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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0356, 1946-02-04.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1113

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1113 Date: 4 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Reconstruction of Big Cities and National Land Planning - Mainichi - 2 Feb 46. Translator: K. Hirata.
Full Translation:
According to the national census taken on the first of last November, TOKYO had a population of 3,480,000, which has, however, increased to 4,500,000, Also, OSAKA had 1,100,000 on 1 November but today it has almost 1,500,000. It is certain that big cities with a population of 8,000,000 will soon reappear in this land. Accordingly, the Government has taken a temporary countermeasure in accordance with SCAP'S directive, which prevents massing of people in any city with a population of more than 100,000 till the end of May.
However, now is the time to hasten permanent national land planning. During the war, its necessity was strongly voiced, but it failed to be realized, Hitherto, national land planning was apt to be mapped out for military purposes, but in the future it is important to plan it from the standpoint of the reconstruction of a peace-loving country If the Nation's population, industries and farm lands are left uncontrolled as before, the national welfare cannot be served nor a peaceful and cultural, ideal land, materialize.
Considering JAPAN'S present condition, she is now fit for national land planning. That is to say, her reconstruction must be carried out along the lines of peace, and a number of cities still remain devastated, awaiting prompt reconstruction. It is and must be JAPAN that carries out the first ideal national land planning in the world. Therefore, it is important for all authorities concerned both official and civilian, to hasten to establish an ideal plan.
Whether TOKYO should be a political town or a political and industrial one cannot be easily decided. Considering that there is a remarkable tendency toward excessive concentration of population in big cities, land planning is a pressing matter just like other current political problems. It must be started quickly. At the same time, the plan must be a far-sighted and thoroughly adjusted national one. In some quarters, opinions are prevailing that new cities should be reconstructed as of old. This comes from mere local patriotism and is meaningless. City planning should be carried out most adequately with regard to size and contents according to whether it is industrial or cultural.
It is an established view that considering food, health, transportation etc., any big city ceases to be a comfortable place for human existence when he population surpasses approximately three million. At any rate, among our city plans, those of TOKYO, OSAKA and other big cities are the most pressing problems and our efforts should be focused upon the control of excessive population in big cities. Then, what are the reasons of this over-population in big cities?

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 356 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
The first is that at present big cities afford many facilities to those retailers with small capital. The second is that people cannot enjoy in rural districts such good distribution as in big cities. Therefore, the improvement of distribution in rural districts will help alleviate excessive population in big cities. But this seems to be too difficult to be put into practice. So there is no other way but the re-organization of a group of small towns around such big cities as TOKYO, OSAKA and others, as well as the re-adjustment of transportation services. For instance, even if TOKYO is over-crowded with a population of three million in the daytime, it is possible to reduce it to two million after sunset if only a group of small towns around TOKYO and its vicinity develop. Thereby we can alleviate to some extent the stringent feed situation and other urban evils.
For this purpose, the adjustment of transport facilities is absolutely necessary. It is rare in EUROPE and AMERICA that the transportation facilities in a big city are managed separately by various companies as they are here. The simplification of management, and the thorough adjustment of transportation facilities in big cities should be carried out quickly. The re-construction of a group of small towns around big cities and their vicinities should commence.
Along with the establishment of national land planning, the re-examination of the current administrative districts must be carried out. For instance, it is practical and convenient to regard URAWA as one of satellite towns around TOKYO rather than a district under the jurisdiction of SAITAMA Ken as it is at present. The same is true with KAWASAKI which is under the jurisdiction of KAFAGAWA Ken. Considering administrative districts, HOKFAIDO at present is one unit in spite of its large area almost double that of KYUSHU. It would be convenient to divide it into prefectures for its future development
It is one of our urgent tasks seriously to study and establish a farsighted national land planning together with a re-disposition of our big towns and industries, However, we should take care not to neglect the actual conditions of the Nation's livelihood in mapping out the plan. Population, just like water follows the line of least resistance. Any good plan would prove useless if it ignores reality.
ITME 2 A Foolish Minimum Wage System - Sangyo Keizai - 2 Feb 46. Translator: J. Wada.
Full Translation:
In the face of an upward trend in the prices of commodities after the end of the war, many claims for higher wages and salaries wore tendered, and in some quarters labor disputes broke out on this problem, It is an established theory that when inflation exists and salary increases lag behind the prices of commodities, the pressure of living of the wage-earners and salaried people is made more difficult. In reality, inflation tends to bring such a result. Without stabilization of living, the will to work can not be stimulated. Particularly during inflation, unproductive labor will earn larger profit than productive labor and people are apt to prefer unproductive labor. The establishment of a minimum wage system to guarantee the living of the workers is very important, not only for the laborers the selves but also for society as a whole. For this reason, the Ministry of Welfare is planning a reform of the old minimum wage system. However, in the light of the current situation, the Ministry's idea about the way in which to deal with this problem admits of much doubt. The problem is too serious to be solved by an attitude of currying favor.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 356 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
The original aim of a minimum wage system was to protect the workers, chiefly at a time of depression or unemployment, against the pressure of living caused by the lowering of wages. Setting aside future developments, the present state of things in our country is quite different from that at the time of depression. The current reason for the necessity of a minimum wage system is not to safeguard the workers against the reduction of wages by entrepreneurs, but to protect them against the difficult living caused by rising prices. It is quite natural, therefore, that the problem should be regarded from a different point of view. Under the prevailing conditions, a minimum wage system in the original sense of the word is meaningless, impossible, and even harmful. For example, the prices of commodities, on the basis of which the minimum wages are to be calculated, are very unstable. If a proper sum could be decided upon, it would be applicable only for a short time, being harmful in the future. Moreover, the standard of wages is of vital importance to the establishment of our economy, Before we have a definite outlook for the internal and external economic conditions, we can not hastily decide minimum wages or wage levels.
It is needless to say that wages and salaries should be raised just after the end of the war. However, to what extent they should be raised should be prudently decided, taking into consideration both the state of business and national economy as a whole. Some people rightly argue that recent demands for higher wages go to extremes and involve a great danger of inviting a vicious circle. The indiscriminate raising of wages, between the skilled and the unskilled, the competent and the incompetent, and the diligent and the lazy, should be avoided at any cost under the present conditions. The Ministry of Welfare's plan will probably promote such an unfavorable tendency. If the Ministry of which poses as the labor ministry, undertakes this important problem with the opportunist attitude which it took during the war, the future will be serious not only for our country itself. We hear that the Ministry of Welfare calculated the minimum wages on the presumption that 2,160 calories are necessary for a worker to live. The figures are very unscientific, but we shall not discuss that point here. What we want to point out is that since the same amount of feed can never be afforded to the people under the present condition only some laborers who have their jobs will obtain the amount with the minimum wages of 18 yen per day, bringing higher prices and making the black-market more prosperous. The Government is running counter to its own policy of checking the rising prices, by this irresponsible conduct on the part of the Ministry of Welfare and the recent unreasonable raising of railway fares by the Railway Department. With all his, does the Government pretend to be one organic body?
ITEM 5 The Freely Demonstrated Will of the Nation - Asahi Shimbun - 2 Feb 46. Translator: H. Arai.
Full Translation:
What is the freely expressed will of the people as mentioned in the Potsdam Declaration? According to SOAP'S definition, it means that a Diet will come into existence as a result of a democratic and liberal election in which as many voters as possible will participate. This may suggest the reason tie Diet Hall in TOKYO has been saved from air-raids or why it is not new used as court for the trial of TOJO.
However a grave problem exists concerning the makeup of the Diet. In accordance with SCAP'S directive of 4 January, unqualified men will be
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 356 (Continued)
ITEM 5 (Continued)
cleared out. However, if all those who run in the coming election as candidates are blockheads, this will be of little significance. That is why the forthcoming general election is important. Although electioneering is by candidates themselves before the election is for bidden, not only the Government and all the political parties, but social workers, educators and instruments of public opinion must devote themselves toward the political enlistment of the general masses
SCAP ordered the Government to take a census a week after the general election. In the Ministry of Welfare, the birth-control problem is discussed at round-table conferences on population problems. Considering this, it seems perfectly absurd that the authorities once encouraged giving birth to triplets several years ago.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0356, 1946-02-04.
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