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Abstract:

Japanese Studies Programme Paper
Politics and the Economy in Pre-War Japan
Masataka Matsuura and Richard J Smethurst
February 2000
Paper No' JS/2000/381:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: japan; economic depression in early 1930s; takahashi korekiyo; maeda masana; zaikai; zaibatsu; japanese economic development; shibusawa eiichi.

The paper by Richard J Smethurst discusses the influences that led to the economic policies pursued in the interwar period by Takahashi Korekiyo, who engineered Japan's recovery from the depression in the early 1930s, and is often thought of as the 'Keynes' of Japan. The paper traces the influence on Takahashi's thinking of his Western experiences and diverse bureaucratic career, but focusses in particular on the role of Takahashi's mentor, Maeda Masana. The paper by Masataka Matsuura analyses the term zaikai as used in prewar Japan and its identity as a small network whose influence was distinct from that of the zaibatsu. The paper traces the membership and activities of this small group from the time of Shibusawa Eiichi through to the Second World War, and argues for the importance of the functions they discharged in the context of the developing Japanese economy.