Business-Government Relations in Prewar Japan (Routledge by Peter von Staden

By Peter von Staden

For the enterprise and govt dating in Japan, the pre-war interval used to be an period of substantial swap. Framed via Japan’s nation-building efforts, the connection tailored and developed with the usually fluid fiscal and political situations. As either company and executive had vested pursuits within the course and good fortune of Japan’s industrialization procedure, on one point they grew to become companions. even as, although, they have been either stakeholders within the fiercely aggressive iron and metal undefined.

This booklet explores how that partner-competitor courting labored through the amalgamation of this strategic from 1916 to 1934, demonstrating how either events engaged in significant negotiation throughout the open discussion board of the Shingikai - or Councils of Deliberation - through the pre-war interval. Drawing upon the unique mins of the debates, it indicates the ways that the members defended their vested pursuits and sought to forge contract, taking the discussion board heavily as a way of influencing results, and never easily as a trifling workout of artifice deployed to shroud the true locus of decision-making.

Business-Government family in Prewar Japan is a vital contribution to the literature at the courting among govt and company in pre-war Japan.

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As Peter Duus notes, while the Seiyukai’s ‘members were delighted to have such a prestigious leader . . 9 Frustrated, Ito resigned, passing the reins of power to Saionji Kinmochi, another member of the genro. Through the use of astute political alliances, the Seiyukai soon filled a central role in domestic politics, and it managed to place one of its leaders in every cabinet between 1906 and 1912. Its primary opposition party was the Kenseikai, originally known as the Doshikai. The Doshikai had been formed in 1913 by Katsura Taro – a protégé of the genro Yamagata – and a number of anti-Seiyukai members with the aim of challenging the growing influence of Saionji’s party.

65 What is critical for our purposes here is that, regardless of whether trust exists or not, an ‘understanding’ nevertheless existed between government and business on how to work together. On how this ‘understanding’ was established, Samuels argues that the ‘point of compact’ is critical in framing the relationship between business and government. As he illustrates through comparison with the development of the energy industries in a number of Western countries, there is a crucial point of historical juncture that makes explicit the roles of each actor.

Therefore if there was some blunder committed and Mitsui or Mitsubishi were attacked, these men would probably sympathise and speak up for us behind the scene. But there were no deals. In my time we made no deals with these men. . 38 In addition, as Matsuura Masataka39 points out, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo disliked the participation of their members in political affairs: In reality, the ‘zaibatsu’ had structural power based on large economic strength. For this reason, pre-War politics was closely associated with the zaibatsu which was another term for the business world.

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