The First World War and the Post-War Decade
The Meiji era coincided with the period in which Japan laid the economic foundations of a modern State. The accession of the new Emperor, Taisho, came only two years before the outbreak of the World War of 1914–18, which marked for Japan, as for other countries, a great dividing line in economic history. During the whole of the Taisho era, which ended in 1926, Japan was concerned with urgent financial, industrial and social problems which were the result of the impact of the war on an economy which for other reasons was in a stage of rapid growth and change. Shortly after the end of that era, just when the problems of adjustment seemed to be approaching solution, Japan was overwhelmed by the world depression of 1930–31, and her efforts to free herself from its effects brought about profound modifications in economic policy and in the trend of industrial development. Let us first survey briefly the proximate effects of the First World War on Japan. Then we can pass to a more detailed study of her financial, industrial and commercial history during the twenties.
KeywordsCentral Bank Foreign Trade Export Trade Gold Reserve Wholesale Price Index
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Notes and References to Part I
- 7.The two chief political parties at this time were the Minseito and the Seiyukai. The Minseito had developed from the older Kenseikai. See R. K. Reischauer, Japan: Government-Politics (New York, 1939), especially Chapter VI, for an excellent short description of the political system at that time.Google Scholar