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Press translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0460, 1946-02-18.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: editorial-1415

call-number: DS801 .S82

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NO. 1415 Date: 18 Feb 46


ITEM 1 Emergency Economic Measures Cannot be Relied Upon - Yomiuri-Hochi - 17 Feb 46. Translator K. Gunji.
Full Translation:
The note issue of Bank of JAPAN now in circulation has at last at mounted to 60,000,000,000 yen. Now inflation is about to destroy the economic life of the nation. The incompetent cabinet has taken a series of emergency measures for the issuance of new notes and freezing of all bank deposits as a preliminary to the collection of the capital levy tax, property tax and war profit tax. We regret it is too late, as we have already asserted for a long time. The Government delayed it on purpose, and aggravated the situation. Why? Because they allowed capitalists and landowners to purchase goods for stock and to conceal their wealth. Furthermore, they allowed such privileged classes to profiteer amidst the confusion after the war, and charged the masses with the loss of the war.
They were extremely afraid of the loss involved by capitalists in the event of a sudden switch to a deflation policy. Such a government deserves our hatred. Wealthy people have already completed their preparation against such measures, but not so the masses. Absorption of excessive purchasing power and wage control is very good in itself. However, can they really ensure the equitable distribution of food and other vital commodities? Can the masses obtain necessities with their controlled purchasing power?
Though wealthy people have already stored up great amounts of commodities, the laboring class who have exhausted their savings can hardly maintain themselves with their controlled maximum income of 500 yen. Considering that the rich will try to exchange all the money they have for commodities by March 3, when the old notes lose their value so money prices will soar up and, owing to hoarding, the shortage of goods will become remarkable. The barter system will prevail and the laboring class will suffer from hardship. Inflation cannot be checked. Thus, the key to the problem lies in the control of prices and commodities. For that purpose, the Government published measures dealing with post war commodity prices, minimum wages, delivery of rice, increase of its price, and hoarded and concealed goods.
Nevertheless it is doubtful if the Government will succeed in these measures. We asserted immediately after the war the need for the continuance of controlled economy. They did not accept our advice. Now the Government has lost the foundations of controlled economy. How can they regain them? If they undertake the task by desk theory, commodities will not circulate, and black marketing and barter will prevail. Under such circumstances, wealthy people can fully enjoy life, but the general public will be overcome by extreme destitution. Therefore exposure and expropriation must be enforced. However, can a cabinet of such a reactionary character force it upon the wealthy people?

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EDITORIAL SERIES: 460 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
I t is imperative, in any case, to ensure equitable distribution. If they fail in this, not only will inflation to be checked, but the poor people will be menaced by starvation. The black market may disappear with the freezing of purchasing power, but the question of the unemployed will become more urgent. The Government decided upon the emergency employment ordinance; it is doubtful, however, whether it will .succeed in all its manifold measures. The most questionable are the measures dealing with food. They seen to consider the exercising of power the only resource left to thee. They are going to shift the responsibility to farmers if their measures fail.
The fundamental factor which is at work in raising prices is the absolute shortage of food. The food problem cannot be solved unless the production of fertilizer, agricultural implements, and textile commodities which are required by farmers is restored. Soaring prices are caused by not only the flood of inconvertible notes but the absolute shortage of goods. Therefore, revival of industry is the key. We appreciate the intentions of the Government, but we must know whether they have a firm conviction of success. Tie must be cautious about measures taken by an anti-democratic government.
ITEM 2 Government Emergency Economic Mensures - Tokyo Shimbun 18 Feb 46. Translator: T. Narue.
Full Translation:
The Government on 16 February announced a series of emergency economic measures including the issue of new notes and payment limitations. This new plan is of co[illegible]due to the defeat, but how late its enforcement is! The amount of notes issued by the Bank of JAPAN which has topped the 60,000,000,000 yen mark clearly shows an alarming number of withdrawals of deposits. The majority of the people must already have hoarded their necessities of life for this transient period, as far as their purses allow. Especially those whose funds slightly exceed the exemption of the property tax must have endeavored to escape taxation by hoarding goods. This is the reason why curios, pictures and writings have sold like wild-fire and collecting goods has been prevalent.
The Government's delay in taking this new measures has furnished the people with sufficient preparatory time, at the same time it has invited an increase in prices and aggravated inflation. If ire suffer, it may be said that the Government put the plan into operation after having reduced its effect. The Government may explain that even if this emergency step is carried out, in the near future it will have no effect unless the various causes of inflation are all understood. However, the question of money guaranteed to the munition plants, which constitutes one great cause of inflation is still left to be solved. Such a security will be cancelled, at once when the people's Government is organized. In all cases, unless production is promoted, the greatest cause of inflation will not be removed.
If the delay in carrying the new plan into effect is due to the Government's view that enforcing it by an emergency Imperial Ordinance without the consent of the Diet opposes the spirit of democracy it shows nothing but a lack of knowledge. Excessive issues of emergency Imperial Ordinances is of course wrong, but the question depends upon circumstances. Only by timely and prompt action, can the restricted payment and the property tax retain their meaning.
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EDITORIAL SERIES: 460 (Continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
Like making a rope to hang an escaped robber, it is too late. The Government should fully recognize that the people are now on the brink of starvation.
ITEM 3 We Demand Government's Power of Execution - Mainichi - Shimbun - 18 Feb 46. Translator: T. Naruse.
Full Translation:
If a wholesale dealer stands between a manufacturer and a retailer and deals with them by mutual consent for restricted payment, those goods will still sell after the Government's now financial step of 16 February. At present, there are no proper routes for goods and no central agency for credit transactions, but only cash transactions. Cash is the only motive power to circulate goods.
By the Government's new measure, cash is placed under a severe limitation. Therefore, the street-vendors and illicit peddlers cannot replenish their stocks after they have sold all of their few holdings. Even if they can stock any goods by 2 March when the old currency will have no value, they cannot sell them because the purchaser will not have excess cash. However, that is no reason why they should reduce prices. The majority of the present illicit peddlers are non-professionals, so' they do not know the limits of sale. In addition, for example, the farmers and fishermen who produce perishable foods have the real power to oppose bargain sales. Their goods are not stock-in-trade for dealings and they have enough food to live on. So oven if the goods do not sell till they go bad, they have no real trouble.
Their will cannot be affected at least by the Government's entreaty and they never consider selling at one half or one third of their previous days sale price. So, after all, there is no outlet excepting one measure, in which the Government purchases goods at high prices and sells them cheaply, thereby incurring a loss. The Government has also announced that it will adopt such a step as one measure towards preventing inflation. Therefore, a competition between the Government and the street-vendors or illicit - peddlers is expected from now on. Although the Government perhaps has control of funds, that alone will never solve the problem.
Up to now, the nucleus of the perishable food problem has been the distributing agencies and transport capacity. What is most demanded today is the power of execution like that of illicit peddlers, who fearlessly bring their large bags in the passenger cars closely packed. If every home cannot got fish and vegetables while the Government's guaranteed money for bargain sales disappears, that will result in the Government's defeat.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Editorial Series 0460, 1946-02-18.
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