Socio-Economic History

Vol. 82, No. 4

Juro TERANISHI, Religious foundations of economic systems: an historical comparative study between Japan and England

This paper conducts a comparative historical study of the impacts on economic behavior and economic systems of changes in religions in Japan and England. In England the religious reform in the form of the introduction of Protestantism led the people to be involved in one-to-one dialogue with God, weakening concerns over others nearby, and gave rise to an ethic that promoted contributing to public welfare in order to enhance the glory of God. This resulted in the emergence of a supply-leading economic system, supplying consumption goods to the mass of anonymous people. In Japan, the reform, the birth of Kamakura Buddhism, took the form of easing of religious training in Buddhism, and this raised the value of the secular world as the place for religious practice, inducing the people to be involved in the pursuit of religious truth in their daily occupational lives (kyudo-shugi). The attainment of kyudo-shugi was evaluated by others nearby, and this led to the emergence of production activities in which customers took the role of evaluating the fruits of kyudo-shugi activities. The Japanese system of provision of consumption goods is demand-leading in the sense that a menu of goods is created through close collaboration with customers.


Naoki MOTOUCHI and Takao MATSUMURA, The Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey, Oxford University, 1941-1944

G. D. H. Cole’s Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey (NCSRS) was one of the attempts to overcome the economic, political and social crisis of Britain during WWII. The survey was, unofficially but with official backing, established in February 1941. Oxford economists and statisticians under Cole's initiative coordinated the ‘Nuffield Survey’. For the purpose of reconstruction after the war, many results of the survey were submitted to government agencies such as the Ministry of Reconstruction, the Board of Trades, and the Beveridge Committee etc. However, they were not necessarily well received at the ministry level and the ‘Nuffield Survey’ was pushed aside. The treasury finally stopped the subsidy in 1943. Moreover, the government started its own investigation into post-war reconstruction. On the other hand, Cole organized a ‘private conference’ on reconstruction on weekends throughout the war. This attracted industrialists, trade unionists, politicians, young Keynesian economists and more established academics. They discussed educational reform, the building industry, employment policy and local government reform. By examining both the surveys and the discussions at the conferences, this paper clarifies an overall picture of the NCSRS, which contributed to the creation of post-war reconstruction policies in Britain.


Kosuke SATAKE, Educating engineers in Japanese companies during World War II: focusing on rapid training of ‘engineering employees’ during the Asia-Pacific War

This paper examines characteristics of training programs for ‘engineering employees’ in large companies during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Asia-Pacific War. These programs, which increased in number in 1939, 1942 and 1943, were designed to raise the level of graduates of junior high schools and men's schools run by the enterprises to that of ‘middle class engineering employees’, a level comparable to graduation from higher technical schools.
Although the main impetus for the establishment of such training programs was the shortage of engineers caused by restrictions on employment and the escalation of conscription, the programs were expected to train engineers with skills more directly suited to specific fields of production, in comparison with the more general skills of graduates from universities or technical schools. However, since there were no legal regulations permitting the establishment of independent training programs, the programs received little in the way of official aid for materials and human resources, especially as war conditions worsened.
At the end of the war, the programs changed their focus from training ‘single-skilled’ engineers to reeducating graduates from non-technical schools. After Japan surrendered, most of the companies decided to abolish the programs, as the shortage of engineers and the restrictions on their employment disappeared.


Fusao KATO, The dollar bonds and the London Conference of 1953

The London Conference of 1953, which altered the terms of Germany ̓s relations with the West, dealt with the outstanding German debts owed to governments and banks in France, Britain and the United States, including the ‘dollar bonds’, issued five times between 1925 and 1928, which were an important part of the accumulated German debt resulting from reparation payments from WWI agreed upon in the Versailles Treaty. This paper examines what I refer to as the ‘pre-history’ of the London Conference by providing a detailed examination of the dollar bonds, and what they tell us about the relative roles of Britain, France and the United States. There is no doubt that these financial arrangements deprived Germany of its ability to dominate the Continent during the intra-war period. Financial weakness and dependence on American capital tied Germany to the Western, liberal-capitalist order, and Germany was forced to accept rescue by the United States.
This study focusing on the dollar bonds is based on primary materials in the Berlin-Lichterfelde Archive (Bundesarchiv Berlin). I begin with a survey of German fiscal policies, with particular reference to the dollar bonds. Next, based on the statistical survey made by the German Credit Bank (Deutsche Rentenbank-Kreditanstalt), I examine the reduction in the debt redemption.