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Total War System and General Economic Staff of Japan

Park, Sung-jin 1

1한국학중앙연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper focused on General Economic Staff as one of elements explaining the remarkable economic growth in East Asia. General Economic Staff was intrinsically the outcome of the war. For coping with the unprecedented total war, the World War I, it was General Economic Staff that the politicians and the military authorities suggested as the compromise. The idea on General Economic Staff was proposed by the Munitions Bureau in 1918. However, it couldn't be realized because of the different views between the politicians and military authorities. The great depression, economic success of Soviet Union and establishment of Manchukuo around 1930 were the critical events accelerating the emergence of General Economic Staff. In particular, The Sino-Japanese War breaking out in 1937 brought the ideologically completed concept of General Economic Staff called “Planning Board” as the key organization in the total war system. It could be realized because of the model “Planning Bureau” already configured in Manchukuo. Meanwhile, the total war after the Sino-Japanese war caused the ironical situation restricting the activity of Planning Board. It's because the business ‘planning’ was fundamentally based on the stable domestic and global situations as the prerequisite. Consequently, the Planning Board acted as the pivotal organization for total mobilization rather than the leading organization for total war. However, it was ironically in Japan “Economic Country” after defeat not in Japan “Warfare Country” during the war when the intrinsic missions of General Economic Staff, that is, a variety of surveys for strengthening the country to cope with total war, drafting economic plans and coordination among ministers, were properly implemented. In this aspect, it can be said that the total war system maintained its intrinsic characteristics both during war footing and in modern Japan.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.