- 一般財団法人 アジア政経学会
- アジア研究 (ISSN:00449237)
- vol.52, no.1, pp.19-43, 2006-01-31 (Released:2014-09-30)
The North East Region of China, also known as Manchuria, became the chemical production base of the newly formed socialist China up to the time of the ‘open door’ policy. This chemical production base was originally developed by Japan prior to World War II. Only recently has Japan began to undertake academic research on this region; this hesitation is at least partly a reflection of Japanese attitudes to their invasion of China. However, US researchers had long held a high opinion of the industrial development of this region. Edwin Pauley, the first Westerner to visit Manchuria after the end of World War II, reported in 1946 to US President Truman concerning the Japanese assets in Manchuria, which he evaluated highly, to his surprise, as a war indemnity. Since then many researchers on China have written in the United States about the industrial development of this region as part of China, but not in Japan. However, more recently, researchers have begun to make studies on the industrial development of Japan-era Manchuria. Some remarkable research works have been published, especially concerning the steel and iron industry. Regarding the chemical industry, however, little research work has so far been done. This paper therefore starts with a description of how the Manchurian chemical industry was incubated and developed by Japan.First, this paper outlines the chemical production base developed by Japan in Manchuria. It then describes how Japan needed to develop and construct a chemical production base inManchuria, where natural resources, including coal are abundant, in order to put its economy on to a war footing. The construction of the highly organized industrial production base in Manchuria was only possible with the strong support of the Japanese Army. As a result the industrial structure of Manchuria was highly dependent on heavy industry, including the chemical industry. This paper also analyzes the characteristics of the economy of Manchuria and makes comparisons between the Republic of China and Japan based on GNP/CDP and on some data on three major representative chemical products: sulfuric acid, soda ash and am monia. The analysis shows clearly that the economy of Manchuria was oriented towards the war economy.This paper also analyzes the early days of the newly formed socialist China, when the production base in the North East Region played a key role in the national economy. After the defeat of Japan in 1945, Manchuria was invaded by Soviet soldiers and much of the production facilities were destroyed. Soon after socialist China was formed in 1949, the new government made recovery of the North East Region a top priority. This urgency was caused partly by the Korean War, which broke out in 1950, the year after the formation of socialist China, and partly by the existence of the highly organized modern heavy industry which was indis pensable to the construction of the national economy. Since then this region has contributed a great deal to the development of China’s chemical industry not only as a production base but also as an R&D and technical center. Some examples of the economic heritage of the industry from the days of Manchuria are introduced by referring to the Chinese literature as well as to papers written by the Japanese engineers and technicians who remained in China after World War II in order to help the recovery and reconstruction of China’s economy.