From the Non-European Tradition to a Variation on the Japanese Competitiveness Model: The Modern Japanese Paper Industry Since the 1870s

Chapter
Part of the World Forests book series (WFSE, volume 17)

Abstract

In this chapter we focus on the development of the “modern” Japanese paper industry, which was introduced from the West to produce yoshi (Western machine-made paper) in the 1870s. Japan’s traditional papermaking (or washi) culture, introduced from the East, has a long history. In the beginning, the central government’s demand for paper supported the development of the modern paper industry, as it needed yoshi for the announcement and documentation of its modernization policy. Subsequently, the private sector promoted industrial development over the following 130 years, except during the wartime economy. The modern paper industry in Japan has always been characterized by rapid growth, low import dependency, and cartelization. The “Big Three” dominated the market after their merger in the 1930s, but the GHQ’s democratization policy welcomed new industry entrants after the Second World War. Various innovations, including the vertical integration of pulp and papermaking processes and the establishment of coastal manufacturing bases to utilize imported material, were the sources of growth after the Second World War. Japan became the second largest papermaking country in the world for almost three decades beginning in the 1970s, but globalization, the emergence of new developing countries, and the tide of M&A has transformed this industry.

Keywords

Rice Straw Paper Industry Paper Mill Wood Pulp Postwar Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EconomicsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of EconomicsKobe UniversityKobeJapan

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