In this chapter, we discuss shipbuilding and aircraft manufacturing together, mainly because most of the major aircraft manufacturers were originally shipbuilders. Currently, these manufacturers include Mitsubishi Jukogyo ( Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, abbreviated as MHI), Kawasaki Jukogyo ( Kawasaki Heavy Industries, KHI), and Ishikawajima-Harima Jukogyo ( Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, IHI), all of which started as shipbuilding companies.
Therefore, we begin by discussing the early history of shipbuilding in Japan, and then proceed to the discussion of the aircraft industry. The discussion of the shipbuilding industry is rather brief and confined to the pre-war period. We discuss the aircraft industry in more detail, mostly because the Japanese aircraft industry has a unique history of rapidly catching up with the West to become one of the major producing countries and, then, following defeat in World War II, of being banned from production. It then resumed production but, unlike steel, electrical and electronic equipment, and automobiles, the world market remains dominated by US firms. It must be of interest to find out why.
Another reason is that a number of studies of the shipbuilding industry have been recently published in English, such as Chida and Davies ( 1990) and Fukasaku ( 1992). The latter is particularly complementary to ours because, through a detailed case study of Mitsubishi's shipyard, it discusses how the pre-war Japanese shipbuilding industry developed. The former, by contrast, provides a detailed discussion of government policies for the shipping industry, which affected the demand for shipbuilders, and for the shipbuilding industry itself, both before and after the war. Yonezawa ( 1988) also discusses the post-war government policies for the industry.
The pre-war development of the shipbuilding industry, like that of the automobile industry, was very much affected by government policies, including military procurement. Unlike automobiles, however, the technological level had more or less caught up with the West by the time World War II started. The earlier start of shipbuilding in