戦間期日本におけるエネルギー節約政策の展開 : 燃焼指導に着目して [in Japanese] Japanese Energy-saving Policy during the Interwar Era [in Japanese]
Access this Article
Search this Article
The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the efforts of energy-saving developed in interwar Japan, in particular focusing on the nensho shido (technical guidance for fuel burning),which encouraged improvements in factories' fuel-burning technologies. From the end of the 1910's, against a background of not only rising coal prices but also a consciousness of the limits of domestic coal reserves, the Fuel Research Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce was established and engineers and researchers interested in combustion engineering organized a group called the Fuel Society of Japan. In the second half of the 1920's, activities promoting fuel economy were implemented in several prefectures among which Osaka prefecture proved most aggressive in Japan. The Osaka Prefectural Institute for Industrial Management (OPIIM) established its nensho shido division in 1929 and provided guidance to local factories in saving fuel. OPIIM guidance focused on the methods in which the factory boiler workers burned fuel, rather than building new facilities or refitting older facilities for burning fuel. Furthermore, because OPIIM thought that in order to improve the manner of burning it was necessary for boiler workers to acquire higher levels of skill, Osaka prefecture established a qualification for boiler workers and OPIIM opened a training school for them. Osaka prefecture's development of nensho shido was considered an industrial rationalization, and therefore was imitated by several municipalities and regional organizations for industrial management. Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which had become more interested in fuel economy from the beginning of the 1930's, started nensho shido in 1938 as the Sino-Japanese war exacerbated the tight coal supply situation. It was technicians from Osaka being posted to or sometimes visiting the other regions that promoted the spread of nensho shido. During the interwar era, nensho shido was immature because the scope of guidance was limited to burning with a boiler. However, the groups of combustion engineering technicians formed during the interwar era would later lead the development of energy-saving technology in wartime and postwar Japan. Since the interwar era, against the background of limited domestic resources, Japanese industrial rationalization has made a point of reducing production costs rather than acquiring merits of scale.
- The Journal of Political Economy and Economic History
The Journal of Political Economy and Economic History 49(3), 48-64, 2007
The Political Economy and Economic History Society