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Japan's Economy on the Road Back

Japan's Economy on the Road Back

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Published by: Saif Musabah Saif Al-Mutairi on Mar 08, 2012
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Japan's Economy on the Road BackAuthor(s): Jerome B. CohenReviewed work(s):Source:
Pacific Affairs,
Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 1948), pp. 264-279Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 08/03/2012 11:36
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Japan'sconomyn theRoad Back
Jerome .Cohen
THE
Japaneseconomyn the threeears nderOccupationas
been characterizedytwo basic but divergentrends.hare-and-tortoiseaceeems o be inprogress etweenmountingnflationn theone hand anda slowrevivalf ndustrialctivityn theother. he twoare, of course,n effect iedtogether. heformer endso retard helatter,whilethe agonizingpace of the atterives clearfield o theformer.The heritage f war forny defeated ountrys usuallyperiodofeconomic haosnd nationalmisery. anyof theproblemshichhave loomed argen Japan uringhepastthree years ave theiroots eepin wartimeislocations. ocite but a fewexamples, oaloutputwas
bound o suffereverely,hetherurrenderame n
945
or n
947,
because ofthe suicidal under-maintenancef the minesduring thewar.' The veryactof surrenderausedsharpdrop noutput s a re-sultof the voidn theminingaborforce eftythedepartingoreanand Chineseminerswhohadbeenmpressedntowartime abor erv-ice. Thedeliberateannibalizationfequipmentnconsumeroodsindustriesmade inevitablegraveackoffacilities ndofsupplynthe mmediateostwar eriod.Themountingotessuend thegrow-ingusemadeof centralankcreditythecommercialanks,duringthe lastyearofthewar, gaverisetoa certainegreeofinflation,t-tendant pontheooseningfcontrolsithhecollapsefgovernmentprestigendauthorityponsurrender.Theprobablepostwarconomicdislocations esultantromtheseandotheractorsereevidentnd foreseeable.heymighthavebeencontainedndmitigatedyawise and effectivexercise f basiceco-nomic controlsverprices,wages, governmentxpenditures,ankcredit, upplies,tc.Thevery greatandabsolute centralization f
1
See KeiHoashi,NihonSangyoFukko-EnoMichi (Road tothe RehabilitationfJapaneseIndustry), hinsohuppansha,okyo,
947,
p.I63.
264
 
Japan's conomyn theRoadBackauthorityntheOccupationfJapannd tsponsorshipfaseriesfadmirableasicreformsightaveed onetoexpect qual aptitudein the fieldofeconomic tabilization.ut theearlyeluctancefSCAPtointervenen this rea, nd thencompetencefsuccessiveJapaneseabinets, roduced nadministrativeumbling hich,fanything,ccentuatedhe dislocationsnd impaired ecoveryffortsprovidedn otherields yfactorsuch s food nd rawmaterialm-ports.WhiletatisticiansttachedoAlliedHeadquartersSCAP)measureconsumerricesymeans f n ndexavingugust946-March
947
as abase, herebyutwardly inimizingrice ncreases,therndicesare availablewhichoint ptherendnmore ealisticashion.heTokyo hamberfCommercendndustryurveyfegaletailrices
in Tokyo,with
1930
asioo, stoodt9,965 nMarch
948.
Between he
endofthewar nd March
948,
thendexadrisen
,2I3
points.heChamber'sndexoffree nd black-marketrices n Tokyo,havingNovember
945
asa base,toodt 538tthendof he irstuarterf
i948.
The Bank fJapanurveyfTokyo wholesalerices
I933
=
Ioo)rose from84 in
I945
to
9,480
in
I948.
Itssurvey f Tokyo free nd
black-marketricesSeptember
945
=
ioo)
roseo
6ii
by the nd ofthefirstuarterf
948.
Its ndex fblack-marketrices fproducers'goods August
947
=
ioo)
reached
73
inMarch
948.
Other ndicescouldecited. he trends clear.2The causesfthenflation,houghumerous,reequally pparent.Foright earshere asbeenveryeverehortagefonsumeroods.Forthree earsndustrialroductionasbeenwhollynadequate,m-ports f industrialaw materialsnsufficient,rice ontrolnefficient,wagecontrolacking. inally, overnmentxpendituresavecon-sistentlyxceededevenues,esultingnasharpncreasenBankofJapanotesn circulation.n
I945
taxrevenues ere 6percent fbudgetppropriations;n
I946,
only
i
perent;n
947, 3I
per ent;while,n thefiscalear ndingMarch
I,
I948,
thegovernmenteficitreachedhe stronomicaliguref
29.6
billionen.nMarch
945
theJapaneseationalebtutstandingasi5obillionen. ythendof
2
For amore extendediscussion ee Fluctuationf Commodityrices,WagesandCost ofLivingDuring
947,
compiled ytheResearchection,ffice ftheDirector-General,conomicStabilizationoard,Tokyo, ebruary
2,
I948,
especially .
Io.
265

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