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Capital as Will and ImaginationSchumpeter's Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle$
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Mark Metzler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451799

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451799.001.0001

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Japanese Capitalism under Occupation

Japanese Capitalism under Occupation

(p.65) 5 Japanese Capitalism under Occupation
Capital as Will and Imagination

Mark Metzler

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the destabilization of Japanese capitalism in 1945–46. By the time Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, its industry was already in crisis. Production and distribution were choked off by competitive hoarding of scarce strategic materials, the near cutoff of inward shipments by the U.S. naval blockade, and air raid destruction. A panoply of state controls also made production look less and less capitalistic. Financial capital flowed mainly through a complicated administrative circuitry that combined de facto state funding for private industry with de facto forced loans from private industry to the state. U.S. occupation authorities identified big business as part of a military–industrial complex that had conducted and profited by Japan's wars of aggression. Accordingly, they mandated the breakup of the zaibatsu big-business groups and began to purge from office the upper ranks of conservative business leadership and their politician allies. Thus, the first U.S. policy initiative vis-à- vis Japanese industry undertook to dissolve Japanese capitalism as hitherto constituted.

Keywords:   Japanese capitalism, postwar Japan, economic policy, U.S. policy, military–industrial complex, World War II

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