9. From Siberian Expedition to
Manchurian Crisis: Political
and Economic Interactions between Russia, Japan, and China.
Chair: Yasutomi Ayumu, University of Tokyo
trace the shock wave of an earthquake in order to make a geological surveys of the
earth's internal structure. We
believe that historians can do the same
thing. Thus in this panel we want to use the
Siberian Expedition and Manchurian Crisis as test cases for this method. By exploring the impact
of these crises, we attempt to create a historical
survey of the political and economic structure in East Asia in the 1920s and 1930s.
will discuss the reasons for the withdrawal of the Japanese army from Siberia in
relationship with the overall political situation in
Manchuria. Yasutomi will relate the impact of the Siberian Expedition forces and their
final withdrawal to the emergence and collapse
of a bubble economy in Manchuria's Japanese economic sector. The negative impact of
this bubble economy later became part of the conditions leading to the Manchurian
Incident. Koll will analyse the
impact of the Manchurian Crisis on the textile industry in the northern Jiangsu province. Since Manchuria was
the most important domestic
market for these local Chinese mills selling cotton cloth and yarn, the changing economic
conditions in Manchuria caused a severe crisis
for the mills and the local textile industry as a whole.
the chain of cause and effect, we shall attempt to demonstrate the structural interactions
between Siberia, Manchuria, and the northern
Jiangsu region as economic and political entities. The papers are not intended as detailed
studies of the Siberian Expedition or Manchurian
crisis per se, but rather attempt to relate the crises to significant developments in the
political and economic history of East Asia
in the early 20th century.
Paper 1. Tanaka Reiko, University of Cambridge. "The Japanese Intervention in Siberia and the 'Manmo Mondai (Manchurian-Mongolian Problem)'"
1918, when Japan joined the Allied intervention in Siberia, the purpose was to protect the "line of
interest"in Manchuria – opposed to the "line of sovereignty" which was then
Japan and Korea – from the
threat of Bolshevism. In
other words, the Siberian expedition was a
vital part of a continental policy of the Japanese empire, its actions being gravely
conditioned by the situation in Manchuria. A
prime example of this would be the invasion of Canton in northeast
Manchuria in October 1920, to exterminate the anti- Japanese Korean movement.
Japanese troops from the Transbaikal and Amur regions in
Siberia played an active part in this
operation. Yamagata Aritomo,
in December 1920, when consulted
by Army Minister Tanaka about the withdrawal from Vladivostok, had replied that retreat was
impossible at this stage while the
Canton operation was underway. This
paper will discuss the Japanese in Siberia in the context of
northeast Asian regional history, making reference to Japanese sources.
Paper 2. Yasutomi Ayumu, Nagoya University. "The Siberian Expedition and the Manchurian Bubble Economy."
Siberian expedition organized by the Japanese Army had a strong political and economic impact on
Manchuria. Trust in the Russian Rouble
which circulated in the Chinese Eastern Railway Zone, was totally lost because of the
Russian revolution and the Siberian expedition.
This currency vacuum was filled by bank notes issued by the Bank of Chosen (BOC), a
Japanese governmental colonial bank. This bank and other Japanese private banks issued huge
loans to Japanese merchants
which caused an economic bubble in northern Manchuria and Far Eastern Siberia.
However, this bubble economy collapsed due to the withdrawal of the Japanese
army from Siberia which began in June 1920. As a result, almost all Japanese banks in
Manchuria faced huge amounts of bad assets,
in particular the BOC when the Chinese stopped accepting their bank notes outside the
Manchurian Railway Zone. Another Chinese bank note
called the Harbin Ta Yang P`iao replaced the BOC's bank note in North Manchuria. The Japanese in Manchuria suffered heavily due to
the collapse of the bubble
economy, their power continuously declining during the 1920's. At the same time the economic power of the
Chinese expanded drastically,
following the increasing economic prosperity in mainland China. As a result, the Japanese
merchants felt economically
cornered and thus supported increasingly the ultra-rightist movement which became a major factor
in the events leading to the Manchurian
Paper 3. Elisabeth Koll, Case Western Reserve University. "The Manchurian Market and its Impact on the Textile Industry in Northern Jiangsu."
In the late 19th century, cotton cloth produced in handicraft in
northern Jiangsu province found a new marketing area in distant
Manchuria when Yingkou was opened as a Treaty Port in 1858.
Merchants from Manchuria
bought the local Nantong cloth (tubu) through Shanghai
brokers and used the commercial opportunity to sell their own goods
in Shanghai. This trade
relationship continued in a slightly different
form after the introduction of large-scale industrial cotton mills
to northern Jiangsu. From the
early 20th century on, cotton yarn produced
by the various Da Sheng mills was absorbed by the Manchurian market
in great quantities. However,
the flooding of the Manchurian market with
Japanese yarn and cloth around 1928 led to a dramatic decline in
the sale of imports from
northern Jiangsu. This
development, exacerbated by
other negative economic factors, created a severe crisis for the
local Chinese textile industry in the Nantong area.
This paper will explore the changing structure of the textile market in Manchuria and its impact on the supplying cotton mills in
northern Jiangsu in the 1920s and 1930s. Apart from addressing the
issue of interrelation between regional and foreign markets in
China, my analysis of the Da
Sheng mills will examine how Chinese textile
enterprises responded to market changes due to massive Japanese competition. In particular, this paper will explain how the textile
mills in northern Jiangsu tried to open up new markets and reach
new consumers by resorting to
new products, new marketing and financial
Discussant: Kubo Toru, Shinshu University