Economy of the Empire of Japan

Last updated

The Economy of the Empire of Japan refers to the period in Japanese economic history in Imperial Japan that began with the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and ended with the Surrender of Japan in 1945 at the end of World War II. It was characterized by a period of rapid industrialization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the dominance of a wartime economy from 1938–1945.

Contents

Tokyo Industrial Exhibition, 1907 Tokyo Industrial Exhibition.JPG
Tokyo Industrial Exhibition, 1907

The proto-industrial base

The Tokugawa Japan during a long period of “closed country” autarky between the mid-seventeenth century and the 1850s has achieved a high level of urbanization; well-developed road networks; the channeling of river water flow with embankments and the extensive elaboration of irrigation ditches that supported and encouraged the refinement of rice cultivation based upon improving seed varieties, fertilizers and planting methods especially in the Southwest with its relatively long growing season; the development of proto-industrial (craft) production by merchant houses in the major cities like Osaka and Edo and its diffusion to rural areas after 1700; and the promotion of education and population control among both the military elite (the samurai) and the well-to-do peasantry in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. [1]

At the time, Japan’s agricultural productivity was high enough to sustain substantial craft (proto-industrial) production in both rural and urban areas of the country prior to industrialization. [1]

Fukoku Kyohei: 1868–1887

Policies

A 1-yen banknote, 1881 Jingusatsu 1881.jpg
A 1-yen banknote, 1881

The official government entities that guided the Japanese national economy were the Economy and Finance Ministry, the Bank of Japan, and the Industry and Commerce Ministry. For military spending, there was the Navy Ministry and the Ministry of the Army.

Domestic investment

Domestic investment in industry and infrastructure was the driving force behind growth in Japanese output. Both private and public sectors invested in infrastructure, national and local governments serving as coordinating agents for infrastructure build-up.

Finance

Private Banking

The Ministry of Finance created the Bank of Japan in 1882, laying the foundations for a private banking system backed up a lender of last resort.

The Noguchi Family made their principal investments in banking, commerce, and industry in Korea during the Japanese occupation. With their funds, the zaibatsu and the Japanese government founded the Bank of Chosen, the central banking institution in the province, which was linked with the Central Bank of Manchou.

Infrastructure and Manufacturing Expand: 1887–1938

Infrastructure

Groundbreaking ceremony of Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, 1925. Groundbreaking ceremony of Tokyo Underground Railway 2.jpg
Groundbreaking ceremony of Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, 1925.

Monies

Industrial sector

YearCoal production
(tonnes)
1875600,000
18851,200,000
18955,000,000
190513,000,000
191321,300,000
YearLength of train track
(mi)
187218
1883240
1887640
18942,100
19044,700
19147,100
Year(s)Annual average raw silk production / export
(tonnes)
1868–18721,026 / 646
18831,682 / 1347
1889–18934,098 / 2,444
1899–19037,103 / 4,098
1909–191412,460 / 9,462

In 1893 naval construction was in the range 177,000 to 1,528,000 tonnes. In 1913 this increased to 3,565,000 tonnes. In 1924 with 237 500-tonnes vessels and 11 10,000-tonnes and reaching 4,140,000 tonnes in 1928. The Japanese Navy was third in the world behind British and American Navies and dominated the West Pacific area before the war. The first modern Shipyard was built in 1891, and since then naval construction rapidly advanced. Japanese boats of more than 100 tonnes represented a total registered tonnage of 5,007,000 tonnes out of 1,198,000 corresponding to naval construction of 1936–1938. This put Japan in third place between maritime powers, a notable realization in such a short time. The old vessels were destroyed or disarmed which is why the regular fleet was efficient and modern. Without a scarcity of petrol at the time, many of these modern vessels were designed for that energy source.

YearNumber of steamships
187326
1894169
1904797
19131,514

Military industry

Forestry

Local forestry represented a production of 14,000,000 meters of wood with a value of ¥75,000,000, a total value of ¥50,000,000 in cut wood, ¥3,000,000 in bamboo and other secondary wood products for a total value of ¥100,000,000. The local forests covered 200,000 km2, 90,000 km2 under State administration or Imperial Family reserves. And, taking part in scientific forest research during the latter years. Coal of wood was valued at 100,000,000 yen. Sugi (Cryptomeria) represented a quarter of the total quantity, Pine more than 20% in quantity and value and the Hinoki (Chamaecyparis Obtusa) only 1/4% of quantity, but more than 9% in value.

Despite many forests and their importance, Japan continued to buy wood overseas. In accordance with the other dates, Japan had 200,000 km2 of forest, 100,000 km2 in private hands, the other 75,000 km2 in state control and 12,000 km2 owned by the Imperial House. Wood exports were made to the rest of the Japanese empire and to foreign markets.

Paper and cellulose industry

Since ancient times, Japan has manufactured assorted paper types by hand. A modern mechanized industry appeared in 1872 and became one of the most important industries in the nation. The total production was about 1,000,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard. cellulose paste, the principal prime material, was made in Shikoku, Hokkaidō and Karafuto. The Cellulose production resulted in 8% of U.S. manufacture; the Cellulose industry in Japan developed in Shikoku, North Honshū, Hokkaidō, Chosen, Manchukuo and Karafuto. In Karafuto was the Shiretoru Cellulose Factory, the most advanced installation dedicated to the cellulose industry in all of East Asia. The first place where European-type paper was manufactured in Japan was in the city of Shikuka. Additionally, to complement this local production, these products were sold in Canada and the United States of America.

Fishing

The important Okhotsk fisheries had a value of ¥50 million. Other fisheries in Chosen, Karafuto, South Mandate and Formosa came to ¥122,000,000 and ¥358,000,000 from Japan proper, for a total of ¥480,000,000 (1938 figures). Secondary products from fishing had a value of ¥150 million to ¥200 million. (From another source, fishing values were of ¥235,000,000 and ¥275,000,000 from 1919 to 1913, more than the British.)

In 1932, Japan invested $550,000,000 in Korea, along with $320,000,000 in 1938. This investment produced a return of 400% in industrial monetary value. In the fishing industry, Japan extracted a value of $20,000,000 annually, comprising 15% of world fishing volumes at the time.

Coastal fishing represented 61% of the total value, with a fleet of 364,260 small boats, of which 20% had engines; the rest were sailing boats. High seas fishing represented 28% of the industry, with whaling, coral and pearl collecting and pisciculture on land making up the rest. The high seas vessels operated in the North Pacific area (Alaska coasts), to the South Pacific. During Japanese administration, the fishing in the Kwantung leased territory was 61,000 tonnes.

In 1938, the fish factory vessels packed 204,000,000 packages of crab and 370 packages of sea salmon. In the same year, four whale hunting vessels fished in the waters around the Antarctic. Factories were built in Chisima, Hokkaidō, Karafuto, Taiwan, Chosen, Kyūshū, Shikoku and other coastal areas to process fish products.

The Japanese and Russian oil wells, in the same oil zone, were strictly controlled to ensure equitable exploitation. The pits stayed in direct connection with the Moskalvo port on the west coast of Ohka through a network of oil pipelines.

In 1925, the Soviet Government granted Japan petroliferous and carbonaceous concessions in North Sakhalin to Mitsubishi, Itoh-Korada, Mitsui and other Japanese Companies for a period of 45 years. By Protocols and agreements signed in Moscow in May 1944, these concessions expired 26 years before the accorded time in 1970, while a new Japanese-Russian accord over fishing conventions agreed to the formal retirement of some Japanese fisheries in the Far East to Japanese concessors, the right of Soviet Organizations to buy annually and for auction 10% of Japanese fish shares, and a supplementary payment in gold for Japanese owners.

When modifying these fishing conventions in 1928, according to the activities of Soviet Fishing Organizations, citizens were subject to substantial reductions. The Japanese-Russian accord of March 1944 cancelled all restrictions previously observed.

Japanese subjects and foreigners were banned from fishing in certain maritime zones in the Far East under an agreement made with the Soviet Government in July 1941. The Japanese Government also guaranteed that fishing rights on the East Coast of Kamchatka and Olyutorsk were not taken up by the Japanese.[ citation needed ]

Others

Other significant industries were chemicals (30%) along with metal and machinery (10%) with a total 1,000,000 of workers in these areas, plus woodworking, textiles, foods, and handicrafts.

Wartime Economy: 1938–1945

Assembly work at Nakajima-Handa, 20 September 1944 Assembly work at Nakajima-Handa.jpg
Assembly work at Nakajima-Handa, 20 September 1944

Use of occupied territories

From 1937, during the Japanese military occupation of territories in China, they controlled certain mineral deposits in those areas. They fall into three sectors:

Deposits of tungsten, tin and manganese, also.

Military occupation of South East Asia by Japanese forces added further resources and strategic locations.

In total or partial control:

Due to the great transportation distances, the frequent sinking of Japanese merchant vessels, the downing of transport aircraft, guerrilla and local resistance movements' strikes against mines, centers and transport lines as well as allied aerial attacks against occupied areas and colonial administrative difficulties in managing these large territories outside Japan, the Japanese Empire could not take advantage of these natural resources and many mineral exports were not available to Japanese markets and industries during the Pacific War.

Demography

In 1914, the Japanese birth rate stood at 15%, close to that of Germany or Russia, slightly lower than Java (Dutch Indies) at 22%. There was a reduction to 13.6% in 1924. For example, in Japan proper there were 157 inhabitants per km2, and HokkaidoHonshu? had 184 residents in per km2 (cf. Java, which had 274).

In 1925, the population grew by 875,000 per year, in 1926 by 900,000, in 1927 this number grew to 1,000,000. In the next four years, the annual increase in population averaged 900,000, but in 1932–1940 the net growth was more than 1,000,000 per year, a rate which would double the population in 40 years. Japan imported 10% of the food for this population.[ citation needed ]

In 1936, Japan had 30.3 births per 1,000 residents and 17.5 deaths per 1,000. The net increase in population was 1,028,623 in 1935, but notably reduced to 653,000 in 1939 and 239,000 in 1940. Among the great countries, the birth average of Japan immediately followed British India (34.9) and was double that of the United States (16.7). This was accompanied by a growth in rice production between 1880–1940 of 60 million koku (300 million bushels).[ citation needed ]

These programs were guided by Katsuko Tojo, General Tojo's wife. She said wives should have seven children and suggested this should be the correct Japanese mother. This included participation by the central government, as she suggested creating one program for increasing the number of marriages.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Economy of Manchukuo

This article looks at the economies of Manchukuo and Mengjiang, in the period 1931-1945. The effective Japanese annexation of 1931 led to a colonial system. Japan invested in heavy industry, and to a lesser extent, agriculture.

Siberian natural resources refers to resources found in Russian Siberia, in the North Asian Mainland. The Siberian region is rich in resources, including coal, oil and metal ores

This article covers the development of the industry in the Empire of Japan, during the rise of statism in the first part of the Shōwa era.

Mining in Japan

Mining in Japan is minimal because Japan does not possess many on-shore mineral resources. Many of the on-shore minerals have already been mined to the point that it has become less expensive to import minerals. There are small deposits of coal, oil, iron and minerals in the Japanese archipelago. Japan is scarce in critical natural resources and has been heavily dependent on imported energy and raw materials. There are major deep sea mineral resources in the seabed of Japan. This is not mined yet due to technological obstacles for deep sea mining.

The mining industry in India is a major economic activity which contributes significantly to the economy of India. The GDP contribution of the mining industry varies from 2.2% to 2.5% only but going by the GDP of the total industrial sector it contributes around 10% to 11%. Even mining done on small scale contributes 6% to the entire cost of mineral production. Indian mining industry provides job opportunities to around 700,000 individuals.

Mining in Brazil is centered on the extraction of iron, copper, gold, aluminum, manganese, tin, niobium, and nickel. About gemstones, Brazil is the world's largest producer of amethyst, topaz, agate and is a big producer of tourmaline, emerald, aquamarine, garnet and opal.

Drakelands Mine Tungsten and tin mine in Devon, England

Drakelands Mine, formerly known as Hemerdon Mine or the Hemerdon Ball or Hemerdon Bal Mine, is a tungsten and tin mine. It is located 11 km northeast of Plymouth, near Plympton, in Devon, England. It lies to the north of the villages of Sparkwell and Hemerdon and adjacent to the large china clay pits near Lee Moor. The mine was out of operation since 1944, except for the brief operation of a trial mine in the 1980s. Work started to re-open it in 2014, but it ceased activities in 2018. It hosts the fourth largest tin-tungsten deposit in the world. A new company, Tungsten West, now plan to re open the mine in 2022, after investing to alter the processing plant. A ground up review lead to the recognition that the ore is not in fact Wolframite, but is in fact a related ore, Ferberite, and changes were needed to improve extraction efficiencies. In addition, a subsidiary will enhance the mine with aggregate sales as a by product of mining.

The mining of minerals in Nigeria accounts for only 0.3% of its gross domestic product, due to the influence of its vast oil resources. The domestic mining industry is underdeveloped, leading to Nigeria having to import minerals that it could produce domestically, such as salt or iron ore. Rights to ownership of mineral resources is held by the Federal government of Nigeria, which grants titles to organizations to explore, mine, and sell mineral resources. Organized mining began in 1903 when the Mineral Survey of the Northern Protectorates was created by the British colonial government. A year later, the Mineral Survey of the Southern Protectorates was founded. By the 1940s, Nigeria was a major producer of tin, columbite, and coal. The discovery of oil in 1956 hurt the mineral extraction industries, as government and industry both began to focus on this new resource. The Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s led many expatriate mining experts to leave the country. Mining regulation is handled by the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, which oversees the management of all mineral resources. Mining law is codified in the Federal Minerals and Mining Act of 1999. Historically, Nigeria's mining industry was monopolized by state-owned public corporations. This led to a decline in productivity in almost all mineral industries. The Obasanjo administration began a process of selling off government-owned corporations to private investors in 1999. The Nigerian Mining Industry has picked up since the "Economic Diversification Agenda", from Oil & Gas, to Agriculture, Mining, etc., began in the country.

The mineral industry of Kazakhstan is one of the most competitive and fastest growing sectors of the country. Kazakhstan ranks second to Russia among the countries of the CIS in its quantity of mineral production. It is endowed with large reserves of a wide range of metallic ores, industrial minerals, and fuels, and its metallurgical sector is a major producer of a large number of metals from domestic and imported raw materials. In 2005, its metal mining sector produced bauxite, chromite, copper, iron, lead, manganese, and zinc ores, and its metallurgical sector produced such metals as beryllium, bismuth, cadmium, copper, ferroalloys, lead, magnesium, rhenium, steel, titanium, and zinc. The country produced significant amounts of other nonferrous and industrial mineral products, such as alumina, arsenic, barite, gold, molybdenum, phosphate rock, and tungsten. The country was a large producer of mineral fuels, including coal, natural gas, oil, and uranium. The country's economy is heavily dependent on the production of minerals. Output from Kazakhstan's mineral and natural resources sector for 2004 accounted for 74.1% of the value of industrial production, of which 43.1% came from the oil and gas condensate extraction. In 2004, the mineral extraction sector accounted for 32% of the GDP, employed 191,000 employees, and accounted for 33.1% of capital investment and 64.5% of direct foreign investment, of which 63.5% was in the oil sector. Kazakhstan's mining industry is estimated at US$29.5 billion by 2017.

The mineral industry of Russia is one of the world's leading mineral industries and accounts for a large percentage of the Commonwealth of Independent States' production of a range of mineral products, including metals, industrial minerals, and mineral fuels. In 2005, Russia ranked among the leading world producers or was a significant producer of a vast range of mineral commodities, including aluminum, arsenic, cement, copper, magnesium compounds and metals, nitrogen, palladium, silicon, nickel and vanadium.

Natural resource economics the supply, demand, and allocation of the Earths natural resources

Natural resource economics deals with the supply, demand, and allocation of the Earth's natural resources. One main objective of natural resource economics is to better understand the role of natural resources in the economy in order to develop more sustainable methods of managing those resources to ensure their availability for future generations. Resource economists study interactions between economic and natural systems, with the goal of developing a sustainable and efficient economy.

Resources are classified as either biotic or abiotic on the basis of their origin. The Indian landmass contains a multitude of both types of resources and its economy, especially in rural areas, is heavily dependent on their consumption or export. Due to overconsumption, they are rapidly being depleted.

Mining in the United Kingdom

Mining in the United Kingdom produces a wide variety of fossil fuels, metals, and industrial minerals due to its complex geology. In 2013, there were over 2,000 active mines, quarries, and offshore drilling sites on the continental land mass of the United Kingdom producing £34bn of minerals and employing 36,000 people.

Mining in Bolivia

Mining in Bolivia has been a dominant feature of the Bolivian economy as well as Bolivian politics since 1557. Colonial era silver mining in Bolivia, particularly in Potosí, played a critical role in the Spanish Empire and the global economy. Tin mining supplanted silver by the twentieth century and the central element of Bolivian mining, and wealthy tin barons played an important role in national politics until they were marginalized by the industry's nationalization into the Bolivian Mining Corporation that followed the 1952 revolution. Bolivian miners played a critical part to the country's organized labor movement from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Metal production in Ukraine

Metal production, in particular iron and steel industry, is the dominant heavy industry in Ukraine. Ukraine is the world's eighth largest producer and third largest exporter of iron and steel (2007). Ukrainian iron and steel industry accounts for around 2% of worldwide crude steel output, 5% to 6% of the national gross domestic product and 34% of Ukrainian export revenue. In 2007 it employed 420,000 people – 10% of industrial labor and 2% of the total workforce. It has the highest, by a wide margin, revealed comparative advantage of all branches of the Ukrainian economy. The industry peaked at 42.8 million tonnes in 2007 but has been gravely affected by the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and declined to 29.8 million tonnes in 2009.

Natural resources are abundant in Kosovo. Kosovo is mainly rich in lignite and mineral resources such as: coal, zinc, lead, silver and chromium but also productive agricultural land. Kosovo is also rich in forests, rivers, mountains and soil; Kosovo is especially rich in coal, being aligned among European countries as the third with the largest coal reserves. Kosovo possesses around 14,700 billion tons of lignite in reserves, which aligns Kosovo as the country with the fifth largest lignite reserves in the world.

Mining in North Korea is important to the country's economy. North Korea is naturally abundant in metals such as magnesite, zinc, tungsten, and iron; with magnesite resources of 6 billion tonnes, particularly in the North and South Hamgyong Province and Chagang Province. However, often these cannot be mined due to the acute shortage of electricity in the country, as well as the lack of proper tools to mine these materials and an antiquated industrial base. Coal, iron ore, limestone, and magnesite deposits are larger than other mineral commodities. Mining joint ventures with other countries include China, Canada, Egypt, and South Korea.

Mining industry of Morocco

The mining industry of Morocco is important to the national economy. Morocco is the world's largest producer of phosphate, and contains about 75% of the world's estimated reserves. Mining contributed up to 35% of exports and 5% of GDP in 2011. Foreign investors have found the investment climate, the infrastructure, fiscal situation, and political stability very favorable to continue business in the country in this sector.

Economy of Ashanti

The Ashanti economy refers to the economy of Ashanti Region in southern Ghana. It is largely self-sufficient, being driven by its service sector as well as by natural resources, being one of the world's top 10 largest gold-producers, and the second largest cocoa producer. The Ashanti region is also known for its production of manganese, bauxite and agricultural commodities such as cocoa and yam, with the region having low levels of taxation and without much need for foreign direct investment. The Ashanti region's industrial sector is characterised primarily by aerospace with automotive manufacturing and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (25.2%), manufacturing (10.5%), other service activities (6.3%) and accommodation and food service activities (6.0%). The Ashanti region spans an area of 24,389 km2, and according to the 2000 census, the region had a population of 3,612,950, most of whom (94.2%) were ethnic Akans, of whom 82.9% were ethnic Ashanti. The capital of the region is Kumasi, which with a population of 2,069,350 as of 2013 represents a high level of urbanisation within the state.

Mining in Malaysia

Mining is one of the main industries in Malaysia. Malaysia produces aggregate, bauxite, clay, coal, copper, feldspar, gold, gravel, ilmenite, iron ore, kaolin, limestone, mica, monazite, sand, silica sand, struverite and tin.

References

  1. 1 2 Carl Mosk. "Japanese Industrialization and Economic Growth". eh.net. Retrieved July 29, 2020.