Shuhei KODAMA, The history of inter-regional economic relationships in the prewar Japanese Empire: an introduction
This special issue builds on earlier studies on the economy of the colonies and occupied territories of the Japanese Empire, especially on Kazuo HORI’s study on the establishment of the spatial division of labor, capital and resources within the empire from a macro point of view. HORI's work discussed the clashes between the interests of the Japan home territories and the colonies as well as rivalries between the colonies and occupied territories. These rivalries took place within a framework characterized by governing bodies in the colonies and occupied territories that were relatively independent from the home government. That independence became more pronounced through the “indirect” rule of local administrations after the Manchurian Incident. Moreover, the limited extent of relationships between the governance institutions of the different colonies and territories made it difficult to coordinate interests in cases where (1) there was international competition and (2) when there were conflicts of regional interests. In this special issue, such conflicts of interest are referred to as “rivalry”. KODAMA's paper examines the subject of industrial salt. It is followed by a paper written by HIRAI that focuses on conflicts of regional interests in the inter-colonial sugar industry. Using rail transport in Manchukuo, TAKEUCHI's paper suggests that the expansion of the market with the establishment of Manchukuo relaxed the “rivalry”.
Shuhei KODAMA, The demand for industrial salt in the Japanese Empire
The development of the Japanese soda manufacturing industry led to an increase in the demand for industrial salt. However, in the 1920s domestic sources of salt were limited, and the spatial division of labor, capital and resources within the empire had not yet developed to a point where Japan could procure sufficient quantities of industrial salt from its colonies. Therefore, Japanese companies turned to imports to acquire high quality but relatively inexpensive supplies from distant sources outside the empire, which inevitably strengthened trade relationships with European powers. One of the other chief sources of supply was the Changlu salt field in North China. However, those fields too were under the influence of Great Britain, and that condition continued even though Japanese influence in North China increased in the mid-1930s. Such heavy dependence for salt supplies on these various sources made it difficult for to develop the spatial division of labor, capital and resources within the empire until WWII.
Kensuke HIRAI, Division and confrontation in economic relationships within Japan’s empire: a case study of the sugar industry
This article clarifies the characteristics of economic relationships within Japan’s empire by focusing on the sugar industry. Previous research has shown that Japan adopted an import substitution policy, which not only expanded the division between Japan and the colonies, but also that among the colonies. This paper makes the following three points and concludes that the expansion of the division of labor, capital and resources between Japan and the colonies came at the expense of conflicts among the colonies. First, the sugar industry was established in all of the colonies because it suited both “home interest” (import substitution) and each colony’s “colonial interest” (economic development). The production of sugar in the colonies increased rapidly which led to the achievement of “home interest”. Second, although the achievement of import substitution inevitably caused the “home interest” to shift from import substitution to restriction in production, neither the government nor the sugar industry’s cartel was able to make such adjustments. Third, restriction in production, therefore, had to be achieved by seeking the cooperation of each colony, but this impacted their economic development. The colonies were not willing to cooperate, insisting on the validity of their own “regional interest”, which resulted in confrontation among the colonies.
Yusuke TAKEUCHI, The Manchukuo market from the point of view of cargo transportation involving joint carriers on the Mantetsu railroad
This paper examines two questions: first, the relationship between the territorial expansion of the Japanese empire and the founding of Manchukuo, and second, changes in the relationship between markets in the territory that was already part of the land granted to the South Manchuria Railway (Mantetsu) and markets in areas in the newly established Manchukuo state. The paper, which uses statistics on cargo transportation, shows that territorial expansion did not lead to expansion of the imperial market. The Manchurian market for goods from the Japanese empire was basically a market along the Mantetsu line. Second, there were no conspicuous changes in the relationship between the markets along the Mantetsu line before and after the establishment of Manchukuo. However, during the wartime period, vertical relations between the two areas were strengthened, with the areas along the rail line supplying industrial goods while Manchukuo supplied primary commodities. During the war, the relationship between Manchukuo and the Japanese empire weakened as a result of the decline in the export of soybeans. At the same time, closer relations between the two areas led to the construction of a more self-sufficient Manchukuo economic structure.
Kenshiro MATSUMOTO，Associations for public works in Edo and the daimyo: a study on associations for sewerage and road construction
This paper explores the development of urban order in Edo through an examination of the associations for public works organized for the operation and maintenance of urban infrastructure. Our case study examines the Associations for Sewerage and Road Construction in the Azabu area where the Choshu domain had one of its residences. The former association was established under the control of the shogunate and was set up to share the expenses of service provision. It eventually became the responsible agent for urban infrastructure. The latter association was established to deal with financial problems among the Tokugawa retainers and townsmen. Although road construction was, in principal, originally left to the voluntary work of residents, who were expected to use their own resources, this system faced difficulties in the late 18th century. The shogunate therefore decided to organize an association, calling on daimyo to cooperate. Before long the daimyo began to act independently and take charge of a larger area of land for roads. At the time the costs of public works provision were shared among members of the associations, based on their relative status. As a result, the provision of urban services was increasingly dependent on the way the daimyo households behaved as superiors in rank among the urban residents.
Yoshihiro TAGA, Introduction of silver for tax payment in 19th-century Vietnam
This paper explores the introduction of silver for tax payment and its social and economic consequences in 19th-century Vietnam. With the establishment of the Nguyễn dynasty in 1802, use of silver was gradually extended to fiscal management including tax payment. Until the mid-19th century, while land tax and poll tax of the ethnic majority were paid in kind or in Chinese style coins, tax imposed on silver mines, inland custom and port duties, and poll tax for ethnic minorities (Chinese and some ethnic groups in the mountains) were paid in silver. To secure the tax collection by silver, it was important to stablize the exchange ratio between silver and Chinese style coins, which were the most prevalent currencies in 19th-century Vietnam. From the 1820s, there was severe fluctuation in the exchange ratio between these two currencies , with the price of silver vis-a-vis that of Chinese style coins appreciating rapidly. Such an appreciation of the price of silver led to an increase in the tax burden. As a result, the central government either had to permit the use of Chinese style coins in making tax payments or revise the offical exchange rate of silver used in tax payments in favor of the tax payer.
Daisuke NAKAGAWA, Yunnan salt administration reforms under the Republic of China's Beiyang government
This study examines the salt administration reforms attempted in Yunnan by the Beiyang government. Under pressure from the major world powers that had signed reorganization loans, the reforms gathered momentum after earning the approval of the Salt Revenue Administration. In Yunnan Province, after the provincial government gained independence from the Beiyang government, the Yunnan Salt Revenue Administration was proactive regarding reform. The reforms aimed to improve salt production techniques and facilitate the government’s direct control over production sites. However, salt producers, as well as the Yunnan Salt Commissioner of the provincial government, opposed these policies because the reforms would not only shift the costs of reforming salt production technology and equipment to salt producers but also disrupt some of the sources of the salt producers’ profits. Furthermore, the reforms would limit the privileges enjoyed by salt producers, such as control over mines and receipt of raw materials at salt production sites, and the custom of independent, tax-exempt sale of salt waste products. The local governments that managed salt wells and salt mines depended on salt producers and their guilds, and the provincial government, which supervised these activities, was wary of interference by the Salt Revenue Administration.