日露戦後の港湾問題 : 「港湾政策」の成立過程 Harbour Improvements after the Russo-Japanese War : Development of Harbour Policy
After Japan had seen a transport revolution centering on railway building in 1890s, she found it necessary to tackle the problem of harbour improvements in the years between the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War (1900s) when the industrial capitalism was establised in Japan. Groping the way, she began to accomodate the harbour improvements to the transport system in a capitalistic society. Most of the studies on this ' harbour question ' have hitherto been concerned with harbour improvements largely from the viewpoint of civil engineering and management. The author approaches the problem in its politico-economic relevance. When the Sino-Japanese War came to an end, the Finance Ministry undertook harbour works at Yokohama. Here can we see a special feature of the post-Sino-Japanese War period, because the works ought to have been undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs as engineering public works were under their jurisdiction from the nature of the matter. This harbour works, however, were threatened to be suspended in the Russo-Japanese War, when the municipal corporation of Yokohama changed its attitude and offered to share the expense. Thus it was finally decided in March 1906 to continue the Yokohama harbour works, the expense being shared between the state and the municipal corporation of Yokohama. This pattern of sharing the expense was to become a model case in the development of the harbour policy even after the Russo-Japanese War as long as there remained a restrictive influence of wartime structure on the national finance. After the First Saionji Cabinet was formed, the harbour works under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance with a view to national enrichment were not always carried out successfully, for Kei Hara, the Minister of Home Affairs, preferred overall systematic harbour works under the guidance of the Ministry of Home Affairs to the policy of doing works under the direction of the Ministry of Finance. On 31st May 1906, he convened the first meeting of the Committee on Harbours and on 24th June 1907, the committee was made to be an official institution. Now the formerly missing policy concerning harbours was to come into being, and the committee chose some 770 harbours all over the country and graded them, designating 14 harbours as important. The meaning of this measure to solve the harbour problem in the post-Russo-Japanese War period was to set a priority order for various harbour works, or for various regional interests, under the name of 'harbour policy', because it was impossible for the government to satisfy all the local or regional interests under the peculiar financial circumstances which had not got rid of the influence of the wartime structure. Moreover, it was devised in lines of, so to speak, 'national enrichment and propartisanship' -national interests being given the primary place, but regional interests being taken into consideration as well. For it was requisite for Seiyukai led by Hara to act upon national rationale in order to gain a footing among political powers, and at the same time they had to establish a system of local control by leaving room of discretion to various local and regional interests.