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5th August 1945

The director of the Catholic school in Gora confessed to me that they were living on a day to day basis. What made things worse, he said, was that most of the members of his community were over 60 and received less rations than the ordinary man. He is not fooling himself; he has already bought a cemetery patch nearby.

The Japanese press itself has no illusions. Concluding a series of articles on the war the Yomiuri declares that “frankly speaking, the future of the food problem is very serious.” It makes the following recommendations:

An outright government monopoly of rice and wheat;

Redistribution of factories for the processing of starch (at present they are concentrated in areas like Chiba and Kagoshima);

Cessation of competition among the army, the navy, and the agriculture ministry (representing civilian consumers).

The Yomiuri also thinks it strange that mulberry trees should still cover enough land to grow six to seven million koku of sweet potatoes and wheat. “There can be no question of clothes at a time when there is about to be no food.”

“All in all,” the Yomiuri summarizes it up, “the food problem lies in the psychological attitude of each and everyone in the country. Some persons say that they cannot fight on an empty stomach. But they are the ones who would not be able to fight on a full stomach either.”

A lighter note: Futabayama, the sumo grand champion, is now employed by the state railways. Together with some 20 apprentices he will entertain railway employees with wrestling exhibitions. “We are also ready to carry heavy luggage,” says Futabayama