friends a part of the rough rice which is to be hulled. For example, when 50 bales are to be hulled, they put aside five bales, which they sometimes share. Unless, therefore, these vicious elements are ousted from the farming community, a better a delivery of rice cannot be expected from the farming society.
Supreme Headquarters expressed its view on the food situation of JAPAN by saying that there is no fair and proper food distribution. How has the Government received this criticism? Why doesn't the Government appeal to the people at large? No Japanese, I believe, is totally corrupted. The efforts to import what is lacking, after offering what we have to others, is quite understandable.
Utter dependence, however, on importation is unreasonable. Food does
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 282 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
exist in JAPAN. In YAMANASHI-Ken 15,258 bales of wheat were found in storehouses. Such negligence is to be found throughout the Country. So long as we keep from one another what we have, can a solution of food problems be expected? (By ITO, Katsunosuke, in NAGANO.)
Prior to the enforcement of the rice delivery on the farming community, consideration should be directed to the fair and proper distribution of the abundant rice and barley which is kept in various localities throughout JAPAN and whose identification is unknown. Despite their great attempts to fulfill their duties in the rice delivery, the effects of the farmers' painstaking efforts are neglected before their eyes.
"Food crisis" must sound strange in this situation. It is utterly beyond my comprehension why an appeal should be made to our fellow countrymen's sympathy for the solution of this problem.
In many places rice has been kept during the war for military use. This rice was, at the termination of the war, illegally disposed of under cover of the confused situation.
Nevertheless, not a little of it is still kept in secret custody. This rice , which has no chance of being brought out into the world, is kept in military barracks or in civilian storehouses, where rats and insects have their own way. It is an established fact that the rice is kept in these places. To this the Government shows indifference. I wonder why the Government doesn't take any immediate steps. There is even a case of rice which is being hidden by the ex-chief of the military corps and which is still in the same place even though the disbandment of the army has taken place. I request the Government to correct these wrongdoings and strive for the solution of the food problems.
(By a patriot in CHIBA.)
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0282, 1946-01-22.
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