5 OCTOBER 1934, Page 2

Why Japan Undersells The problems, industrial, social and military, presented

by Japan in her -present state of evolution, are of vital importance to almost every country in the world, and The Spectator hopes shortly. to publish a series of articles on them by a special invest igator now in Tokyo. Mean- while, the complexity of some of the prOblefrisis arrestingly demonstrated by a, report just issued from the pen of M. Fernand Maurefte, Assistant-Director of the Inter- national Labour Office. He states, surprisingly, that in the factorieS, responsible 'for more than 99 per cent. of Japan's textile exports the hours worked do not, with few exceptions, exceed those prescribed in the unratified Washington Hours Convention. Wages are very low, to match the standard of living, rationalization has been carried far, and girls are to be found supervising anything up to 40, or even 60, looms. Japanese workers • themselves seem to be concerned at the effect on world- peace of what they regard as unfair attacks on Japanese competition. When goods produced under two standards of life so different as those of Lancashire and Osaka are in competition in neutral markets the problem raised is very nearly insoluble. No solution, other than a quota agreement, so far unattainable, has been suggested yet.

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