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Labour relations in Japan's postwar coal industry : the 1960 Miike lockout Price, John 1987

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LABOUR RELATIONS IN JAPAN'S POSTWAR COAL INDUSTRY: THE 1960 MIIKE LOCKOUT By JOHN PRICE B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS MASTER PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of H i s t o r y ) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y 1987 © John P r i c e , 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of H I S T 0 R Y The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date August 17, 1987 DE-6(3/81) ABSTRACT The essay e x p l o r e s the events and background of the 1960 l o c k o u t a t the M i i k e c o l l e r i e s of the M i t s u i Mining Co. i n Kyushu, Japan. The d i s p u t e , one of the l o n g e s t and most v i o l e n t i n postwar labour h i s t o r y , o c c u r r e d a t the same time as the a n t i -U.S.-Japan s e c u r i t y t r e a t y s t r u g g l e and the two events capped 15 years of s o c i a l t u r b u l e n c e a f t e r the war. At i s s u e i n the M i i k e case was the d e s i g n a t e d d i s m i s s a l of 1200 miners. In a n a l y z i n g the events a t M i i k e the author c h a l l e n g e s c u r r e n t assumptions about the s o - c a l l e d t h r e e p i l l a r s of Japanese labour-management r e l a t i o n s ( l i f e t i m e employment, e n t e r p r i s e unions, and s e n i o r i t y - b a s e d wages). Couterposed are four f a c t o r s — c a p i t a l i s t r a t i o n a l i s m , worker e g a l i t a r i a n i s m , e n t e r p r i s e c o r p o r a t i s m , and l i b e r a l d e m o c r a c y — t h e combination of which lend Japanese labour-management r e l a t i o n s t h e i r s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r i n any g i v e n i n s t a n c e . The e s s a y a l s o e x p l o r e s the p a r t i c u l a r r o l e of the Japan F e d e r a t i o n of Employers O r g a n i z a t i o n s ( N i k k e i r e n ) i n other labour d i s p u t e s i n the 1950s as w e l l as a t M i i k e . The economic background t o the M i i k e s t r i k e i s a l s o a n a l y z e d , i n p a r t i c u l a r , the p o l i t i c a l a s p e c t s of the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the c o a l i n d u s t r y . The f i n a l c h a pter d e a l s with r e l i e f measures f o r unemployed c o a l miners and c o a l companies d u r i n g the 1960s. CONTENTS ABSTRACT CONTENTS LIST OP TABLES LIST OF FIGURES INTRODUCTION Notes . . . 8 THE 19 60 MIIKE LOCKOUT The 1958 C r i s i s . . . 11 Three Hundred Twelve Days...26 Notes . . . 39 NIKKEIREN AND POSTWAR LABOUR RELATIONS Nikkeiren and Mi ike. . .41 Nikkeiren Targets M i l i t a n t Unions. Nikkeiren Ideology.. . 51 Anti-Communism...54 Notes . . . 58 WORKING CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS Miike Workers Pr io r to W.W. 11 . . . 6 The Postwar Per iod . . .65 Un ion iza t ion . . .68 An Independent I dent i t y . . .72 "The Chicken Becomes a Duck"...80 Notes . . . 85 STRIKES, WAGES AND INDUSTRIAL POLICY O i l Versus Coa l , Round One: 1950-1954... 89 Wages, Pr ices and Prof i t s . . . 9 2 The F i r s t R e v e r s a l . . . 96 F a i l u r e of I ndus t r i a l P o l i c y . . . 9 8 Non-Causes...105 Causes...109 Notes...112 V. RATIONALIZATION AND EMPLOYMENT 114 Oil Supplemented by Coal...115 The Arisawa Commission ...118 Jobs, Safety, Wages Sacr1ficed...121 Relief: The Unemployed... 125 Relief: Coal Operators ... 130 Notes...134 CONCLUSIONS 136 Three P i l l a r s and Coal...136 P i l l a r s Without Foundation?...138 Coal: An Except ion?... 141 Converging Diversity... 143 Notes ... 151 BIBLIOGRAPHY 152 ".V TABLES 1. Mitsui Mining Production, Employees and Assets (By Division) 10 2. Previous Employment Patterns 68 3. Basic Coal Industry S t a t i s t i c s , 1949-1954 90 4. Wage Comparison by Industry 9 4 5. Mitsui Mining Operations During the Korean War Boom 95 6. Basic Coal Industry S t a t i s t i c s , 1954-1960 102 7. Comparative Prices of Coal and Oil 104 8. Basic Coal Industry S t a t i s t i c s , 1960-1973 121 9. Personnel Reductions by the 18 Majors and Mitsubishi 126 FIGURES 1. Map of Mitsubishi Mining Divisions 10 2. Mitsui Mining's Miike Division 12 3. Chart of Union Structures 16 Introduction Historical analysis o£ postwar Japanese labour relations Is a relatively new f i e l d due to the contemporary character of the period. Much of the commentary on post-1945 labour issues has thus been l e f t to sociologists, p o l i t i c a l scientists, or industrial relations specialists. Within these fields and even in recent hi s t o r i c a l works there has been a distinct tendency to characterize Japanese labour relations as a harmonious system upheld by the "three p i l l a r s " of permanent employment, seniority-1 based wages, and enterprise unions. According to this model, workers are supposedly given security of tenure in exchange for consideration of the company's competitive position (reflected organizationally by workers not engaging in industrial unionism) out of which a relationship of trust between manager and worker has developed. As C.J. McMillan, a professor at York University and advisor to Brian Mulroney, explains in his book The Japanese Industr i a l System: "The enterprise union is the basic unit of employee organization in contrast to the industrial union in North America. Members of the enterprise union are the employees involved in the permanent employment system. About a third of a l l employees are so unionized, and this figure hasn't changed much in a decade."2 Furthermore, this labour relations model has supposedly fa c i l i t a t e d technological innovation because under the permanent employment system workers do not see technological change as a threat. This representation of Japanese labour relations has become so pervasive that even the 1985 McDonald Royal Commission on Canada's economy recommended that the Japanese model be 1 adopted i n Canada as a r a t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e to our " a d v e r s a r i a l " s y s tem. The t h r e e p i l l a r s t h e o r y has even i n f l u e n c e d what i s p r o b a b l y the bes t h i s t o r i c a l work on Japanese l abour r e l a t i o n s to d a t e , The E v o l u t i o n of Labor R e l a t i o n s i n Japan by Andrew Gordon. H i s o the rw i se d i a l e t i c a l t r ea tment of Japanese l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s i s , i n my o p i n i o n , weakened by an a t tempt to f i t h i s r e s e a r c h w i t h i n the " t h r e e p i l l a r s " mode l : "By the end of the f i r s t postwar decade , b i g b u s i n e s s i n Japan had won major b a t t l e s on a l l t h r e e f r o n t s . The l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p f u r t h e r e v o l v e d i n a c o n t e x t of d o m i n a t i o n by management, and the i n t e n s i t y of c o n f 1 i c t s u b s i d e d . The s o - c a l l e d Japanese employment sys tem d i s c o v e r e d by James Abegg len a t about t h i s t ime had f i n a l l y 3 assumed i t s con temporary g u i s e . " However, t h i s harmonious model seemed t o o f f e r no e x p l a n a t i o n f o r what a r g u a b l y was the most i n t e n s e l a b o u r -management c o n f r o n t a t i o n i n postwar J a p a n - - t h e 1960 M i i k e c o a l mine d i s p u t e . T h i s c o n f l i c t o c c u r r e d f i v e yea r s a f t e r the " s y s t e m " was s u p p o s e d l y i n p l a c e and when the i n t e n s i t y of c o n f l i c t was s u b s i d i n g . Was M i i k e j u s t the e x c e p t i o n t h a t proved the r u l e of Japanese i n d u s t r i a l harmony, or was i t e v i d e n c e t h a t l e d to a d i f f e r e n t a p p r e c i a t i o n of l abour r e l a t i o n s i n Japan? In e i t h e r c a s e , i n f o r m a t i o n on M i i k e would p r o v i d e some ba l ance t o the u n i l a t e r a l l y harmonious image p r e s e n t e d by advoca te s of the t h r e e p i l l a r s t h e o r y - - h e n c e the i dea f o r t h i s s t u d y . No s i n g l e i n c i d e n t or s t r u g g l e i n the h i s t o r y of l abour r e l a t i o n s i n postwar Japan c a p t u r e d the a t t e n t i o n of the n a t i o n as the 1960 l o c k o u t / s t r i k e a t the M i t s u i M i n i n g C o r p o r a t i o n ' s 2 Ml Ike coal mine In western Kyushu, The bitter struggle pitted 15,000 Miike miners against a revived Mitsui conglomerate determined to proceed with a massive rationalization of its mining operations. Integral to this process was the proposed layoff of thousands of miners and an attempt to destroy the local union at the Miike mine by f i r i n g 300 union a c t i v i s t s . Mitsui's decision to attack the Miike union brought i t into direct confrontation not only with the miners but also with the labour movement as a whole and, as the struggle escalated, i t became a pitched battle between employers and workers. During the course of the confrontation one miner was k i l l e d and hundreds seriously injured as bloody clashes erupted when the company attempted to re-open the mine. The labour movement mobilized thousands of militants who travelled the length of country to help the miners—travelling to Miike became a holy pilgrimage and an adventure in combat a l l rolled into one. At one point over 10,000 police stood cheek-to-jowl with over 20,000 picketers. As commentators at the time would repeat, the Miike confrontation became an a l l out struggle between labour and capital. The Miike conflict occurred at the same time as the turbulent 1960 struggle against the renewal of the Japan-U.S. mutual security treaty. The treaty was renewed, but massive resistance to i t led to the f a l l of the Klshi government in June and a v i s i t by U.S. President Eisenhower had to be cancelled due to strong anti-U.S. protests. The security treaty struggle and the Miike conflict fed off each other and the 1960 popular 3 protests mark an important chapter in Japanese p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y . It is l i t t l e wonder, then, that the Miike struggle occupies a prominent spot in Japanese h i s t o r i c a l accounts of the evoluton of postwar labour-management r e l a t i o n s . In Its o f f i c i a l h i s t o r y , for example, the Japan Federation of Employers' Organizations (Nihon Keieisha Dantai Renmei or Nikkeiren for short and the form used hereafter) concludes that, "1960 was an epoch-making time for the postwar labour movement with the 1960 a n t i - s e c u r i t y 4 treaty b a t t l e and the Miike struggle at the center." Similar sentiments are expressed by Ota Kaoru, the past president of Japan's General Confederation of Trade Unions (Nihon Rodo Kumia i Sohyogikai or Sohyo as i t i s c a l l e d in Japan and abbreviated hereafter i n t h i s essay), in h i s introducton to the Miike miners' union h i s t o r y : "This f i g h t became an epoch-making episode in the h i s t o r y of the Japanese labour movement. Thousands, tens of thousands of a c t i v i s t s were born in the heat of struggle and i t 5 is they who have become the core of Sohyo support today." Indeed, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to f i n d contemporary s o c i a l or labour h i s t o r i e s in Japanese which do not treat in some d e t a i l the events at Miike. Unfortunately such i s not the case with English language works in the same or re l a t e d f i e l d s . Miike seems to have been bypassed in the rush to unwrap the secrets of the harmonious "Japanese" model of i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s . V i r t u a l l y nothing of substance has been written on the Miike events by Western scholars except for one short a r t i c l e by Benjamin Martin 5 published in Far Eastern Survey in 1962. Mr. Martin's essay, based on an a r t i c l e he wrote for the Japan Times newspaper while 4 In Japan in 1958, is highly c r i t i c a l of the Miike union—and is somewhat suspect. Although a U.S. union representative himself, he apparently never talked to the Miike union leaders before attacking them. After returning to the U.S., Mr. Martin became an agent of the U.S. Information Agency in Chile in 1961, later rising to become senior labour analyst for the U.S. State Department. If nothing else, Mr. Martin's involvement in the Miike struggle has added-a dimension of intrigue to the work-Given the dearth of material in English almost a l l of the research for this essay was based on Japanese language sources, although English works were used extensively as background material. The Japanese sources include histories published by Mitsui Mining, Keidanren (Kelzai Dantai Rengokai or the Federation of Economic Organizations), Nikkeiren, the Miike local union, the coalminers national union, Sohyo, a Labour Ministry history on employment policy, and histories published by the Japan Development Bank (Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko). These histories, often 1,000 pages or more in length, reflect the biases of the particular organizations but contain a wide range of primary documentation. As such I hope the presentation of this material helps to f i l l a notable gap in English language material on this non-harmonious but nontheless crucial chapter in the history of Japanese labour relations. Research on the issue was carried out over nearly three years, a luxury which permitted me to look Into the 1960 strike as well as the h i s t o r i c a l evolution of the labour-management relationship at the mine. I was also able to spend considerable 5 t i m e r e s e a r c h i n g g o v e r n m e n t e n e r g y p o l i c y a n d i t s e f f e c t on e m p l o y m e n t p a t t e r n s i n t h e c o a l i n d u s t r y . F i n a l l y , i n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e r e s e a r c h I f o u n d i t n e c e s s a r y t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e h i s t o r y o f N i k k e i r e n w h i c h , i t t u r n s o u t , p l a y e d s u c h a n i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n t h e M i i k e c o n f l i c t . A l t h o u g h c o m p l e t e l y s p o n t a n e o u s , t h i s m u l t i - f a c e t e d a p p r o a c h h a s , I b e l i e v e , i m p r o v e d t h e q u a l i t y o f t h i s s t u d y a n d f a c i l i t a t e d a more d i a l e t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s i n J a p a n . As m i g h t h a v e b e e n a n t i c i p a t e d , t h e r e s e a r c h s h o w e d t h a t t h e t h r e e p i l l a r s t h e o r y i s n o t a p p l i c a b l e t o l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s i n t h e c o a l i n d u s t r y . B u t more i m p o r t a n t l y , t h e m u l t i - f a c e t e d a p p r o a c h t o t h e s u b j e c t b r o u g h t t o l i g h t a number o f f a c t o r s a t work a t M i i k e w h i c h may a l s o be i m p o r t a n t f o r c e s i n f l u e n c i n g l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s on a more g e n e r a l l e v e l . I n a t t e m p t i n g t o a n a l y z e t h e m u l t i p l e f o r c e s a t work, I h a v e i d e n t i f i e d f o u r s p e c i f i c f a c t o r s w h i c h seem t o be r e l a t i v e c o n s t a n t s . T h e y i n c l u d e : - C a p i t a l i s t r a t i o n a l i s m : t h e e c o n o m i c m o t i v a t i o n f o r m a n a g e r i a l d e c i s i o n s u s u a l l y r e l a t e d t o m a x i m i z i n g c o r p o r a t e r a t e s o f p r o f i t . W i t h i n t h i s e c o n o m i c f r a m e w o r k l a b o u r i s t r e a t e d a s a s i m p l e c o m m o d i t y ; - W o r k e r e g a l i t a r i a n i s m : t h e e v o l v i n g c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f w o r k e r s . W o r k e r s p e r c e i v e t h e i r i n t e r e s t s a s b e i n g d i s t i n c t f r o m t h o s e o f management a n d o r g a n i z e t o d e f e n d t h o s e i n t e r e s t s ; - E n t e r p r i s e c o r p o r a t i s m : a n o n - l i b e r a l a p p r o a c h t o l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s w h i c h e v o l v e d i n J a p a n i n t h e f o r m o f " e n t e r p r i s e - a s - e x t e n d e d - f a m i l y " . T h i s f a c t o r c o n t i n u e s t o l e n d J a p a n e s e l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s much o f t h e i r s p e c i f i c i t y ; - L i b e r a l d e m o c r a c y : a p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r w h i c h i n f l u e n c e d t h e 6 l e g a l f ramework f o r l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s In po s twa r J a p a n and a l s o the governmental system in general. The liberal-democratic approach to labour relations was not dominant among Japanese managers prior to 1960 and may s t i l l not be. These four factors, when taken up and used by people, constitute forces which are constantly interacting with one another, creating a dynamic dia l e c t i c in Japanese labour relations. The outcome of this d i a l e c t i c lends a specific colour to any given feature of the Japanese labour relationship. However, given the diversity and range of relations, i t is probably incorrect to speak of a "system" per se. In order to present the research findings in a simple yet comprehensive manner I have not followed a chronological pattern. In the f i r s t chapter I present a f a i r l y detailed reconstruction of the immediate events leading up to the Miike confrontation and a summary of the key elements in the 10-month dispute i t s e l f . In chapters two and three respectively, I present the historical background to managerial and worker attitudes. In the f i n a l two chapters I analyze the relationship between labour relations and the evolution of industrial policy focusing particularly on the employment issue. My own interpretation of the research is summarized in the conclusions. 7 Notes: Introduction 1. The "three p i l l a r s " terminology was f i r s t coined in a 1973 report of the O.E.C.D. on Japanese labour relations t i t l e d Manpower Policy in Japan (Paris, OECD, 1973). This characterization of the sytem remains the dominant one and even recent scholarly works by T. Shirai et a l (Contemporary  Industrial Relations In Japan, Madison, Univers-ity of Wisconsin Press, 1983) and A. Gordon (The Evolution of Labour  Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-1955, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1985) maintain this framework of analysis i f somewhat c r i t i c a l l y . 2. C.J. McMillan, The Japanese Industr i a l System, (de Gruyter, New York, 1984), p. 183. 3. Andrew Gordon, The Evolution of Labour Relations in Japan:  Heavy Industry, 1853-1955 (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1985), p. 367. 4. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi Kankokai, Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, (Tokyo, Nihon Keieisha Dantai Renmei, 1981), p. 348. 5. Miike Tanko Rodo Kumiai, Mi ike, 20 Nen, (Tokyo, Rodo Junposha, 1961), p. 15. 6. Benjamin Martin, "Japanese Mining Labour: The Miike Strike" in Far Eastern Survey, (Vol. XXX, No. 2), February 1961. 8 Chapter I: The 1960 Mllke Lockout The Mitsui name has been synonymous with the evolution of coal mining in Japan. The Mitsui trading company bought Japan's largest mine deposit, Miike, in 1888 from the Meiji government. It outbid Mitsubishi interests for the valuable Miike rights and Mitsui coal exports to China from the Miike c o l l i e r i e s in Kyushu became an important source of foreign currency prior to the turn of the century. Coal from Miike represented about 15 percent of domestic production in this period and while that percentage would decline as coal mines proliferated, Miike remained Japan's single largest coal producer into the 1960s. As industry expanded, the development of new coal mines accelerated and production jumped dramatically. Production rose from four million tons in 1893 to 30 million in 1919. Coal had powered Japan to significant military victories over China and Russia, thus helping to realize the Meiji oligarchs' ambition of turning Japan into a modern, c a p i t a l i s t country able to compete with Western imperialist powers. As the economy developed Mitsui mining interests expanded also and in 1911 Mitsui Mining Company, Ltd. was established. By W.W. II i t operated numerous coal and precious metal mines, smelters and related f a c i l i t i e s . With defeat Mitsui mining interests were s p l i t up under occupation deconcentration laws and Mitsui Mining retained only the coal operations: six mines—three in Kyushu (Miike, Yamano, and Tagawa) and three in Hokkaido (Sunagawa, Ashibetsu and Bibai); harbour and machine shop f a c i l i t i e s at Miike; and sales and office staff (See Figure 1 and Table 1). Miike remained the jewel in the Mitsui Mining crown representing over a third of 9 FIGURE 1: MITSUI MINING DIVISIONS A S H 196 rsu 90 TABLE 1: MITSUI MINING PRODUCTION, EMPLOYEES AND ASSETS (By Division) Division Production Employees Assets ('000 tons) (million yen) (•000 tons) (million yen) Miike 1,644.4 15,140 4,428.3 Tagawa 1,019.9 9,791 1,918.2 Yamano 571.2 4,895 1,193.5 Sunagawa 704.2 5,468 2,288.3 Ashibetsu 773.0 4,714 2,727.5 Bibai 587.1 4,205 1,070.2 Miike Machine Works 1,823 603.8 Miike Harbour Works 1,480 365.6 Others 1,083 695.6 TOTALS 5,299.8 48,599 15,291.1 Note: Production figures are for f i s c a l 1953. Others are as of March 1954. SOURCE: Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute, Mltsui-Mitsu- bishi-Sumitomo, (Tokyo, 1955), p. 37. 10 Mitsui's total coal production and employing about 15,000 workers in the 1950s (See Figure 2). Coal remained Japan's most important fuel source immediately after the war. Japan's reserves of coal, particularly thermal coal used in power generation, are substantial, although geological conditions are such that coal seams are re l a t i v e l y thin and discontinuous, making mining more d i f f i c u l t than in Canada, for example. With the onset of the worldwide energy revolution and a general industrial trend to switch to o i l as a fuel after W.W. II, Japan's domestic coal industry came under extreme pressure to become competitive with imported o i l , particularly once overseas o i l supplies stabilized after being disrupted during the 1956 Suez c r i s i s . ************** The 1958 Cr i s i s An economic recession and a decline in the price of imported crude o i l in 1958 were two important factors which precipitated the events leading up to the 1960 Miike lockout. The coal industry had been protected from competing o i l imports since 1955 when the government imposed o i l t a r i f f s and limited construction of o i l converters. Through these measures, and rationalization measures also enacted in 1955, the government hoped to give the coal industry a period to modernize, to concentrate production in large, e f f i c i e n t mines, and become competitive with o i l . The opposite occurred, however, as mines proliferated, prices increased and coal companies pocketed substantial profits. Between 1955 and 1957 the cost of regular thermal coal (Tokyo, 11 FIGURE 2: MITSUI MINING'S MIIKE FACILITIES SOURCE: Pill Kg. AO MEM, ^atffl 12 CIF) jumped from 5,537 to 6,436 yen per ton, a nearly 20 percent incease. Profits for 18 major coal companies climbed from an 1 aggregate 4.5 b i l l i o n in 1955 to 12.4 b i l l i o n yen in 1957. When the Japanese economy went into a short recession in late 1957, coal stockpiles began to rise but coal companies attempted to keep prices high sparking an outcry from major coal consumers. The consumers, including representatives from the steel, electric power, shipping and r a i l industries gathered in August 1958 to form the Federation to Oppose Crude and Heavy Oil Tariffs (Genjuyu Kanzei Hantai Domei) in a bid to obtain cheap imported o i l . This action put them on a c o l l i s i o n course with the coal industry which wanted continued protection against o i l imports. Keidanren then intervened to mediate this clash between industrial sectors, forming a kondankai (discussion group) that f a l l . Coal consumers eventually won out in this battle, forcing the government to reverse it s energy policy and make o i l Japan's principal industrial fuel. However, even by the f a l l of 1958 the coal companies began to come under heavy pressure for price reductions, provoking them to consider serious rationalization measures including large-scale layoffs. Coal operators, particularly Mitsui and Mitsubishi, also came under intense pressure from other quarters just as the economic squeeze intensified. Nikkeiren had been displeased with concessions the two coal giants had been making with their respective unions since 1953 and in late 1958 began to openly 2 c r i t i c i z e them through the Nikkeiren Times. Sakisaka Itsuro, a noted Kyushu scholar and radical s o c i a l i s t , dates the i n i t i a t i o n of management's offensive against the Miike local of the 13 c o a l m l n e r s w i t h t he p u b l i c a t i o n o£ a r e m a r k a b l e f u l l - p a g e a r t i c l e _ in the Japan Times by Benjamin Martin, an American union representative on leave to study in Japan. Published on September 1, 1958 the a r t i c l e accuses the local union at Miike of ultra-leftism and using the negotiating process for p o l i t i c a l 3 gain. Similar criticisms were voiced at Nikkeiren's October semi-annual convention by Maeda Hajime, a Nikkeiren executive director, in his report on the labour situation. After two profitable years in 195G-57, Mitsui Mining announced losses of nearly 2 b i l l i o n yen for the f i r s t half of 1958 and in September took the extraordinary measures of cutting executive and staff salaries and then refused to pay its workers f u l l year-end bonuses that had been negotiated as part of the master agreement with Tanro that f a l l (the bonus was cut from 22,000 to 14,000 yen). By this time reporters had caught the scent of the coal c r i s i s and in early October 1958 the Asahi newspaper published a major a r t i c l e outlining Mitsui's plans to meet the c r i s i s . This in turn provoked the Miike local union to consider the situation and on October 17 i t published a report warning it s members that: "The company, from it s experiences in previous struggles, w i l l no doubt come up with new tactics. Recent labour battles have been plagued by organization s p l i t s due to the formation of second unions so we believe the company's main strategy w i l l be to s p l i t our organization and s p l i t the 4 fight." Mitsui Mining o f f i c i a l l y tabled i t s " f i r s t company re-construction proposal" (Daiichiji Kigyo Saikenan) on Jan. 19, 14 1959. The Mitsui proposal called for: -increasing productivity by strengthening managerial controls and discipline at the worksites, -halting recruitment of miners as stipulated by previous collective agreements, -reducing expenditures by postponing or cancelling construction projects for housing, a hospital, baths, daycares, sewers, and roads, -implementing reductions in labour-related expenses by cutting overtime and, - i f necessary, reducing the work force by 6,000 5 through "voluntary retirement" (Kibo Taishokusha Boshu). These proposals were made to the two Mitsui union federations, Sankoren (mineworkers) and Sansharen (staff union) but both unions rejected the proposals (See Figure 3 for union structures). They resolved instead to struggle together against any reductions in working conditions, to defend democratization of the workplace and company housing sites, to maintain f u l l employment and to fight against any f i r i n g s . A "joint struggle committee" was set up between the two unions in mid-February with the express purpose of avoiding any s p l i t s in the face of the Mitsui proposals. The response of the national mineworkers federation, Tanro (an abbreviation of Nihon Tanko Rodo Kumiai— Japan Coalminers Union), to which the two unions were a f f i l i a t e d was to draw a direct link between Mitsui's proposed rationalization measures and that spring's wage negotiations: "The 1959 spring wage offensive is integrally related to resolving the fight against Mitsui's rationalization measures. 15 FIGURE 3: UNION STRUCTURES SOHYO (Nihon Rodo Kumiai Sohyogikai or Japan General Council of Trade Unions. A national federation formed in 1950 regrouping both private and public sector a f f i l i a t e s . Tanro is one a f f i l i a t e . ) Other Federations Other Federations Teachers Fed. Chemical Workers Fed. TANRO (Nihon Tanko Rodo Kumiai or Japan Coalminers Union. Founded in 1947, i t also is a national federation of a f f i l i a t e d unions. Sankoren in a major a f f i l i a t e . ) Fed. of Mitsubishi Mineworkers Federation of Sumitomo Mineworkers Other Mineworkers Federations Other Mineworkers Federations SANKOREN (Zen Mitsui Tanko Rodo Kumiai Rengokai or A l l Mitsui Coalminers Union Federation. Founded in 1949, i t was the enterprise based union for a l l the miners working in Mitsui's six mines.) Tagawa Local Yamano Local Bibai Local Ashibetsu Local Sunagawa Local MIIKE Local (Founded in 1946, the Miike local went on to form a Kyushu federation with Mitsui mineworkers at Yamano and Tagawa and later joined with the Hokkaido Mitsui miners to form Sankoren. The Miike local s p l i t during the 1960 lockout.) I s p l i t SHINRO (Miike Tanko Shin Rodo Kumiai or New Miike Miners Union. Split during the 1960 lockout and took over one-third of members. Used as strike-breakers by Mitsui Mining.) 16 6 These are not separate struggles and must be fought as one." After a series of short work stoppages during March, Tanro launched an all-out strike over the two issues on Mar. 23. At this time the Central Labour Relations Board (CLRB) intervened with a proposal to mediate in the wage negotations. Tanro accepted mediation but with the stipulation that no agreement would be reached u n t i l the Mitsui negotiations were completed. The CLRB brought forward i t s mediation proposal on Mar. 31 and negotiations then moved to high level talks between Mitsui representatives on the one hand, and Sankoren, Sansharen, and Tanro on the other. On April 4 an agreement was worked out whereby the union would go along with "voluntary retirements" and reductions in welfare expenditures. In exchange the company withdrew i t s proposals to enforce workplace control and to cutback overtime etc. This compromise in fact constituted an important concession on Tanro's part which would reverberate throughout the coal f i e l d s . By accepting the "voluntary retirements" at Mitsui, Tanro had opened the flood gates through which other major companies soon poured. One month after the April 6 agreement Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Furukawa and Yubetsu tabled layoff proposals to their respective unions. Mitsui had been a testing ground for gaining concessions and Tanro had indeed backed down on i t s own policy which, since i t s adoption at the Tanro's 21st annual convenion in 1958, had been to refuse to bargain any layoffs including "voluntary retirements". Mitsui actively recruited voluntary retirees at i t s six mines through May and June but the 1,324 miners who stepped forward f e l l far short of the company's stated goal of 6,000. 17 Staff, however, came forward in d r o v e 3 with 586 ready to ret i r e , 26 over the original objective. As a result the company estimated i t s savings from lower personnel costs and cutbacks in welfare would only reach 862 million yen over a six-month period, substantially lower than the 2.3 b i l l i o n i t had hoped for. Tensions mounted in the summer of 1959. On the one hand, Mitsui had been unable to implement it s layoff proposals and i t s d e f i c i t , although no doubt inflated somewhat, continued to mount. Furthermore, as stockpiles of coal increased in late 1958 the government moved to cut back production, imposing a 20 percent reduction in production with specific quotas for the major mining companies beginning May 1 and continuing for six months. At the same time o i l prices continued to drop, putting further pressure on the industry. In early April Keidanren's Discussion Group on General Energy Policy had met and announced that, while a thorough review of energy policy was necessary, i t expected the coal industry to begin to rationalize immediately. The increasing pressure led to contradictions within both the company and the union. In Mitsui Mining, for example, contradictions emerged between the then president, Kuriki Kan, and the head of personnel, Yamamoto Sengo. As previously mentioned, Nikkeiren had, as early as 1958, singled out the Miike miners' local as a hot spot that had to be dealt with. This position was reiterated at Nikkeiren's two regular conventions in April and October 1959 with Maeda Hajime sounding a strong warning in his speech on the labour situation at ; the October meeting: "There are some mines 18 where womens and youth groups are extremely strong and In these places we can't guarantee major incidents w i l l not occur which could quickly escalate into social unrest i f things are not 7 handled properly". Working closely with Maeda was Sato Kiichiro, president of Mitsui Bank and Nikkeiren's chief of international l i a i s o n . Both Maeda and Sato held Yamamoto responsible for letting the Miike union gain unwarranted strength and wanted to resolve the problem quickly by f i r i n g large number 8 of union a c t i v i s t s as part of the Mitsui rationalization plan. Mitsui's financial position deteriorated during the summer of 1959 and in July Mitsui Bank cut off any further financing to cover the growing debts. Summer bonuses went unpaid and Mitsui attempted to convince i t s unions to accept an installment plan on unpaid wages. This was refused but Mitsui implemented the plan 9 anyway. Mitsui mine managers were not the only ones under increased pressure. The coal unions at the local, company-wide and national levels were confronted with both an immediate attack at Mitsui, impending cutbacks at other mines, and an uncertain future as the industry faced the o i l challenge. At Tanro's 22nd annual convention in June the cutbacks facing Sankoren were characterized as a special attack against Tanro's most militant component. This characterization contained, according to later accounts, the implicit issue of whether or not Sankoren had "gone too far" and, thus, invited the retaliation. This same debate carried over into Sankoren's convention in late July when the Sankoren executive tabled a two-stage battle plan. Basically the executive did not think Mitsui would resort to designated layoffs 19 or f i r i n g s and based i t s f i r s t p l a n on t h i s assumption. T h i s p l a n was to draw the l i n e a t d e s i g n a t e d l a y o f f s (shime kaiko) and to compromise on " v o l u n t a r y r e t i r e m e n t s " w h i l e c o - o p e r a t i n g i n p r o d u c t i o n . The M i i k e l o c a l of Sankoren d i s p u t e d t h i s approach, regarded l a y o f f s as i n e v i t a b l e , i n t e r p r e t e d the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n as l a r g e l y a p o l i t i c a l s t r u g g l e w i t h i t s e l f and Tanro as the t a r g e t s . The d i v i s i o n s i n the union would prove d e c i s i v e l a t e r . The f i n a l compromise was to f i g h t the company and, i f the c e n t r a l s t r u g g l e committee judged i t f e a s i b l e , t o d e f e a t the l a y o f f s . M i t s u i t a b l e d i t s second r e c o n s t r u c t i o n p r o p o s a l i n l a t e August: E s s e n t i a l l y the p r o p o s a l was tougher than the f i r s t and c a l l e d f o r 4,580 l a y o f f s w i t h s e t c r i t e r i a f o r who s h o u l d be l a i d o f f . These i n c l u d e d : " D t h o s e who had l i t t l e i n f l u e n c e i n the household 2) those u n s u i t a b l e f o r work 3) those thought u n s u i t a b l e f o r c o l l e c t i v e l i f e 4) those i n e x t r e m e l y poor h e a l t h 5) Those over 52 6) Those under 25 7) Those with l e s s than f i v e y e a r s c o n t i n u o u s s e r v i c e " 1 0 Each mine was a s s i g n e d a quota ( M i i k e , f o r example, was expected to l a y o f f 2,210) and those who f i t the b i l l would be " a d v i s e d to r e t i r e " ( t a i s h o k u kankoku). Although t h i s d i d not c o n s i s t of a formal l a y o f f or d i s c h a r g e , i t amounted to almost the same t h i n g . The p r o p o s a l a l s o c o n t a i n e d f u r t h e r p r o v i s i o n s to cutback s o c i a l b e n e f i t s , overtime, s a f e t y c o s t s and c o n t a i n e d p r o v i s i o n s to r e g u l a t e a l l o u t s t a n d i n g l o c a l i s s u e s f o r each mine. F u r t h e r -more, the p r o p o s a l c a l l e d f o r s p l i t t i n g o f f the machine shop from the r e s t of the M i i k e o p e r a t i o n s and t a k i n g the s k i l l e d tradesmen 20 out of the Miike union. Collective bargaining over the second proposal broke down on September 10 and the various union levels prepared for battle. Tanro's central struggle committee called for rotating strikes beginning September 16 at Miike, and at two other mines where layoffs were also expected, and for escalating limited strikes at 14 major coal companies beginning October 1. Sankoren, in the face of anticipated "designated discharges" (shime kaiko.), took the position that its members would refuse to recognize any discharges, that Sankoren would guarantee the livelihood of those who refused, and that the union had to get prepared for a company-inspired attempt to create a second union. By this time i t became increasingly evident that coal-consuming industries, demanding a complete overhaul of the coal industry and drastic price reductions to bring coal prices in line with o i l , had gained the upper hand. Coal operators met with labour representatives on September 7 and 18 and announced that they expected to layoff up to 100,000 out of 180,000 miners then employed by the 18 largest coal companies. The bottom line for coal consumers at this point was that their energy sources be cost competitive and that coal be forced to compete with o i l . While Keidanren had always maintained the position that coal should not be protected, policy direction at this stage was not to l i f t o i l t a r i f f s or controls on o i l converters but rather to force coal operators to reduce their prices through massive layoffs. Nikkeiren not only endorsed this policy but was convinced that as a labour relations organ i t could obtain its own objective of cutting out what i t considered a cancerous threat—the Miike union—in the process of the layoffs. Thus a * high degree of unity among employers emerged behind Mitsui in their attempt to rationalize and take on Sankoren and, in particular, the Miike local. A convergence between economic motivations on the part of coal consumers and p o l i t i c a l motivations on the part of Nikkeiren to reduce the influence of Miike miners, Sankoren and, ultimately Tanro and Sohyo, created a highly united c a p i t a l i s t class. This was much in evidence at Nikkeiren's semi-annual convention in October 1959 when the chairman of the Federation of Automobile Employers rose to present an emergency resolution on the c r i s i s in coal to the convention which concluded: "To us this is not an issue which can be resolved simply by the coal industry. It w i l l have important repercussions on every industrial sector and we believe Nikkeiren must go a l l out and extend a helping hand and through concrete measures work to bring about a fundamental 11 resolution." The presidents of 17 major coal companies met on September 17 to work out policies to support Mitsui's re-construction proposals. As early as February 4 that year the other coal operators had resolved to cover any shortf a l l in Mitsui coal shipments that might arise from a strike and, furthermore, to 12 cover the costs of such shipments. At their September meeting the presidents resolved not to take advantage of a probable Miike lockout to steal Mitsui customers and re-affirmed their earlier decision to supply the coal necessary to cover Mitsui shortfalls. On Oct. 5 Tanro held i t s 23rd special convention where the 22 coal c r i s i s and Impending layoffs at Miike were the main topic. It had become apparent that 100,000 jobs were on the line in the industry and this resulted in a direct link being established between the escalating Miike confrontation and coalminers everywhere. A militant strategy including reinforcing shopfloor actions, establishing s e l f - r e l i a n t organizations, preparing for a general strike, re-inforcing unity with Sohyo and with workers in other industries, and strengthening regional and d i s t r i c t joint struggles. Discussions between Mitsui and Sankoren over the second re-construction proposal broke off on October 7. Mitsui began the process of garnering i t s "voluntary retirees" at a l l of its mines but the methods differed. At Miike the strength of the union made i t d i f f i c u l t for the company^ to openly recruit the retirees and i t therefore resorted to distributing leaflets from airplanes cal l i n g on those workers who met the c r i t e r i a set out to come forward. In the other mines the company was able to "shoulder tap" (katatataki) those who-PitWthe c r i t e r i a . However Sankoren had issued directives on October 10 advising i t s members to refuse to comply with layoff advice and backed up the directive with notice that those who accepted would be internally disciplined for disobeying union policy. Thus, at only two of it s mines (Tagawa and Yamano) did i t reach i t s layoff objectives while at the others i t f e l l far short, recruiting less than one-13 third of i t s objective. At Miike i t recruited only 142 of the 2,210 volunteer retirees i t had hoped for. Mitsui in the meantime successfully pushed forward with i t s plan to separate the Miike machine shop and the workers agreed, 23 s p l i t t i n g off from the Miike local. The staff union, Sansharen, also applied to Tanro to conclude an agreement with Mitsui. On October 28 collective bargaining resumed at which time Mitsui Coal president Kuriki asserted that Mitsui would not rest until i t had reached the 2,210 layoffs necessary at Miike, including 300 "production obstructionists". The obstructionists were, from the union's point of view, it s shopfloor organizers and stewards and constituted the very heart of the union. Union representatives from Miike, Sankoren and Tanro rushed to Tokyo on October 7 to work ,out, i f possible, a joint response to Kuriki's latest pitch. The three union levels agreed to oppose Kuriki and after top-level negotiations a common bottom line was agreed upon: "a)absolute opposition to designated discharges b)the union would co-operate in production and c ) i f the f i r s t two items were agreed to then the union would not try to discipline members who decided 14 to retire of their own free w i l l . " This position is basically similar to the April 6 agreement worked out with the CLRB. The Miike union had in fact come to reject the convention of layoffs through voluntary retirements but probably agreed to this compromise because i t realized that its l i f e as a union was now at stake and that Tanro was not able or willing to take a firm stand against layoffs in the industry. Kuriki, however, was no longer willing to take such a proposal at its face value and had by this time resolved to purge the Miike union of i t s militant members. Negotiations resumed b r i e f l y on Nov. 10 but broke off again on Nov. 12 at which point the CLRB became involved. CLRB 24 chairman Nakayama Ichiro tabled a seven-point proposal on Nov. 21 which called for labour-management co-operation in raising production, "voluntary retirements" without company pressure or union interference, and further discussions i f the retirement quotas were not met. These proposals provoked an intense debate within Mitsui (one presumes between Kuriki and Yamamoto) but the mediation proposal was rejected because, the company said, i t would not resolve its problem with the Miike union. Sankoren was willing to discuss the mediation proposal with Mitsui but  Mitsui refused insisting that i t had to discipline the Miike  union. During the mediation period Sohyo held i t s 13th special convention where the coalminers' struggle and opposition to the proposed renewal of the Japan-U.S. mutual security treaty (Ampo) struggle were the issues of the day. The convention resolved to back Tanro financially to the tune of 300 yen per member up to April 1960. On Dec. 2 Sohyo leaders including Ota Kaoru and Iwai Akira visited Miike to meet with local members and pledged one b i l l i o n yen financial support. This was followed by a v i s i t by 32 leaders of Japan's largest unions who brought with them 75 million yen in contributions and assurances of a further 1.8 b i l l i o n in loans. On December 2 Mitsui mailed redundancy notices to 1492 workers at i t s Miike operations. The Miike union responded with general meetings in the regional assemblies (chiiki bunkai) and at the workplace (shokuba  bunkai) which culminated in a 24-hour general strike (the 17th since the start of the rotating strikes) and a huge demonstration in which, even according to company documents, 30,000 miners and their families and supporters participated. Of the 1492 workers 25 given notice 212 decided to accept the notices while the remaining 1,278 declined and were subsequently mailed registered letters on December 10 informing them that i f they did not accept the layoffs by December 15 they would be fired. On December 15 1,202 workers were fired. This included over 600 union activi s t s as well as 120 Socialist Party members and 31 members of the 16 Japan Communist Party. The Miike union continued i t s tactics of rotating strikes and on January-7 the union ordered its members to begin a disobedience campaign which led the company to retaliate with a f u l l scale lockout of a l l i t s Miike f a c i l i t i e s except the port on January 25. The union retaliated the same day with an all-out strike shutting down the port as well. Three Hundred Twelve Days The Mitsui lockout was not a spontaneous decision but a carefully planned strategy which had been worked out, in a general sense, after Mitsui lost a 1953 dispute where union-organized slow-downs and partial strikes had paralyzed production and forced Mitsui to withdraw a layoff proposal. At that time Mitsui f e l t i t was unable to retaliate with a general lockout 17 for a variety of reasons. Since then the company had taken measures to ensure i t was in a position to implement a general lock-out. As mentioned earlier, Mitsui had come to agreement with the other major coal companies that a)Mitsui's market share would be preserved in the event of a strike and b)the other operators would cover any shortages in Mitsui coal shipments due to the strike and absorb any extra costs. Furthermore, Mitsui had the f u l l support, and even exhortation, of Nikkeiren to purge 26 the Miike lo c a l . Finally, Mitsui hadj.lned up financing to undertake the lockout. The Mitsui Bank, under Sato Kiichiro, had cut off further financing to Mitsui Mining in July 1959 for both economic reasons and, one might reasonably suppose, to pressure Mitsui Mining into disciplining the Miike local union. Once the battle was joined Sato was more than happy to turn on the financial tap once again and, under his leadership, a cartel of eight banks including Mitsui Bank and Mitsui Trust was established to finance the fight. Over the course of the dispute these eight banks provided Mitsui Mining with 6.9 b i l l i o n yen in loans with the f i r s t installment of 3.3 b i l l i o n handed over at 18 the end of 1959. Mitsui also adopted a strategy to dir e c t l y intervene in the Miike union in an attempt to s p l i t i t . Opposition to the militant tactics of the local had existed ever since the 1953 strike and the company now counted on that opposition to form the nucleus of a "second union". To avoid the appearance of direct involvement which might result in legal action against i t s e l f , Mitsui called on the services of professional union-busters such as Mitamura Shiro and, according to union documents, on at least three separate occasions dissident elements in the Miike local attended "lectures" and "schools" sponsored by Mitamura and his cohorts, with 280 attending a "Labour University Short Course" in 19 Fukuoka on March 12-13. Union claims that such a c t i v i t i e s were sponsored by Mitsui seem reasonable since Mitsui i t s e l f admits 20 organizing similar "lectures" in the early 1950s. In the i n i t i a l phases of the lockout/strike Mitsui was 27 clearly on the offensive while the unions, including the Miike local, Sankoren and Tanro, were forced on the defensive as sp l i t s occurred. Tanro apparently was not f u l l y aware of its precarious position. At its 24th Convention on Feb. 14 further financial support of 600 yen per a f f i l i a t e d member (1000 for workers in the Mitsui union federation) was resolved. On Feb. 26 Tanro's Central Struggle Committee even came to the conclusion that the situation was increasingly favourable for the miners due to a decrease in coal stockpiles, a growing anti-Kishi sentiment related to the security treaty dispute, and continued progress in Shunto momentum. It decided to c a l l an all-out coalminers strike 21 for April 5 with Sankoren going out some days earlier. In the meantime the staff union, Sansharen, communicated its refusal to pay the 600 yen per member Miike support assessment to the Tanro Central Struggle Committee on March 3. This fissure in union solidarity cracked wide open a week later when the opposition in the Miike local presented the union's executive committee with a petition signed by 96 out of 254 members of the central committee calling for a special general meeting of the entire central committee to consider ways of quickly ending the dispute. The executive of the union acceded to the request and a special meeting was held on March 15 with thousands of workers and supporters from both sides demonstrating outside the meeting h a l l . The dissident faction submitted a four, point proposal calling for Dan end to the strike and re-opening negotiations, 2)acceptance of "voluntary retirement" for those dismissed and to get the company to help find new jobs and to cover interim l i v i n g expenses, 3)legal redress for those who refused to be 28 dismissed and, 4)their proposal to be put before the general membership in a secret ballot. The central committee refused the request and the opposition then l e f t the h a l l . On March 17 the opposition forces held a special meeting which became the founding convention of the "New Miike Mineworkers Union" (Miike Tanko Shin Rodo Kumiai or Shinro for short) and in their report to the company cited an i n i t i a l membership of 3,076 members. The new union was immediately recognized by the company and negotiations between the two parties led to a March 24 agreement to start up production with the new union. A l l of the issues in dispute were l e f t to future deliberations, the old contract was resumed and the lockout l i f t e d . During this period Tanro and Sohyo responded to the situation f i r s t by sending in 2,000 reinforcements (Orugu dan) with, in the case of Sohyo, union activists spending five nights and six days in each s h i f t backing up the picket lines at the mine. On March 18 Tanro implemented Directive 203 ca l l i n g for a general strike in coal on April 5 and an earlier walkout by Sankoren. A. week later, however, i t became evident that the other Mitsui local unions were unwilling to strike and union leaders in the other mines warned of further s p l i t s within the union i f Tanro pressed ahead with their strike strategy. On  March 27 the Tanro Central Struggle Committee admitted defeat,  called off the planned strike and initiated a mediation  application to the CLRB to resolve both the Mi ike dispute and  that year's wage increase. But having successfully isolated the 29 Miike local and with the momentum in i t s favour, Mitsui declined to enter into the union-initiated mediation process, informing the CLRB chairman of its decision on March 28. Despite Mitsui intransigence, the new CLRB chairman, Kobayashi, decided to proceed with mediation announcing his intentions that evening. The wage issue, however, would be dealt with separately, a process which the other major coal companies agreed to. Mitsui had made important progress in i t s attempt to purge the Miike union by s k i l l f u l l y u t i l i z i n g divide-and-rule tactics. For example, at Mitsui's Bibai c o l l i e r y in Hokkaido miners had not come forward to "voluntarily r e t i r e " in the numbers desired but Mitsui did not attempt to lockout the workers. Instead i t proceeded with an ongoing campaign to find voluntary retirees but this strategy was expressly dismissed for the Miike union. As Mitsui President Kuriki expressed i t , i t was not just a question of quantity but also one of quality) in other words, Mitsui was determined to f i r e 300 union activ i s t s at Miike come what may. Mitsui Mining's labour relations director, Yamamoto Gengo, recounted in his recollections of the strike how he had opposed the Nikkeiren/Kuriki view that i t was necessary to openly purge 22 the Miike lo c a l . By soft pedsljtnj the layoffs in the i n i t i a l stages Mitusi had been able to cajole Sankoren and Tanro into accepting voluntary layoffs, thereby eliminating the issue as the basis for a common struggle by the Miike local, Sankoren or Tanro as a whole. Once Sankoren, the most militant component in Tanro, accepted the April 6 agreement layoffs (in the form of "voluntary retirement") were inevitable in the other coal mines given the economic rationale of the industry and government at the time. A 30 second factor which allowed the company to divide Sankoren and Tanro was i t s campaign to malign the Miike local which, as Sakisaka Itsuro pointed out, began in 1958. This campaign became crucial when Mitsui let i t be known in late 1959 that i t was determined to purge the local union. By branding the Miike local as troublemakers Mitsui had been able to sow certain seeds of doubt about the Miike union—perhaps they had indeed gone too far in their militant tactics. While Tanro was reeling from the divisions within, the Miike lcoal continued to stand firm despite the formation of the breakaway union. Mitsui's determination to break the Miike local and restart production using the new union as strike breakers led to vicious clashes on the picket lines. In the early morning of March 28, 1500 members of the breakaway union charged the picket lines at the Mikawa mine and the ensuing clash turned bloody with over 100 workers injured. The evening headlines of the Asahi 23 Shimbun screamed "Unions Clash at Mitsui Miike" That evening Mitsui applied for, and received, a restraining order from the Fukuoka Dis t r i c t Court, prohibiting the f i r s t union from entering the mine but barring them from preventing breakaway union members from entering the mines. The Miike local took the position that the breakaway union i t s e l f , not to mention the negotations with the company and the l i f t i n g of the lockout, a l l constituted unfair labour practices. The picket lines remained and in the late afternoon of March 29 a picketer from the original union was stabbed during a clash with one of the pro-company goon squads and died shortly thereafter. Miike once again received national 31 headlines and the pickete r's tragic death not only engendered widespread sympathy for the Miike original union but i t raised the battle at Miike to a new plane—national p o l i t i c s . As the Asahi Shimbun's March 31st e d i t o r i a l pointed out, the incident had endangered the company's position and i t was inevitable that cr i t i c i s m of the company for provoking things to the point of a murder should surface. "Even in the Diet c r i t i c i s m is being raised and the question asked why did the company insi s t on restarting production when blood was surely going to be s p i l l e d . Even the bloody incident between the two unions on March 28 could have been avoided i f the company had not attempted to start up 23 again". Thousands of mourners gathered in memorial services for the murdered striker in the following days but, despite the adverse publicity, Mitsui refused to enter into mediation. Nevertheless, CLRB chairman Kobayashi released his mediation proposals in early A p r i l . His f i r s t proposal, tabled on April 5, called for a 395 yen per month wage increase for miners, a proposal which both the coal operators (except Mitsui) and Tanro agreed to. The second proposal, tabled the following day, dealt with the Miike situation and called for a)Mitsui to rescind the December 10 designated dismissals; b)those named by the above would voluntarily retire on the same day; clan additional 10,000 yen severance allowance would be accorded and d)the company should help to find them new jobs to the extent possible and 24 consider rehiring them once the company was back on its feet. The proposal was a clear cut endorsement of Mitsui's position and a blow not only to the Miike union but to Tanro and Sohyo in particular. Sohyo general secretary Ota Kaoru, realizing the 32 serious Implications of the Miike striker's death, clearly stated his position to CLRB chairman Kobayashi in a March 30 interview: "l)By setting up a second union and employing goon squads the company is trying to destroy the f i r s t union. We won't yield and w i l l fight to the end. The death of Kubo has reinforced the unity of workers there. Sohyo also intends to step up the fight at Miike and w i l l send in further reinforcements. 2) The company shows no remorse regarding the recent incidents. If i t insists on re-opening the mine the bloodletting can't be avoided. In order to avoid this worst-case scenario we expect a mediation proposal based on an impartial CLRB analysis. 3) to condone the f i r i n g of the 1200 workers is to legitimitize future firings due to technological change. Moreover i t is a complete denial of workers' rights and submission to the current policy of making the union movement a hand-maiden to capitalists."25 Taking such a position with Kobayashi was one thing, but to convince Sankoren and Tanro to reject the mediation proposal was another—a lot of water had gone under the bridge before Ota decided to get his feet wet. Tanro's 25th Convention was slated to begin on April 8 but because the Central Struggle Committee was deadlocked over whether or not to accept the Kobayashi proposal the convention opening was delayed a day and even when i t did open on the 9th i t almost immediately went into recess. Sankoren threatened to walk out i f the mediation proposal were not accepted despite Ota's pleas to reject the proposal in his speech opening the Tanro convention. Two emergency meetings of Sohyo's general council were called just prior to and during the Tanro convention where new support policies were adopted 26 including a further 150 million yen in financial aid. The Miike local also sent delegates who pleaded for Tanro to continue 33 the fight. The Miike local's central committee had unanimously rejected the Kobayashi report. On April 17, the Tanro convention voted to reject the Kobayashi report. Sankoren, having walked out of the convention a number of times, washed its hands of the struggle and on March 18 the Miike local l e f t Sankoren. Tanro was in tatters but the fight continued. As the Miike local's own history summarized: "The period from the formation of the breakaway union and the failure of Tanro Directive 203 to the rejection of the Kobayashi report caused qualitative changes in the nature of the Miike fight. It transformed a Tanro dispute into a Sohyo battle and brought about a new phase in the 27 struggle." Sohyo had committed i t s e l f to a nation-wide campaign of support for the Miike miners. Its strategy was to try and link the Miike struggle with the anti-security treaty struggle. At the Miike mine i t s e l f the confrontation centered on control of the Mikawa c o l l i e r y hopper which was a bottleneck in the production process. The Miike union, backed by thousands of Sohyo a c t i v i s t s , concentrated i t s picketing at the Mikawa hopper and clashes erupted between the Miike strikers, breakaway union members attempting to get into the hopper, and the police. In a April 20 incident a number of people were injured and on May 12 violence flared up again as police charged 2,000 picketers at the hopper. 180 people sustained injuries. The town of Omuta was in a state of siege. In an extraordinary measure Sohyo decided to hold i t s 14th Convention in Omuta from June 8-9, the f i r s t time i t had been held outside of Tokyo. This was followed by Tanro's 34 26th Convention held in Fukuoka June 13-14. While largely symbolic the convening of the general assemblies near the scene of the Miike confrontation did serve notice that Miike was not simply a regional struggle but was intimately linked to the national p o l i t i c i a l situation, in particular the anti-security treaty struggle. The Miike battle escalated to a fever pitch during July as pitched battles were fought at sea when Mitsui tried to bring in replacement miners and supplies to i t s island c o l l e r i e s . On July 5 the Fukuoka Di s t r i c t Court, responding to a Mitsui appeal, placed the area around the Mikawa hopper under the direct legal control of a court offi c e r . With this writ Mitsui was getting ready to completely eject the Miike strikers and their supporters with the backing of the courts and the direct intervention of the police. A bloody showdown was in the offing. Sohyo in the meantime prepared for battle dispatching 10,000 union activists to defend the Mikawa hopper picket line and also called for a mass demonstration on July 17. Tensions reached fever pitch on that day as 20,000 unionists picketing the Mikawa hopper stood face to face with 10,000 police in f u l l r i o t gear. Nearby 100,000 Miike union supporters gathered in a huge r a l l y . The mobilization of union support led to a standoff but Mitsui was determined to have the Mikawa hopper cleared of picketeers before its interim injunction expired on July 21. Tensions increased. The f a l l of the Kishi cabinet on July 15 and the ascent to power of Ikeda Hayato as leader of the LDP represented, i f not a fundamental break with the conservative and anti-communism of Kishi Nobusuke, at least a determination to defuse the explosive 35 s i t u a t i o n a t M i i k e . Ikeda formed h i s c a b i n e t on J u l y 19 and a p p o i n t e d I s h i d a H i r o h i d e as labour m i n i s t e r w i t h the mandate to i n t e r v e n e immediately i n the M i i k e c o n f r o n t a t i o n . I s h i d a c a l l e d on the CLRB to mediate and the CLRB i n i t i a t e d d i s c u s s i o n s with the two s i d e s . The CLRB, with the government's ba c k i n g , demanded t h a t the two s i d e s more or l e s s a c c e p t b i n d i n g a r b i t r a t i o n w i t h the two p r e v i o u s m e d i a t i o n p r o p o s a l s s e r v i n g as a b a s i s f o r the f i n a l d e c i s i o n and, on t h i s b a s i s , t h a t the c o n f r o n t a t i o n a t the Mikawa hopper be a v e r t e d . P i c k e t s c o u l d remain a t the Mikawa hopper. T h i s p r o p o s a l was a c c e p t e d by the M i i k e l o c a l , Tanro and Sohyo and indeed the p i c k e t e e r s a t the Mikawa hopper were exuberant about the goverment i n t e r v e n t i o n f e e l i n g t h a t t h e i r p erseverance had brought the f i g h t to a s t a n d s t i l l and t h a t the government c o u l d not use f o r c e to r o u t the workers g i v e n t h e i r numbers and d e t e r m i n a t i o n . The government's d e c i s i o n to a v o i d a showdown a l s o caused c o n s t e r n a t i o n among c e r t a i n s e c t o r s of the r u l i n g c l a s s . M i t s u i was unhappy with the p r o p o s a l and wanted the government to f i r s t g i v e a l e s s o n i n law and order by e n f o r c i n g the c o u r t order to c l e a r the hopper of p i c k e t s . In what must have been an e x t r a o r d i n a r y s e s s i o n I s h i d a p e r s o n a l l y went to M i t s u i headquarters on J u l y 20 to meet the top l e a d e r s of the b u s i n e s s world i n c l u d i n g Sato K i i c h i r o , p r e s i d e n t of M i t s u i Bank, Uemura Kogoro--vice p r e s i d e n t of Keidanren, the chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce, fou r top N i k k e i r e n o f f i c i a l s as 28 w e l l as K u r i k i to persuade them to go a l o n g with m e d i a t i o n . In the end I s h i d a and the government won out, M i t s u i ' s c o u r t order 36 expired without being enforced and both parties acceded to the mediation process. Calm spread in Omuta. On August 10 the CLRB came down with i t s ruling which included the following points: -the designated layoffs appeared unavoidable and i t was impossible at that stage to deal with each individual case to establish whether the layoff was j u s t i f i a b l e ; -workshop struggles had gotten out of hand and blame was attached to both the company and the union; -violence had gotten out of hand and was unacceptable; -the company should rescind i t s designated layoffs but those named should voluntarily r e t i r e ; -those r e t i r i n g and those named would receive 20 and 50 thousand yen respectively; -those laid off could appeal their cases to the labour board or the courts; -the government and company would work to find those lai d off new jobs; -the company and unions would form a committee to work out details to restart production and the company would not discriminate between the new and old unions. The company Immediately accepted the mediation proposal but the Miike local rejected i t . Once again Tanro faced an impossible decision. The issues were thrashed out at Tanro's 27th Convention in Tokyo beginning on August 18 but again the delegates found themselves deadlocked and the convention was adjourned for further reflection. Finally, after nearly 20 agonizing days the convention r a t i f i e d the proposal despite the objections of the Miike local. Almost a l l agreed that the proposal was unjust and anti-labour but the view that the union movement was unable to continue the struggle given the forces against i t eventually won out. The emotional moment was recorded by an Asahi journalist: "When the CLRB mediation proposal was adopted, the 60 people from the Miike local who were crammed into the back of the Tanro convention remained sil e n t , neither clapping nor speaking. They appeared stupefied. Among the miners' wives with their white headbands, a few women cried. A number of motorcycle riders who had come up to the convention in khaki suits and white helmets struggled to take off white jerseys enscribed in bold letters "Reject the Mediation Proposal". Most of the Miike wives are in tears or are wiping their faces with handkerchiefs. It wasn't unexpected but as one terminal in a long, bitter struggle—and having to swallow 1,200 dismissals—the disappointment went deep. Looking at those faces even I feel tears on the way. Later in the hallway wives hugged each other, crying. "Stop crying now, i t ' s not a time for tears," Sakisaka Itsuro softly chides them, his own eyes red with emotion. At that the wives burst out, tears r o l l i n g down their cheeks. The CLRB proposal was adopted amid Miike's tears of grief. 29 Following the Tanro decision the Miike local had no choice but to follow and on Dec. 1, 1960, 312 days after the lockout began at the mine, the Miike miners returned to work. The original union survived, scarred but resolute, and continued the struggle to preserve i t s autonomy. 38 Notes: Chapter I 1. Figures for prices and profits from Shirvo; Mi ike Sogi, p. 434, 436. 2. Cited in Sakisaka Itsuro, Mi ike Nikki, (Tokyo, Shiseido, 1961), p. 83. 3. Martin's a r t i c l e is an open attack on the union. Interestingly enough,articles by Martin similar to this one were reproduced in Far Eastern Survey and in Postwar Japan (New York, Random House, 1973). Martin's role in this whole af f a i r and his own status are somewhat, to say the least, suspect. It appears that Mr. Martin joined the United States Information Agency in 1961 as a f i e l d officer in Chile and then went on to become senior State Department Labor Analyst. A CIA connection is not unlikely. Moreover, Sakisaka indicates that Martin met with Mitsui o f f i c i a l s (and not with any union representatives—somewhat strange given that he was a union man himself). Sato Kiichiro, a prominent anti-union executive with Mitsui bank, was also Nikkeiren liaison for international a f f a i r s at this time and, although the evidence is circumstantial, i t is possible Martin was in contact with Sato and Nikkeiren. 4. Shlryo: Miike Sogi. p. 439. 5. For the complete proposal see Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 442-448 6. Tanro Directive #44, Feb. 21, 1959, cited in Mi ike 20-Nen, p. 252. 7. Nikkeiren Jigyo Hokoku, 1959, p. 61, my emphasis. 8. For Yamamoto's perceptions of the situation see Nikkeiren  Sanjunenshi, p. 744-745. 9. Shiryo: Mi ike Sogi, p. 48 2. 10. Ibid., p. 484. 11. Nikkeiren Jigyo Hokoku, p. 100. 12. Ibid., p. 552 13. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 518. 14. Miike 20-Nenshi, p. 301. 15. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 529. 16. Miike Nikki, p. 117. 39 17. Shiryo: Mi ike Sogi, p. 175. 18. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, p. 357. 19. Miike 20-Nenshi, p. 330. 20. Mitsui admits organizing a series of lectures at Enoshima by the same right-wing leaders in 1952 as part of a special anti-communist "factory defense movement" initiated by Nikkeiren. It was found guilty of unfair labour practices by the CLRB at the time. For details of Mitsui's previous involvement with the Mitamura school see Shiryo; Miike Soqi, pp. 113-118. 21. Miike 20-Nenshi, p. 327. 22. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, pp. 744-747. 23. Asahi Shimbun, March 31, 1960, pp. 2 e d i t o r i a l . 24. Cited in Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 613. 25. Miike 20-Nenshi, pp. 368-369. 26. Nihon Rodo Kumiai Sohyogikai, ed., Sohyo Junenshi, (Tokyo, Rodo Junposha, 1964), p. 719. 27. Miike 20-Nenshi. p. 345. 28. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 696. i 29. Asahi Shimbun, September 6, 1960, p. 3. 40 chapter II; N ikke iren and Postwar Labour Relat ions The important role Nikkeiren played in the Miike dispute and the contradictions that arose between Maeda Hajime and Mitsui Mining's Yamamoto Gengo are significant and merit further investigation. They indicate the possible existence of divergent managerial approaches to labour relations in the postwar period. Nikkeiren domination during Miike, however, also seems to point to a dominant "hard l i n e " approach towards unions. This chapter contains a summary of the Maeda-Yamamoto debate, investigates Nikkeiren's role in other labour disputes and attempts to p o l i t i c a l l y characterize Nikkeiren's approach to labour relations. Nikkeiren and Miike The contradictions between local Mitsui executives, particularly Yamamoto Gengo—Mitsui Mining's director of labour relations—and Nikkeiren o f f i c i a l s are documented and provide valuable insights into the machinations of Japanese executives during this dispute. In his recollections of the Miike strike, Yamamoto reveals that Nikkeiren o f f i c i a l s overrode his strategy for dealing with the Mitsui mineworkers and insisted on breaking the union by f i r i n g 300 union a c t i v i s t s : "Well, in the end analysis i t became, as Ota Kaoru put i t , a general confrontation between capital and labour, but we had no such intention. We thought we had to resolve the disputes that arose by ourselves. We worked with the view that one way or another we had to stop the hemmoraglng on both sides and resolve the situation peacefully and quickly. Then, well this is linked to Nikkeiren's motto, 'managers: be strong and f a i r ' you see. 41 My f e e l i n g was that we were entrusted with an industry which, as I had been t o l d by Sakurada, was e s s e n t i a l and therefore a nat iona l i n s t i t u t i o n and so workers and employers had to get together and put the industry before anything e l s e . [The union] fought over issues i t thought important I guess, but i f the company went under then the union members would lose the i r l i v e l i h o o d and so th i s was the bas is for my ac t i on s . But t h i s issue of being a pub l i c i n s t i t u t i o n was a l i t t l e weird wi th in the company. One th ing was that we cou ldn ' t unite with in the company. Then N ikke i ren, and t h i s was proper education mind you, brainwashed the executive se t . The idea that managers had to purge the inso lent t y p e s — l i k e those from the red purge—the type who obstructed product ion or business was pushed p re t ty thoroughly. Take my experience for example. The type l i k e Sato K i i c h i r o who was head of M i t su i Bank at the time. I think he was a one of those very i n f l u e n t i a l leaders through h is c lose r e l a t i o n s h i p with Keidanren and N ikke i ren. To us executive types he used to t e l l us in no uncerta in terms that ' you 'd better get r i d of ! those ro t ten apples qu ick ' As far as the dispute went the fundamental issue became the  f i r i n g of 300 product ion o b s t r u c t i o n i s t s but I. never agreed and considered i t an issue of  l a yo f f s due to economic reasons."1 Besides Sato K i i c h i r o , M i t su i Bank pres ident at the time, another key Nikkeiren o f f i c i a l was Maeda Hajime, a founding managing d i r e c t o r . Unl ike Sato, whose Nikkeiren r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s were secondary to h is post as M i t su i Bank pres ident , Maeda was N ikke i ren ' s c h i e f - t r o u b l e shooter and, due to h i s d e l i c a t e p o s i t i o n , was a f u l l - t i m e o f f i c i a l with no other corporate post ings. Upon ret irement in 1969, Maeda wrote a 30-page essay o u t l i n i n g h is views and r e c o l l e c t i o n s of the development of Japanese labour r e l a t i o n s . For tunate ly , he s p e c i f i c a l l y r e c a l l s the Miike s t r i k e and h is own ro le in i t . Maeda says that he re jec ted the f i r s t mediation report (December 1959) c a l l i n g for "vo luntary ret i rement" and a f t e r he ta lked i t over with Mitsu i 42 Bank pres ident Sato K i i c h i r o and M i t s u i Mining pres ident K u r i k i they agreed that the proposal was unacceptable. Maeda analyzed the problem: "There were two kinds of poisons that were eat ing at the roots of M i t su i Mining. One was the power of the union in the mines—they were so strong they could defy foremen's orders. The other was the in f luence the union had in the company re s i dence s—they were strong enough to e l iminate company in f l uence . Labour r e l a t i o n s at Miike genera l l y were unstable due to s y n d i c a l i s t ideas and a c t i o n , and i t was hopeless to expect a re turn to sound management without re so l v ing th i s problem."2 Maeda a l so r e c a l l e d the dispute that he had with Yamamoto at the time: "He [Yamamoto] probably thought that my oppos i t ion to the Nakayama mediation proposal was a b ig stumbling block so he came to my o f f i c e at N ikkeiren to give me an e a r f u l . In essence he s a i d , 'The problems at M i t su i Mining have to be reso lved by the company i t s e l f . I n te r fe r i n g statements from the outside by t h i r d pa r t i e s such as N ikkeiren are only causing problems so please s t op . ' But i t was just at that time that Ota Kaoru f i r s t made h is statement that the Miike dispute was a f i gh t between general labour versus general c a p i t a l . The issue had gotten to the point where i t was now a s o c i a l , no, even a na t iona l issue ."3 His own statements notwithstanding, Maeda's involvement in M i t su i Coa l ' s labour r e l a t i o n s predates any s i g n i f i c a n t involvement by Sohyo or Ota Kaoru, however. A review of N ikke i ren ' s annual reports for the years 1958-1961 l a r ge l y substant iates Sakisaka I t suro ' s c l a im that the attack against the Miike miners was wel l under way by la te 1958 and esca lated during 1959. N ikkeiren met in general convention twice a year and at each convention during th i s per iod Maeda addressed the business leaders g i v ing a report 43 on t h e g e n e r a l l a b o u r s i t u a t i o n . I n h i s a d d r e s s t o t h e O c t o b e r 1958 c o n v e n t i o n , M aeda, a f t e r d e n o u c i n g t h e h e s i t a t i o n o f t h e p o l i c e t o e n f o r c e l a w a n d o r d e r d u r i n g a s t r i k e a t t h e O j i p a p e r m i l l s t h a t y e a r , a t t a c k e d t h e M i i k e l o c a l u n i o n ' s s u c c e s s f u l s t r a t e g y o f w a g i n g s t r u g g l e s on t h e s h o p f l o o r : " B e g i n n i n g w i t h T a n r o a n d S h i t e t s u a l a r g e number o f f e d e r a t i o n s a r e l o y a l l y i m p l e m e n t i n g t h e d i r e c t i v e on s h o p f l o o r s t r u g g l e a n d a l r e a d y i n one company o v e r one t h o u s a n d g r i e v a n c e s h a v e b e e n r a i s e d a t one 4 work s i t e a n d t h e f o r e m e n a r e g o i n g c r a z y . " D u r i n g t h e same s p e e c h Maeda l a u d e d Z e n r o K a i g i ( a r i g h t - w i n g u n i o n c e n t r a l i n o p p o s t i o n t o S o h y o ) f o r i t s r e a s o n a b l e a p p r o a c h t o l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s w h i l e a c c u s i n g S o h y o o f b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y " c o m m u n i s t i c " , a t r e n d he a t t r i b u t e d t o f o u r f a c t o r s : c o m m u n i s t i n f i l t r a t i o n ; t h e s y n d i c a l i s m o f T a k a n o ( a f o r m e r Sohyo c h a i r m a n ) ; t h e p r e s e n c e o f p u b l i c s e c t o r u n i o n s w h i c h t e n d e d , u n l i k e p r i v a t e s e c t o r u n i o n s , t o be p o l i t i c a l ; a n d t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e Rono s c h o o l o f t h o u g h t ( a n o n - c o m m u n i s t b u t r a d i c a l s o c i a l i s t t e n d e n c y ) among a c a d e m i c s a n d c u l t u r a l t y p e s w i t h i n 5 S o h y o . Maeda's mo s t f e r v e n t a t t a c k s a g a i n s t Yamamoto*s p o l i c i e s a n d t h e M i i k e l o c a l came o u t i n h i s a d d r e s s t o t h e A p r i l 1959 N i k k e i r e n c o n v e n t i o n . Maeda a t t a c k e d a 1955 l o n g - t e r m f u l l e m p l o y m e n t a g r e e m e n t s i g n e d b y M i t s u i ( w h i c h Yamamoto had recommended) a n d S a n k o r e n : " I t i s b e y o n d me why i n t h e w o r l d t h e y s i g n e d a l o n g - t e r m f u l l e m p l o y m e n t a g r e e m e n t w h i c h p u t s i n t o q u e s t i o n m a n a g e r i a l r i g h t s when m a n a g e r s t h e m s e l v e s s h o u l d d e c i d e 6 on e m p l o y m e n t l e v e l s a n d q u a l i t y . " Maeda t h e n l a s h e d o u t a t 44 Mitsui for pussyfooting around the l a y o f f issues and saw l i t t l e hope for Yamamoto's "voluntary retirment" proposal (the A p r i l 6 agreement): "There's been a l o t of opposition i n t h i s round of Shunto (the spring wage offensive) and while the company's re-construction proposal seems to be r e s o l v i n g things i f in a somewhat d i s t o r t e d way, the problem s t i l l remains as in the 7 past". By the f a l l the w r i t i n g was on the wall for Yamamoto's approach and Maeda, Sato and K u r i k i began to prepare to take on the Miike union, arranging co-operation from other coal operators (September) and obtaining financing (October-November). Their determination to take on Miike miners became public with t h e i r r e j e c t i o n of the Nakayama mediation proposal i n December. As Nikkeiren's o f f i c i a l h i s t o r y summarized: "Regarding the Miike struggle, as we mentioned before, the view that i t was necessary to avoid a showdown with the Miike union held sway within the company at the beginning. However, once the plan for a showdown was decided on, the anti-agreement view triumphed with [Mitsui] president K u r i k i leading the way. This was due, among other things, to the fact that the other coal operators had readied an 8 unprecedented system of support and co-operation." The evidence that Nikkeiren played an instrumental r o l e i n provoking the lockout seems pretty conclusive. But what i s not cle a r i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the differences between Nikkeiren and Yamamoto, and to what extent Nikkeiren's role at Miike t y p i f i e d Nikkeiren's a c t i v i t i e s . Nikkeiren Targets M i l i t a n t Unions Immediately following the war's end Japanese executives were 45 in a tight spot. On the one hand they came under investigation by U.S. occupation forces attempting to establish individual complicity in war crimes. Furthermore, the zaibatsu were targeted for dissolution as SCAP had concluded that excess c a p i t a l i s t concentration was one of the many factors which had led to Japanese aggression. Finally, businessmen were the targets of a powerful union movement which spread like wildfire throughout the country's mines, mills and offices during the 1945-49 period. Nevertheless, businessmen made every attempt to maintain organizational links in postwar Japan and, when U.S. occupation forces shifted their policy emphasis from liberalism and economic aid to anti-communism and restraint after 1947, these links blossomed into national business federations. Nikkeiren was established in April 1948 as the business community's main labour relations organ. From that point on one of Nikkeiren's main objectives was to emasculate the trade union movement. An integral part of this process was to crush unions which, in Nikkeiren's opinion, encroached on management's rights. Thus from 1948 right through to the 1960 Miike lockout Nikkeiren was intimately, i f at times surreptitiously, involved in key labour disputes and was particularly Influential in disputes which involved strong unions. To take a few examples: 1)Toshiba-1949: The union at Toshiba was renowned for i t s ingenious tactics and i t became a Nikkeiren target as part of the 1949 rationalization movement spurred by the impact of the Dodge line. The company announced layoffs of one-quarter of i t s work force (4,581 employees) and after the union began dispute tactics 46 a breakaway union was formed which the company immediately r e c o g n i z e d . By November t h e o r i g i n a l u n i o n was c r u s h e d and t h e layoffs implemented. This struggle is well known but Nikkeiren involvement has not, at least in English-language works, been f u l l y recognized. In the Toshiba case both Sato Kiichiro and Maeda Hajime played noteworthy roles. It was Sato who appointed 9 Ishizaka Taizo as Toshiba president just before the strike. Ishizaka and Sato went on to become chairman and vice-chairman respectively of Keidanren. Maeda Hajime recalled the Toshiba strike: "During the big dispute at Toshiba I took the present director and Yamashita along with me to attend weekly meetings of the dispute policy committee at Toshiba headquarters. Ishizaka Taizo, who is now known as the prime minister of the business world, had just become president of Toshiba after being with Daiichi Seimei Insurance. It seemed i t was another world there and disputes and dispute countermeasures were completely unknown."10 2)Nissan-1953: The 1953 Nissan dispute appears to follow an almost identical pattern to the Miike strike. The most authoritative account of the lockout in English is by Michael A. 11 Cusumano in his recent book, The Japanese Automobile Industry. Nissan decided to rout the union because i t s shop committee system had become too strong. Maeda Hajime and Nikkeiren played an instrumental role again, according to Cusumano, warning the business community about the shop committee system and openly encouraging Nissan executives to defy the union. Nissan followed this view and locked out the workers, fired the union leaders and, when this failed to bring the workers to their knees, helped set up a second union with the support of far right anti-47 communists linked with the Mitamura school which was involved seven years later at Miike. Nikkeiren played an active role thoughout, providing legal assistance, arranging jobs for Nissan subcontractors, and lobbying with other automakers to prevent them from taking over Nissan's markets during the lockout. The Industrial Bank and Fuji Bank financed the lockout to the tune of 540 million yen and part of these funds were channeled to the breakaway union. Maeda's own recollections of the Nissan strike tend to confirm Cusumano's version of events: "Kawamata pondered the idea of f i r i n g these guys [Masuda Tetsuo and other union leaders] for a number of days. An advocate of quick and resolute decisions on firings myself, I urged Kawamata to make the move. In these cases i f you f i r e the leaders you either i r r i t a t e them and create confusion or they w i l l simply disappear, floating up from the company and dispersing like grass without roots. I believed i t would be the latter."12 In fact even after the firings Masuda and other union leaders retained overwhelming support. If the grass didn't float Maeda and Nissan executives arranged to have i t cut, financing the breakaway union and conspiring to have Masuda and other union leaders arrested. In the process they not only broke the Nissan union but bankrupted Zenji, the autoworkers federation. 3)The Nihon Steel Muroran Works-1954: Again one particular workshop with a tradition of militancy resisted a company proposal for layoffs. The company was unable to persuade the union to allow "voluntary retirements" and so i t helped create a breakaway union which immediately gained company recognition and 48 t r i e d to r e s t a r t product ion, provoking clashes with the o r i g i n a l union. The f i r s t union was eventually crushed and expelled from 13 the steelworkers federation and the layoffs f i n a l l y enforced. Nihon Steel is a f f i l i a t e d with the Mitsui group and Sato KiIchiro's shadow again crosses the stage: "The person who helped this company's rehabilitation financially was Sato Kiichiro 14 (president of Mitsui Bank)." In his memoirs Maeda linked the Muroran and Miike disputes because of third-party involvement: "The dispute at the Muroaron Steel Works seemed to be a defeat for labour with the appearance of the second union. On labour's side, Sohyo, and on the employers side, Nikkeiren, appeared to be 15 giving both open and covert support and leadership." 4)Oji Paper-1958: This 1958 lockout/strike was one of the more direct attempts at union bashing with the Oji Paper company challenging the basic "union shop" principle from the outset. The company (again a Mitsui a f f i l i a t e ) helped created a breakaway union for i t s white collar workers in head office and then branched this out into i t s factories. The original union was well known for i t s militancy, high wages and good working conditions which i t had won for its members. The paper company got an injunction banning original union workers from i t s property and tried to restart production with the breakaway union which had a f f i l i a t e d to, and received the support of, Zenro Kaigi. Violent clashes between the two unions and the police occurred with scores injured. In the end the original union lost 16 its bid to maintain Oji as a union shop. These disputes are generally recognized as being among the most important in Japan's trade union history. What is common is that they a l l involve a deliberate attempt to destroy a union which did not identify i t s interests as being the same as the company^. While such attempts are not unheard of in Western countries, the scale and consistancy of the attacks is remarkable. In many key in d u s t r i e s — s t e e l , auto, e l e c t r o n i c s — such battles occurred and they often had a strong ripple effect. For example the 1953 Nissan lockout led to the dissolution of a militant industrial federation of autoworkers. Analyzing the Miike lockout in light of these earlier struggles, a rel a t i v e l y clear pattern emerges of a postwar managerial conspiracy to circumscribe labour militancy and to reconcile workers and their unions to ca p i t a l i s t control in the workplace. Given the new p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y of legalized unions and a new v i t a l labour movement, the choice facing managers was not whether unions in general should be allowed to exist or not. The choice was to decide which type of unions they could live with and which they could not and then to take whatever measures necessary, legal or i l l e g a l , to get r i d of non-compliant trade unions. Toshiba, Nissan, Nihon Steel Muroran, Oji, and Miike, among others, f e l l in this latter category. Nikkeiren summarized this in its own way: "At the same time, this [the Miike battle] was the climax in a lineage of long struggles beginning with the Tanro and Densan unlimited general strikes right after the peace treaty, continuing through the Nissan and Nihon Steel Muroran disputes and up to the Oji Paper battle."17 While Nikkeiren uses the length of strikes as its chronological 50 framework this does not do justice to the fundamental issues involved in these disputes. Intense labour-management confrontations began immediately after the war as unions got organized and challenged, in many cases, managerial hegemony within the enterprise. In the beginning these battles, such as the production control fights in 1946, were rela t i v e l y short because managers were very much on the defensive and realized they had l i t t l e choice at that stage but to give in to union demands. If the disputes became longer i t was because the unions under discussion were fighting for their very existence and had a certain amount of experience and confidence and were not about to r o l l over in the face of management intransigence. Nikkeiren Ideology It is beyond the scope of this essay to do an in-depth analysis of Nikkeiren postwar policies but certain essential elements do stand out. Beginning to understand them is essential for an accurate appreciation of the causes and implications of the Miike strike. Let us look b r i e f l y at those policies and the ideological underpinnings which led to their formation and execution. Like managers everywhere Japanese executives wanted to maintain control and domination of the means of production and at the same time wanted to prevent a strong working class reaction from becoming organized and channeled into ongoing attempts to challenge managerial domination. For a period immediately after the war that control had slipped and the spectre of revolution 51 had sent shudders 18 through executives everywhere. After its formation in 1948 Nikkeiren set about to regain i t s control over the means of production and labour. Integral to this process was the necessity of reasserting the right of managers to play a leading and dominant role in postwar reconstruction and, more importantly, to gain organizational hegemony on the shop floor. Nikkeiren from i t s formation strongly advocated a theory of exclusive management rights. This theory was f i r s t outlined in Nikkeiren's statement of purpose, "Managers: Be Fair and Strong", issued after i t s founding convention and developed in two other major documents, "An Opinion on Securing Management Rights" issued in May 1948 in conjunction with Nikkeiren intervention in the Toho Film dispute and the "Fundamental Plan for Revised 19 Labour Contracts" adopted in June, 1948 by Nikkeiren. The essence of these documents was to delineate the rights and responsibilities of both workers and managers based on a fundamental theory of "management rights": " F i r s t , the fact that management rights belong to managers (a point of c l a r i f i c a t i o n : what we c a l l managerial rights may be considered a social convention and an expression of the authority and responsibility for corporate admininstration based on property rights) must, in contracts, be concretely demonstrated across a whole range of issues including personnel, accounting, operations, organization, systems, supervision, production methods, office regulations, safety, etc. In the event a union inappropriately crosses the line we can charge i t with a violation of the contract."20 Within this context of almost exclusive managerial rights the role of the union was cast mainly as a consultative one and beginning in 1948 Nikkeiren spearheaded a drive to revise labour 52 c o n t r a c t s i n o r d e r t o e n s h r i n e m a n a g e r i a l r i g h t s and t o downscale t h e r o l e of management counc i l s ( k e l e l k y o g i k a l ) i n which, d u r i n g the immediate postwar p e r i o d , l a b o u r u n i o n s had had e q u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n w i t h managers. Many u n i o n s had a t t e m p t e d t o make t h e s e management c o u n c i l s t h e b a s i c a d m i n i s t r a t i v e organs f o r the companies and t h i s was opposed by N i k k e i r e n and i t s c o r p o r a t e s p o n s o r s : " I n t h e immediate postwar p e r i o d , managers opposed the r e s t r i c t i o n o f s t o c k h o l d e r and e x e c u t i v e a u t h o r i t y by management c o u n c i l s . However, a t the same t i m e , t h e Idea a l s o e x i s t e d t h a t i f t h e s e c o u n c i l s c o u l d be used as a l i e u f o r c o n s t r u c t i v e d i s c u s s i o n s and t o p r e v e n t d i s p u t e s t h e n t h e y s h o u l d be 21 r e c o g n i z e d . " T h i s c o n s u l t a t i v e r o l e f o r u n i o n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s was a l s o e n v i s a g e d i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e e x e r c i s e of m a n a g e r i a l a u t h o r i t y over s p e c i f i c domains s u c h as p e r s o n n e l m a t t e r s : " W i t h i n m a n a g e r i a l r i g h t s c o n t r o l of p e r s o n n e l m a t t e r s i s c e n t r a l t o our a u t h o r i t y . However, because t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between p e r s o n n e l m a t t e r s and u n i o n s i s v e r y d e l i c a t e the b a s i c p o l i c y s h o u l d be t o c o n s u l t w i t h t h e u n i o n s over m a t t e r s s u c h as t r a n s f e r s or l a y o f f s and i n d i v i d u a l s c o n c e r n e d s h o u l d be g i v e n a 22 s e p a r a t e o p p o r t u n i t y t o r a i s e d i f f e r e n c e s of o p i n i o n . " These N i k k e i r e n documents r e v e a l a b a s i c a p p r o a c h t o u n i o n s w h i c h may, a t l e a s t t e n t a t i v e l y , be summarized as f o l l o w s : Managers i n postwar Japan had no c h o i c e but t o r e c o g n i z e t h e f a c t t h a t u n i o n s were l e g a l and would r e m a i n s o . G i v e n t h i s , however, t h e y a t t e m p t e d t o a s s e r t what t h e y c o n s i d e r e d t h e i r f u n d a m e n t a l m a n a g e r i a l r i g h t s i n as many a r e a s as p o s s i b l e w h i c h i m p l i e d t h e open and d i r e c t s u b o r d i n a t i o n of w o r k e r s and t h e i r u n i o n s t o m a n a g e r i a l d i s c r e t i o n on the shop f l o o r i n p a r t i c u l a r . Managers 53 in Japan hoped to cultivate unions which accepted these premises (capitalist control and domination) and which would, in exchange for being recognized and consulted, help to execute their policies. In essence, Japanese managers hoped to co-opt unions, make them an organic extension of their authority. This tendency towards corporatism is key to undertanding the close integration of some unions with managerial control apparent in some industries in Japan today. Two major blocks stood in the way of this corporatist ambition in postwar Japan. On the one hand the legal framework for labour relations in Japan was non-corporatist, that i s , was established by the occupation forces which, in the early period, were guided by liberal-democratic views that recognized trade unions as independent bodies with legal rights. This was one problem. The second problem that confronted Japanese managers was the unions themselves, which in the immediate postwar period were, on the whole, quite intent on preserving their autonomy. The key to understanding the evolution of postwar labour relations in Japan and the Miike strike is the dial e c t i c struggle between managerial corporatism and an autonomous union movement within a l i b e r a l legal framework. Anti-communism The f i r s t problem Nikkeiren faced after i t s formation in April 1948 was how to eliminate communist influence in the trade union movement. Communist views stood in direct contradiction to Nikkeiren's corporatist orientation and their growing influence was considered a pernicious influence in the trade 54 un ion movement. I n i t i a l l y , N i k k e i r e n a t t a c k e d the prob lem on t h r e e f r o n t s : I t began to c o n f r o n t and c h a l l e n g e J C P - l n f l u e n c e d un ions such as the one a t the Toho movie s t u d i o s w h i c h , w i t h the b a c k i n g of SCAP tanks and a i r p l a n e s , i t s u c c e s s f u l l y b r o k e ; i t he l ped d i r e c t a l a r g e s c a l e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n movement i n 1949 (under the i n f l u e n c e of the Dodge p l an ) th rough which thousands of m i l i t a n t workers were l a i d o f f i n c l u d i n g many s u s p e c t e d communists ; and i t began to c u l t i v a t e moderate un ions as an a l t e r n a t i v e to the r a d i c a l u n i o n i s m of S anbe t su . In F e b r u a r y 1949 the Zenkoku Rodo Kumia i K a i g i was e s t a b l i s h e d combin ing moderate Sodomei and Mindo c e l l s ( a n t i - C P c e l l s w i t h i n r a d i c a l u n i o n s ) . T h i s f e d e r a t i o n ga ined u n o f f i c i a l endorsement f rom both the o c c u p a t i o n f o r c e s and N i k k e i r e n as an a l t e r n a t i v e to Sanbet su . From the U n i t e d S t a t e s p e r s p e c t i v e , the o c c u p a t i o n f o r c e s hoped the new un ion c e n t e r would take up i t s c o l d war a n t i - S o v i e t p o s i t i o n s and a f f i l i a t e w i t h the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o n f e d e r a t i o n of F ree Trade Unions (ICFTU) as opposed to the p r o -S o v i e t World F e d e r a t i o n of Trade U n i o n s . Dur ing t h i s 1948-49 p e r i o d , N i k k e i r e n a l s o s e t i t s mind to a l t e r i n g the l i b e r a l t r a d e un ion framework and to f i n d i n g ways to get around the i s s u e of un i on r i g h t s . Maeda Hajime r e c o u n t s i n h i s memoirs how t h e y d e v e l o p e d a group of l awyers who not o n l y recommended l e g a l changes but a l s o found ways to c i r c u m s c r i b e c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of the l a b o u r code and r e g u l a t i o n s th rough such 23 d e v i c e s as i n t e r i m I n j u n c t i o n s ( k a r i shobun) . I n c r e a s i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l t e n s i o n s and l abour s t r u g g l e s i n e a r l y 1950 induced U.S. o c c u p a t i o n f o r c e s t o b e g i n an open purge of known or s u s p e c t e d communists . N i k k e i r e n a p p l i e d the purge i n the private sector—the result being the dismissal of 11,170 24 workers in 541 companies. As Maeda later recounted: "In my work at Nikkeiren, every day was a busy one during the "Red 25 Purge"". Success in the purge led Nikkeiren to attempt to develop i t s anti-communism into a f u l l blown system of labour relations through the "workshop defence movement" (shokuba boei  undo). Under the pretext of protecting workshops from communist attacks, Nikkeiren promoted organizational and educational a c t i v i t i e s based on anti-communism and corporatist labour-ca p i t a l i s t co-operation. While SCAP and Japanese government documents downplayed the Importance of this movement, in fact i t played a significant role in a number of factories. At Mitsui Mining, for example, it s role is characterized this way: "In the period following the "red purge" up to the 1953 enterprise adjustment our company's principal labour control policy was enterprise defence, the workshop defence movement which pushed 26 the company forward organizationally." This movement was taken up by the far right labour movement headed by Mitamura Shiro who helped found the "Workshop Defence Movement Liaison Council" (Shokuba Boei Undo Renraku Kvoqikai) with union sympathizers from Hitachi, Fuji Iron Ore, Nihon Cement and Ishikawajima 27 Shipbuilding. Mitamura later played an important role in setting up a breakaway union during the Miike strike. While further research is necessary, i t seems that Nikkeiren's corporatist approach conflicted with the approach of the Keizai Doyukal, a more l i b e r a l oriented association of executives. This group ceded,labour unions a legitimate, 56 independent role within the workplace and society at large. According to at least one Japanese scholar, Okamoto Hldeakl, the Keizai Doyukai's approach only gained currency after 1960 when even Nikkeiren began to modify some aspects of i t s corporatist 28 approach. The 1948-1960 period is marked by Nikkeiren's attempts to impose i t s corporatist policies particularly, but not exclusively, at the point of production—the shop floor. In many cases this meant a concerted attempted to break unions but the process was much more complex. It involved p o l i t i c a l as well as economic dimensions and often, as I hope to demonstrate in the next chapter, i t inspired large-scale resistance and subsequent growth and consolidation of an independent trade union movement— a factor which was c r i t i c a l in the confrontation at Miike. 57 Notes: Chapter Two 1. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, pp. 744-745. Yamamoto recounted his experiences as part of a roundtable discussion recorded for Nikkeiren's o f f i c i a l history. 2. Maeda Hajime, "Nikkeiren ni Ikita Nijunen" (Twenty Years with Nikkeiren) in Bessatsu Chuo Koron, Keiel Mondai (Vol. 8, No. 3), p. 364. 3. Ibid., p. 364. 4. Nikkeiren Jigyo Hokoku, 1958, (Tokyo, Nikkeiren, 1959), p. 48 5. Ibid., pp. 49-50. 6. Nikkeiren Jigyo Hokoku, 1959. (Tokyo, Nikkeiren, i960), p. 21 7. Ibid., p. 21, emphasis added. 8. Nikkeiren Sanjunensh, p. 355. 9. Hoshino Yasunosuke, Mitsui Hyakunen, (Tokyo, Kagoshima Kenkyujo Kenkyukai, 1978), p. 348. 10. Maeda Hajime, "Nikkeiren ni Ikita Nijunen", p. 357. 11. This account is based on chapter three ("The Human Drape: Management and Labour") of Cusumano's work The Japanese  Automobile Industry, (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1985), pp. 137-185. 12. Maeda Hajime, p. 358. 13. This account is taken from Nihon Rodo Kumiai Sohyogikai, ed., Sohyo Junenshi, (Tokyo, Rodo Junposha, 1964), pp. 444-8. 14. Mitsui Hyakunen, p. 346. 15. Maeda Hajime, p. 363. 16. Basic information about the Oji paper dispute is taken from Sohyo Junenshi (pp. 659-62) and Mitsui Hyakunen (pp.349-50). 17. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, p. 355. 18. For a good account of the rise of the labour movement in the immediate postwar period see Joe Moore, Japanese Workers and  the Struggle for Power, (Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Press, 1981). 19. These documents are outlined in Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, pp. 200-208. Interestingly enough the third document was 58 written by Yamamoto Gengo, the Mitsui Mining executive who fought with Maeda Hajime during the Miike dispute. 20. From a "Handbook on Revising Labour Contracts" as quoted in Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, p. 207. 21. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, p. 20 3. 22. From a "Handbook on Revising Labour Contracts" as quoted in Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, p. 207, my emphasis. 23. Maeda Hajime, p. 355. 24. Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi, p. 24 4. 25. Maeda Hajime, p. 358. 25. Shiryo: Mitsui Sogi, p. 113. 27. Ibid., p. 113. 28. Hideaki Okamoto, "Management and Their Organizations" in Workers and Employers in Japan, (Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press, 1974), p. 177 59 Chapter III: Working Class Consciousness The managers' corporatist offensive made important inroads in the 1948-53 period but, as I hope to demonstrate, i t was not universally successful. Nor did their i n i t i a l success imply a reciprocal reduction in the a b i l i t y of the working class to resi s t . In fact, the managerial offensive provoked a decided s h i f t to the l e f t on the part of the labour movement after 1950 with a subsequent spread in militancy which, although perhaps not reaching the 1947 levels of labour radicalism, persisted thoughout the 1950s. This consolidation of the workers' movement was an essential element in the 1960 battle at Miike. In h i s t o r i c a l terms in particular the 1946-60 period was a watershed in the early development of worker egalitarianism in Japan. Prior to the war, labour unions had not made substantial inroads among the nascent working class but after defeat a dramatic transformation occurred—workers formed unions across the country and strikes became part of the social fabric. The principal issue fought out during this period, contrary to popular perceptions, was whether workers could maintain their unions against corporatist hegemony. This was an integral aspect of their identity as workers with interests distinct and often in opposition to employers. As was illustrated in the previous chapters, Nikkeiren's corporatist orientation led to direct attempts to emasculate militant unions and although they achieved some important successes such as at Nissan, their attacks only further polarized the situation, creating the condition for an extension in class consciousness. 60 Miike Workers Prior to W.W. II The early history of the Miike miners struggle against Mitsui was very much a reflection of the evolutionary formation of miners as a distinct component of the Japanese working class. Prior to the Meiji oligarchy's appropriation of the Miike mines in 1873, the mine workforce was composed of slaves belonging to the local feudal daimyo. The slaves were replaced at that time by convict labour and the use of prisoners continued even after 1 the mines were sold to Mitsui Bussan in 1888. In fact, up unti l the turn of the century convict labour constituted the majority of the work force and convicts could s t i l l be found working the mines right up to 1932. The reasons for using convicts were simple: they could be paid less than non-convicts and they were more reliable than peasants from the surrounding areas who often would return to the land during harvest periods. The working conditions at the time were so harsh that i t was hard to recruit the numbers of peasants required in any case. In 1889, the year after Mitsui bought the mines, there were 2,888 miners working the seams; this increased to 5,161 in 1897; 6,875 in 1902; 10,323 in 1908; 15,645 in 1918; and dropped to 2 9,922 in 1930, mainly because of the economic recession. After the turn of the century Mitsui emphasized the hiring of married and uneducated farmers but continued to try to take advantage of the declasse. As the ratio of convicts began to decline i t looked to outcasts (burakumin) from Yoron Island as an alternate source of cheap labour. In 1900-01 i t brought over 700 of the outcasts to work loading coal on the docks and by 1909 over 1,100 61 3 were working for Mitsui. The use of outcastes was later s u p p l e m e n t e d w i t h i n d e n t u r e d w o r k e r s f r o m K o r e a b e g i n n i n g a r ound 1915. Women also worked side-by-side with men in the pits and comprised about 25 percent of the workforce by 1920. Their 4 participation later declined to under five percent by 1930. Mitsui's labour relations at Miike in the early period did not follow the crew-boss system typical in most of the coal mines (and in much of private industry) at the time. While some recruiting through crew bosses did occur in the f i r s t years after Mitsui took over the mine, Mitsui quickly set up i t s own hiring section (no doubt linked to i t s wide-scale use of convicts). In company residences, however, Mitsui did set up a labour control system using dons or prefects (sewaqata seido) to control almost 5 a l l a c t i v i t i e s on company grounds. This system was not abolished u n t i l 1954. Mitsui's f i r s t major innovation in i t s labour relations policy occurred in 1920 when i t took the i n i t i a t i v e of setting up a company union, the kyoaikumiai (the union of mutual respect). Mitsui took this step in response to the labour unrest which followed the f i r s t world war and which also touched the Miike mine in 1918 when miners at the Banda shafts rioted. This incident prompted Mitsui to set up the company union in 1920. According to Dan Takuma, the managing director of the Mitsui zaibatsu at the time and former head of mining operations, the company union was "not a so-called labour union but an organ where workers could unite Independently and consult with managers 6 in a s p i r i t of industrial harmony." As Mitsui's own Miike history concluded: "The kyoaikumiai, as i t were, was a structure similar to today's labour-management consultative committees [roshikyogikai), an adaptation of the American shop committee 7 system." In fact i t amounted to what might quite f a i r l y be described as a pre-emptive hedge against the organization of an independent union. A continuous thread from this 1920 management innovation for "consultation" to the 1948 Nikkeiren theory of management rights with labour consultation can be seen. In the f i r s t instance, Mitsui attempted to gain control over labour-managment relations by giving workers a voice through a purely consultative body (with no decision-making powers whatsoever) while at the same time opposing legalization of unions. Indeed i t was none other than Dan Takuma who, as head of the Nihon Kogyo Kurabu (Japan Industrial Club), led the charge against the 1929 8 Home Affairs Ministry proposal to legalize trade unions. The whole thrust of the zaibatsu's approach to labour was to prevent the organization of independent trade unions which, by definition, would rupture the emerging pattern of familial corporatism. While the legal framework established by the US occupation and workers' growing class consciousness ruled out a prohibition of unions as in the 1920s and 1930s, the post-1948 attempts to cultivate unions which recognized managers ultimate authority in exchange for a consultative role for union leaders, and the attempts to break those unions which did not, is in essence an application of the 1920-30s policy to the postwar scene. Capitalist alienation of labour in Japan, as in other countries, conspired against corporatist ideology and 63 organization. At Miike workers continued to organize i n d e p e n d e n t l y and in 1924 a major strike o c c u r r e d with n o t a b l e implications. F i r s t , one of the major demands of the strikers was the abolition of the company union, a fact which clearly indicated that workers were beginning to recognize the necessity of independent organizations to deal with their employers—not exactly revolutionary ideology but a definite slap in the face to 9 the corporatist ideologues. Perhaps even more important the workers formed their own struggle committee (sogidan) to represent them in negotiations with the company. A second notable feature of the strike was the fact that i t began in the machine shop and gained only limited support among the underground miners, indicating that trade-union or spontaneous class consciousness was not only embryonic but was developing unevenly. The strike was resolved through mediation by the then mayor of Omuta c i t y and although the workers failed to gain their main demands (a ten percent wage increase and an abolition of the company union) they had forced the company to negotiate. The mediated settlement called for strike leaders to "voluntarily r e t i r e " , no increase in wages except for increased efficiency, and reform of the company union. However, once the settlement was agreed upon the company was obliged to give a 25 sen wage 10 increase among other things. According to the Miike union history, the company's labour policy after the 1924 strike was composed of three major elements: favouritism towards foremen as a means of reinforcing control over the workforce; development of company f a c i l i t i e s (i.e. dining and assembly h a l l s ) ; and reinforcement of the 64 11 sewaqata seido in company residences. The provision of company f a c i l i t i e s is often cited as an example of corporate benevolence, but such benevolence was always a double-edged sword. The company s t r i c t l y controlled the use of such f a c i l i t i e s and used them in many cases to reinforce worker dependence on the company, to augment company control and to reinforce corporatist indoctrination. For example, workers could not leave the company dormitories without a travel permit issued by one of the sewaqata; reading Chuo Koron on company premises was forbidden; and the meeting halls were used for often obligatory sessions of 'spi r i t u a l ' education. The Miike mines and Omuta c i t y were under such s t r i c t company control that even the Yuaikai's Suzuki Bunji gave up in his attempt to organize a meeting there in December 1918 because he was unable to find a meeting place. The combination of repression, tight labour control, and the economic recession at the end of the 1920s conspired to prevent any further attempts at union organizing in the prewar era. With the onset of war, the kvoaikumai was absorbed into the DaiNippon  Sangyo Hokokukai (the national labour syndicate—Sanpo for short) and labour was controlled along military lines. The Postwar Period The major effect of the war and subsequent defeat was an almost complete, reformation of the workforce with major changes in i t s composition. With the 1 9 3 0 s ' depression the Miike workforce had declined to just over 5,000 workers in 1932 from a previous high of over 18,000 in 1919. However with the military buildup in the late '30s, the workforce increased once again and by t h e end o£ the war n e a r l y 24,000 m i n e r s were w o r k i n g t he M i i k e coal shafts. The most notable change in composition during the war was the increasing use of prisoners of war and Korean forced labourers. In Mitsui's coal mining operations alone over 22,000 (over 30 percent) of the 71,000 miners were either Chinese or 12 Caucasian prisoners of war or Korean indentured labourers. At Miike, about 25 percent of the workforce or over 6,000 miners were prisoners-of-war. For them defeat implied liberty but while Caucasion prisoners-of-war were quickly repatriated the Koreans and Chinese l i t e r a l l y had to fight their way out of the mines. At Miike for example, a l l Caucasian prisoners-of-war were repatriated by Sept. 19, 1945 but Chinese and Korean workers were not released unti l November 22 and only then after they had rioted and resorted to 13 force. A week after Caucasian miners at Miike had been released, SCAP, instead of taking immediate measures to repatriate the Chinese and Koreans, authorized the Japanese authorities to f i r e on the foreign workers i f necessary to preserve order. In many cases SCAP's policy was to get the 14 non-Caucasians to dig coal for the occupation forces. But prisoners of war were not the only ones wanting to escape the wartime horrors of coal mining. As the war had progressed, working conditions in the mines, d i f f i c u l t at best of times, had degenerated. Mine repairs and infrastructure were abandoned and replaceable raw labour power became the expendable motor force to bring out the coal. Fatal accidents alone jumped from a prewar average of about 700 miners each year to 1,868 in 66 15 1944. Thus defeat in war led to mass migration from the mines and at Miike alone the work force dropped from a high of 23,700 16 in July 1945 to 10,522 in October, a short three months later. Of the 13,000 who abandoned Miike, about 6,000 of these were prisoners-of-war, the remaining 7,000 or so being Japanese workers. The s h i f t in labour composition was further exacerbated by postwar production policies which attached high p r i o r i t y to rejuvenating the coal mining industry. Thus workers were directed towards the mines but in the immediate postwar years the turnover rate was exceedingly high. At Miike for example, in 1946 alone over 12,000 new workers were hired but in the same period nearly 8,000 quit or were discharged leaving a net 17 increase in the work force of only 4,000 in 1946. Despite the turnover, employment at Miike continued to increase reaching a postwar peak of 28,960 by December 1948. According to Mitsui s t a t i s t i c s , by 1952 the workforce had again been reduced to 18,708 workers of which less than one-third had worked at Miike 18 prior to the war. Only 1,000 had worked at Miike prior to 1932 so the number who had been present at the 1924 strike was quite small. Table 2 gives some indication of the postwar trends in mine force composition and particular features of Miike miners. Education levels had risen substantially with close to 15 percent of 1948 employees having completed middle school compared to about 1.5 percent of the 1940 workforce. Moreover, this was much higher than in most of the other mines in the Kyushu area and may well have reflected the importance Miike was accorded in the 67 TABLE 2: PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS Previous Occupation National Average 19 47 Miike 1947 1956 Primary industry Manufacturing Mining Construction School Graduates Unemployed Other 17.5 11.0 32.4 4.7 4.5 9.0 20.9 28 . 3 14 .1 9 . 5 9.6 9.9 13.0 15.6 23.0 16.8 9 . 4 5.5 11.2 8 . 5 25. 6 SOURCE: Sakisaka Itsuro, Mi ike Nikki, (Tokyo, Shiseido, 1962), p. 53 postwar reconstruction policies (thus the willingness to assign highly educated workers to the mines after the war). Finally, 92.6 percent of the Miike miners in 1952 were from the island of Kyushu. Thus the portrait emerging was one of a worker cohort with a core of about 4-5000 with prewar mining experience but with low education and many with a peasant background. Around this core came the bulk of the workers, many better educated and few with previous mining experience but a growing number with other industrial experience, in other words fewer fresh off the farm. Unionization With defeat Japan faced chaos. In the coal mines f i r s t the Chinese and Korean workers rose, organizing unions and often rioting to demand repatriation and also food and basic livi n g necessities. They were followed by Japanese workers who also began to organize, sometimes on their own, sometimes with company exhortation, at times under prewar Sodomei leadership, and in some cases under the guidance of the legalized Japan Communist 68 Party. Whatever the case unions, not company associations, became the order of the day and by April 1947, 92.8 percent (372,365) of a l l regular coalminers were organized in independent 19 trade unions. Mitsui managers at Miike, very much on the defensive due to the breakdown in authority (a fact readily demonstrated by the Chinese miners at Miike who had rioted in October, 1945, openly defying managerial control) tried to seize the i n i t i a t i v e in union formation by ordering new elections to the wartime Sanpo locals within the Miike unit. These elections were held but at the same time the workers used the opportunity to actually declare their independence by formally declaring the newly elected Sanpo officers heads of unions for the various c o l l e r i e s , the port, and machine shop. The miners at the Mikawa c o l l i e r y took the i n i t i a t i v e due, according to company documents, to the presence of an ex-Sodomei o f f i c a l from Osaka. On Jan. 3, 1946 the Mikawa miners petitioned the company for a 30 percent increase in wages, a minimium wage, and the 8 hour day, demanding a reply by Jan. 10. The company assembled the representatives to Sanpo (now the leaders of unions) on January 9 to discuss the demands after which the union representatives decided to move towards forming a single union for the whole Miike complex. The f i r s t step in this process was re-creating a new preparatory committee with two delegates from each c o l l i e r y . With preparations complete a founding meeting was held in Omuta with 16,000 people participating, including management. Management participation in the founding of the union and the o f f i c i a l union demands reflected the fact that a complete break with company 69 Ideology had not occurred. The seven demands included: immediate participation in management; abolition of taxes on salaries; large increases in severance pay; adequate money and material to live on: the dismissal of foremen who thwarted production; abolition of discrimination between supervisors and workers; payment of a bonus to any current employees asked to resign; and an end to the black market. Not only did the Mitsui managers participate in the founding convention but they gave each union 20 member 10 yen as beer money. Confusion reigned in this early period but Sodomei influence in the Mikawa c o l l i e r y encouraged confrontation with the company and independence. Demands may not have been entirely clear but a large percentage of workers struck in early March and not soon after, contact was made with miners at other Mitsui mines in Kyushu (Tagawa and Yamano) who supported the Miike miners with a half-day strike of their own. The company f i n a l l y gave in on a number of demands on March 12. For nearly two years after this the Miike miners refrained from overt struggle with the company and came under intense pressure to produce coal at a l l cost as part of the government and occupation's p r i o r i t y production plan in which coal production played a central role. In return Miike miners in particular received proportionately better food and supplies, a reflection of the key role that Miike played as Japan's biggest coal producer. What did occur in 1946-47 was an organizational shake-out at the upper levels of the multiple coalminers' federations culminating in the formation of Tanro on July 26, 1947. The 70 Miike union was an active player in the process. Contacts between miners at Mitsui's Kyushu mines (Yamano and Tagawa) established during the March 1946 strike eventually led to the creation of a Kyushu regional federation of Mitsui miners, the Western Japan Federation vof Mitsui Coal Mine Unions (Nishi Nihon Mitsui Tanko Rodo Kumiai Rengokai) on May 19. The local unions at Tagawa and Yamano had a f f i l i a t e d to a different federation but decided to leave i t to form the Mitsui federation due, according to company claims, to p o l i t i c a l differences with 21 the f i r s t group. Be_ that as i t may, the miners in Mitsui ' s  Kyushu coalmines did not stop at the level of enterprise but  immediately went on to develop links with other miners' unions in  the area. They helped form a regional federation, the Kyushu Federation of Neutral Coalminers Unions on October 4 which, in turn, led to the creation of a regional coalminers union federation for Fukuoka prefecture which embraced a l l p o l i t i c a l tendencies. This organization, The Fukuoka Prefectural Council of Coalminers Unions (Fukuokaken Tanko Rodo Kumiai Kyoqikai or Fukurokyo for short) played an instrumental role in creating a national mineworkers federation, The National Council of Coalminers Unions (Tanko Rodo Kumiai Zenkoku Kyogikai or Tanzenkyo for short) on January 25, 1947. This council was a loose federation on the one hand (with 340,000 members in a f f i l i a t e d unions) but was o f f i c i a l l y recognized by the coal operators employers' association (Nihon Sekitan Kogyo Renmei) and negotiations between the two national parties took place beginning Feb. 1, 1947 with the main issue being the union's demand for a minimum wage based on the cost-of-living. 71 The evolution of mineworkers' unions described above is crucial because i t Indicates that the third p i l l a r of the Japanese labour relations system, so-called "enterprise unions" are not necessarily the antithesis to "industrial unions" as they are often portrayed. The coalminers union example indicates that the two are mutually dependent, the industrial federation being based on the existence of enterprise units or locals. The fact that the Mitsui employees decided to organize a regionally-based enterprise unit for Kyushu does not contraindicate "industrial unionism" whatsoever and could reasonably be considered a normal progression of worker sol i d a r i t y particularly considering these miners went on to develop further organizational links with miners in other companies. That tensions existed between the various structures there is l i t t l e doubt but these were not primarily organizational tensions but rather p o l i t i c a l stresses based on differing views of the role and direction of trade unions. Indeed, these tensions within Tanzenkyo, in the form of infighting between the "neutralist tendency" and the "far l e f t tendency", eventually led to i t s dissolution less than a year after i t s inauguration. This led to the formation of Tanro (Nihon Tanko Rodo Kumiai Rengokai) in October 1947. Later a right-leaning fraction s p l i t in 1949 taking on i t s f i n a l form in 1954 as Zentanko (Zen Sekitan Kogyo Rodo Kumiai). These two federations continued throughout the 22 1950s with the Miike union a f f i l i a t e d to the much larger Tanro. An Independent Identity The growth in enterprise and regional federations created 72 the pre-conditions for a protracted struggle with employers and i t was through this process that workers began to forge an independent working class identity and consciousness. A l l union federations, including those in which communists had control, participated in industrial revival associations (Keizai Fukkokai) which\ included representatives from management and whose purpose was to plan the resuscitation of the postwar economy. This collaboration did not extend to improving working conditions, however, and as the "production f i r s t " policies evolved so too did speedups which the coal operators then turned to their advantage. For example as production levels increased they were incorporated as part of a standard output level upon which wages were fixed. Wage increases gained in early 1947 were eaten up by rampant inflation, but employers began taking a harder line in wage negotiations. Safety conditions were again subordinated to production and accidents continued. Dissatisfaction grew among rank-and-file coalminers and criticisms of the unions surfaced for not being in touch with the situation at the mine sites. At Miike, this led to the emergence of a rank-and-file movement to take control of the union and in August 1948 a special convention attended by 1,300 delegates adopted a new constitution giving the general assembly the three powers of decision, implementation and supervision. It was also during this period that p o l i t i c i z a t i o n began. In October 1947 the Fukuoka Labour School was created which became a center for labour p o l i t i c a l discourse. Professor Sakisaka Itsuro, a left-wing s o c i a l i s t , also came on the scene in this period. Miyakawa Mutsuo, a founding member of the Miike 73 local union and its president during the 1960 conflict recalls: "But a sleeping pig does not sleep forever. I remember meeting Professor Sakisaka around 1948 in an Omuta inn and being asked to join the s o c i a l i s t party. Hearing him talk about how labour leaders needed ideology, how i t would be impossible to take on Mitsui without making the Socialist Party a force in Omuta, I 23 decided to become a member of the Japan Socialist Party". The p o l i t i c i z a t i o n process remained embryonic at this stage, however, as illustrated by the Miike local's mild counsel to its members not to vote for conservative parties in the 1949 general election. The emerging labour-capital confrontation, miners' criticisms of the union, their aspiration to democratically control i t , and a growing s o c i a l i s t p o l i t i c i z a t i o n were trends which both reflected and further f a c i l i t a t e d the growth of class and trade union consciousness at Miike in the 1949-53 period. The process culminated in a spectacular union victory in a 1953 showdown over layoffs. Mitsui Coal Corporation followed Nikkeiren labour relations policy to a "T" during this period. In March 1949 i t demanded that the basic collective agreement be re-negotiated in order to downgrade the role of the "management councils". In June Mitsui attempted to lay off less productive miners. In the summer of 1950 Mitsui fired hundreds of miners as their contribution to the "Red Purge". In 1950 Mitsui laid off thousands of miners as part of the Dodge-inspired retrenchment program. In 1951, Mitsui and other major coal companies took a hard line in wage negotiations and later than year Mitsui began its "workshop 74 defence movement" in line with Nikkeiren policy. The weakness in class consciousness at the higher levels of the unions enabled Mitsui to gain union acceptance of these policies but this only created further f e r t i l e terrain for radical trade-unionism at the rank-and-file level. In March 1949, the A l l Mitsui Coalminers Union Federation (Zen Mitsui Tanko Rodo Kumiai Rengokai or Sankoren for short and the form used hereafter) was founded through the amalgamation of the two Kyushu and Hokkaido regional federation of Mitsui mineworkers (see Figure 3 for"union structures). While Sankoren o f f i c i a l s negotiated with Mitsui over layoffs, the Red Purge, and a new revised collective agreement, rank-and-file workers at the local union level were organizing to mitigate the effects of the employers offensive. For example, after Sankoren negotiated a layoff agreement in July 1949 ca l l i n g for 1266 layoffs at Miike, union leaders at the local level reduced this number to 336 in local negotiations with the company. Coal operators broke off central negotiations with Tanro in 1950 and local unions and federations were forced to fend for themselves in bargaining. At Miike, workers resolved to strike over year-end bonuses that year 24 and Mitsui responded increasing its 1500 yen offer to 3800. In 1951 Miike miners joined in an 11-day strike in March over wages and broke through the wage freeze that had been imposed since 1949. Labour-management relations in general came under severe strain beginning in 1951 as the anti-communist purge increasingly turned into an open anti-union crusade. Employers not only 75 attacked militant unions but lobbied strongly for government r e v i s i o n o£ t r a d e union laws and f o r s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h e r e p r e s s i v e capacities of the state through passage of the Subversive Ac t i v i t y Prevention Law. Thus miners at Miike became di r e c t l y involved not only in struggles with Mitsui but also with the government and this experience increasingly gave them a sense of sel f - i d e n t i t y as workers. This consciousness created fine terrain for s o c i a l i s t p o l i t i c s and militant trade unionism and by late 1951 the Sakisaka s o c i a l i s t influence was gaining ground. The most notable and, over the long term, i n f l u e n t i a l policy adopted at this time was the decision to create residential and workshop sections (bunkai) which would serve as the union's organizational basis among rank-and-file workers. These sections gave the unions a so l i d organizational footing in the workshops and residential areas and created an alternative pole of reference for the miners. Corporate hegemony faced a new challenge. Another source of challenge that emerged in 1951 was the organization of an association of miners wives sympathetic to the union. This group of women soon came into c o n f l i c t with the company, particularly after the 1952 strike, and a running battle between them and the company-sponsored "family association" developed. This c o n f l i c t escalated into a larger issue of control over company residences when the company attempted to stop the pro-union women from using company houses as meeting 25 places . The year 1952 was a watershed for Japanese coal miners and for the working class as a whole as a powerful strike movement developed that spring particularly in opposition to the government's persistent attempts to amend labour laws. That spring Tanro and well over one million other workers struck agalnt the Subversive A c t i v i t i e s Prevention Law. Although the law was eventually passed in May the effect was to further polarize the situation, particularly after Nikkeiren and the coal operators association attempted to sue the unions for losses due to p o l i t i c a l strikes. In i t s two national conventions in 1952 (May and July) Tanro decided to demand a standard wage rate based on an eight-hour day and centralized negotiations with 17 major coal companies. Interestingly, the coal operators association decided to go along with the l a t t e r demand at this time due, according to Tanro, to their fear of d i v i s i o n : "It is believed that this attitude on the part of Renmei was due to i t s fear that, with separate negotiations, the weaker companies might f a l l prey to Tanro's 26 pressure t a c t i c s . " The coal operators refused to give up their production-based wage formula (in effect a piece rate standard) and negotiations broke down in the beginning of October. Tanro then began an unlimited general strike lasting 63 days and involving over 282,000 miners. Impending government legi s l a t i o n to break the strike ended the confrontation in mid-December. The biggest strike in Japan's history (over 10 million worker days lost) failed to break the production-based wage formula but, on the other hand, i t had shown that workers were able to identify their interests as being in opposition to those of the companies, and they had been able to stand united on a cross-country scale 77 the likes of which Japan had never seen before. While the strike settlement was a setback the strike i t s e l f had been a breakthough for the union movement. At Miike this was reflected in the subsequent election of Miyakawa, an a l l y of Sakisaka and a representative of the militant faction, as president of the Miike lo c a l . The 1952 strike and the subsequent election of the Miyakawa faction represented a fundamental breakthrough in the evolution of working class consciousness. For the f i r s t time, a definitive r i f t had been made in the wall of corporatist hegemony at Miike. Worker egalitarianism was  established as an organized force. Not a l l Mi ike workers agreed  with the new orientation and i t was not the dominant ideology  within the working class as a whole—but i t was established and  was consolidating as i t never had prior to 19 45. The Miike miners faced a new challenge in 1953--a Mitsui Mining proposal to lay off 5,738 workers including 1722 at Miike. On August 7 Mitsui announced the layoffs, c a l l i n g for volunteer retirees (kibo taishokusha) to step forward between August 10-22. If the target number was not reached the company would issue retirement notices to those who f i t "retirement standards" set by Mitsui and those who did not comply would be dismissed on August 28. Large scale layoffs had already been announced at other mines and coming only half a year after the 1952 strike, many miners went along with the layoffs, Tanro's opposition notwithstanding. Such was not the case at Miike, however. The day o f f i c i a l announcement of the layoffs was made, Miike miners began a 48-hour s i t - i n . Huge demonstrations in front of company offices followed and on August 9, 25,000 miners 78 o f worker wrath, the 1948-60 p e r i o d r e p r e s e n t e d t h e c o n s o l i d a t i o n o f work6r_" eg a1 i t a r Id.nisiu as a.n i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l t r e n d w i t h i n the working c l a s s . I t developed u n e q u a l l y and was n o t t h e o n l y tendency but i t played a c r u c i a l r o l e i n the development o f postwar Japanese labour r e l a t i o n s . "The Chicken Becomes a Duck" The process of r a d i c a l i z a t i o n which o c c u r r e d a t Mi i k e r e p r e s e n t e d the outer l i m i t s of c l a s s p o l a r i z a t i o n which was pa r t and p a r c e l of the s o c i a l c l i m a t e i n Japan i n the 1950s. T h i s p o l a r i z a t i o n was r e f l e c t e d i n the r a d i c a l i z a t i o n of the b i g g e s t t r a d e union c e n t e r , Sohyo, and growing support f o r the l e f t - w i n g S o c i a l i s t P a r t y . The c r e a t i o n of Sohyo i n 1950 was the c u l m i n a t i o n of SCAP and N i k k e i r e n ' s anti-communist campaign a g a i n s t the communist-led union f e d e r a t i o n , Sanbetsu (Zen Nihon Sangyo Betsu Rodo Kumiai K a i g i or Japan N a t i o n a l Conference of I n d u s t r i a l Trade U n i o n s ) . Sohyo was formed from the amalgamation of Sodomei unions (the prewar t r a d e union c e n t r a l ) , anti-communist f a c t i o n s i n unions a f f i l i a t e d w i t h Sanbetsu (the s o - c a l l e d Mindo c e l l s ) and other n o n - a l i g n e d unions. Sohyo was i n s p i r e d and supported by SCAP i n the e a r l y s t a g e s as a c o n s e r v a t i v e , pro-U.S. pole of r e f e r e n c e f o r the union movement and SCAP even p a i d f o r c e r t a i n union r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s prominent i n the Sohyo movement to t r a v e l to London i n e a r l y 1950 to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the founding of the a n t i -26 communist I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o n f e d e r a t i o n of Free Trade Unions. Yet a s h o r t ten years l a t e r , Sohyo l e d a powerful a n t i - U . S . movement to oppose the renewal of the U.S.-Japan s e c u r i t y t r e a t y and d i r e c t l y i n t e r v e n e d i n the s t r u g g l e a t M i i k e . As i n d i c a t e d 80 i n C h a p t e r I , S o h y o i n t e r v e n t i o n i n A p r i l was t h e d e t e r m i n i n g f a c t o r i n t h e a b i l i t y o f t h e M i i k e m i n e r s t o c o n t i n u e t h e i r f i g h t . S o h y o - a f f i 1 i a t e d u n i o n s p r o v i d e d m i l l i o n s o f d o l l a r s of f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t t o t h e M i i k e m i n e r s a n d s e n t t h o u s a n d s of t h e i r members t o s t a y i n M i i k e a n d b o l s t e r t h e m i n e r s p i c k e t l i n e s . T h e s e u n i o n m e m b e r s , a l o n g w i t h t h e M i i k e m i n e r s , o p e n l y d e f i e d i n j u n c t i o n s , g o o n s q u a d s , a n d N i k k e i r e n a n d l i t e r a l l y r i s k e d t h e i r l i v e s t o d e f e n d t h e M i i k e u n i o n . C o n f r o n t e d w i t h S o h y o ' s m i l i t a n c y , c o m m e n t a t o r s l a m e n t e d a t t h e t i m e t h a t t h e S C A P -i n s p i r e d " c h i c k e n h a d become a d u c k " ( n i w a t o r i q a a h i r u n i  n a t t a ) . How h a d t h i s h a p p e n e d ? I n f a c t many o f t h e f o u n d i n g l e a d e r s o f S o h y o - a f f i 1 i a t e d u n i o n s w e r e l e f t s o c i a l d e m o c r a t s w h o , w h i l e a c q u i e s c i n g i n t h e a n t i - c o m m u n i s t c a m p a i g n , a d h e r e d t o M a r x i s t v i e w s , a d v o c a t e d s o c i a l i s t r e v o l u t i o n , w a n t e d a n o n - a l i g n e d J a p a n a n d w e r e s t a u n c h l y o p p o s e d t o a n y c o r p o r a t i s a t i o n ( g o y o k a ) o f t h e u n i o n m o v e m e n t . T h i s l e f t f a c t i o n became d o m i n a n t a s i t became more a n d more e v i d e n t t h a t U . S . o c c u p a t i o n p o l i c y was t o make J a p a n a U . S . a n t i - c o m m u n i s t o u t p o s t i n t h e F a r E a s t a n d t h a t i t s t r o n g l y b a c k e d a r e j u v e n a t e d a n d p o w e r f u l c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s a s i t s n a t u r a l a l l y i n t h i s p r o c e s s . The a s c e n d a n c y o f m i l i t a n t s o c i a l d e m o c r a c y was s t i m u l a t e d b y v i g o r o u s w o r k i n g c l a s s r e s i s t a n c e t o c a p i t a l i s t r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n a n d a n o n - g o i n g a n t i - u n i o n o f f e n s i v e w h i c h was a n i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e J a p a n e s e b o u r g e o i s i e ' s a t t e m p t t o r e g a i n c o n t r o l i n a l l s p h e r e s o f n a t i o n a l l i f e . W h i l e i t was c e r t a i n l y t r u e t h a t N i k k e i r e n h a d s u c c e e d e d i n b r e a k i n g c e r t a i n u n i o n s 81 (such as the auto unions) and had gained the support of r i g h t -wing unions f o r i t s c o r p o r a t e program (these right-wing unions formed the core of a s p l i n t e r f e d e r a t i o n , Zenro K a i g i , c r e a t e d i n 1954 and which l a t e r became Domei K a i g i i n 1964), these s t i l l r e p r e s e n t e d a m i n o r i t y of u n i o n i z e d workers. Many workers i n both the p r i v a t e and p u b l i c s e c t o r s c o n t i n u e d to r e s i s t e x p l o i t a t i o n and c l a s s s t r u g g l e a c t u a l l y became more g e n e r a l i z e d , as i n d i c a t e d by a stea d y i n c r e a s e between 1946-1965 i n the number 28 of labour d i s p u t e s and the number of workers i n v o l v e d . Maeda Hajime r e c a l l e d how, j u s t when managers thought they had t h i n g s under c o n t r o l , d i s p u t e s i n new s e c t o r s broke out: "Around 1955 labour b a t t t l e s had changed q u i t e a b i t . In p l a c e s where you wouldn't t h i n k s t r u g g l e s would occur, such as i n banks, investment d e a l e r s , h o s p i t a l s , and "schools, s t r u g g l e s began to 29 break out." At the same time the Sohyo-sponsored s p r i n g wage s t r i k e s (Shunto) began, p u b l i c s e c t o r workers c o n t i n u e d to f i g h t f o r the r i g h t t o c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a i n i n g and the r i g h t to s t r i k e , t e a c h e r s fought a g a i n s t an e f f i c i e n c y r a t i n g system, and many i n d u s t r i a l workers c o n t i n u e d t o defend t h e i r unions a g a i n s t management encroachment as d u r i n g the O j i Paper M i l l s t r i k e i n 1958. These s t r u g g l e s were not i s o l a t e d events but o f t e n i n v o l v e d support a c t i v i t i e s by Sohyo, r e g i o n a l labour c o u n c i l s and the l i k e . T h i s p o l a r i z a t i o n and growing c l a s s s o l i d a r i t y was the b a s i s f o r the support shown the M i i k e s t r i k e r s . I t a l s o formed the b a s i s of growing support f o r the S o c i a l i s t P a r t y throughout the decade. A l l t h i s does not deny t h a t c o r p o r a t i s m a l s o made inr o a d s and, i n a c e r t a i n sense, was e a t i n g away a t the r o o t s of m i l i t a n t t r a d e unionism, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the key 82 i n d u s t r i a l s e c t o r s . But as M i i k e demonstrated, managers were unable to c o r p o r a t i z e the whole working c l a s s . I f t h i s p o r t r a y a l of labour r e l a t i o n s i n the 1 9 5 0 s i s a c c u r a t e , as I b e l i e v e i t i s , then the idea of the " t h r e e p i l l a r s " system of labour r e l a t i o n s b e i n g e s t a b l i s h e d p r i o r to 1955 must be r e c o n s i d e r e d . I would p o s t u l a t e t h a t the whole postwar p e r i o d up to 1960 a t l e a s t was one of r e - a l i g n m e n t i n labour r e l a t i o n s . D e s p i t e attempts to r e -impose c o r p o r a t i s t hegemony, a new f o r c e had to be accommodated. That f o r c e was worker e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and i n c l u d e d a new worker c o n s c i o u s n e s s , the f o r m a t i o n and c o n s o l i d a t i o n of independent unions, and growing p o l i t i c a l s upport f o r r a d i c a l s o c i a l democracy which the S o c i a l i s t P a r t y t y p i f i e d d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . T h i s worker e g a l i t a r i a n i s m had i t s own Japanese f l a v o u r but was not a t y p i c a l of the e v o l u t i o n of c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n other c o u n t r i e s . As we saw i n the case of union s t r u c t u r e s , the nascent workers' movement developed e n t e r p r i s e , r e g i o n a l and i n d u s t r i a l l i n k s with other workers which, d e s p i t e v a r i a t i o n s , i s s i m i l a r , i n my o p i n i o n , to the u n i o n i z a t i o n p rocess i n many c o u n t r i e s . In t h a t sense t h i s new f o r c e was c e r t a i n l y a convergent f a c t o r . The c o n s o l i d a t i o n of unions was f a c i l i t a t e d by the l e g a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e . D e s p i t e r e t r o g r e s s i v e reforms, the l e g a l system promoted l i b e r a l i s m and i t was as a c o n s t i t u e n t p a r t of a l i b e r a l s o c i a l f a b r i c t h a t the independent union movement appealed f o r support d u r i n g the M i i k e s t r i k e . As Sohyo l e a d e r Iwai A k i r a s t a t e d d u r i n g the M i i k e s t r i k e : "We b e l i e v e to f i r e 30 these people would be a d e n i a l of t h e i r human r i g h t s . " The Ikeda government's i n t e r v e n t i o n i n the M i i k e d i s p u t e i n J u l y 83 reflected i t s own ambivalent position. On the one hand, through its instructions to the mediators It validated the attack against a militant union. On the other hand, in refusing to send in the troops to enforce Mitsui's injunction and bludgeon the picketers (as Mitsui and Nikkeiren were hoping) i t sent a signal to employers that society had accepted unions as independent organs with certain rights and that i t , as a government, was not willing to openly crush the union movement and thereby risk Its p o l i t i c a l mandate as the Klshi regime had previously done by ramming through the security treaty. To that extent the Miike struggle, while an immediate defeat for the miners, may constitute an important landmark in the fight against corporatist hegemony. 84 Footnotes : Chapter Three 1. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 6 2. Mi ike 20-Nenshi, p. 11 3. Ibid., p. 13 4. Ibid., p. 26 5. Shiryo: Mitsui Sogi, p. 3 6. From Danshaku Dan Takuma Den (Memoirs of Dan Takuma) as cited in Miike 20-Nenshi, p.23 7. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 7 8. For further details on the 1931 dispute over the Labour Union Law see Nikkeiren Sanjunenshi,(p. 4-6) and Maeda Hajime's recollections in "Tosho Ichidai-Kami" in Bessatsu Chuo  Koron, Keiei Mondai, Volume 8, No. 2 (p. 294-296) 9. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 12 10. Ibid., p. 13 11. Mi ike 20-Nenshi. p. 27 12. Shiryo: Mi ike Sogi, p. 10 13. For a description of events and exact s t a t i s t i c s see Shiryo:  Miike Sogi, p. 16. 14. For further details on occupation policy and the struggle of Koreans and Chinese to be patriated see Joe Moore, p. 15. Mikiso Hane, Peasants, Rebels and Outcastes, (New York, Pantheon Books, 1982), p. 229 16. Shiryo: Mi ike Sogi, p. 17 17. Ibid., p. 18 18. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 22 19. Nihon Tanko Rodo Kumiai, ed., Tanro Junenshi, (Tokyo, Rodo Junposha, 1964), p.39 20. Information on convention and demands from Shiryo: Mi ike  Sogi, p. 29. 21. Shiryo: Mi ike Sogi, p. 31. 22. Throughout this period centralized negotiations, on the issue 85 of wages for example, assumed different forms. For further details see the chart in Tanro Junenshi, p. 96 5. 23. From Miyakawa's introduction to Mi ike 20-Nenshi, p. 2 24. Miike 20-Nenshi, p. 6 3 25. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, pp. 125-129 26. Mi ike 20-Nenshi, p. 8 5 27. Sohyo Junenshi, p. 156 28. For an analysis of this trend see Okochi et a l , eds. Workers  and Employers in Japan (Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press, 1973), pp. 309-326. While the duration of strikes decreased in this period the number increased and slowdowns became more widespread. 29. "Nikkeiren ni Ikita Nijunen", p. 363 30. "Rodo Undo no Ittenki" in Asahl Janaru, (April, 1960, Vol. 2, No. 18), p. 8 86 chapter I V : S t r i k e s , wages and I n d u s t r i a l P o l i c y I n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r s I b e l i e v e I h a v e d e m o n s t a t e d t h a t t h e e m p l o y e r ' s a t t a c k on t h e M i i k e m i n e r s a n d t h e i r u n i o n was l a r g e l y p o l i t i c a l l y m o t i v a t e d — t h e M i i k e m i n e r s p r e s e n t e d a n o r g a n i z e d a n d a r t i c u l a t e c h a l l e n g e t o c o r p o r a t i s t c o n t r o l a n d , a s s u c h , s e t w h a t Maeda H a j i m e , S a t o K i i c h i r o a n d N i k k e i r e n c o n s i d e r e d a n e x t r e m e l y p o o r e x a m p l e o f l a b o u r r e l a t i o n s . The a t t a c k a g a i n s t t h e m i l i t a n t u n i o n a n d t h e r e s u l t a n t n a t i o n - w i d e a t t e n t i o n a c t e d a s a p o w e r f u l c a t a l y s t f o r a d i r e c t c o n f r o n t a t i o n b e t w e e n l a b o u r a n d c a p i t a l o v e r t h e i s s u e o f l a b o u r c o n t r o l , a c o n f r o n t a t i o n t h a t h a d b e e n b r e w i n g o v e r t h e p a s t d e c a d e a s u n i o n s f o u g h t f o r t h e i r r i g h t t o e x i s t i n d e p e n d e n t o f c a p i t a l i s t c o n t r o l . H a v i n g s a i d t h i s , h o w e v e r , t h e r o l e o f e c o n o m i c f a c t o r s s h o u l d n o t be u n d e r e s t i m a t e d . M i t s u i a n d N i k k e i r e n c r i t i c i s m s o f t h e m i n e r s a t M i i k e s u r f a c e d d u r i n g t h e 1 9 5 7 - 5 8 r e c e s s i o n a f t e r M i t s u i C o a l p o s t e d m a j o r l o s s e s . T h e y I n t e n s i f i e d t h r o u g h 1959 a s c o a l o p e r a t o r s c o n t i n u e d r e c o r d i n g l o s s e s e v e n t h o u g h t h e r e c e s s i o n e n d e d I n l a t e 1958 a n d c o a l p r o d u c t i o n was a g a i n on t h e u p s w i n g . A n d , f i n a l l y , M i t s u i / N i k k e i r e n r e s o l v e t o c o n d u c t a n u n c o m p r o m i s i n g a s s a u l t t o r i d M i t s u i C o a l o f m i l i t a n t t r a d e u n i o n i s m h a r d e n e d i n l a t e 1959 a s i t became I n c r e a s i n g l y a p p a r e n t t h a t t h e c o a l i n d u s t r y was f a c i n g a f u n d a m e n t a l s t r u c t u r a l c r i s i s d ue t o t h e " e n e r g y r e v o l u t i o n " . B u t e c o n o m i c f a c t o r s w e r e more t h a n e x o g e n o u s p r e t e x t s f o r u n i o n - b a s h i n g . M i t s u i C o a l a t t r i b u t e d i t s e c o n o m i c woes a t t h e t i m e d i r e c t l y t o t h e M i i k e m i n e r s a n d t h e i r u n l o n - - " h i g h wages 87 and low productivity" were the problem. And just as the Miike miners were the culprits at Mitsui, coal miners and Tanro have also been assigned the blame for the sudden and sharp decline of the whole coal industry. Such portrayals are common in both popular and scholarly works which treat postwar Japanese economic history and particularly energy issues. For example, Chalmers Johnson, one of the better known Western scholars on Japanese industrial policy, deals with the issue of coal policy and labour relations to some extent in his book Japan's Publlc Pol icy Companies (Washington, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1978). Johnson concluded that Japanese coal was unable to compete with imported o i l because coalminers' strikes had led to high prices and unreliable supplies of coal: "Most authorities date the onset of the post-independence coal c r i s i s from the long Tanro (Japan Coal Miners'Union) strike that began in October 1952. Under free market conditions the supply of coal had become unreliable, and strikes were causing prices to 1 shoot up." Similar views are expressed in well known Japanese 2 history texts as well. Johnson also claims that MITI's policies in the 1950s helped to stave off the demise of coal but the "problem was that domestically mined coal cost so much more than 3 imported petroleum." I believe that such accounts are truly "history through the eyes of the victors" and that close examination of the h i s t o r i c a l record reveals that Japan's coalminers, including the Miike miners, had l i t t l e to do with the reasons for the reversal in energy policy. In fact they became the real casualties of the "energy revolution" yet, in a Hegelian twist of fate, the miners stand accused of having caused the 88 demise o£ c o a l . *************** In this chapter I examine the relationship between labour relations in the coal industry and the evolution of Japanese energy policy which went through a number of phases up to 1959: From 1950 to 1953 coal was the chief energy source but o i l was Increasingly favoured; this embryonic policy was reversed in 1954 and from then u n t i l 1959 domestic coal was heavily favoured with o i l imports restricted; f i n a l l y , in December 1959 this policy was again reversed with imported o i l becoming the major energy resource. Oil Versus Coal, Round One: 1950-1954 To explain the process of industry's switch from coal to o i l i t is necessary to keep in mind that this process occurred between 1951 and 1972, a period of twenty years. At this point the question which must be answered is when and why did the process begin. As mentioned above, contemporary accounts tend to use the 1952 strike in coal as the benchmark. In actual fact, however, pressure to switch to o i l began as early as 1949 with the end of marketing controls. At that time the steel industry in particular, which had been cut off from i t s subsidized coal supplies, began to decry what i t asserted was the unreasonable cost of coal. This gave rise to what is referred to in Japanese as the "high coal cost problem" (Kotanka Mondal). This issue was temporarily l e f t unresolved, however, as the onset of the Korean War in June 1950 sparked an economic revival for Japanese 89 Industry which had gone into the doldrums under the restrictive f i s c a l and monetary policies of the Dodge plan. Fueled by U.S. special procurements, which totalled about $3.5 b i l l i o n (US), the wheels of industry began to pick up speed and the demand for fuel increased dramatically. By the end of 1951, 168 new or revived mines were operating compared to 1949 and production reached 46.5 million tons for 1951, an increase of nearly 20 percent over the previous year. TABLE 3: BASIC COAL INDUSTRY STATISTICS, 1949-1954 Mines Production Workers Productivity (million tons) ('000s) (tons/worker/month) 1949 685 37.2 379 8.3 1950 731 39. 3 347 9 .1 1951 853 46.5 369 11.0 1952 844 43.8 368 10 .0 1953 808 43.5 312 11.0 1954 668 42.9 277 12.5 SOURCE: MITI, Sekitan Tokei Soran and Sekitan Kokusu Nenpo in Tanro Junenshi (Tokyo, Rodo Junposha, 1964), | p. 954 Even then supplies could not cover the demand In November 1951, Ke idanren intervened with SCAP to allow authorization of increased importation of coal and crude o i l (to be converted to heavy o i l for use as a coal substitute) and foreign exchange 4 allocations were increased for the beginning of 1952. Thus for  the f i r s t time since the war heavy o i l began to be promoted as an  alternative to domest1c coal because of rapid economic growth  during the Korean war and the Inability of coal to keep pace with  the growing demand despite substantial product ion Increases. In this context the claim that the conversion to o i l began principally after the 1952 coal strike appears arbitrary to say 90 t h e l e a s t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n l i g h t o f s u b s e q u e n t e v e n t s . P r e s s u r e on t h e c o a l i n d u s t r y c o n t i n u e d t o mount d u r i n g 1 9 5 2 - 1 9 5 3 . As m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , o i l b e g a n t o be I m p o r t e d i n s u b s t a n t i a l q u a n t i t i e s i n e a r l y 1 9 5 2 . I n J u n e 1952 a l l i m p o r t c o n t r o l s on o i l w e r e l i f t e d a n d i n J a n u a r y 1 9 5 3 , f o r e i g n c u r r e n c y a l l o c a t i o n s f o r A p r i l - J u n e s u p p l i e s o f o i l w e r e a d v a n c e d . I n e a r l y 1 9 5 3 , t h e n p r i m e m i n - i - s t e r Y o s h i d a i n s t r u c t e d h i s MITT m i n i s t e r t o e n s u r e c o a l p r i c e s w e r e l o w e r e d a n d t h e t h e n g o v e r n o r o f t h e Bank o f J a p a n , I c h i m a d a N a o t o , a l s o e x p r e s s e d h i s d e s i r e t o s e e c o a l p r i c e s r e g u l a t e d . I n J a n u a r y t h e M I T I m i n i s t e r a n n o u n c e d t h a t : "The g o v e r n m e n t i n t e n d s t o s u p p o r t t h e c o n v e r s i o n t o o i l a s a means t o l o w e r t h e c o s t o f c o a l a n d i n t e n d s t o 5 i n c r e a s e f o r e i g n c u r r e n c y a l l o c a t i o n s f o r h e a v y o i l i m p o r t s . " The i n c r e a s e i n o i l i m p o r t s a n d t h e c o n v e r s i o n t o h e a v y o i l a s a n e n e r g y s o u r c e c o n t i n u e d i n 1 9 5 3 . E v e n more s e r i o u s i n t h e s h o r t t e r m , h o w e v e r y v a s the e c o n o m i c s l o w d o w n w h i c h o c c u r r e d i n 1953 a n d 1954 w i t h t h e e n d o f t h e K o r e a n War boom. The s o - c a l l e d " i n s t a b i l i t y o f c o a l s u p p l i e s " w h i c h h a s b e e n c i t e d a s a f a c t o r i n i n c r e a s i n g o i l I m p o r t s h a d t u r n e d i n t o a c o a l g l u t . The c r i s i s o f o v e r p r o d u c t i o n r e a c h e d s u c h s e r i o u s p r o p o r t i o n s t h a t t h e J a p a n C o a l A s s o c i a t i o n a n d t h e C o a l I n d u s t r y F e d e r a t i o n ( r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e medium a n d s m a l l p r o d u c e r s ) r e s o r t e d t o p r o d u c t i o n q u o t a s i n November 19 5 4 . P r o d u c t i o n was t o be l i m i t e d t o a maximum o f 41 m i l l i o n t o n s i n 1 9 5 5 w i t h e a c h company a l l o t e d a p r o d u c t i o n s h a r e e q u i v a l e n t t o i t s m a r k e t p o s i t i o n p r i o r t o t h e c o n t r o l s . The c o a l o p e r a t o r s r e s o r t e d t o l a r g e - s c a l e l a y o f f s i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e c r i s i s . T h i s s p a r k e d m a j o r d i s p u t e s w i t h t h e c o a l m i n e r s ' u n i o n s t h e m o s t n o t a b l e o f w h i c h was t h e 1953 M i t s u i 91 Miike struggle which culminated in the company rescinding a proposal for designated layoffs. The 1953-54 recession turned into a cloud with a si l v e r lining however. The c r i s i s in the economy provoked the bureaucracy and the government to reflect on their economic strategy for the future, and the deliberations ended with a major policy reversal and the restriction of o i l imports, a point to which I shall return later. Wages, Prices and Profits While coal consumer complaints of excessive coal prices had surfaced in 1949, the shortage of coal during 1950 and 1951 temporarily silenced the c r i t i c s who needed coal at any price during this period. And what a price they would pay. Metallurgical coal used by the steel industry, for example, saw price increases of 50 percent between 1950 and the beginning of 1952. It rose from a low of about 5000 yen per ton to 7,450 6 yen per ton In the f i r s t quarter of 1952. While price increases for thermal coal were not quite as dramatic they were also substantial. Keidanren f i r s t involved i t s e l f in the dispute between coal consumers and producers and as early as March 1950 held consultations with the concerned parties. At that time i t clearly took the side of the steel industry. The high price of coal r e l a t i v e to o i l , combined with the knowledge that Western Europe was increasingly turning to o i l as an energy source, pushed Keidanren to lobby for o i l conversion. In summarizing its own role at the time Keidanren states: "The conversion to o i l proceeded from 1952 on and thereafter establishing a general energy policy repeatedly became a problem because of the c o n f l i c t between o i l and coal. Our federation was in the forefront as the situation progressed. With the proposal mentioned above, we hoped for progress in the convers ion to o i l and at the same time prepared for the future by establishing a bureau to elaborate a general policy for a l l fuels including coal, o i l , gas, etc.7 From this information i t is quite clear that conversion to o i l had l i t t l e to do with the 1952 strike but began due to pressure from Keidanren. Keidanren's motivation was to bring in cheap o i l to compete with coal and thereby bring down coal prices. Why the price of domestic coal was high relative to o i l was a key question and i t was vigorously debated. Keidanren did a thorough investigation of the issue and concluded that neither high wages nor strikes were the main cause but that a low level of capital investment for infrastructure, mechanization and new 8 shafts was the principal problem. There are good reasons why Keidanren did not try to point the finder at labour at the time. According to s t a t i s t i c s from the Prime Minister's Natural Resource Survey Council, the labour component in the cost of coal steadily declined from 1947 on. At that time labour costs comprised 61.5 percent of the cost of coal declining in 1948 to 54.5 percent; in 1949 to 52 percent; in 1950 ot 52.1 percent; in 9 1951 i t dropped to 47.1 percent. Further evidence also strongly suggests that coal miners' wages were in decline relative to other workers during this same period. Table 4 presents comparative wage s t a t i s t i c s for the 1925-57 period. According to this information coal miners wages were declining in the early 1950s not only as a component part of the cost of coal but also 93 TABLE 4: WAGE COMPARISON BY INDUSTRY Primary Trans Gas & Coal Textiles Chemicals Ceramics Metals Eqpt Elect 1925 1930 1940 102.0 1947 106.4 1949 79.4 1955 1957 71.0 69 .7 67.5 78.3 46.2 43.2 36. 2 44.7 43.3 38.4 37.9 70.8 77.2 78.5 83.7 82.2 75.6 74.0 89 .6 83.9 83.6 77.0 72.8 63.9 61.7 84.0 88.8 115.0 106 . 5 99.9 83 . 4 77.0 78.2 83.9 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 SOURCE: Japan S t a t i s t i c a l Research Institute, Compendium of  Japanese Economic S t a t i s t i c s , pp. 280, 281 as cited in Gendai  Nihon Sanqyo Koza, Vol. I l l , pp. 268. relative to other workers. From being the highest paid workers in 1947 they dropped to the middle range of wage-earners by 1955. This would indicate that i t would be d i f f i c u l t to blame labour for high coal prices. But the issue remains: If wages and strikes were not the problem what had caused the sharp increase in prices between 1950 and 1952 when prices went up nearly 40 percent? Part of the answer is in the tremendous profits the coal companies made between 1950-1952. Favourable market conditions permitted the coal companies to raise prices and reap substantial profits during the 1950-1952 boom, despite assertions by Chalmers Johnson that: " S t i l l , by 10 1955 none of the coal companies was able to show a profit " . Table 5 outlines Mitsui Coal operating accounts during this period. Mitsui profits during this period were typical of a l l the major coal companies. According to the Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute, 1951 profits for three other leading coal companies were: Hokkaido Coll i e r i e s and Steamship—1.5 b i l l i o n yen; Mitsubishi Minlng--2.3 b i l l i o n yen; Sumitomo Coal Mining--94 TABLE 5: MITSUI MINING OPERATIONS DURING THE KOREAN WAR BOOM 1st half 2nd half 1st half 2nd half 1st half 1950 1950 1951 1951 1952 Sales (million yen) 10,664 13,230 15,858 21,568 21,975 Profits (million Y) 204 209 1,012 1,513 1,429 SOURCE: Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute, Mitsui- Mitsubishi-Sumitomo (Tokyo, 1955), p.39 11 641 million yen. The magnitude of these profits should not be underestimated--2.5 b i l l i o n yet profits in one year for Mitsui, whose total assets were only 11 b i l l i o n yen in 1951, is more than a healthy rate of return indeed, particularly given the fact that the country was just beginning postwar reconstruction. Thus substantial capital was being generated in the mines but as Keidanren i t s e l f pointed out, the mines were capital investment short. Where was the money going i f not back into the mines? In fact dividends on shares reached 30 percent as a result of 1951-52 earnings. And the favourable financial climate led at least some of the major coal companies to diversify into other industries. For example Mitsubishi Coal, which under the occupation had been divided off from the company's metal mining operations, decided to move into the cement Industry. Preliminary investigation into diversification began in February 1952 with the fi n a l go ahead for a move into cement authorized in 12 July 1953. While such a move may have been advantageous in some ways, i t no doubt diverted much needed capital for mechanization of the coal mines. While sketchy, this evidence suggests that coal companies nay not have been overly worried about the competition from o i l which would not be surprising in that coal had been the strategic industry ever since the war. And, as subsequent events demonstrated, coal got what i t wanted in terms of government protection. While further research is certainly necessary, I believe that there is l i t t l e h i s t o r i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n for setting the 1952 coalminers strike as the benchmark for the beginning of the conversion to o i l and even less j u s t i f i c a t i o n for attributing the high coal prices in this period to miners high wages or strikes. The F i r s t Reversal The coal industry responded to the challenge from o i l with a major lobbying campaign beginning in late 1953 to stem the incoming tide of o i l . Economic conditions at the time favoured them. The 1953-54 recession in Japan had led to an international balance of payments c r i s i s . By the end of 1953 Japan had a balance of payments d e f i c i t of $260 million (US) due to large imports of consumer goods and industrial machines and lagging exports. The tight money policies that followed had a severe impact on the economy. The c r i s i s pushed policymakers to search for a solution to this balance of payments c r i s i s and a component part of the process was to find ways of achieving greater economic self-sufficiency as i t was widely recognized that relying on the U.S., particularly on special procurements for the Korean War, was not a means to stable growth. This search ushered in the beginning of economic nationalism in Japan which would culminate in the establishment of the f i r s t medium-term 96 plan for the economy, "The F i v e - Y e a r Plan for Economic 13 Independence" in December 1955. It was within this general climate of r i s i n g economic nationalism that the coal industry's campaign for protection from imported o i l struck a responsive chord with MITI which reviewed i t s energy policy and recommended reversing the earlier government decision to bring in o i l to compete with coal. On March 30, 1954 the Yoshida cabinet approved the MITI proposal to r e s t r i c t o i l imports (Sekitan to Sekiyu no Chosei Taisaku) and by June o i l was once again regulated. Three days after having gained cabinet approval to r e s t r i c t o i l imports, MITI dispatched a representative to meet with Keidanren and explain the new policy. While Keidanren o f f i c i a l l y acquiesced to the new policy, in fact substantial differences existed on energy matters. In Keidanren's own energy policy, announced on January 1, 1955, i t was stressed that coal, e l e c t r i c a l power and o i l were the fundamental energy sources as opposed to the MITI proposal that coal and e l e c t r i c i t y were the 14 main energy sources. In the i n i t i a l battle between protectionism and free trade, the protectionists of MITI had gained the upper hand. The MITI and government decision to overule Keidanren's views and to protect coal can be traced to a number of factors: -the government could not easily rebuff the coal industry appeals for protection given the strategic role that coal had played in the immediate postwar years. While other strategic sectors, such as steel, had begun to emerge, the coal 97 industry remained v i t a l and wielded substantial weight in inter-industry disputes. -By the end of 1953 i t was becoming increasingly d i f f i c u l t to ju s t i f y further foreign exchange allocations for greater o i l imports when there was a $260 million trade d e f i c i t . Why spend precious foreign currency when coal could do the job almost as well? -In the context of rising economic nationalism i t was probably unacceptable to MITT bureaucrats that energy policy should favour o i l imports when the imports and a large degree of the refining industry was under the control or influence of major U.S. o i l corporations. Failure of Industrial Policy The 1954 decision to r e s t r i c t o i l in favour of domestic coal production was f u l l y implemented through a raft of legislation in August 1955. The legislation provided not only for the restriction of heavy o i l use but also for extensive rationalization of the coal industry to bring coal prices into a competitive position with imported o i l . Measures to promote rationalization in the industry had been proposed in the past and included: -a June 1950 proposal from MITI's Industrial Rationalization Council (Sanqyo GorIka Shinglkai) for a "Steel and Coal Three Year Rationalization Plan"; -a March 1952 proposal from the coal section of the Industrial Rationalization Council for a "Three Year Rationalization Plan"; 98 -an October 1952 proposal from MITI's Coal Bureau for a "Five Year Mine Shaft Development Plan". For a variety of reasons none of these plans ever saw 15 frui t i o n . With the decision to r e s t r i c t o i l imports, however, MITI was obliged to become more involved in the coal industry to assure that prices were kept in line so that coal consumers would not be forced to carry the cost of protecting the coal industry. In the summer of 1955 the Hatoyama government tabled a legislative package to promote rationalization of the coal industry, to r e s t r i c t the construction of boilers for converting crude o i l into heavy o i l , and to levy a t a r i f f on both crude and heavy o i l imports. The measures passed in August 1955. The f i r s t of these laws, the Coal Industry Rationalization Special Measures Law, was designed to promote rationalization of the industry and keep coal prices as low as possible. The law included the following measures: -establishment of a long term rationalization plan, supplemented by yearly applications, and provision of funding necessary to carry out the plan; -a mine buy-back program whereby the government would purchase inefficient coal mines. Funding for the buy-back would be provided by JDB and also the other coal operators; -a ministerial permit system for the opening of new shafts with the intent of restricting new mine development to ef f i c i e n t mines; -a price setting mechanism whereby a standard price for coal would be set every year; i f prices were too far above or below this standard, the government could intervene to force a 99 drop or increase in price; -a provision for the establishment of cartels (called kyodo koi or joint action in Japanese) to r e s t r i c t and assign quotas for coal production and sales when necessary; -preferential treatment for e f f i c i e n t mines in order to concentrate production in this sector; -creation of two administrative bodies to oversee the implementation of the plan: The Coal Industry Advisory Council (Sekitan Kogyo Shingikai) to draw up the long-term and yearly plans for the industry and to generally act as an advisory council to MITI. It was composed of coal producers, consumers and other coal-related industrialists as well as academics. Appointed to the chair of the Advisory Council was none other than the ubiquitous Uemura Kogoro, vice-president of Keidanren and head of i t s committee of general fuel policy. The second organ was the Coal Mining F a c i l i t i e s Corporation (Sekitan Kogyo Seibi Jigyodan), which was to be the purchasing organ in the buy-back program. Under Uemura's tutelage the Advisory Council established the f i r s t five-year plan (1955-59) that October which included the following objectives: Increase productivity from 12.5 tons/worker/month to 18.4; reduce the workforce from 277,000 miners to 220,000; reduce the price of coal from 3974 yen per ton to 3230 yen by 1959. As the business community's supreme arbiter, Uemura's task as head of the advisory council was to assure that the coal industry used its protected position to rationalize and that cost reductions were passed on to coal 100 consumers in the form of price reductions for coal. Two other b i l l s to control o i l imports were submitted along with the rationalization plan and were also approved in August 1955. They were the "Heavy Oil Converter Restriction Law" which prohibited the construction of converter plants for heavy o i l except in special circumstances, and a b i l l to increase t a r i f f s on crude and heavy o i l imports to 2 percent and 6.5 percent respectively. However, the most potent weapon in limiting o i l imports remained MITI'S control over foreign currency allocations for purchases of o i l . Tanro and the other mine unions opposed the rationalization law on the basis that i t would result in layoffs with insufficient provisions to help those laid off; that increased productivity would result in speed-ups for those s t i l l working; and that the "shingikal" or advisory council was a pawn for management with no representation from labour. The union's fundamental demand was for nationalization of the mines and during the summer a number of short work stoppages took place to demand the retraction of the rationalization b i l l . Once the b i l l passed, the union changed tactics to a)resist any layoffs and b)demand long term job guarantees from their respective operators. The objective of MITI's rationalization plan was to reduce the number of mines and concentrate production in the e f f i c i e n t mines and thereby reduce the price of coal. For the f i r s t three years of this plan the objectives were utterly abandoned. Prices rose, there was a proliferation of small inefficient mines with 101 an increasing amount of coal being produced from this sector. Dur ing the f i r s t three years under MITI'S protect ionist measures, the coal companies had the best of both worlds. On the TABLE 6: BASIC COAL INDUSTRY STATISTICS , 1954-1960 Mines Production Workers Productivity (million tons) (•000s) (tons/worker/month) 1954 668 42.9 277 12.5 1955 750 42 .5 278 12 .9 1956 756 48.3 287 14.3 1957 784 52 . 3 298 14.6 1958 703 48.5 283 13.9 1959 624 47 .9 256 15.0 1960 622 52.6 238 18.0 SOURCE: See Table 3 one hand they were sheltered to a large degree from competing o i l imports; yet they could also rely on market conditions to jus t i f y digressions from the rationalization plan. In 1956-57 the economy entered a growth period and the demand for energy once again leaped forward. In 1956, the Suez Cr i s i s erupted and even Japan's minimal o i l imports were not assured. Coal became king once again and MITI turned a blind eye as the coal operators made a shambles of the rationalization plan. Prices, which according to the rationalization plan were to steadily decrease each year, rose as demand increased. Metallurgical coal sold for 7,094 yen per ton in 1955 but by 1957 i t was s e l l i n g for 7,921 yen. Kyushu crushed coal which sold for 16 5,166 yen per ton in 1955 cost 6,484 yen by 1957. Streamlining the industry was also part of the rationalization plan. Inefficient mines were to be bought up and 102 new mines were only to be opened by m i n i s t e r i a l p e r m i s s i o n i£ they met productivity standards. Despite these measures the number of operating mines increased dramatically. 253 mines, including both new mines and non-operating mines, began operations between 1955 and 1958. The buy back program resulted in the closure of 137 mines with a net increase of 116 operating 17 mines during this period. Production, rather than being concentrated in the larger, e f f i c i e n t mines, shifted increasingly towards the medium and small producers. Between 1955 and 1958 the 18 majors share of coal production actually dropped from 67.1 to 64.2 percent while the small producers share increased from 18 32.9 to 35.8 percent. In analyzing this period even the Japan Development Bank could only conclude: "It is ironic that the Rationalization Special Measures Law, immediately after i t s implementation, was unable to play much of a role due to the upturn in the coal industry." Rationalization had not gone according to plan and when an economic recession began in late 1957 coal operators made a fatal mistake—they tried to maintain prices despite a drop in demand (See Table 7). Coal consuming industries rebelled and in August 1958 the steel producers organized a lobby group to pressure the government to drop i t s restrictions on o i l . By late 1959 the die was cast as the government's Coal Industry Advisory Council deliberated on future coal policy. On Dec. 20, 1959 the Council announced i t s recommendations which were adopted by the government early in the new year. 103 TABLE 7: COMPARATIVE PRICE OF COAL AND OIL (1952-1960) Year/Quarter Oil Price per calorie Coal Price per calorie 1960/ 1959/ 1958/ 1957/ 1956/ 1955/ 1954/ 1952/ 1953/ 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 0.89 0.88 0.85 0.76 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.82 0.88 0.88 0.93 0.88 0.82 0.76 0.78 0.77 0.77 0.73 1.13 1.12 1.06 1.02 0.93 0. 89 0.89 0.92 0.91 0.91 1.03 1.04 0.98 0.98 0.94 0.94 0.89 0.89 Notes: The unit is yen per calorie. The price of both is landed CIF prices in Tokyo. The price of o i l is based on C grade heavy o i l and includes a 15 percent discount for fuel efficiency. If anything this table exaggerates the low cost of o i l . SOURCE: Coal Economic Research Institute, ed., Sekitan Koqyo no  Chomonda1), p. 327 as cited in Shiryo: Miike Sogi. The Coal Advisory Council's recommendations Included the following points: -a 1200 yen reduction in the price of coal; -a production level of 55 million tons per year; -increasing productivity to 26.2 tons/worker/month; -layoffs of 93,000 miners; -a reduction of mines from 624 to 452; -a three year extension on restriction of heavy o i l boiler construction. The target year for accomplishing this task was 1963, four years hence. The JCA strongly opposed the 1,200 yen reduction which 104 was 400 yen per ton above their own objective of an 800 yen reduction over the same period. A compromise was eventually worked out with the government coughing up 250 yen per ton in tax cuts and modernization subsidies. The remaining 150 yen difference would come from cuts in distribution costs. The council's recommendations marked a turning point in energy policy in that the reduction of the production target to 55 million tons from the 69 million that had been envisaged in the 1958 rationalization plan meant that expanding coal production was no longer a p r i o r i t y . The steel industry and Keidanren had triumphed, ten years after the steel industry had f i r s t raised i t s objection to coal prices. Early in 1960 the government adopted the Advisory Council's decisions--it would count on o i l as i t s principal energy source in the future but tried to assure some stable markets for the coal producers by contracting with the steel and power industies to maintain some coal contracts. The f i r s t step towards the demise of the coal industry had been taken. Non-Causes Prior to 1955 i t was d i f f i c u l t to accuse labour of being the source of coal's high price. But what about in the 1955-58 period? Perhaps the situation had changed and labour was now really the problem. In fact this was s t i l l not the case. Coalminers' wages did go up in 1956-57 by about 20 percent but part of this was productivity bonuses associated with increased production during these years. Coalminers were far from being among the best-paid workers. Steelworkers were making over 105 20 29,000 yen per month in 1958 compared to 24,500 for coalminers. And while i t might be argued that steelworkers were more productive, one cannot simply brush aside the dangerous conditions which coal miners faced. In 1957 alone over 600 coalminers died, over 1200 had to have amputations, and over 10,000 were p a r t i a l l y disabled for the rest of their l i v e s — t h i s in one of the better years when the union had some strength and, since the companies 21 were making money, speedups were not as big a problem as usual. According to one estimate, the rate of accidents in Japanese coal mines was ten times that in U.S. mines during this period and 22 wages had to reflect this risk. Nor could the labour movement be assailed for being strike happy as the number of disputes in the 1955-57 period was as low as, i f not lower than the previous 23 period. Further proof that neither miners' wages nor strikes were the cause for o i l conversion is revealed, iron i c a l l y , by Mitsui's own accusations of "high wages and low productivity" on the part of i t s workers particularly, but not exclusively, at Miike. Mitsui charges that i t s operating d e f i c i t s were largely due to its labour costs being substantially higher than at other mines, 24 not than miners wages in general were too high. There is no doubt that Mitsui's wage b i l l was higher but this was due, according to Mitsui, to the fact that miners were putting in for a lot of overtime and that piece-work rates worked out higher at 25 Mitsui. These two facts t e s t i f y to the strength of the Mitsui miners* unions particularly at Miike and explain why Mitsui had payroll d i f f i c u l t i e s earlier than other mines. Recognizing this, however, does not imply that one must accept Mitsui's reasoning 106 that i t s labour unions were the fundamental cause o£ its financial woes. For example, the fact that i t s long term debts were always t r i p l e that of Mitsubishi Coal, which s t i l l managed to be Japan's second largest coal producer with production equal to about 70 percent of Mitsui's total, surely was another 26 Important contributing factor. It is f a i r to say that wage increases in 1955-57 may have played a small role in the price increases in this period, but company profits also have to be taken into account. Prior to the rationalization laws being passed in 1955, the JCA had strenuously objected to the pricing system that was an integral part of the plan. In a white paper published in 1956 the JCA stated that in no case would there be any further price decreases, an assertion that flew in the face of the rationalization plan's stated objective to lower coal prices to a competitive level with o i l imports. In fact, prices did not decline and the higher revenues ensured coal operators substantial profits as early as 1956 when a l l the majors, with the exception of Mitsui, declared a ten percent dividend. The 18 top coal companies made a total of 12 b i l l i o n yen in operating 27 profits in 1957 alone. Thus increased profits have to be considered as a major factor in the price increases. An even greater problem in the long run, however, was how these profits, and government financing, were being used. While the whole intent of the plan was to rationalize the industry, in the end coal operators attempted to maximize their short-term windfalls. As a result, much more pr i o r i t y was attached to 107 expansion as opposed to modernization and increased mechanization of the mines. With the increase in demand at the time, coa l operators d i r ec ted c a p i t a l investment into expanding coa l operations as opposed to modernizing e x i s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s . According to the Japan Development Bank: "However, in 1956 and 1957, under the in f luence of the mood to increase production which accompanied economic expansion at the time, much of the 28 cons t ruc t ion was aimed at increas ing p roduct ion . " Tota l c a p i t a l investment in 1956 i s estimated to have been about 19.5 b i l l i o n yen, up from about 11 b i l l i o n in 1955. In 1957 c a p i t a l investment again jumped to over 30 b i l l i o n yen, near ly t r i p l e the 1955 l e v e l s . In part the 1957 increases were st imulated by a r e v i s i o n to the Tax Spec ia l Measure Law in A p r i l 1957 which permitted coa l operators to write o f f a l l fur ther c a p i t a l investment as a l o s s . Of the t o t a l c a p i t a l investment, the 18 majors accounted for between 75 and 80 percent in 1956-57. An i n t e r e s t i n g problems a r i se s at t h i s conjuncture, however. On the one hand the majors were pouring in c a p i t a l investment in th i s per iod most of which, according to the JDB, was going towards production increases. Yet according to s t a t i s t i c s c i t e d above, the majors ' share of production a c t u a l l y dec l ined during th i s per iod r e l a t i v e to the small and medium-sized producers. Where was the money going? While fur ther research on t h i s point i s requ i red , there is some Indicat ion that the majors were using investment funds to buy into new small sca le producers which 29 became sub-contractors (Ote Soko) to the majors. The quest ion remains why MITI permitted the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n plan to founder. Substant ia l evidence ex i s t s which tends to 108 Indicate t h a t MITI as well as the coal operators was caught up In the "rush to increase production" (zosan mudo) which prevailed during the Jimmu boom. In the summer of 1957 the Japan Coal Association re-evaluated the potential for maximum yearly coal production. Its new estimate of 72 million tons per year beginning in 1975 was incorporated into the Economic Planning Agency's energy prognosis. In August 1958 a new ten-year Basic Rationalization Plan (Gorlka Kihon Kelkaku) was established. Its goals further reflected the mood of the times: Yearly production was to reach 69 million tons by 1967; 83 new vertical shafts were to be opened; mechanization would be promoted with capital investment amounting to 483.5 b i l l i o n yen over the ten year period; any reductions in the workforce that became necessary could be achieved through a t t r i t i o n . In other words, there would  be no layoffs dur inq the ten year perlod to 19671 Given this evidence i t seems l i k e l y that a l l the parties believed in the 1955-58 period that coal would remain an essential resource industry in the foreseeable future. At the time this made sense. Coal was one of Japan's only natural resources and to abandon or forsake i t for o i l imports just after the 1956 Suez c r i s i s , which dramatized the f r a g i l i t y of supplies, seemed unthinkable. But other forces were at work which would turn the unthinkable into government policy. Real Causes The fundamental reasons behind the decision to r e s t r i c t coal production and convert to o i l were only indirectly related to coal wages, prices and profits. If we look for instance at the 109 gap between coal and o i l prices in 1952 (about .20 yen per calorie) compared to 1959 (about .14 yen per calories) we find that the gap had in fact narrowed not widened (See Table 7). Coal prices had dropped 20 percent compared to about 12 percent for o i l . In other words, there was more motivation to switch to coal in 1952 than in 1959 i f one just takes prices as a guideline. So the question remains: why the decision to convert to o i l and r e s t r i c t coal? The essential reasons lay outside the coal industry. In the 10-year period between 1950 and 1960 there had been a fundamental sh i f t in industrial structure and the steel industry had emerged as the new strategic p i l l a r of growth. Between 1949 and 1959 output of finished steel grew from 3.1 million to 16.6 million metric tons. Steel was used in the auto and shipbuilding industries and was identified as the key sector to future industrial growth. And, even more importantly, steel in both its raw forms and as a primary material in ships, was Japan's leading edge into international markets. To maintain and improve their competitive edge major steel producers had rationalized and technically upgraded their f a c i l i t i e s in the late 1950s, and while further improvements were possible, other areas which might cut costs had to be exploited. Thus i t was no coincidence that steel producers led the charge to organize for a change in energy policy in 1958. They wanted, and the government granted, a change in energy policy in order to lower energy costs. Coal prices were not particularly high--they had dropped since the 1952 peaks and the gap with o i l was not as great as in 1952. But 110 coal was not cheap enough to give steel that extra edge i t needed to compete with other international steel producers who had lower energy costs because of cheap, imported o i l . The government was also in a different position than i t had been in 1953. Foreign currency reserves more than doubled between 1955 and 1960 thanks 30 in large measure to steel or steel-related exports. Japan could thus afford the increased outlay of foreign currency for o i l imports. And, f i n a l l y , Japan's economy had grown substantially—thus the government was less concerned about reliance on o i l imports controlled by U.S. multinationals. The Japanese economy had come into i t s own and economic rationalism took the form of buttressing the steel industry by lowering energy costs—even though i t would mean the loss of thousands of jobs in the coal industry. I l l Notes: Chapter Four 1. Chalmers Johnson, Japan's Public Policy Companies, (Washington, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1978), p. 128. 2. See Arisawa Hiromi, Shova Keizaishi—Ge, (Tokyo, Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha, 1980) and Nihon Sangyo Hyakunenshi—Ge (Tokyo, Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha, 1967), p. 74 and p. 104 respectively. 3. Japan's Public Policy Companies, p. 120. 4. Keidanren, Keizai Dantai Renqokai Junenshi, (Tokyo, Hinkoshi, 1963), p. 379. 5. As cited in Keidanren Junenshi, p. 383. 6. Mitsubishi Kogyo Semento Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsubishi Kogyo  Shashi, (Tokyo, 1976), pp. 530. 7. Keidanren Junenshi, p. 380. 8. Ibid., p. 382-383. 9. Sorifu Shigen Chosakai Jimukyoku, ed., Nihon no Enerugi  Shigen, (Tokyo, Shigen Kyokal, 1954), pp. 146. 10. Chalmers Johnson, Japan's Public Pol icy Companies, (Washington, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1978), pp. 128. 11. Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute, Mitsui, Mitsubishi,  Sumitomo, (Tokyo, 1975), p. 39. 12. Mitsubishi Kogyo Shashi, pp. 539. 13. Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle, (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1982), pp. 228-230. 14. Ke idanren Junenshi, pp. 386-387. 15. Arisawa Hiromi, Gendai Nihon Sangyo Koza--III, (Tokyo, Iwanami Shoten, 1960), pp. 310-311. 16. Mitsubishi Kogyo Shashi, pp. 553. 17. Imai Kozo, Sekitan, (Tokyo, Yuhikaku, 1959) pp. 32. 18. Arisawa Hiromi, Gendai Nihon Sangyo Koza—III, pp. 313. 19. Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko, Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko Junenshi, (Tokyo, 1963) pp. 228. 112 20. Rodo Daijln Kanbo Rodo Tokei chosabu, Rodo Tokel Nenpo-1958 (Tokyo, 1959) pp. 91-94. 21. Ibid., p. 366-367. 22. Arisawa Hiromi, Gendai Nihon Sanqyo Koza—III, p. 267. 23. See table on disputes in Tanro Junenshi, p. 962. 24. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, pp. 417-418. 25. Ibid., p. 428. 26. Ibid., p. 416. 27. Shiryo: Miike Sogi, p. 436. 28. Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko, Junenshi, pp. 229. 29. Arisawa Hiromi, Genda i Nihon Sanqyo Koza--111, pp. 312. 30. Exports of metals, machinery and vehicles amounted to 35 percent of the total value of a l l exports in 1959, the f i r s t year textiles were not the chief export. See G.C. Allen, A Short Economic History of Modern Japan, (London, George Allen and Unwin, 1962 edition), p. 215. 113 Chapter V: Rationalization and Employment The decline of the coal industry between 1960 and 1970 is significant in the context of current perceptions about Japanese government policy regarding declining industries (shayo sangyo) and, more di r e c t l y relevant to the issue of labour relations, in the current debate about "permanent employment" as one of the "three p i l l a r s " of the Japanese industrial relations system. Well known scholars such as Ezra Vogel have developed almost a cult of admiration regarding Japanese industrial policy capabilities and in his latest work. Comeback. Vogel has even managed to cast the chaotic decline of the Japanese coal industry as a model industrial policy: "By far the largest case of structural adjustment in Japan was caused by the closing of the Kyushu coal mines. It required huge and rapid adjustment by any standards and involved loss of employment on a scale comparable to the loss of American employment in steel and autos in the 1970s and 1980s. The adjustment was painful, and the pain is not over even two decades later. Yet considering the problems Involved, Japan's success—in speed of adjustment to market forces, positive cooperation of many groups of people, and maintenance of a healthy s o c i e t y — was as striking in i t s way as the creation of competitive shipbuilding and ma c h i n * , t <•,ol i n d u s t r i e s . H l On a more r e a l i s t i c note Charles McMillan, a York University professor and advisor to Brian Mulroney, has also lauded the Japanese approach to sunset industries as a "costly but ruthless recognition of comparative disadvantage in the industrial 2 structure." Neither of these views really captures the scale of disruption and tragedy that accompanied the decline of coal in the 1960s. Instead they idealize the government's a b i l i t y to 114 plan decline. In fact even that process was largely determined by industry and also by the miners themselves who in the end refused to tolerate the deteriorating conditions in the mines and began to abandon the coal fields en masse after 1963. Labour relations is this period remained turbulent but after the Miike dispute Tanro was largely on the defensive. It abandoned opposition at the mines and instead concentrated on lobbying government to change its energy policy and to provide unemployment r e l i e f for the miners. At times i t even joined with the coal industry in such endeavours. As for permanent employment it was non-existent in the coal fields and employers mainly turned to government to help unemployed miners. As we shall see the government did a much better job of lining the wallets of the coal operators, although the by-then surging Japanese economy did absorb the surplus miners, albeit with much dislocation and suffering for the miners and their families. Oil Supplemented by Coal In 1959 coal production actually f e l l by over a million tons to 47.9 million due to an economic recession and the production quotas directed by MITI. The recession lasted only 12 months, however, and coal production in 1960 once again rose, reaching 52.6 million tons. In early 1960 the cabinet accepted the December 1959 Coal Industry Advisory Council's recommendations to r e s t r i c t coal to 55 million tons production, reduce prices by 1200 yen, and to encourage o i l imports. Even before the dust had settled at Miike the Ikeda government moved to implement the new energy policy 115 which would become a mainstay in Ikeda's plan to double incomes over 10 years. On April 27, 1960 the government revised the Heavy Oil Boiler Restriction Law. It was extended for another three years to October 1963 but small scale boilers were exempted from the restrictions. Keidanren had lobbied strongly for an exemption of the restrictions for industry in the central Honshu area but this was refused. However, MITI revised i t s own regulations to permit under exceptional circumstances construction of heavy o i l boilers for thermal power generation, a measure which satisfied Keidanren. Following the revision of the heavy o i l boiler law, the Ikeda government revised the Coal Industry Rationalization Special Measures Law on Aug.l, 1960. With these revisions the Coal Industry F a c i l i t i e s Corporation was renamed the Coal Industry Rationalization Corporation and given the mandate to supervise a l l government-financed capital expenditures for modernization. It also retained i t s former role as government agent in the coal mine buy-back program. On Oct. 14, 1960, the energy sub-committee of the Economic Advisory Council (Keizai Shinglkai) sent a delegation to meet with Keidanren's Energy Policy Committee to outline the government's long-term energy policy. As outlined to Keidanren, the basic policy was to "assure stable energy supplies and cuts 3 in energy costs by l i b e r a l i z i n g imports". At this point the government's intention was not to completely phase out the coal industry--such a policy would have been socially unacceptable and besides, the government was s t i l l reluctant to abandon its one and only domestic energy source and to rely entirely on imports. 116 Thus beginning in November I960, Keidanren convoked a series of meetings with leaders from the coal, el e c t r i c power, steel, gas, cement and other industries. Headed by Keidanren vice-president Uemura Kogoro, the talks eventually led to a formula for ensuring some s t a b i l i t y in coal demand while allowing user industries to begin to switch to o i l . This agreement became a l l the more essential in light of further developments. In June 1961, the Ikeda government announced that i t was speeding up the rate of trade liberalization and that 90 percent of a l l trade would be free from restrictions by September 1962. This meant that restrictions such as the controls on heavy o i l boilers would be l i f t e d at that time, over a year before they were scheduled to end. The noose around the coal industry was tightening. The announcement of an agreement to ensure coal demand by Keidanren on June 7 helped to ease the impact of the early l i b e r a l i z a t i o n . Under the in d u s t r i a l i s t s ' agreement the steel and el e c t r i c power industries would contract for 13 and 20 million tons of coal annually by 1967, thus ensuring a reduced but stable market for coal while permitting the switch to o i l to proceed. A further sign of the government's plan to r e s t r i c t the coal industry was a MITI directive on July 5, 1961 to the Coalfields General Development Survey Commission, an organ established in 4 1958 to search for promising coal deposits. The July 5th MITI directive ordered the commission to halt a l l work on surveying thermal coal deposits while Intensifying its search for metallurgical coal. The government decision to abandon thermal 117 coal exploration while intensifying metallurgical coal surveying was due to the fact that while heavy o i l could be substituted for thermal coal, i t could not replace metallurgical coal in the blast furnaces for steel manufacturing. MITI's directive was, in my opinion, not motivated at this time by a desire to completely phase out coal but rather reflected the reversal of the c o a l - f i r s t energy policy. Existing deposits could meet the 55 million ton production target but in the long term this directive to halt surveying for coal deposits was even further reaching than government revisions to the rationalization plans. It was one thing to cut production targets--quite another to cut off potential mine development. It meant that as existing coal seams were worked out no alternative  replacement seams were to be developed. In this sense the view that the decline of Japan's coal Industry was due to its poor coal seams or to the exhaustion of the mines is somewhat off base in that the p o l i t i c a l decision was made in 1961 to halt a l l research to resolve those very problems in respect to thermal coal. The Arisawa Commission Neither the coal miners nor their union stood idly by while the government made decisions which in effect were wiping out thousands of miners jobs. While put on the defensive after the defeat at Miike, Tanro attempted to reorganize. Union policy changed from one of workshop resistance to p o l i t i c a l action to change government energy policy. In September 1961, shortly after the decision to speed up libe r a l i z a t i o n of the 118 petroleum industry, Tanro brought hundreds of miners into Tokyo to demonstrate against government coal policy. Layoffs in the industry were becoming widespread by this time and as the situation deteriorated the coalminers union threatened job action to protect i t s members jobs. Tanro resolved to begin a general coal strike on April 5, 1962 i f energy policy was not reversed. Under attack by the Socialist Party in the Diet, the Ikeda government could not afford to ignore the growing c r i s i s . On the one hand the miners threat of job action, i f carried out, could compromise the producer-consumer deal which had been worked out by Keidanren's Uemura. If supplies were threatened, the steel and el e c t r i c power industry might bail out of the deal. At the same time the layoffs in the industry had become a social problem, one which the government might ignore only at its own p e r i l . On April 5, 1962, Ikeda met with the leaders of Tanro and the coal industry to work out a deal. The following day the government announced the formation of a coal fact-finding commission headed by Arisawa Hiromi to Investigate conditions in the industry and to make recommendations for government policy. In return, Tanro was obliged to withdraw its threat of a general strike and coal operators were supposed to refrain from any further layoffs until the commission's report was in. The formation of the commission was an astute, i f opportunistic, p o l i t i c a l move by the Ikeda government. In retrospect i t is clear that the government had no intention of changing its energy policy. In fact, Arisawa Hiromi was one of its chief architects. And even as the commission was announced, the coal rationalization laws were being amended to introduce a subsidy 119 system for mine closures. The .amended law allowed for a payment for each ton of potential mine production which in 1965 was worth 1200 yen per ton. This system made i t more attractive to close mines than operate them and in fact mine closures accelerated during this period. In July the government established the Coal Mine Area Rehabilitation Corporation to try to attract new industries to abandoned coal f i e l d s . The report of the Coal Industry Fact-Finding Team (headed by Arisawa Hiromi, one of the authors of the p r i o r i t y production plan after the war) destroyed any illusions the coalminers' unions might have had about the p o s s i b i l i t y of reversing government coal policy. Tabled on Oct. 13, 1962, the report upheld the 55 million ton per year production target f i r s t enunciated by the Coal Industry Advisory Council in 1959, and called for further rationalization of the industry which, i t was estimated, would result in the loss of another 75,000 jobs. It also called for a further 1200 yen per ton reduction in the price of coal. The Ikeda government adopted the recommendations in November and the budget for coal was set at 14.9 b i l l i o n yen for the following year. Tanro, with the backing of Sohyo, attempted to launch a nation-wide general strike on December 14 but although major work stoppages did occur, a general strike did not materialize. For the second time the coalminers' union had suffered a major setback from which i t would never recover. From this point on the Tanro was unable to present any substantial opposition to the job cuts and instead resorted to negotiating more favorable terms 120 of displacement. Jobs, Safety, Wages Sacrificed The loss of jobs in the coal industry was most acute in the 1959-64 period when 175,000 positions were chopped. The actual number of layoffs may have exceeded this figure since there was continuous rollover in employment. TABLE 8: BASIC COAL INDUSTRY STATISTICS, 1960-1973 Mines Production Workers Productivity (million tons) (*000s) (tons/worker/month) 1960 682 52.6 244 18.0 1961 662 55.4 213 21.7 1962 608 53.6 179 24.9 1963 436 51.1 136 31.3 1964 322 50.8 116 36.4 1965 287 50.1 110 38.1 1966 239 50.6 104 40.3 1967 205 47.1 92 42.7 1968 168 46 . 3 80 47.9 1969 159 43.6 65 55.8 1970 102 38.3 52 61.0 1971 93 31.7 41 63.4 1972 77 26 .9 34 66.0 1973 57 20.9 25 68.2 SOURCE: Japan Development Bank Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko Nijuqo Nenshi, (25 Year History of the Japan Development Bank), 1976 (Tokyo, JDB), pp. 388, 391, 394 That permanent employment was non-existent for coalminers in this period goes without saying. The lot of the laid-off miners was a hard one (an issue I shall return to momentarily) but at least they had their lives — for the miners that remained in the coal shafts, l i f e i t s e l f was l i t e r a l l y in the balance. And nowhere was this truer than at Miike. The str ikers had returned to work in December 1960 and the two unions—the original, militant Miike local and the breakaway 121 union continued to co-exist r i g h t through into the 1970s. The o r i g i n a l union fought a running b a t t l e against what i t deemed discrimi n a t o r y Mitsui attacks against i t s e l f . As one of the few unions that had stood up to the Mitsui conglomerate and survived,. i t became a legend within Sohyo and for years a f t e r thousands of union a c t i v i s t s traveled to Kyushu annually to attend meetings commemorating the 1960 struggle. Though the o r i g i n a l union survived i t was incapable of stopping the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n process at the Miike mines and the subsequent degeneration of working conditions. For example, p r o d u c t i v i t y at the Miike mines jumped from a p r e - s t r i k e high of about 13.5 tons per worker/month to 5 over 25 tons by the end of 1961. The per ton labour cost declined from about 1,730 yen i n mid-1958 to 988 yen in June 6 1961. Given that t h i s p r o d u c t i v i t y increase occurred i n less than s i x months a f t e r a f u l l return to work, the increases cannot be a t t r i b u t e d to mechanization but were the r e s u l t of an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of labour, or speedups. While employers no doubt f e l t they were f i n a l l y getting t h e i r money's worth, i n the end the p r o d u c t i o n - f i r s t mentality led to tragedy. On Nov. 13, 1963 at about 3:10 the afternoon s h i f t at Miike's Mikawa c o l l i e r y was already on the job. The coal dust in the shaft was pretty bad but that was a miners' l o t ; i n an instant the dust disappeared, ignited by sparks and consumed in a thunderous explosion. Miners from the afternoon s h i f t and e x i t i n g miners from the day s h i f t , who had not yet reached the shaft e x i t , were trapped. The t o l l — 4 5 8 dead, 800 injured. John G. Roberts in his book Mi t s u i , charges that Mitsui 122 had cut back on maintenance and safety personnel as part of the rationalization program just prior to the "accident"; that a water-spray system to damp down coal dust had not been properly 7 used and that i t s water supply system was clogged with rust. Unfortunately, Roberts does not f u l l y document his claims, but there exist other sources which also indicate that the rationalization program was a contributing, i f not decisive, factor in the tragic degeneration of mining safety during this period. For example, the Japan Development Bank states: "Going to excessive lengths to ensure coal production when there was a shortage of manpower, mine disasters multiplied with 61 lives 8 lost at Yucho mine, 30 at Izuto, and 237 at the Yamato mine." These three disasters a l l occurred in 1965. The government's own figures indicate that the rationalization program and speedups were direc t l y related to the mine tragedies. While in every other industry the accident rate declined on average by 40 percent between 1959 and 1969, in the coal industry alone the accident rate actually Increased by 50 percent: "One can hardly say that the rapid increase in productivity had nothing to do with the mine disasters," was the way one labour department 9 bureaucrat obliquely put i t . Coalminers also saw their standard of l i v i n g lag behind other unionized workers as wage increases continually f e l l short of those gained by workers in other industries. For example, the 1960 and 1961 standard wage increases of 395 and 1,341 yen per month were the lowest wage increases of 25 industries surveyed by 10 Nikkeiren. Bonuses also lagged behind workers in other industries. According to the same Nikkeiren survey, coalminers 123 ranked 16th out o£ 16 Industries with 1961 summer and winter bonuses amounting to 24 and 30 thousand yen respectively compared to an average bonus of 49 and 55 thousand yen. Between 1963 and 1968 coalminers received among the lowest wage increases of any unionized worker group. It should be kept in mind that the relative decline in coalminers 1 wages which occurred during this period was at a time when productivity was leaping forward with output per worker nearly trebling between 1959 and 1968 in the coal industry. By 1964 worker productivity in Japan's coal mines had surpassed that of Belgium, France, West Germany and 11 England. But the tragic deterioration in working conditions led to an ironic situation. After having laid off thousands of miners the industry faced a labour shortage beginning in 1963. A mood of "abandoning ship", as government reports called i t , spread through the coal f i e l d s . MITT, for example, had estimated 38,000 miners would be laid off in 1963 but in the f i r s t half of that year alone 28,000 miners had either been laid off or quit. The result was that the 55 million ton production target was not reached in 1963 provoking the government to re-assess i t s coal policy once more. The government again called on the Coal Industry Fact-Finding Team, chaired by Arisawa Hiromi, to investigate the industry. The team tabled i t s report in December 1964 ("On Reinforcing Coal Policy"). Its major recommendations included: -reducing the coal production target to 52 million tons per year; -increasing coal prices; 124 -further subsidizing interest rates on capital investment loans to the three percent level. The Arisawa commission's recommendations were adopted by the government in early 1965. From decreasing prices to increasing prices, from maintaining coal capacity to decreasing i t — government coal policy had turned into a fiasco because i t was predicated on bringing coal prices into line with world o i l prices. But i t was no easy task to force miners to speed up production at the risk of their lives while reducing their wages at the same time. Neither the government nor Arisawa could openly admit such a travesty but the years that followed witnessed a litany of government "last words" on coal policy until there were few coal miners l e f t and what had once been a "strategic industry" was reduced to naught. Relief: The Unemployed Job cuts took place in both large and small-scale operations and not only from mine closures. Table 9 indicates the scale of layoffs in the 18 major corporations. Permanent employment in the coal industry did not exist for miners in either the large or small operations. What is even more phenomenal about these figures is the fact that they represent only the net result in terms of job reductions. It is estimated that between 1959 and 1968 the coal industry hired nearly 300,000 people while nearly 12 500,000 were fired or l e f t during the same period. These figures betray the extreme turnover rate in the coal industry— many miners went from one mine to another only to be laid off a short time later and gradually more and more miners deserted 125 TABLE 9: PERSONNEL REDUCTIONS BY THE 18 MAJORS AND MITSUBISHI The 18 Majors-MINERS OFFICE Personnel at the end 190,686 23,363 of 1958 (In %) (100) (100) Personnel at the end 55,521 8,536 of 1968 (In %) (29) (37) Personnel Reduction 135,165 14,827 (In %) (71) (63) TOTAL 214,049 (100) 64,057 (30) 149,992 (70) Mitsubishi-MINERS OFFICE 27,043 (100) 5,829 (22) 21,214 (78) 4,433 (100) 2,239 (51) TOTAL 31,476 (100) 8,068 (26) 2,194 23,408 (49) (74) SOURCE: Mitsubishi Mining and Cement Corporation, A History of  the Mitsubishi Mining Corporation, Tokyo, 1976, Page 608 the industry entirely. It was mainly younger men who l e f t : in 1959 less than 50 percent of the miners were over 35 years of age but by 1969 the over-35 group represented about 75 percent of the 13 workforce. This reflects the fact that the older miners had more to lose i f they l e f t the mines. Since wages and bonuses were often pegged to seniority and age, other employers preferred not to bring in older workers. To the older miners their jobs were a lifelong investment which they preferred not to abandon unless forced to. According to Labour Ministry s t a t i s t i c s 181,450 miners registered as new job seekers between 1962 and 1970 of which fewer than 30,000 or about 15 percent found alternate employment through their employers. Government employment offices placed 14 about 116,000 and over 30,000 found jobs on their own. It appears that coal operators f e l t that, since the switch in energy policy was a government decision,then the government and not they 126 should be responsible for looking after the displaced miners. Government policy towards lai d off miners followed a complex path and i t s evolution involved a tremendous number of parties including the two houses of parliament, the various government ministies, agencies and departments, the industry and unions, Keidanren, advisory councils and others. But despite a l l the players the bottom line was that laid off miners were the ones who paid the price for the switch to o i l . While some minimal provisions for displaced miners had been contained in the 1955 rationalization laws the f i r s t major move occurred in 1959, about a year after major layoffs had occurred. The Unemployed Mineworkers Extraordinary Measures Law, adopted on December 16, provided minimal r e l i e f through job placement programs, temporary employment special projects and some job training. As well miners were direc t l y provided with a small moving and training allowance but had to apply for unemployment incsurance under the regular laws. Employers or educational institutions which took in miners were given funds to build res idences. On June 2, 1961 the Employment Promotion Enterprise Law (Koyo Sokushin Jigyodan Hoan) was passed consolidating the above measures and putting the projects under the Enterprise's authority. It was in this period that the Ikeda government speeded up the trade liberalization timetable which implied greater o i l imports earlier than had been expected. This led Tanro to lobby heavily for an energy policy reversal, but the government was determined to stick with o i l and instead took 127 further steps to develop unemployment r e l i e f measures. On February 16, 1962 i t amended the Coalminers Unemployment Special Measures Law to allow for the payment of wage subsidies to employers who took on older, displaced miners and to expand moving and training subsidies for coal miners who had been employed 15 in new occupations but had been forced to leave these jobs. The government attempted a major review of coal related laws in what became known as the "Coal Diet" session in December 1962 (following the Arisawa Commission report), but a Socialist boycott resulted In the amendments being stalled in the Upper House. However, the laws passed in March 1963, the major implication for unemployed miners being the introduction of the "teicho seldo" or 16 pass system. Laid-off coal miners were issued a pass book upon registration as a job seeker and this entitled them to register for the multiple programs and receive unemployment insurance. It was effective for three years and overcame some of the problems related to turnover since coalminers did not last long at many of the hew jobs. Unemployment benefits were set at a maximum of 450 yen per day or about one-third of their previous wages. The figures do not really t e l l the story though—they abstract i t , rendering i t digestible. But the human element was very real and the sorrow great. In August 1966 the miners plight was brought home to the nation through the wide circulation of what became known as "A Letter of Tears to Prime Minister Sato: Stop the Toyosato Mine Closing". The letter is somewhat long for f u l l quotation but I consider i t s inclusion essential to begin to grasp the human dimension in this situation: 128 Aug. 1, 1965 To P.M. Esaku Sato: I am a g i r l in the 6th grade at Toyosato Elementary School in Akahira, Hokkaido. Our school is the one where the kids from the Toyosato mine go that's been in the papers and on TV every day. At class though we don't really know what's going on we worry and we're always talking about i t . Thinking about i t I came up with the idea of asking you, Japan's most important person— the Prime Minister, so the coal mine won't go under. I asked my Dad but he only laughed and said "Forget i t , even i f you wrote i t he wouldn't bother reading a letter from a kid." But I didn't give up— I heard a Diet member was coming to Toyosato so I'm writing this letter with the idea that he ' l l be able to get i t to you. When my Dad and the other workers get together you hear them talking about the "proposal" a l o t . According to Dad, i f things happen as they're written irt that, thousands of people working in the mines w i l l be l e f t out and the Toyosato mine w i l l be finished. My teacher says that when the mine near where he taught before went under, a lot of people took up and went to Tokyo or Kawasaki. Some of them came back to the mine though because their new jobs didn't work out or their back pay ran out. I couldn't help thinking--digging coal is what mine people do best. My Mom and Dad, everyone says they don't want to leave the mine. I heard my Dad came here in 1946. I worry whether he can do anything different after doing a job he's done so long. He's 51 so I also worry whether anyone else would hire my Dad. It's not just my Dad, everyone w i l l have trouble. It seems the shopkeepers in Toyosato don't know what they'd do i f the mine goes under. And good friends w i l l be separated forever. The nice school where I and my brother and sisters studied w i l l go too I guess. The town where I was born w i l l completely change. A lot of unhappy things w i l l happen. Please help stop the mine from closing, help my Dad keep working just like now. Please help. n Klkuita Kogawa The letter did in fact get to the prime minister who responded promptly saying he wouldn't abandon the mines and that the g i r l 129 should reassure her parents. Six months later the Toyosato mine was closed. Relief: Coal Operators The 1965 series of mine disasters and continual coal company losses pushed the government to again review its coal policy. This time, however, the review was delegated to the Coal Industry Advisory Council chaired by Keidanren vice-president Uemura Kogoro. On July 25, 1966 the council tabled i t s report ("Fundamental Stabilization Policy for the Coal Industry") which was adopted by the government on August 26. Its measures constituted what the Japan Development Bank has termed an "epoch-18 making policy of industrial aid". They included: -reducing the production target to 50 million tons; -subsidies for coal consumers who increased coal intake; -a 100 b i l l i o n yen subsidy to buy up coal companies' asssets; -new subidies for shaft development; -a 150 yen/ton production subsidy; -doubling the mine closure subsidy of 1200 yen per ton to 2400 yen. To fund the new expenditures the government slapped a 12 percent t a r i f f on imported o i l , ten percent of which was to go into a coal special account. The account was set at 52.1 b i l l i o n yen for 1967. As the coal industry declined, the c i t y banks were less inclined to lend to the industry and as a result the Japan Development Bank's proportion of loans to the industry increased 130 19 to nearly 50 percent by this time. In November 1967, the JCA unilaterally decided to revoke the 50 million tons per year production target. Under the government program i t was more profitable to close the mines than to keep them open. This decision provoked a bitter national debate on future coal policy. In the end, a proposal by Keidanren vice-president Uemura won out. Uemura'a proposal called on the coal companies to separate their coal operations from other projects (for example, Mitsubishi Coal was heavily into cement and beginning o i l importation at this time). As well, Uemura proposed that coal companies which received government aid be operated by a special holding company composed of government o f f i c i a l s and representatives of private industry. A third proposal was that the coal production target be set at 30 million tons for 1973. In December 1968 the Coal Industry Advisory Council tabled its latest proposal on coal policy. The recommendations, besides adopting the Uemura core proposals, also outlined a series of measures which were to constitute the government's " f i n a l aid" to the industry. They included: -a further 85 b i l l i o n yen subsidy to retire coal companies' debts; -an increase in the production subsidy; -further subsidies to reduce interest payments; -increased subsidies for general mine closures and augmented subsidies for "special closures". The cabinet adopted the council's proposals in January 1969 and they gained Diet approval in April. The 1969 coal special 131 account budget was set at 88.5 b i l l i o n yen. The author ized biography of Uemura Kogoro is extremely revealing regarding the policy-making process at this time and also regarding the contradictions between industry and the various government 20 departments. In i t , Abe Yoichi, who was executive directive of the Japan Coal Association at the time, says he visited Uemura in 1967 after the coal operators had decided to drop the 50 million ton production target. At that time Uemura asked him to develop a f i n a l coal policy which Abe did and which Uemura subsequently put forward as his own in the great coal debate at the time. It d i d not f l y , however, because t h e banks somehow found o u t t h a t Aii< had a c t u a l l y d r a w n up t h e proposal Mot deterred, h o w e v e r , Abe t h e n l e f t t h e Japan Coal Ai;cvcwlioii and Uemura appointed h i m as his stand-in on a subcommittee of the Coal Industry Advisory Council which was assigned the responsibility for developing a fi n a l coal policy. Abe's proposal was resurrected and put forward as an o f f i c i a l recommendation that formed the basis of future government coal policy I According to Abe, everyone was against Uemura including the Ministry of Finance and MITI but in the end Uemura got his way: "Roughly speaking, the policy basically told the Ministry of Finance to cough up 400 b i l l i o n yen over the next five years and in the end they had to give 21 In. » By 1969, fewer than 100 mines were operating. New environmental regulations brought in during this period led the el e c t r i c power industry to cut back i t s coal-powered thermal power generation resulting In a further decline In demand for 132 coal. At the same time exploration for metallurgical coal deposits was not as successful as i n i t i a l l y anticipated. In December 1970, the coal and steel industries sponsored the creation of the Overseas Metallurgical Coal Development Corporation to explore for and develop overseas sources of metallurgical coal. In 1972 the Coal Industry Advisory Council was once again called upon to recommend future policies for the industry. On June 29 It tabled Its recommendations w h i c h i n c l u d e d : -a production target of 20 million tons for 1975 ; -a further 70 b i l l i o n yen for r e t i r i n g coal company l i a b i l i t i e s ; -general increase in subsidies; -the addition of an administrative section to the Rationalization Corporation to direct industry operations; -an increase in coal prices; -an increase in the overall coal budget to between 470-500 b i l l i o n yen. The government adopted the above recommendations on July 4, 1972. By this time only 34,000 miners remained in the industry and fewer than 75 mines were operating. Relief measures for hundreds of Ihouuundu of unemployed coal mkattxa had cost the government about 22 59 b i l l i o n yen over a twelve year period. Over a similar period i t spent a minimum of 260 b i l l i o n just to pay off the coal operators' l i a b i l i t i e s . 133 Notes; chapter v 1. Ezra Vogel, Comeback, (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1985), p. 96. 2. C.J. McMillan, The Japanese Industrial System, (Berlin, de Gruyter, 1984), p. 88 3. Keidanren, Keizai Dantai Rengokai Sanjunenshi, (Tokyo, 1968), pp. 144 4. Tsusho Sangyosho Sekitan Kyoku, Tanden Sogo Kaihatsu Chosa  Hokokusho, (Tokyo, 1963), p. 5 5. Shiryo: Mi ike Sogi, p. 419 6. Ibid., p. 429 7. See John G. Roberts, Mitsui: Three Centuries of Japanese  Business, (New York, Weatherhill, 1973) 8. Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko, Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko Nijugonenshi, (Tokyo, 1976), pp. 389 9. Rodosho Shokugyo Antei Kyoku Shitsugyo Taisakubu, ed., Tanko  Rishokusha Taisaku Junenshi, (Tokyo, Nikkan Rodo Tsushinsha, 1971), p. 338 10. Nikkeiren, Sangyo Rodo Gensei Hokoku, (Tokyo, Nikkeiren, 1962), pp. 160-161 11. Tankro Rishokusha Taisaku Junenshi, p. 3 51 12. Ibid., p. 340 13. Ibid., p. 339 14. Tanko Rishokusha Taisaku Junenshi, p. 342 15. See Tanko Rishokusha Taisaku Junenshi, pp. 174-175 16. For details of the pass system see Tanko Rishokusha Taisaku  Junenshi, pp. 201-214 17. Ibid., p. 301 18. Nihon Kaihatsu Ginko, Nijugonenshi, pp. 390 19. Ibid., pp. 391 20. Uemura Kogoro Denki Henshushitsu, ed., Nlngen Uemura Kogoro (Tokyo, Sankei Shuppan, 1979) 134 21. Ibid., p. 342 22. Tanko Rishokusha Taisaku Junenshi, p. 349 135 Conclusions This endeavour to come to grips with employer-employee relations in the postwar coal industry is but a brief foray into the complex world of Japanese labour relations. Given this complexity and the limited scope of my research to date, this summation is really only one part conclusion and three parts informed speculation, hunches i f you w i l l . My single conclusion is actually self-evident to the reader: The three p i l l a r s theory of labour relations did not apply in Japan's postwar coal industry. As a tentative interpretation and guide for further research, I would suggest the following three hypotheses: DThat the three p i l l a r s view of labour relations is really a caricature of Japanese labour relations and therefore fundamentally erroneous even as a descriptor of a unique Japanese "system"; 2) That at least four (there are d e f i n i t e l y others) economic and p o l i t i c a l factors influenced labour-relations in the coal industry. They include c a p i t a l i s t rationalism, enterprise corporatism, worker egalitarianism, and l i b e r a l democracy. These factors also exist in other sectors and their synthesis, in any given situation, gives Japanese labour-relations their s p e c i f i c i t y ; 3) That the Miike conflict represented a triumph for c a p i t a l i s t rationalism but a setback for corporatist interference in union a f f a i r s . Three P i l l a r s and Coal This account of the evolution of labour relations in the 136 coal industry indicates that the "three p i l l a r s " theory o f J a p a n e s e labour relations is not a p p l i c a b l e to l abour -management relations in coalmining. "Permanent employment" was non-existent in the postwar period in particular, and any employer dedication to find i t s laid-off workers new jobs was abandoned in favour of state intervention and aid. If anything, the employment situation in the coal fields in postwar Japan was the antithesis of permanent employment, and the elimination of 400,000 jobs in a single industrial sector in less than t h i r t y years stands out as a bald landmark of ruthless c a p i t a l i s t rationalization. Nor is "enterprise unionism" a very appropriate term for describing the institutions of coalminers' unions. This term is most often used as a contraindication of industrial unionism and another signal of the unique, non-Western biases of the Japanese system. In English language literature the coalminers union, Tanro, is often treated as an exception to the rule of "enterprise unions" and is characterized as an "industrial union". My research indicates that a false dichotomy is being made between enterprise-based and industrial unions and with i t a false dichotomy between the "Western" and Japanese systems. The coalminers' unions operated on three l e v e l s — t h e local (in the Miike case with 15,000 members) which was part of the enterprise federation for a l l Mitsui coalminers (Sankoren with 35,000 members), which in turn was a f f i l i a t e d to a national federation, Tanro, that had certain limited powers. If one analyzes the process of unionization at Miike, i t occurred shaft by shaft culminating in the formation of the Miike local. The local then began confronting Mitsui and then made contacts with other miners 137 In Kyushu working at Mitsui's Yamano and Tagawa mines. That these workers joined together in a regional Mitsui federation appears as a logical course of unionization as was national a f f i l i a t i o n . What might reflect a certain corporatist bent was the formation of the national Mitsui federation where company organization transcended geographical constraints, but even this is questionable. In general workers followed a pattern of organizing by company, industry and region and the existence of a workers federation based on a common employer in Itself does not necessarily indicate a specific corporatist quality. Unfor-tunately, commentators have mechanically fused organizational forms and ideology and have thereby distorted the nature and relative importance of enterprise federations. To put i t more clearly: enterprise federations are not necessarily corporatist-inspired and should not be equated with the common English expression "company union," which in labour relations terms implies the union is controlled by the employer. P i l l a r s Without Foundation? The question which must be posed at this point is whether labour relations in the coal industry are simply an exception and that the "three p i l l a r s " theory is s t i l l an apt description of labour relations generally. At this point I would respond with a resounding "no" to that query for the following reasons: F i r s t , there is an increasing body of scholarly literature which also challenges the "three p i l l a r s " persepective. For example, even Solomon Levine, a long-time industrial relations specialist on Japan, now contends that: "Even the oft-heard claim that one-138 t h i r d o r s o o£ J a p a n e s e waqe a n d s a l a r y w o r k e r s e n j o y l i f e t i m e 2 employment is much in need of proof." If 70 percent of the working population is excluded from the institution of permanent employment surely its importance as a general characteristic is over-rated. One might s t i l l make an argument, as Andrew Gordon did in his recent work, that permanent employment existed for males in large manufacturing firms after 1955. But even this more precise definition loses i t s h i s t o r i c a l significance when one considers the massive job reductions recently announced in the steel and shipbuilding industries. At best, job security seems to exist only for males in large manufacturing plants in strategic industries which are on the rise . In light of these facts i t appears to me to be fundamentally misleading to speak about permanent employment as one of the institutional p i l l a r s of Japanese labour relations. A second reason for rejecting the "three p i l l a r s " characterization is,, as I indicated earlier, that i t attributes a peculiar feature to Japanese union organization ("enterprise unions") which is inaccurate and unilateral. I would argue that overemphasizing enterprise federations as opposed to industry-wide federations misrepresents the organizational pyramid which evolved after the war and underestimates the importance of industry-wide federations. In fact these industry-wide federations were the very basis for the formation of the 1955 spring wage offensive (Shunto). the importance of which is consistantly downplayed by advocates of the " p i l l a r s " . One might respond that Japanese unions remain less 139 centralized (or industry-wide) than in Great Britain or Canada. But even this assertion rests on tenuous territory. The number and scale of industry-wide unions in the West is much smaller than what is popularly portrayed. For example, in the auto industry in Canada there is indeed an "industrial union" (considered one of the strongest) but even i t has a strong enterprise component. There is in fact no- industry-wide bargaining but rather pattern bargaining with target companies— Chrysler one year, Ford the next, followed by General Motors. The union is organized by locals for each plant which are covered by an enterprise-based collective agreement. In other words a l l workers for Ford are covered by one contract but even then local agreements (by plant) are also made on specific local issues. Even this system, one of the most "industrial" in Canada, is very much an exception. According to one estimate, two, thirds of a l l wage agreements in Britain, Canada and the U.S. are negotiated between local unions and individual companies or plants and 1 industry-wide bargaining is except ional. The closer one examines the actual situation the more subtle national distinctions in union organization become. The exaggeration of differences has arisen, in my opinion, because policymakers have mistaken organizational questions for Issues of Ideology. For example, Ota Kaoru, the past chairman of Sohyo, recounts how the Shunto industry-wide bargaining tactic was developed as a means of countering "enterprise consciousness" (klgyo lshikl) and the localism of enterprise unions. The issue, however, is much more profound than sectionalism or localism and touches the very core of Japanese culture and identity. 140 T h i s c r i t i q u e o£ " p e r m a n e n t e m p l o y m e n t " a n d " e n t e r p r i s e unions" is harsh but warranted, I believe, because the "three p i l l a r s " theory has become so widespread that even otherwise fine scholarly works such as Gordon's are unduly influenced b y i t . This so-called theory has indeed become an obstacle, a needless diversion in our attempt to understand Japanese labour-management relations. To say this is not to deny that early observers of t h e Japanese labour relations scene did not pick up on certain distinct Japanese characteristics b u t these distinctions have since b e e n exaggerated to the point where they have become vulgar caricatures of labour-management relations. Coal: An Exception? The experience of labour-management relation* in the coal industry indicates that i t is definitely premature to talk about any singular Japanese labour relations "system" or model. The only thing systematic seems to be diversity and seemingly impenetrable contradictions. Much more research must be undertaken in varying industrial sectors, in large and small firms, strategic and declining industries, union and non-union shops, public and private sectors, and gender-specific industries before we can come to any s c i e n t i f i c conclusions about a Japanese "system". To the extent that this work has been done, specific Japanese features such as permanent employment are hard to pin down and can be easily contradicted. We seem to be dealing with nuances, subtleties, almost feelings rather than facts. To exaggerate what appears to be unique leads to distortlon--to ignore distinctions would seem to deny Japan's s p e c i f i c i t y . Labour relations in Japan's postwar coal industry are in their own way exceptional. Massive, fast rationalization and a bitter confrontation at Miike seemed to make labour relations in this sector different. But i t is this very difference which offers us aw* opportunity to penetrate the mist and isolate a multitude of economic and p o l i t i c forces in flux, in dynamic tension, shorn of many of the subtleties present in a less charged atmosphere. As one of Japan's f i r s t postwar declining industries, coal's strategic position meant that not only coal operators but a whole range of forces were involved in shaping both industrial policy and labour relations. The Miike dispute acted very much as a catalyst in precipitating a sharp interplay among forces which have had, and continue to have, important roles in shaping Japanese labour-management relations. Th&se forces or factors appear through the actions of e l i t e s , such as Nikkeiren, Keidanren, the elected government, government ministries, Sohyo, the Socialist and Communist parties, Zenro, and company executives--as well as through ordinary rank-and-file workers, walking on or breaking through the picket lines. They a l l betrayed their particular attitudes and fetishes which, when considered as contemporary reflections of a h i s t o r i c a l process, help to understand the dynamics of labour relations. Thus, even though the coal experience is unique i t offers an excellent window into the world of labour relations. Ronald Dore contends that, "The mining industry was not the 3 source of institutional innovation." I believe this reflects a tendency to underestimate the importance of the coal industry as 142 an important crucible for Japanese labour relations. I would contend that managers and workers in the coal industry have played an especially important role h i s t o r i c a l l y in shaping, both ins t i t u t i o n a l l y and otherwise, contemporay managerial attitudes towards labour. For example Dan Takuma, who became Japan's leading industrialist and an important force in labour relations in the 1920s, began his career as an engineer with Mitsui Coal. His views on labour-management relations were strongly influenced by his direct experience in the coal mines. The two most influential hands-on men within Nikkeiren in the postwar period, Maeda Hajime and Hayakawa Sho, were both full-time labour relations specialists for Mitsui Coal and Mitsubishi Coal respectively prior to W.W. II. Thus, to understand labour relations in both the pre- and postwar coal industry, to delve into the elements which led to the Miike strike, is to begin to understand a process which def i n i t e l y influenced contemporary labour relations on a broader scale. Converging Diversity On the one hand there is l i t t l e doubt in my mind that in Japan as elsewhere strong convergent factors are at work. Capitalism as a mode of mass production is increasingly becoming the dominant form of production in most, i f not a l l , areas of the world. In i t s wake, workers are prodded to organize to resist exploitation and thus worker combinations or unions, in one form or another, begin to form. The process of establishing unions is often protracted as employers attempt to ban or co-opt them. Nevertheless, unions eventually do develop. Workers hope unions 143 w i l l defend their interests, w i l l give them some measure of equality with e l i t e s . In this process many unions, although certainly not a l l , adopt early forms of s o c i a l i s t ideology and p o l i t i c s . Japan is no exception to this trend. One hundred years ago Japan had no unions and no s o c i a l i s t p o l i t i c s — t o d a y i t has many unions and numerous s o c i a l i s t tendencies. In this sense i t is very convergent with Britain or Europe. We can distinguish two specific factors--capitalist rationalism and what I c a l l worker egalitarianism—that push forward the convergence process. For the purpose of discussion we w i l l analyze these factors as autonomous entities but i t should be noted that in the real world they do not exist in isolation but only appear in specific forms tempered by national circumstance. To put i t another way, these factors take a national form but in essence are universal trends. Capitalist rationalism is the profit-based economic motivation which, in numerous cases, determines managerial actions or attitudes. For example, the decision to r e s t r i c t and eventually phase out coal as Japan's major energy source was a classic example of ca p i t a l i s t rationalism. The bottom line made sense in more than one way. The decision to lay off workers at Mitsui Coal also made s e n s e — i t cut costs and was part of a process to bring Mitsui back into the black. The fact that what appears rational at one point (phasing out coal in the 1960s for example) appears less rational or even Irrational at another (in 1973 when the f i r s t o i l shock arrived) does not diminish the significance of this factor as an important element in shaping labour relations or industrial policy. That this is a convergent factor is evident in the worldwide trend to switch to o i l as an 144 e n e r g y s o u r c e . A second evolving factor is working class consciousness. I would maintain that taken in isolation this too is a convergent factor. The evolution of class consciousness has many dimensions but di s t i n c t trends can be seen among coalminers in Japan. When the Miike miners struck in 1924 one of their demands was the abolition of the company association. This rejection of company control was part of the process of an emerging, articulated identity as workers with interests which did not necessarily coincide with those of employers. It developed largely spontaneously at this point and was only peripherally influenced, i f at a l l , by s o c i a l i s t or communist ideas. In the immediate postwar period this embryonic class consciousness mushroomed to f i l l the p o l i t i c a l and ideological void created by defeat in the war. Managers at Miike, for example, tried to contain the movement, participating in the f i r s t union r a l l y and giving out beer money, but everything conspired against them at f i r s t . The occupation forces imposed a l i b e r a l legal framework enshrining some basic union rights—workers increasingly realized that they didn't need to obtain managers' permission for their actions; managers were taken to task for their selfishness during the war and for postwar hoarding. Yet the postwar consciousness was not so c i a l i s t or communist--these p o l i t i c a l ideologies only began to articulate policies in 1946-47 and while a fusion between socialism/communism and the growing union movement began at this time, i t remained embryonic and vulnerable. If one looks at some of the major union actions and demands in the immediate postwar 145 period they remain strongly marked by collaborative ideology--in the coal industry for example a l l unions agreed to participate in economic revival councils (fukkokai) as well as joint labour-management factory councils. In this sense the conditions for conscious seizure of the factories did not e x i s t — n o t that there was not upheaval and opportunity but the consciousness was lacking. However, in h i s t o r i c a l terms, the fact that workers so massively joined unions in the postwar era and demanded equality represented a qualitative step forward from the prewar and wartime period when unions were i l l e g a l and workers were, at best, given a consultative voice. Managerial consciousness was spontaneously marked, as indicated previously, by c a p i t a l i s t rationalism. But i t was also heavily influenced by corporatist ideology. Corporatism as an ideology is r e l a t i v e l y unknown in countries with strong Anglo-Saxon traditions so i t perhaps would be appropriate to explain some of the basic elements of corporatism as I understand them. The word corporatism is derived from the word corpus or body. As a p o l i t i c a l ideology i t evolved in the modern era as an organic, c o l l e c t i v i s t reaction to liberal-democracy. M.H. Lenormand outlined the corporatist reaction to l i b e r a l democracy in his book Manuel Pratique du Corporatisme (1938): "The democratic regime, based on the individualist principle and this erroneous concept of liberty that becomes economic liberalism, thus contains in i t s foundations the very causes for p o l i t i c a l disintegration and economic disorder and their result: class 4 struggle." Liberalism promotes formal individual equality while 146 legitimizing private control over the means of production. Classic liberalism rejected unions as an abrogation of the right of the employer to contract with workers as individuals, but as worker egalitarianism developed liberalism accomodated the lower strata and became liberal-democracy. Corporatism on the other hand is a conception in which the individual is subordinate to the group and the rights and obligations of individuals are defined only as constituent elements of the whole. Hierarchy is dominant, either formally or otherwise, and power is invested in the leadership through status. Codes of conduct may be implicit rather than e x p l i c i t and rules and regulations defined through convention rather than contract. My perception of managerial or c a p i t a l i s t ideology in Japan is that i t was definitely not l i b e r a l . Capitalism developed not in the struggle against the arbitrary state but as a component part of the emerging kokutai or body p o l i t i c (national corps is actually an excellent yet l i t e r a l translation of the term). Corporatist ideology was strong in Japan not because i t was a late developer but because of its quick transition from feudalism to capitalism. Thus when Japanese managers began to confront the issue of labour control around the turn of the century their corporatist bias led them to s p e c i f i c a l l y reject l i b e r a l approaches to labour relations. Instead they adopted a corporatist approach which I would provisionally label enterprise corporatism based on a Confucian familial model. This model was not adopted as a charity but rather as a rational Japanese managerial response to the discovery that coercion of workers, a natural c a p i t a l i s t tendency to maximize profits, created problems 147 in labour supply and morale. Ronald Dore explains some detail in British Factory--Japanese Factory how textile employers came to develop the "firm-as-extended-family" model. This model was tailor-made to resolve some basic problems: i t responded to workers earliest desires for some status while reinforcing subservience through reaffimation of hierarchy. It was a b r i l l i a n t and conscious social concept adapted to deflect the otherwise apparently imminent outbreak of worker egalitarianism not too dissimilar from that in the West and which Japanese managers wanted none of. It is not possible in the context of this essay to thoroughly analyze all.the specifics of Japanese corporatism. However i t is important to establish i t s pertinence to labour relations in coal. In my opinion the corporatist familial model was a t r a d e - o f f — i t conceded a limited status to workers who had none and gave them certain advantages in exchange for submission to managerial authority. This bonding had other Implications on the level of job security however. As workers were now seen as an organic part of the enterprise i t became more d i f f i c u l t to dismiss workers for purely economic reasons without shattering the whole corporatist paradigm. This is reflected in the language of dismissal where the popular expression kubl k l r i (decapitation) is used for both firings and layoff. The importance of both instances is that the person was excluded from the collective/ exiled. Thus a whole r i t u a l , a convention for layoffs developed where the employer never rea l l y terminated the relationship but found heroic "volunteers" ready to sacrifice themselves for the collective. This elaborate 148 procedure was the dubious reconciliation of conflicting corporatist and rationalist forces. As the 1924 strike at Miike indicated workers were not completely taken in by corporatist ideology. The consultative councils (the kyoai kumiai) which Dan Takuma had trumpeted as the Japanese alternative to unions were one of the workers' main targets. During the 1930s and 40s enterprise corporatism was subsumed in the rise of state and national corporatism. Defeat in war dealt a body blow to corporatist ideology on the state level but many capitalists s t i l l hoped for a revival of the enterprise version. Maeda Hajime described his reaction to the a r r i v a l of l i b e r a l democracy: "The big g i f t brought to us under occupation policy was the introduction of democracy. It was hard to understand this democracy in the beginning—like water was to o i l , so democracy was to our emperor system which had sustained the Japanese national s p i r i t for over the past 2000 years, and to our concept of noblesse oblige which had illuminated our history and tradion...it was d i f f i c u l t for my ideas to be suddenly 5 transposed by democracy." In the postwar democratic surge corporatism came under siege but with the 1947-48 change in occupation policy, corporatist managers like Maeda attempted to reassert themselves. The most essential aspect of corporatism they wanted to maintain was managerial hegemony over authority. This striving for hegemony within the enterprise could not be reconciled with the l i b e r a l democratic model where authority was contingent on collective bargaining and an elaborate contract outlining managerial and union rights and obligations. - Managers could not tolerate an organized union structure able and 149 willing to enforce union rights. The whole 1948-60 period was marked by this struggle between worker egalitarianism and a revived enterprise corporatism. The second union movement, so strong during this period, was the corporatist attempt to subvert union independence within the context of a liberal-democratic legal system. This leads to the fourth factor influencing labour relations in the postwar p e r i o d — l i b e r a l democracy. As mentioned previously, the legal framework for labour relations was l i b e r a l democratic which tended to legitimitize union autonomy. The decision of the Ikeda government in July not to enforce the interim injuction prohibiting picketing at Mltsui's hopper at Miike was a reflection of l i b e r a l democracy in contradiction with corporatism. Maeda and other corporatists wanted the injunction enforced and a lesson in law-and-order given to the strikers. This was refused because i t would have compromised the l i b e r a l democratic position of the government. Corporatist managers were unable to regain complete hegemony at Miike, nor were they able to entirely enl i s t the l i b e r a l democratic state in their quest. In this sense Miike may well have checked the rise of the authoritarian aspects of enterprise corporatism. Corporatism s t i l l remains a force in Japan and much of what is specific in labour relations there can, I believe, be traced to i t . However i t exists not in isolation but as part of a complex mosaic of forces which are constantly interacting to create a dynamic labour-management relationship. 150 Notes: ConclusIon 1. C.J. McMillan, The Japanese industrial system, (New York, de Gruyter, 1984), p. 177. 2. Solomon B. Levine, "Careers and Mobility in Japan's Labor Markets" in Work and Lifecourse in Japan, D.W. Plath ed., (Albany, State University of New York Press, 1983), p. 31. 3. Ronald Dore, British Factory-Japanese Factory, (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1973), p.391. 4. Maurice-H. Lenormand, Manuel Pratique due CorporatIsme, (Paris, Librairie Felix Alcan, 1938), p. 3. 5. Maeda Hajime, "Tosho Ichidai" in Bessatsu Chuo Koron, Keiei  Mondai, (Vol. 8, No. 1-2, 1969), p. 304. 151 BIBLIOGRAPHY Japanese Works Arisawa, Hiromi, ed.; Showa Kelzaishi-Ge. 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