The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of Kosaka Silver Mine in the 1880s in terms of the relationship between the running of the mine and regional environment. In 1861, the operation of Kosaka Silver Mine started in earnest. Moreover, it was placed under the government management in 1869. Some changes in silver refining were effected by the introduction of various technologies and brought about improvement in mining. Since Ziervogel's process, which Curt A. Netto adopted in 1877, resulted in large charcoal consumption, trees were cut down for the use in the mine. As a result, only a few trees were left in the surroundings of the mine. Kosaka Mine operated on a loss. The change in refining technologies from Ziervogel's process to Augustine's process in 1881 lowered the costs and brought profits and success to the management. The conversion of the refining process was initiated by Ohshima Takatou. In 1884, the government disposed of Kosaka Silver Mine by selling it to Fujita Gumi & Co., under which business management policy changed and cut expenditures in the mine. Kosaka Silver Mine became the principal silver mine in Japan. Development of the mine returned profits to Kosaka's society by creating employment opportunities. In the 1880s, the development of the mine resulted in a population explosion in Kosaka village and improvements in the regional infrastructure, such as the building of an elementary school, post office, police substation, and many stores. The mine thus donated to the village and contributed to the community. The mine was able to produce a large volume of silver and changed the regional environment as the living spaces of the inhabitants into those that depended on the mine. The sustainable management in turn required the continuation of the regional environment.
The objective of this paper is to identify the features of the interwar labour policy of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. (I.C.I.) by studying the connection between labour policy and welfare programmes. Industrial welfare was important for I.C.I., which possessed about 70 factories and some 40, 000 employees through amalgamation, as a labour strategy to stabilise industrial relations by reducing employment insecurity and fostering worker loyalty. The I.C.I. welfare schemes underwent a conversion from paternalistic benefits based on unitary ideals, such as personal contact between employers and employees, into systematic benefits based on formal rules, such as a joint contributory scheme. This change was made clear by analysing the systematisation of I.C.I. welfare schemes between the early period when Sir Alfred Mond, the first chairman, needed to lay the foundations for the new company and the latter period when Sir Harry McGowan, the second chairman, had to implement business restructuring by laying off and reshuffling surplus workers after the Great Depression. In the latter period, consequently, the square deal of all I.C.I. workers engaged in various trades in each factory indicated mechanistic unification of industrial relations, which was realised by introducing more comprehensive and systematic welfare programmes. In this respect, I.C.I. welfare programmes functioned effectively as a means to consolidate industrial relations. My conclusion includes the important implication that the role of systematic welfare schemes as a centralised labour policy was to facilitate labour turnover between subsidiary factories and to promote or supplement business restructuring with lay-offs and replacement of redundant labour in the early 1930s, by constructing comprehensive welfare programmes as the safety net in situations where the predecessor and conventional administrations of the constituent companies of I.C.I. remained to some extent.