The Japanese Monarchy: Ambassador Joseph Grew and the Making of the "Symbol Emperor System," 1931-1991

By Nakamura Masanorit; Herbert P. Bix et al. | Go to book overview

11
THE ENTERPRISE STATE AND THE EMPEROR SYSTEM

The Income Doubling Plan

AFTER KISHI had been driven from power, the next cabinet was formed by the Finance Ministry bureaucrat Ikeda Hayato, adopting a conciliatory stance with his motto "tolerance and patience." The antitreaty movement, which lasted over a year and had been the largest of the postwar period, had taught that the hard-line posture of the Kishi cabinet would no longer work politically. In the summer of 1959, a solution to the Miike strike, which had started with notifications of mass dismissals at the Mitsui Coal Mines, became the Ikeda cabinet's first priority. The Japanese economy, then in the midst of high economic growth, was proceeding to shift from coal to oil in an "energy revolution." Small- and medium-scale collieries were being forced to close down one after another, and even large mining firms were being forced to reorganize themselves, dismissing workers en masse and introducing new technology.

When the Mitsui Mining Company posted notices for the dismissal of 1,278 miners, including union activists, at its Miike mines ( Japan's largest, with about fifteen thousand employees), it precipitated a violent confrontation with the Miike miners union. In January 1960 the management locked out the miners, and their union responded by calling an indefinite strike. The Miike union received support from Tanrō, the national organization of miners, and from Sōhyō, while Mitsui received financial backing from business and financial magnates throughout the country. The strike, which was at the time dubbed "the confrontation of organized capital and organized labor," moved toward a climax in July, after the settlement of the antitreaty struggle. On July 19

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