Advertisement

Currency Blocs: The Yen

  • Michael SchiltzEmail author
Reference work entry
  • 38 Downloads

Abstract

Historically, unilateral political attempts at boosting the liquidity and prestige of a currency have rarely been successful. In the context of catastrophic events as, for instance, a World War, several countries have nevertheless experimented with schemes to develop currency blocs. This chapter describes the Japanese experiment with establishing an economic zone in which the yen was either the main or the sole currency of reference. We proceed chronologically. Taiwan and Korea are explained as consolidating currency policy in the nascent Japanese empire. World War I temporarily reversed Japan’s balance of payments problem. It heralded bold attempts at incorporating China within the Japanese yen-bloc, by means of aggressive lending schemes. Although the latter failed, the yen-bloc became an important political objective throughout the 1930s. The chapter explores the financial technology that governed the monetary set-up of the wartime empire, and it attempts to explain why it contained the seeds of its destruction.

Keywords

Imperialism Gold-exchange standard Blocism Japan 

References

  1. S.a. En no sensō (the war of the continental yen) “圓の戦争.” (2011) NHKスペシャル. Tokyo. http://www6.nhk.or.jp/special/detail/index.html?aid=20110814
  2. Bytheway SJ (2005) Nihon keizai to gaikoku shihon - 1858–1939 (the Japanese economy and foreign capital - 1858–1939). 日本経済と外国資本―1858–1939. 東京: 刀水書房Google Scholar
  3. Bytheway SJ, Metzler M (2016) Central banks and gold: how Tokyo, London, and New York shaped the modern world. Cornell studies in money. Cornell University Press, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  4. Chosŏn Ŭnhaeng (1920) Economic history of Chosen, Comp. in commemoration of the Decennial of the Bank of Chosen. Chosen, SeoulGoogle Scholar
  5. Drake PW (1993) Money doctors, foreign debts, and economic reforms in Latin America from the 1890s to the Present. SR Books, Wilmington. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0842024344Google Scholar
  6. Friedman M (1992) Franklin D. Roosevelt, silver, and China. J Polit Econ 100(1):62–83. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fukai Eigo 深井英五 (1941) Kaiko nanajunen (Looking back at 70 years of my life). 『囘顧七十年』. 岩波書店. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/ncid/BN02993778
  8. Hoshino Naoki 星野直樹 (1963) Mihatenu yume: Manshūkoku gaishi (Dreaming an impossible dream: an unofficial history of Manchukuo). 『見果てぬ夢 : 満州国外史』. ダイヤモンド社. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/ncid/BN0663518X
  9. Hunsberger WS (1938) The yen bloc in Japan’s expansion program. Far Eastern Survey 7(22): 251–258.  https://doi.org/10.2307/3021427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Inoue J, De Bunsen EH (1931) Problems of the Japanese exchange, 1914–1926. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Itō Masanao 伊藤正直 (1989) Nihon no taigai kin’yū to kin’yū seisaku, 1914–1936 (Japan’s international finance and financial policies, 1914–1936). 『日本の対外金融と金融政策 : 1914〜1936』. 名古屋大学出版会. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/ncid/BN04118008
  12. Japan. Ōkurashō (1900) Report on the post-bellum Financial Administration in Japan, 1896–1900. Printed at the Government Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  13. Kemmerer EW (1905) The establishment of the gold exchange standard in the Philippines. Q J Econ 19(4):585–609.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1885290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kemmerer EW (1912) The recent rise in the price of silver and some of its monetary consequences. Q J Econ 26(2):215–274.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1884764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Keynes JM (1913) Indian currency and finance. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Kojima Hitoshi 小島仁 (1981) Nihon no kinhon’isei jidai (1897–1917) (Japan’s gold-standard era (1897–1917)). 『日本の金本位制時代 : 1897〜1917 : 円の対外関係を中心とする考察』. 日本経済評論社Google Scholar
  17. Matsukata M (ed) (1899) Report of the adoption of the gold standard in Japan. Printed at the Government Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  18. Matsuoka Kōji 松岡孝児 (1936) Kin kawase hon’isei no kenkyū (An inquiry into the gold exchange standard). 『金爲替本位制の研究』. 日本評論社Google Scholar
  19. Matsuoka K (1938) L’Etalon de change or en Extrême-Orient, par Kôji Matsuoka,…. P. Geuthner/Mitsukoshi, Paris/TôkyoGoogle Scholar
  20. Metzler M (2006) Lever of empire: the international gold standard and the crisis of liberalism in Prewar Japan. Twentieth-Century Japan 17. University of California Press, BerkeleyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Miller ES (2007) Bankrupting the enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan before Pearl Harbor. Naval Institute Press, AnnapolisGoogle Scholar
  22. Namikata Shōichi 波形昭一 (1985) Nihon shokuminchi kin’yū seisakushi no kenkyū (A study of the history of financial policies towards Japan’s colonies). 『日本植民地金融政策史の研究』. 早稲田大学出版部. http://ci.nii.ac.jp/ncid/BN00205982
  23. Rosenberg ES (2003) Financial missionaries to the world: The politics and culture of dollar diplomacy, 1900–1930. American Encounters/Global Interactions. Duke University Press, DurhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schiltz M (2012a) The money doctors from Japan: finance, imperialism, and the building of the Yen Bloc, 1895–1937. Harvard University Asia Center, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schiltz M (2012b) Money on the road to empire: Japan’s adoption of gold Monometallism, 1873–971. Econ Hist Rev 65(3):1147–1168.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2011.00619.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schiltz M (forthcoming) On an Even Keel. Silver RiskGoogle Scholar
  27. Shimazaki Kyūya 島崎久弥 (1987) “‘Dai toa kin’yūken’ no keisei katei” (The process of the formation of the “Greater East-Asian Financial Sphere”) 1. 「大東亜金融圏」の形成過程-1-. 『経済系』 153 (October):p1–40. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40000862587
  28. Shimazaki Kyūya 島崎久弥 (1988a) “‘Dai toa kin’yūken’ no keisei katei” (The process of the formation of the “Greater East-Asian Financial Sphere”) 2. 「大東亜金融圏」の形成過程-2-. 『経済系』 154 (January):p19–49. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40000862591
  29. Shimazaki Kyūya 島崎久弥 (1988b) “‘Dai toa kin’yūken’ no keisei katei” (The process of the formation of the “Greater East-Asian Financial Sphere”) 3. 「大東亜金融圏」の形成過程-3-. 『経済系』 155 (April):p74–108. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40000862619
  30. Shimazaki Kyūya 島崎久弥 (1988c) “‘Dai toa kin’yūken’ no keisei katei” (The process of the formation of the “Greater East-Asian Financial Sphere”) 4. 「大東亜金融圏」の形成過程-4-. 『経済系』 156 (July):p30–75. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40000862631
  31. Shimazaki Kyūya 島崎久弥 (1988d) “‘Dai toa kin’yūken’ no keisei katei” (The process of the formation of the “Greater East-Asian Financial Sphere”) 5. 「大東亜金融圏」の形成過程-5-. 『経済系』 157 (October):p1–50. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40000862637
  32. Snow E (1933) Far eastern front. H. Smith & R. Haas, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Soyeda J (1899) Letter from Japan. Econ J 9(35):469–477.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2957078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tatai Yoshio 多田井喜生 (2014) Shōwa no meisō: ‘dai-ni Manshūkoku ni tsukarete (An aberration of the Shōwa period: haunted by a ‘second Manchuria’). 『昭和の迷走: 「第二満州国」に憑かれて』. 筑摩書房, TōkyōGoogle Scholar
  35. Thomson SC (1971) Filibustering to Formosa: general Charles LeGendre and the Japanese. Pac Hist Rev 40(4):442–456.  https://doi.org/10.2307/3637704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. United States (1903) Stability of international exchange. Report on the introduction of the gold-exchange standard into China and other silver-using countries. Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  37. Wolfe M (1955) The development of Nazi monetary policy. J Econ Hist 15(4):392–402.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022050700056552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yamamoto Yūzō 山本有造 (1997) ‘Dai Tōa kin’yūken’ ron (A theory of the Greater East-Asian Financial Sphere). 「大東亜金融圏」論 (1940年代日本植民地帝国の諸相). 『人文學報』 79:1–26.  https://doi.org/10.14989/48494

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International HistoryGraduate Institute, GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations