The foreign activities of sogo shosha (general trading companies) like Mitsubishi-Shoji have been little researched. This article seeks to clarify one of the oversea's activities of Mitsubishi-Shoji. The history of the Paris branch is analyzed and described based on internal documents of the branch kept at the Archives du Monde du Travail in Roubaix and the Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute in Tokyo. The History of the Société Anonyme Française Mitsubishi (S.A.F.M.) can be divided into four periods : first period, 1924-1927; second period, 1928-1932; third period, 1933-1938, and fourth period, 1939-1944. During the first period, S.A.F.M. invested in the Dewoitine Aircraft company, but this French company failed in 1926. During the second period, S.A.F.M. attempted diversification of goods for import and export. It left the aircraft industry and succeeded in dealing in agricultural products and other foods. During this period, in order to pay off the deficit caused by the failure of investment in Dewoitine Aircraft, S.A.F.M. pursued a policy of rationalization. It was during the third period that the efforts of saving and rationalization reached a peak. Many employees were discharged, and the Casablanca Office closed. Documents show that during this period S.A.F.M. was interested in Manchurian affairs. During the last period, 1939-1944, the occupation of France by the German army brought about the final decision. S.A.F.M. was closed in permanently in 1944. And in 1960, the newly organized Mitsubishi-Shoji was opened, but this in another history. An English translation of this article will be published in Japanese Year Book on Business History in 2001.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the process by which Matsushita Electric branched out into radio manufacturing in the first half of 1930s and the organizational reform the company undertook as a result. The originality of Matsushita's divisional restructuring of 1933 is well known, and it was the earliest one to take place in Japan. In 1930, Matsushita, which had succeeded in the electrical appliance industry, decided to expand into radio manufacturing. Its founder Kohnosuke Matsushita wished to produce trouble-free radio sets, which seemed a promising idea as the radio market at that time was flooded with inferior products. It was, however, not easy to make Matsushita's dream a reality. The resulting radios were too idealistic and consequently too expensive, and Matsushita's radio business showed a considerable deficit. It forced the company to reorganize its radio business on July 1933 by integrating the manufacturing and the sales sections. Following the reorganization, Matsushita was able to develop new models that were suitable to market needs, and its radio business expanded rapidly. Leaning from this success, Matsushita introduced its multidivisional structure on March 1934. It is clear that Matsushita's creation of a multidivisional structure was based on the same logic as that of Du Pont and GM in 1920-21 which were analyzed by A.D. Chandler.
This article aims at analyzing the financial crises in the Fukushima region, especially remedy-loan dealings between the 107 Bank and the Fukushima branch of the Bank of Japan (BOJ). Following the 1920 crisis, the BOJ branch gave relief to 107 Bank in the form of remedy loans. But it aimed at helping the silk-reeling and sericulture industries rather than the bank. In addition, it ascribed risks to 107 by securing a guarantee from its owner-managers. By using 107, BOJ checked and screened silk-reeling and sericulture companies. Through these procedures, BOJ was able to guarantee its loan-withdrawals. In 1923, the great Kanto earthquake occurred, and the finance of Fukushima region was also damaged. Thus 107 Bank and silk-reeling and sericulture industries asked BOJ for assistance. It once again helped those same industries. But it ascribed risks to 107 and warehouse companies more stringently than in 1920. A management crisis apparently occurred when the 1927 financial crises spread to Fukushima. BOJ was afraid of a widespread financial crisis throughout the region and helped it without avoiding risks by implementing the government compensation law to avoid the collapse of Fukushima's financial system. A feature of BOJ's assistance was high-speed remedies without screening. Thus we see how eager BOJ was to avoid 107's bankruptcy and a bank-run there, although this wish was in vain. In looking at the 1920s financial crises and the Fukushima branch of BOJ, we note how BOJ was caught between providing assistance and maintaining its credibility. But step by step it came to believe that assistance was more important and consequently sacrificed its credibility. However, it considered loan-withdrawals important too and was eager to guarantee withdrawals to avoid a decline in its credibility-its banknotes-as much as possible.
The main object of this article is to analyze the strategy of Chisso Corporation when Minamata Disease became a social issue and to explain the paradox of the strategy. I scrutinize the decision-making process of Chisso, which was one of the leading firms in Japanese chemical industry and which caused Minamata disease, one of the worst pollution incidents in Japan. This article focuses on why Chisso increased production despite the knowledge that this would intensify the suffering as well as increase the number of victims. On the basis of this analysis, it can be concluded that increasing production, which only served to spread the suffering, was the means Chisso used to avoid the further expansion of Minamata disease. The backdrop of this paradox was a complex situation in which the policies of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry's (MITI) and the local government, the strategies of rival firms, and technological change were intertwined.