Although most economists maintain a mistrust of a government's goals when it intervenes in an economy, many continue to trust its actual ability. They retain, in other words, a faith in state competence. For this faith, they adduce no evidence. Sharing little skepticism about the government's ability, they continue to expect the best of governmental intervention. To study government competence in World War II Japan offers an intriguing laboratory. In this book, Yoshiro Miwa shows that the Japanese government did not conduct requisite planning for the war by any means. It made its choices on an ad hoc basis and the war itself quickly became a dead end. That the government planned for the war incompetently casts doubts on the accounts of Japanese government leadership more generally.
Yoshiro Miwa is a Professor of Economics at Osaka Gakuin University, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, where he obtained his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. He writes on a wide variety of areas. Much of his work has been in industrial organization and his current research concerns the effect of government involvement on economic activity in the 1930s and 1940s. Professor Miwa's books include Firms and Industrial Organization in Japan (1996), State Competence and Economic Growth in Japan (2004), and The Fable of the Keiretsu (2006), the latter co-authored by J. Mark Ramseyser.
Introduction; Part I. The Reality of Systematic War Preparations, War Mobilization, and Economic Control: 1. War planning and mobilization during the first-half of the war with China; 2. Operation plan, war plan, and basic national defense policy; Part II. Materials-Mobilization Plans, Production-Capacity-Expansion Plans, and Economic Control: 3. Economic planning and control in wartime Japan: general discussion; 4. Materials-mobilization plans (MMPlans); 5. Production-capacity-expansion plans and policies; 6. PCE Policies in Manchukuo (Manchuria); Part III. The Navy Air Force: Study of a Central Player in the War on the Japanese Side: 7. Preparations; 8. The navy air force during the war with China; 9. The navy air force during the Pacific war; Conclusion.