- 経営史学 (ISSN:03869113)
- vol.20, no.1, pp.36-65,ii, 1985-04-30 (Released:2009-11-06)
In 1934 Nippon Steel Co., the biggest iron and steel business at that time, was organized through the fusion of a state-owned enterprise (Yawata Iron Works) and six private enterprises. We shall study the background and the process of the fusion to make clear its implication for the development of the Japanese iron and steel industry.Our conclusions are as follows. Firstly, integrated production of iron and steel was not more profitable than discononected operation owing to the low price of steel scrap or pig iron and the high price of coal before 1932. However, after 1932 a fall in the exchange value of the yen changed this relation of raw material prices, which made integrated production more profitable than separate production.Secondly, the fusion plan made in 1930-31 lacked rational ground, .for the planned new enterprise, which was directed to expand integrated operations, would not contribute to reducing average costs in the iron and steel industry because of economic conditions before 1932, and would produce no commercial profit during the Showa Depression.Thirdly, on the other hand, the fusion plan made in 1932-33 had rational ground. The planned new enterprise would not only show a commercial profit but also was necessary to check the rise of average costs. For although integrated production would become more profitable as aforesaid, both Yawata Iron Works and the enterprises affiliated with the zaibatsu had financial difficulty in expanding it. The direct function of the fusion should be understood to solve that difficulty.