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Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0044, 1945-11-26.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0151

call-number: DS801 .S84

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No. 151 Date: 26 Nov 1945


ITEM 1 Conditions in Central Japan under new rationing system - Chubu Nippon Shimbun - 25 Nov 1945. Translator: Y. Akabane.
Since the abolition of official control on fish and vegetables, five days have elapsed and on the street, fish dealers and fruit shops are rapidly increasing. But have these perishable foodstuffs been appearing in markets as the people expected? It is certain that the abolition of control has stimulated the earnestness of producers, and incoming goods have been increasing daily, even if the increase is not so great, but consumers are suffering from an unexpected rise in their living expenses due to exorbitant prices. These abnormally high prices are, according to the opinions of dealers, only temporary and will be lowered naturally, with the slackening of consumer purchases, and they will become normal in next spring. Let us look at the prevailing conditions on the fifth day, from the standpoint of domestic kitchens, markets, and places of production.
Homes: During the five days from 20 to 24 November, a distribution of fish and vegetables was made to every house in NAGOYA. Complaints were raised against the high prices of sardines and garden radishes, prices being 70 sen for 20 momme of sardine (TN. six or seven pieces) and 10 sen for 30 momme of radish—-a fish was divided into four pieces and one radish into about 12 small pieces for distribution. Some of them were decayed, causing troubles among some neighborhood associations. House wives are unanimous in complaining that the removal of the official price system has raised the level of popular prices in general. Low salaried men and the unemployed cannot ray so much. Besides, fish end vegetables are not arriving in such a large quantity as expected, so buying out must be continued, as hither to until prices come down.
Distribution Depot: Dealers get ration allotments from markets according to the number of registered individuals, and deliver food to each neighborhood association as a bloc. In general, the old methods of distribution is still pursued, so in some instances, relations between dealers and consumers are not going smoothly. The quantity of distribution is shown on a bulletin board in front of the distribution depot, with the rations and their prices. The city economic bureau is asking each neighborhood association to send a representative to see the notice, and he will report the day's ration volume and price of fish or vegetables to houses of his association. The desired quantity can be obtained en bloc for the association.

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SOCIAL SMRIES: 44 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
In spite of this, the representative gets the distribution without ascertaining the demands of each house, causing complaints of consumers regarding price and quantity to be delivered to each home. "In some quarters, citizens think that if they refuse one ration because of its high price, the succeeding rations cannot be obtained, but this is not true", the city authorities stated.
The Distribution depot states, "Citizens are not forced to buy ration food if it is not desired. Unsold goods will be distributed free, but it is a nuisance to have goods returned because of the high prices after the representative bought them without ascertaining the desire of each home. Most of the street vendors are obtaining their goods direct from fishermen or places of production and selling a sardine for 20 sen to 40 sen, and one orange for about 50 sen.
On 24 November, the price of radish was raised to 4.05 YEN for one kan, about two and a half times as high as the black market price of preceding days, owing to the buying competition with buyers from outside the prefecture."
Markets: Incoming perishable goods to NAGOYA are becoming normal and the three markets of BIWAJIMA, CHUO and ATSUTA are fixing their own prices. The price of radish at the BIWAIJIMA market was 3.31 yen. In addition to this, a 30 per cent commission for the distribution depot, and a certain amount of commission for wholesale dealers will bring the retail price to about 4.50 yen, which is a cause of complaint on the part of retail-dealers. However, as citizens have long been faced with a vegetable-famine, they will buy in defiance of prices for the time being. The price will come down when consumers refrain from buying at random.
An official of the Economic Security Section of the Prefectural Office said: "At present, high prices are unavoidable and it would be better to let them take their own course, but before long they will come down through the law of demand and supply. If the middle man acts recklessly, we are ready to control them."
The effect of the abolition of control of official price was conspicuous in fish markets. Incoming goods were plentiful. On the first day, the 20th, 13,000 kan followed by about 10,000 kan of various fishes arrived daily. The prices are about five to ten times as high as the official fixed prices as for example: a big sardine costs 300 yen and a small one 250 yen, against the official price of 36.20 yen for 10 kan. Bonito costs 1,000 yen; tunny, 1,200; etc. All are really exorbitant prices.
Places of Origin: The farming districts around NAGOYA are famous for producing vegetables abundantly and fields are still left green with radish, carrots, burdocks, cabbage, etc., but farmers are now very busy in harvesting rice, so they have no time to take in these vegetables. They are hoping to take advantage of high prices now prevalent in the city though. When the rice harvest is over, a large consignment of vegetables will pour into the markets around next spring. Want of fertilizer seems to have hurt their harvest.
A farmer of NISHIHARU village said: "Middle men must be done away with. We are sending our harvest, scanty as it is, for the sake of the citizens, and we cannot bear to see the middlemen profit. Radish at 4.50 yen is too high, and we are satisfied at 2.20 yen."
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SOCIAL SERIES: 44 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
In the NISHI-BIWAJIMA market, which is famous for its system of direct connection between producers and consumers, they do not permit intervening dealers. The prices of vegetables for 24 November were very moderate. Lotus was 5.00 yen; jiro, 7 yen; carrot, 3 yen; radish, 2 yen; etc. These prices are reflecting the mood of farmers feelings."
Mr. NISHIJUKA, Tokuju, veteran farmer and the chief of NISHIBIWAJIMA consignment association, said in this connection: "Vegetables will come out in large quantities when the harvesting is over. If the machinations of the black market brokers, who attempt to carry vegetables outside the prefecture, were thwarted, there would be more than enough vegetables for the citizens of NAGOYA. Although consumers seem to misunderstand farmers, the farmers have a rich brotherly love and they are ready to send out their goods at reasonable prices. The best way is to organize a consignment association in every town or village, where transactions will be made at the prices fixed daily by the producers, consumers and government officials, and no profit or commission of intermediaries is allowed."
In the fish market of MIKAWA SANYA, the prices were very high in defiance of the buying power of the general public. Lieutenant HIGHDOWL of the American Forces stationed in OKAZAKI, who happened to come here to buy fish was astonished at the high prices, saying: "Ten times as high by the official price, this is really horrible! Is it not said that there are many suffering from malnutrition due to the food-famine? What is this state of affairs? At this time distribution of fresh fish, rich in nutrition, is absolutely necessary to supplement the want of staple food. I feel sorry for the general public, as all fish will got to some of the rich people, if things are left as they are at present."
Along the coast of MITANI and GAMAGORI, vendors are active, and the competition in speculative purchases aiming at citizens and rich people is conspicuous. Fishermen are now glad to see this wave of high pries which will continue at least until the end of this year. However, prices are expected to settle down somewhere between official and black market prices sooner or later. (Picture shows a scene in active ATSUTA fish market.)
ITEM 2 Soldiers Relief Society Opens Village for War sufferers - Asahi Shimbun - 27 November. Translator: Y. AAkabane.
On 1 December, 500 tenants will move into SHOWRA-KYO, a village for families of war sufferers, sponsored by the TOKYO branch of the Soldiers Relief Society. Covering an area of 97,944 tsubo in the town of SHOWA, KITATAMA-gun, the SHOWA-KYO has an employment office, work houses, nursery, a young men's continuation school, a clinic, a market, a hotel, and dining hall operated under the ration system. The buildings within site cover 11,672 tsudo and are devided into the following five groups:
Dormitory area: Buildings in this area are to be opened from 1 December, including 13 blocks for families and 10 blocks for bachelors. Each block consists of 14 rooms of 20 mats each and two rooms of six mats each. Besides, each house will have a vegetable garden of 10 tsubo as well as a kitchen and storeroom. Applications are being taken at ward offices and those now living in "dugout" shacks, homeless persons and students are given preference.

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SOCIAL SERIES: 44 (Continued)

ITEM 2 (Continued)
Residential area: There are 100 houses each with two rooms of eight and six mats and 72 houses each with two rooms of six and four and one half mats, 18 of which are now vacant and will he rented next month after repairs have been completed. The rent will he two yen for each mat for both areas.
Employment office area: After repairing lecture halls and exercise rooms of the former workers training school, welfare arrangements for bereaved families will be made by establishing sections for wood working, embroidary, sewing and agriculture.
Headquarters area: One building including 59 rooms each with 30 mats will be used for lodgings of bereaved families and war sufferers coming to TOKYO. Two other buildings will be used as lodgings for students and for office space.
Special area: Here all welfare arrangements will be made, such as young men's school continuation, markets for daily necessities, distribution depot and a clinic. In addition, a work house and a nursery for the benefit of wives and a dining hall for bachelors will be included

Additional projects including an electric public bath, will be opened, and over 70,000 tsubo of cultivated land will be utilized for farms and pastures. Milling, baking, coal mining, and lumbering are under consideration as possible work for the center. A budget of approximately 1,700,000 yen has been set up as the project for this year.
ITEM 1 Vegetable and Fish Prices in TOKUSHIMA in Confusion. No Definite Policies decided on by Local Government - Asahi Shimbun - 28 November. Translator: K. MINAGI.
A meeting for discussing the steps to be taken by the TOKUSHIMA Prefectural authorities after the abolition of controls and official prices of vegetable and fish, was held on the 19th at the Fish Distribution Association in the Prefectural Office.
There were official attendants from The Marine, Forestry, Economic, Social, Commercial and Industrial Sections. It was decided that, as there is not yet any detailed information from the government to the Prefecture, definite measures will be taken after such a dispatch arrives. It came out at the meeting that the method of shipment and the prices of vegetables and fish will not be clear for some time.
All TOKUSHIMA people are interested in the free prices and they invariably discuss the new prices. Tandarines, for instance, which used to cost one yen for two or three, are now cheap and four or five cost one yen.
Fish shipment to TOKUSHIMA Fish Market on the 19th was: Lobster, 30 Shrimp, 110 kan; Cuttle Fish, 7 kan; Shark, 2 kan; HAMO (TN Sea-eel, conger-eel), 60 kan.
The prices quoted per kan were: HAMO, 40 yen; SHARK, 30 yen; Cuttle Fish, 20 yen; Lobster, 90 yen, Shrimp, 22 yen 50 yen.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 44 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
The prices were too high for general consumption and consequently there was not much distribution within TOKUSHIMA City. Even Cuttle fish, the cheapest item, costs four times as much as the official price. Comparison between association Prices and market Quotations and Official Prices (TN. A.P. — association Prices. O.P. — Official Price. M.P. — Market Prices.)
A.P M.P. O.P.
Lobser 100 Yen 90 Yen 17 Yen 80 Sen
Shark 40 " 40 " 5 " 10 "
Cuttle Fish 20 " 20 " 5 " 45 "
Shrimp 35 " 22 " 50 Sen 8 " 79 "
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0044, 1945-11-26.
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