Western Enterprise in Far Eastern Economic Development: China and Japan

By G. C. Allen; Audrey G. Donnithorne | Go to book overview

APPENDIX F A NOTE ON FOREIGN RESIDENTS AND EXPERTS IN JAPAN DURING THE EARLY PERIOD OF WESTERNISATION

There are no official statistics of the number of foreigners in Japan during the pre-Meiji era; but from other evidence it appears that in 1862 there were about 200 foreign residents (Westerners) in Nagasaki and about 130 in Yokohama. The British were in the majority; the Americans and Dutch came next in importance. The foreign trade at that time was almost equally divided between those two ports, for Hakodate, in which a number of foreign merchants had settled soon after its opening, had by then been abandoned by the foreigners. After 1862 Yokohama's trade grew rapidly, and its foreign resident population soon outstripped that of Nagasaki. In 1864, when a foreign Chamber of Commerce was established in Yokohama, the number of foreign residents in that port was about 300, while two years later the foreign resident population of Nagasaki was still only about 200. About half of these foreign residents in Japan were British.1

After 1872 Japanese official figures are available to show the number of foreigners in the service of the Japanese Government. In that year the Central Government employed 214 foreigners, of whom 119 were British, 50 French and 16 American. The majority of these were employed in connection with railways, lighthouses, telecommunications, shipbuilding and educational services.2 In addition, foreigners were employed by the prefectures and in various Government arsenals. According to a Japanese authority, the salaries paid to foreigners at this time represented about 5 per cent of the total public expenditure.3 The numbers employed by Japanese business firms are not known. The following table shows the number of foreigners in the service

Year Teachers Technical
Advisers
Business and
Adminis-
tration
Skilled
Workmen
Others Total
1872 102 127 43 46 51 369
1873 127 204 72 35 69 507
1874 151 213 68 27 65 524
1875 144 205 69 36 73 527
1876 129 170 60 26 84 469
1877 109 146 55 13 58 381
1878 101 118 51 7 44 321
1879 84 111 35 9 22 261
1880 76 103 40 6 12 237
____________________
1
The Statesman's Year Book, 1870, p. 676; and M. Paske-Smith, Western Barbarians in Yapan and Formosa in Tokugawa Days, 1603- 1868, p. 218.
2
Information supplied by Social Sciences Materials Section, National Diet Library, Tokyo, to which we are indebted for most of the data on which this note is based.
3
Tokutaro Shigehisa, "Foreigners in Early Meiji", in The Japan Advertiser, 28 October 1939.

-270-

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