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The role of the state and private enterprise in the development of the Japanese coal industry in the Meiji era (1868-1912)

Imano, Takashi and Boyns, Trevor ORCID: 2015. The role of the state and private enterprise in the development of the Japanese coal industry in the Meiji era (1868-1912). Aprile, Sylvie, De Oliveira, Matthieu, Touchelay, Béatrice and Hoin, Karl-Michael, eds. Les houillères entre l‘état, le marché et la société : les territoires de la résilience XVIII-XXI siècles, Villeneuve d'Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, pp. 171-188.

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Following the restoration of the emperor in 1868, Japan experienced a major transformation (westernization) of its economy and society. A key element in the transition to a modern economy was coal, an essential source of power for Japanese industrialisation. This chapter examines the development of the Chikuho coalfield which, between 1868 and 1912, emerged as the single most important coal mining region in Japan, accounting for between two-fifths and one half of the country’s output during the early twentieth century. The paper focuses on the roles of the private and public sectors in this expansion, and examines the links between the central government, local government, in the form of the Fukuoka prefecture, and the private sector. We identify the policy of designated concessions, operated in 1888 and 1889 as a key factor in accelerating the development of the coalfield, in particular through encouraging large-scale, capital-intensive mining, aided by outside sources of capital. The study throws light on how the pattern of ownership of land and mineral resources and legislative factors, in particular the method of granting mining rights, can profoundly influence the developmental path of the coal industry.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion
ISBN: 9782757411209
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 10:32

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