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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0374, 1946-02-07.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1171

call-number: DS801 .S82

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No. 1171 Date: 7 Feb 46


ITEM 1 The Enormous Rise in Prices - Provincial Newspaper Tokushima Shimbun (Tokushima) - 31 Jan 46. Translator: K. Sato.
Full Translation:
The Government stripped off the ambiguous mask of a low price policy, and forced upon the Nation the successive rise in prices of commodities. Of course, the so called low price policy was almost abandoned under the war-time Cabinets on the principle of adequate price, but some prices still remain, seeming just and proper as before.
Ministers of the present Cabinet, including the Finance Minister, are vehemently emphasizing the "prevention of inflation." Meanwhile, doesn't the recent sudden rise in prices nullify this objective? Naturally, we long for the establishment of decisive and appropriate price measures. However, they should be of a nature that will stabilize our financial condition and set the minds of the people at ease. Much remains to be investigated as to whether the recent price policy is in comformity with the foregoing aims.
Among Government enterprises, the price of salt was raised five times over its current price. This was aimed at reforming the double price policy by means of a unified price throughout the Nation. It would thus restrict the National expenditure and compensate for the deficiency of State funds. In view of the small quantity in consumption, it might not vitally affect conditions on a nationwide scale.
Next are the new cigarettes, "Peace" and "Corona." Because those are new manufactures, they may not be a real increase in the price; however, in actuality, their price is equivalent to an increase of ten times. What the Government intended was to raise the price of the old tobaccos, which procedure seemed inevitable. This might also have been allowed, since they are luxury items. Then, came the rise in railway fares of two and a half times to three times their former level. This will also make up for a deficiency of many years, and will compensate for the surplus expenditure caused by the increase in salaries of railway operators and in the price of coal. Nevertheless, this increases considerably the burden of the Nation at large. The result presents the extraordinary phenol[illegible]that some people who are obliged to travel long distances, because of war damages to urban homes, are about to be deprived of their means of making a living.
In the field of private enterprise, the increase in price of fertilizer and farm implements is also three times its previous level. Staple foods will be next to rise. According to the draft by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the price if rice harvested last fall will be revised to 300 yen per koku for the farmers and 150 yen for the consumers. Under these circumstances, how can the great majority of the people sustain their standard of living?
Although these increases in prices may be unavoidable in view of the rise in the cost of materials and production, the issue severely threatens the life of the people in general. On the other hand, the Government feigns

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 374 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
ignorance by adopting such a ludicrous measure as to impose an income tax upon persons with a salary of 60 yen a month.
The rise in the prices of commodities, in this manner might result in stabilizing state finances from the viewpoint of straight calculation. However, if the people, the source of taxation were impoverished, by what means would they maintain the finances of the State? The worst thing is the astounding rise in black market prices, and the subsequent rise in the general prices of commodities. In this way, the life of the Nation, struggling against poverty and ruin, is about to be hurled into the depths of utter chaos. Is the Government really prepared with concrete measures that can save us from this imminent peril? We cannot but be shocked at the recklessness with which they construct another castle in the air. No, it is too serious a problem to be left alone.
The destruction of the nation's livelihood signifies the abandonment of the existense of the State. If the state is ruined, of what use is stable finance? We cannot find words to criticize this ridiculous attitude of being eager to temporize, and pay little attention to the reasons for the situation. If the Government has some measures in mind for the solution of the problem they should be carried out immediately. The Nation is determined to endure the post-war hardships. If the Government has a workable plan for preventing inflation and increasing the income of the people, it should be published, or the people will net support the present Government any longer.
ITEM 2 Labor Disputes - Mainichi - 4 Feb 46. Translator: K. Nobunaga
Full Translation:
Recent labor disputes for better conditions and democratization have been accompanied by a number of illegal acts in offices and companies. The statement, issued by four ministers with the purpose of suppressing these labor disputes has become ineffective through the SCAP directive.
Of course, illegal acts should be strictly punished. However, the Government should consider the reason why such illegal acts were committed. Directors of offices and companies have stubbornly rejected salaried men's efforts to realize democratization and an increase in salaries, and have paid no attention to their appeals. Recently, capitalists have been inclined not to work. The Government seems to recognize this as legal. Is it a fault, or not?
The old line leaders are apt to regard labor disputes as crimes. The 17th article of the Police Law for the maintenance of peace, a most notorious prohibition law against strikes, was in effect from 1900 until 1926. This article prohibited forcing anyone to participate in a union or forcing the consent of an opponent as regards conditions or wages for labor. The idea of this useless law must be still latent in the SHIDEHARA Cabinet.
In our country, labor disputes resulted from military activity after the Sino-Japanese war. According to statistics in 1897, the number of labor disputes was 32 and the total number of participants in the disputes was 3,517. Before these disputes, in 1893 rickshaw men organized a group against mechanical conveyances, aroused at the appearance of electric cars. Laborers have not yet been so successful in the management of production, a new tactic in the disputes to which the government is opposed.
However, it is a right, as well as an obligation for laborers to superintend[illegible]idle capitalists and to understand the substance and objects of management.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 374 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
This is true democracy, Management of production is not merely a strike, but a new reasonable tactic by which the masses are not troubled by industry. Since laborers are amateurs in management, to what degree can they succeed in the management of production? This is question which they must study further.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0374, 1946-02-07.
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