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Vocational education and the normal school system
Although established as a part of the vocational education system, the apprentice schools were unable to fulfil their promise because they were forced to supplement the elementary schools, which were handling only about 50 per cent of the educational needs at the time. Although the schools aimed at transforming skill training under the apprenticeship system that was common to the traditional craft technologies to the cultivation of technical skills under a school system, assiduous efforts by highly talented teachers were required to banish the antipathy that "learning is not necessary for craftsmen" (Sato 1982; Toyoda 1982' 1984). Native technology and industries had to be integrated with modernization.
At the turn of the century, Japanese traditional industry started to fluctuate in parallel with the rise and fall of the modern economy, and modern industry soon began to lead the way. The apprentice school was upgraded from the level of a mere supplement to elementary education to middle-school-level vocational-technical continuation school. It was in these schools that the future leaders in local industries received their educations and training (Toyoda 1982).
As the example of the Seto Ceramics School in Seto indicates, it was due to the efforts of vocational school graduates that traditional industry was successful in adopting modern technology, renovating its management, and advancing into new products, thus transforming itself into an export industry.
It has been generally accepted among Japanese scholars that the apprentice schools and technical continuation schools "did not play an important role as a supplementary educational organization for shop workers" or "did not play any role at all."51 However, an examination of traditional industry forces a reversal of this evaluation.
The role of the apprentice and technical continuation schools was important especially in regard to the most urgent problems of development, the diffusion of modern technology, and the modernization of traditional industry - particularly in the areas of agriculture, dyeing, commerce, and local industries.
At the beginning of industrialization, military weapons' and other large factories had to establish their own, on-site technology-training centres because they could not depend on the public schools for technology education.
As I mentioned earlier in reference to iron manufacturing, the technology accumulated in this way was usually not transferable to other enterprises or industries. While among low-skill workers there was a tendency to shift from place to place, in highly skilled workers there was a strong tendency to remain in the same place, as the skills were specialized and the pay rather high. Moreover, even with the improvement in technology training in the schools, higher-level technology training and education have continued to the present within each enterprise; this is a peculiarity of Japanese education.
The teachers in the vocational schools had an orientation and personality that distinguished them from those in the general or elementary schools. As general education became increasingly influenced by politics and the social imbalance brought on by the industrial revolution became more apparent, the economic hardship of the students began to manifest itself in the classroom. The long absences from school and malnutrition forced the teachers to concern themselves with the economic and social solutions of the problems. However, this was regarded as politically dangerous. The more concerned teachers inevitably became more political, and, as a result, were repressed. The vocational school teachers were less involved politically, and had to grope, under the circumstances, for practical solutions to the problems.
Here we are compelled to turn our attention to the normal school and consider the relation between the situation described above and what education scholars refer to as "double-track" or "dual structure" education.
Double-tracking refers to education of an Úlite to meet the needs of the state and administration on the one hand and commercial and vocational education to meet the requirements of the general population and private sector on the other. An example of the former was the education of technocrats and techno-scientists at Tokyo University; the training of engineers and managers at the industrial and business sites is an example of the latter.
Dual structure, regarded as the "moulder of the Japanese-type of intellectual, describes the particular educational system of the Meiji state, where the degree of coercion of nationalistic education at the elementary level became weaker and the degree of tolerance for liberalism became greater as the level of education rose to secondary education and then to the university.52 The best example of this was in the university: for an assistant professor to be promoted to the rank of professor, it was essential for him to study abroad, in Europe, or sometimes in China, at the expense of the Ministry of Education. This situation continued until World War II.
Simply put, the desire to throw off the yoke of the unequal treaties and gain an equal footing with the Western powers collided head-on with the determination to forge national unity through the application of state power. These contradictory tendencies were present in the early days of the Meiji regime, but the Rescript gave formal expression to them, and the Ministry of Home Affairs became their voice, while the ministries related to industrial and technological affairs were pushed to the sidelines. Later, the military superseded Home Affairs in the control of education because of corruption by political parties and the pressures of international relations. What had given birth to such self-righteous militarism was the Meiji education system.
The normal school in Japan was developed by Mori Arinori (1847-1889), the first minister of education. Mori, who was so eager as to be almost extreme in carrying out educational reform and development, intended with the normal school to correct the intellectual polarization and imbalance in national education. Consequently, Mori set up his Mori Arinori's Commercial Training School. And yet, despite his pioneering efforts in vocational education, he put the normal school, established to educate teachers to educate the manpower necessary to build a new nation, under military-style discipline.
This might have been effective, but Mori militarized the normal school in a strange manner. He introduced a network of "secret advisers" and selected one or more "advisers" from each class to report confidentially to the schoolmaster on the daily conduct of fellow students, both in class and in the boarding-house. This appears to be a gloomy contradiction between Mori's ideals and actual practice, but for one involved in the reality of the chaotic society of that day, it might have seemed an inevitable policy.
At the time, freedom was not understood to mean political freedom or the freedom of thought backed by high morals and self-responsibility. It was equated with anarchical self-assertion, egotism exempt from all responsibility. We can see in this a conflict between the "pre-modern" social character of the classes of farmers, craftsmen, and merchants, who had never had a well-developed sense of public duty, apart from family and village, and the "pre-modern" sense of responsibility of the samurai Úlite, represented by Mori.
The claim is that most commoners who entered the normal schools were farmers, but this is debatable. From a sociological viewpoint, the peculiar manner of personality formation in the normal school does not seem to have been one that would relate to farmers (especially the landowner-farmer class) but more closely to the ruined samurai class. Indeed, it is my opinion that the low-ranking samurai - thrown into extremely poor conditions as a result of their resistance to the new government - maintained their traditional code of loyalty, changing only the object from the old shogunate to the new government.
Because power under the Tokugawa shogunate had long been consolidated, the samurai was no longer a warrior but an administrative bureaucrat, and his adaptability to altered circumstances was quick. And yet, the unstable status of teachers and their surprisingly low salaries, combined with the ex-samurais' sense of social superiority, caused them to feel resentment.
The rank of non-commissioned officer in the Japanese army, the epitome of inhumanity and impersonality, had something in common with the frustrated and grotesque personality formation among the ruined samurai at the Meiji normal school. In the military, soldiers who were graduates of middle or higher schools were brutalized in the name of the Emperor by the less-educated non-commissioned officers.
Similarly, in the schools, pupils from uninfluential and unpropertied familes were mistreated by teachers educated at normal schools, while the students of rich or influential families were treated well in an attempt to gain favour and effect improvement in the teachers' own positions.
The common element in the mentality of these lower-level bureaucrats was their conciliatory approach to subordinate personnel or pupils who displayed any disobedience or resistance. The reason for this was that the presence of this sort of defiance was enough to jeopardize the position of the teachers of these troublemakers: any advantage the teachers may have had in the competition for loyalty could be lost. They tried to conceal the existence of any unique or unusual elements in their surroundings.
Late-comer investment in education
As Hamao Arata (1849-1925), an enlightened bureaucrat, said in his address at the inauguration ceremony of the Tokyo Worker Training School in 1881: "In this country. . . our policy is not to establish factories and then set up technical schools to supply them, but to establish technical schools and send their graduates out to set up the factories." This is a clear example of the determination to give priority to the development of human resources at the initial stage of industrialization.
The first graduates from the Tokyo Worker Training School numbered 24, among which, however, only 3 could find jobs after graduation.
Obviously, the demand for science and engineering expertise was low. Similarly, there were few seeking this sort of training. Take the case of Niijima Yuzuru, who had planned to establish a science and engineering institute, but had to abandon his plan because of insufficient applicants. Because of the recently promulgated official medical licencing system, medical and pharmaceutical schools were the few exceptions that had applicants, though the number was reportedly small.
After World War I, however, the need for science and engineering departments had grown to the extent that they began to be established in the private schools. This was at a time when Japanese technology had achieved a primary stage in self-reliance, and the demand for science and engineering experts was consequently much greater. The national universities had taken the lead in this simply because they could easily meet the small need that had existed until this time.53
The advocacy for development of human resources by investment in higher education was made also by Sano Tsunetame (1822-1902), a politician, and Yamao Yozo (1837-1917), an enlightened engineer. They were themselves the product of human resource development policies undertaken by feudal clans at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. They advocated an expansion - beyond the old political boundaries of feudal clans - to a national scale of the development of human resources. The Meiji government's development policy, the "encouragement of industry," was thus not an idea that originated with the new government, but an enlargement on a nation-wide scale and a centralized development of the earlier experiences in the former feudal clans.
However, investment in higher education was fragmented and unsystematic at first. Each ministry had, under its supervision, its own institution for recruiting and developing needed manpower. By 1878, the tenth year of Meiji, these schools (the "seven peaks competing for the development of manpower")54 under the direct control of the various ministries consisted of: the School of Engineering under the Ministry of Works; the University of Tokyo (a unification of the former Kaisei School and the Medical College) under the Ministry of Education; the School of Law under the Ministry of Justice; the Sapporo School of Agriculture under the Ministry of Development of Hokkaido; the Komaba School of Agriculture under the Ministry of Home Affairs; the Military Academy; and the Naval Academy.
In 1886, the imperial universities were established, and the University of Tokyo absorbed the School of Engineering and Komaba School of Agriculture (the Sapporo School of Agriculture came under the control of the Ministry of Education in 1895). Universities both in name and reality were established. A comparison with universities in Europe, whose long traditions go back to the Middle Ages, reveals the secularist nature of Japanese universities.
Various Buddhist sects had had their own seminaries for priests since the seventh century, but they were outside the education policy of the Meiji government. And there were private professional institutions of Shintoism that engaged in activities not found in the neutral departments of religious studies in the imperial universities. This was a paradox of the Meiji educational system and a remarkable indication of the conformity (recalling that the Meiji government had made Shintoism the state religion) in most Japanese private institutions to the current political orientation.
Tokyo Imperial University became "the first university in the world, excepting the United States, that included a college of engineering" (Nagai 1982).55 Nevertheless, its emphasis was on building up its faculty of law, which was the nursery for bureaucrats in the state administration.
Its graduates could be referred to as "social engineers"; they were modernizers, aiming to upgrade society based on a new, Western-oriented value system, rather than intellectuals devoted to academic inquiry and the creation of new values. However, in the first half of the Meiji era, jurisprudence had an enlightened nature different from that existing today in Japan; it supplied men through whom the rule of law and the maintenance of order by law became actualized on a broad scale, and there was a great concern with international law. During the Russo-Japanese War, scholars of international law were posted at the headquarters in the forefront of battle. Although this was nothing but a precautionary measure that a small late-comer nation had to take under the restrictions of the unequal treaties, it is noteworthy that there was such a monitoring system. It was after Japan won the Sino-Japanese and the Russo-Japanese wars and revised the unequal treaties that such checks stopped functioning.
It is noteworthy that the imperial universities had agriculture departments besides their departments of medical science, science, and engineering. This reveals the pragmatic nature of universities of those days.
Apart from the imperial universities, and even before their establishment, it was apparent to policy makers and the few techno-scientists who were in existence that there was a national need for engineers. The Tokyo Worker Training School was at the forefront in the efforts to accumulate international science and technology information, draw up science and engineering policies, and create a fund of trained personnel. It developed manpower for manufacturing and trained engineers who could supply the needed technological support and leadership.
The Tokyo Worker Training School (which became the Tokyo Institute of Technology) was established in 1881, offering a one-year preparatory course and a three-year regular course, as an institution of technology training for developing future vocational school teachers, plant foremen, and floor supervisors.
This school became the model of practical education and the prototype for the elementary and higher vocational training institutions established throughout Japan. It also became the supply source of teachers for those schools. And, because of the great shortage of qualified teachers, graduates from the school were able, through the alumni association, to teach in a variety of places, and, as each move meant a promotion, they also won a steady rise in social status.
The traditional label shokunin (craftsman) yielded to the more current-sounding shokko (workman). More than "factory worker" it referred to the artisan or manager armed with new technology, the educated professional of modern technology.
The Tokyo Worker Training School had an apprentice school under it and was later transformed into first a technical school, then a higher technical school, and finally the present institute of technology. It came to be referred to as the MIT of Japan. Even bureaucrats such as Inoue Kowashi (18341895), who was eager for a vocational education system for industry, and though there was no shortage of funds once the necessary legislation was in place, could not have achieved this had it not been for the school's enterprising leader, Tejima Seiichi (1849-1918), who regarded industrial education as his mission.
Tejima established himself as a great educator because he "enlarged the concept of technical schooling to mean industrial education" (Miyoshi 1983). Without his personality and philosophy, the founding of the institute would not have materialized.
However, in the beginning, education in industrial technology was not the main part of vocational training. The agricultural school had the largest number of pupils, followed by the commercial school. Each had developed in connection with traditional local industry. As for the overall structure, there were high schools of agriculture and forestry, of commerce and of industry, and these were then organized into colleges that specialized in each field of technology. This was in parallel with the system of middle school, high school, and imperial universities. These two systems were completed between the 1910s and 1920s, exactly the time when the national formation of a technology network, the first stage of self-reliance in technology, was accomplished.
It should also be noted that Tejima and others set the starting point for vocational education at the level of elementary school. Tejima successfully introduced manual arts and handicraft training into elementary school curriculums. He understood that skill training was an indispensable part of successful technology development and transfer. Because of the long time required to develop skills, it is necessary and important that their cultivation be started at the elementary school level. This conviction on the part of Tejima and his colleagues was in contrast to the situation in Great Britain, where vocational education was merely one measure to relieve the poor and the relation between technology and skill was overlooked.
Because Japan is a monolingual society, questions of terminology and language do not occur regarding science, mathematics, drafting, and manual arts education in the schools. In a multilingual society, however, there may be difficulties and much debate over the terminology of science and technology (and the language of instruction), not only in regards to the elementary school level, if such education begins there, but even at the high school level too. We have pointed out the importance of native engineers to a nation's technological self-reliance, and we are fearful that education in science and technology in a foreign language might create an obstacle. Using foreign-language texts at the initial stage of education in technology might be unavoidable, but it is not wise to impose the mastery of a foreign language on engineering students at every stage.
"Of the major tasks in education - textbooks and methods of training teachers, for example - undertaken in Japan at the beginning of the Meiji period, nothing was worked out or designed by the Japanese themselves" (Nagai 1982). This was the reason the attendance rates did not reach 50 per cent for more than 20 years. Even the text used in the Japanese language classes was a translation of the Wilson reader from the United States. Under such circumstances, when education does not relate to a people's daily life and culture, it will not be viable. Many excellent translations and adaptations of children's stories, folk songs, and similar works could be mistaken, even today, for original Japanese works; but these examples represent exceptional cases, and demonstrate that only those adaptable to the everyday life of the people and to the national culture will survive. Japan endeavoured to cull such works for more than 20 years.
Although not directly connected with education in science and technology, the compilation of a national language dictionary was a great undertaking in Japan from the standpoint of national education. In the twenty-fourth year of the establishment of the new Meiji government, Otsuki Fumihiko (18471928) completed the first modern Japanese language dictionary, the Genkai.56
Regarding the diffusion and development of education, Nagai (1982) states that "when power from outside and above was added to change from inside and below, Japanese education was modernized for the first time, which was characteristic of an underdeveloped country."
Our research on development and education has stressed "change from below" and regional effects. What Nagai calls the modernization of education we interpret as the "popularization of education." In fact, modernization should be the same as popularization. After the bitter experience of "ultra-nationalism in education," the Japanese began to believe that the modernization of education should be an activity for national development based on the firm principles of democracy and peace, but with the flexibility to adjust to the changing international setting. In this sense, Japan has not yet completed its modernization of education; the state continues to control
On site training
At the initial stage of industrialization, when there was a small group of techno-scientists and engineers on the one hand and a great many unskilled and unemployed workers on the other, some of the skilled technicians took on apprentices and thus attempted to bridge this gap. The apprentice system was seen, therefore, not only in traditional industry but also in big, modern factories.
However, these masters and their apprentices were unfamiliar with completely new technology and skill areas, and skill formation required education and training. To meet this requirement, training centres were established within each enterprise or factory.
At the apprentice school and the technical continuation school, training was separated into study and practical application (no such distinction had existed in the apprenticeship system), and instruction was by engineering experts. There was a significant difference between skilled labour trained through apprenticeship at the time when elementary education was not widespread and those who were trained in the factory training centres or in middle schools. The education effects were evident in the latter group, whose workers had gained an awareness of the logic of technology hidden in the empirical reality.
The basic training for Japan's special brand of engineer was received in the schools established within each enterprise - equivalent to secondary education - and through the vocational education system. This training was far from complete, but the long process of skill formation got its start there. Not only the leading engineers of big enterprises but also the craftsmen who pioneered the technological progress in the traditional industries were trained under this vocational education system.
When the inner and outer links of technology had been established on a nationwide scale, these vocational schools were upgraded to colleges. For students who had worked their way up through vocational school, technical school, and then college, the college course work consisted of mainly subjects not directly related to their technical specializations, such as a second foreign language, and, as they had by this time already gained a firm grounding in the core technical fields, they could turn their attention to these other subjects. In other words, the college started supplying "educated professionals." Besides bankers, for example, the Tokyo University of Commerce also graduated diplomats.
In 1908, Tokyo Imperial University began offering an economics course in its faculty of law; it introduced a commerce course in 1909, and newly established the faculty of economics in 1919. Here, professional education from above and from below intersected. In 1920, the Yokohama Technical College (currently the Faculty of Engineering of Yokohama National University) was established and a unique system of no examinations and no marking adopted. Contrary to what one might expect, the system did not encourage idleness and the students received high evaluations. It was a symbolic event in the most liberal age of education.
The question of education in Japan was very often the subject of our discussions, and many cases in which Japan had been misunderstood were rooted in an overestimation of the education system and national policy toward education. In truth' the most important elements were the shop-floor training in the formation of skills and the training of engineers on the basis of general education.
13. The development of Japanese-style management
The impotence of the political parties
The transformation of the zaibatsu
Japanese-style management today
History of Japanese-style management
Japanese-style management and managers of zaibatsu
Zaibatsu managers and the reference group
Local zaibatsu and new zaibatsu
The Japanese approach
For some time now, the characteristics of Japanese-style management have been a popular topic, mainly in Europe and in the United States. Such topics as the business group, the seniority wage system, the lifetime employment system, the periodic recruitment of new graduates, and the ringi system have been examined in diverse ways. But a look at the actual operations of enterprises in Europe and the United States indicates that, though there are differences due to managerial climate and environment, there are many similarities of principle between the Japanese and Western approaches. There is even the opinion that it is inappropriate to conclude that Japanese management practices are special or that they are not universal. Emphasis in recent analysis has been on how the Japanese management style has arisen and evolved historically, rather than on its typological characteristics.
The problem of Japanese management methods, in contrast to those in Europe and the United States, and the formation and development of a government-led national economy have become an issue of concern, especially when examined in the context of the situation in developing countries. And yet, Japanese bureaucrats complain about their lack of power. A Japanese economic bureaucrat lamented, after making a visit to the Republic of Korea, that what Korea is doing would be impossible in Japan.
If the government's policies encourage development and if industry and management respond co-operatively, the relation is said to be good. The comment on Korea, however, implies that it is now not good. Indeed, one sector of Japanese bureaucracy disparagingly compares the present business
Since the Meiji period, Japan's development as a nation-state has been supported largely by government enterprises. Private enterprise has wielded little power, and an atmosphere of predominance of state power over the private world has prevailed.
The bureaucracy has been criticized as lacking flexibility; it has no objective standard for evaluation, and tends toward expansion. Although it professes a concern for public welfare and proclaims its neutrality, it cannot escape a conservatism rooted in legalism and bureaucratism. It is difficult to expect bureaucrats to respond quickly to changing situations. Criticism from the business world triggers such comments from the bureaucracy as the one on Korea. In other words, the physiology of the bureaucratic system does not respond well to economic logic. Unlike in the United States and elsewhere, Japan has no tradition of representatives from specific industrial fields entering the administration to take charge of policies. In Japan, the bureaucracy is made up of professional bureaucrats.
Nevertheless, foreigners opine, Japan is something best represented by the label "Japan Incorporated."
Although the make-up and logic of government and business are basically different, the two once enjoyed good relations in Japan. But these relations have been lost, and the government's leadership has been failing.
In the Meiji period, the government adopted preferential measures to assist the Mitsubishi Company in opening up coastal navigation. Mitsubishi actively co-operated in order to bring about realization of the government's (Okubo cabinet's) policy of guiding and encouraging small enterprises to devote themselves to industry.
The government undertook to sell certain state enterprises to the private sector, and companies that qualified followed Mitsubishi's example. These companies had managerial ability and were ready and willing to co-operate in the national programme.
The consensus among politicians and entrepreneurs in this period was to curtail imports and promote exports. Thus, in terms of policy, the national interest did not conflict with the interests of private business. One attraction for the private sector was that the government had collected technology and information on the international environment and economy in an era when information was scarce and valuable.
The impotence of the political parties
If the shareholders of Japan Inc. were the Japanese people and the party politicians were the agents attending the general meeting of the corporation on behalf of the people, the functions to ensure long-term dividends would be performed by the politicians and their parties. However, both before and since World War II, the Diet has not attracted the intellectual Úlite, and the political parties and politicians have been incompetent in planning policies.
Consequently, the bureaucracy at the central government offices has been engaged in policy planning on behalf of the politicians. This has created the inclination and possibility for high-level bureaucrats to become members of the Diet. Once the major economic and labour organizations (e.g., Keidanren, Nikkeiren, Sohyo, etc.) were able to collect information, the economic bureaucracy started performing the functions of long-term forecasting, planning, and co-ordinating.
Nevertheless, the central government bureaucracy has been able to wield important influence only twice during its recent history: once in the mid-Meiji period and again after the Second World War, when the bureaucracy was relied upon to carry out the administrative tasks relating to Allied policy.
The partnership of government and business has two aspects, one fixed (the independent, divergent tendencies of each), the other (their common interests) changing as time passes, and insofar as the protection of national interests is concerned, the two have been compatible. However, when excessive national interest drove the entire country to a wartime economy, a group of bureaucrats who thought of themselves as "new bureaucrats" sided with the military. This was a time when enterprises, while protected, faced extreme limitations of activity under the controlled economy. At about this same time, the zaibatsu were beginning to be forced to loosen their firm economic grip.
The formation of a wartime economic system began in 1931. In connection with its construction, the zaibatsu came under fire. There were radicals in the military who were highly critical of the monopoly of wealth and economic control by the zaibatsu; the younger officers, in particular, felt that, to increase revenue, taxation of the high-income class must be undertaken. As a result, moreover, dividends income earned by zaibatsu families was targeted for high taxes.
On another front, as a result of the government's policy of promoting the heavy and chemical industries to strengthen the military, the zaibatsu concerns had to make immense new investments to maintain their positions in the economy. Under the growing demand for funds, zaibatsu families and zaibatsu holding companies were compelled, for the first time, to make shares available to outside, but related, companies to raise funds. Thus, the investment monopoly in zaibatsu holding companies held by zaibatsu families was broken (Yasuoka 1981).
Although the zaibatsu were dissolved by order of the Occupation forces as part of the democratization of the economy after World War II (1947), a decade later, they had begun to reform, but now no longer under the control of the old zaibatsu families. The age of capitalism without capitalists had arrived.
The transformation of the zaibatsu
In response to a questioner who asked about the basic difference between the zaikai (financial circles) of the pre- and post-war periods, Sato Kiichi (1894-1974, former president and chairman of the board of directors of Mitsui Bank, the nucleus of the Mitsui zaibutsu) answered with: "Have the zaikai existed since the war? The answer is, No."
What he meant was that the true zaikai were a pre-war phenomenon, when closed-door discussions between the gigantic Mitsui and Mitsubishi would find reflection in policy for the whole economic world. Each zaibatsu had important political connections. For example, for Mitsui there was the Seiyukai party, and for Mitsubishi the Minseito.
The rankings among the zaibatsu were clearly reflected in the choice for the position of chairman of the board of directors of the Industry Club of Japan, one of the zaikai's most important bodies (Sakaguchi 1976).
The establishment of this club, in 1917, symbolized the firm position the manufacturing sector, including mining, had attained in the Japanese economy. Before that, the economic world had been dominated by bankers and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce.57 The first chairman of the Industry Club of Japan was Dan Takuma (1858-1932), of Mitsui. Dan was an engineer and a leader in the modernization of the Mitsui coal-mines; he later became chairman of Mitsui and Co. As representative of the zaibatsu, he occupied the highest position in the club for 15 years, until his assassination by a rightist. Kimura Kusuyata (1865-1935), of Mistubishi, succeeded him.
Before World War II, the zaikai formed a society closed to non-zaibatsu enterprises.58 Miyajima Seijiro (1897-1963), president and later chairman of the board of directors of Nisshin Spinning Co., was one of the few outsiders who unflinchingly protested against the zaibatsu's despotism.
Since his university days, Miyajima had been a good friend of Yoshida Shigeru, Japan's first prime minister after World War II. Upon Miyajima's recommendation, Yoshida appointed Ikeda Hayato to the position of minister of finance. Ikeda later became the prime minister and the creator of the income-doubling policy that contributed to the Japanese economy's rapid growth.
Shimomura Haruo (Ministry of Finance) and Okita Saburo (Economic Planning Agency) were among the outstanding figures in the economic planning bureaucracy under the Ikeda administration. Their accomplishments parallel the many splendid contributions made by the so-called professors group of Arisawa Hiromi, Tsuru Shigeto, Nakayama Ichiro, and Tohata Seiichi in the years of the priority production system after World War II.
The four most influential organizations in the zaikai since the war are: the Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nissho), the Japan Federation of Employers' Associations (Nikkeiren), and the Japan Committee for Economic Development (Doyukai). There were no traces of zaibatsu domination and exclusivity in these groups, and, in fact, the leaders in the reconstruction of the Japanese economy after World War II came from non-zaibatsu enterprises. As a result of the dissolution of the zaibatsu and the banishment of war criminals from public office, "only the younger generation of top-level enterprises and the leaders of second-ranking enterprises remained in the business world, and they renewed the management class" (Hara 1977).
When the low living standard and a desire for greater freedom intensified labour discontent in the period of post-war confusion, old-style managers did not know how to respond. A general strike on an unprecedented scale was planned for 1 February 1947. The labour leaders regarded the Occupation forces as the "liberation forces," but when these forces banned the general strike, a chill was cast over the labour movement and its expectation of easy liberation.
Immediately after the general strike plan failed, the Japan Federation of Employers' Associations was established. To prevent a revolution, the new business leadership - the "fighting Nikkeiren" - resisted the labour offensives, while, in another camp, younger managers affiliated with the Doyukai "groped for the greatest common measure by which to collaborate with labour." This gave rise to the notion that Nikkeiren and Doyukai constituted a sort of two-horse carriage, brought about by business's effort to avoid an economic crisis.
During the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, key industries established their operational bases, and newly formed business groups engaged more and more in big projects. When the Japanese economy entered its rapid growth period, Keidanren began advocating an equal relationship with the United States, Japan having extricated itself from its dependence on this Western power. The age of "big business" had come to Japan. The year was 1964.
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