The Advance of Technology in Japan

  • Mikio Sumiya


Until about 1937, when the Sino-Japanese war broke out, Japan had been the country of so-called ‘light industry’. The textile industry was of key significance. While the textile industry achieved a technological level high enough to compete with Western counterparts, including the textile mills of Lancashire, the technical know-how in the machinery and chemical industries lagged far behind. For example, in the then-emerging fertilizer industry, the technology was largely imported from France or Italy. Only one company in the fertilizer industry actually applied the ‘home-made’ technology which was developed in the government research laboratory. In the engineering industry, most high quality machines were imported and the so-called ‘second grade’ machines were ‘made in Japan’. In fact, the distinction between ‘foreign made’ and ‘Japan made’ was commonly used to designate the difference between ‘high’ and ‘inferior’ quality.


Machine Tool Skilled Worker Production Facility Advanced Country Engineering Industry 
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Copyright information

© International Institute for Labour Studies 1966

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  • Mikio Sumiya

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