Japanese use of captured industry

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Admiral Bloonbeard
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Japanese use of captured industry

Post by Admiral Bloonbeard » 03 Aug 2021 06:35

How did Japan use the captured industry of China, Malaya, Phillipines, and other territories they captured? What did they produce?

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Blorange
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Re: Japanese use of captured industry

Post by Blorange » 03 Aug 2021 07:36

The Mukden Arsenal may be an example. A manufacture from the 19th Century which survived into the Warlord Era and eventual establishment of Manchukuo - before falling into Japanese hands and being expanded on.

However I'd expect that Mukden wasn't your average case. Where it was acting as the primary supplier for a major region, and had a years to develop under Japanese control. As opposed to industry which would be seized in areas without much of a prior Japanese presence, nor be under their control for nearly as long.

As such I'd think it unlikely that many factories started using new Japanese tooling, besides perhaps for more basic supplemental equipment like say webbing, or just general items - oil, food, containers, cold weather clothing. You'd have to consider how much industry existed in Asia in the 1930s and what it was capable of. How many factories at the time were producing trucks, or even just importing the parts and assembling them locally?

This is just guess work on my behalf though. I can imagine that some production did occur. For instance the Mukden Arsenal was producing Arisakas in 8mm Mauser - to be compatible with local stocks. So there would be uses for any ammunition manufacturers already making 8mm Mauser, in spite of the round being incompatible with the Japanese supply chain at large (assuming there would be a point in shipping that ammunition to units using the cartridge).

Hopefully someone with more knowledge on the subject can step in. At least till then maybe I've given some food for thought. :)

cstunts
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Re: Japanese use of captured industry

Post by cstunts » 03 Aug 2021 16:12

There is a great deal of literature on this subject, but I cannot supply all of those references offhand. Needless to say, the primary Southern Area resources were related to petroleum and certain foodstuffs, but in general terms the heavy hand of Japanese occupiers often hindered rather than helped production.
On the Asian mainland this was especially true of heavy industries in Manchukuo, for example. Louise Young's book Japan's Total Empire (UCal Press, 1998) covers this beautifully, among much else.

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Japanese use of captured industry

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Aug 2021 23:53

Picking through Ellis 'Brute Force' I hoped to find a clear number for the foreign cargo ships captured or seized in the opening of the Pacific War. Unfortunately not. Ellis does state (Table 21) 945,374 GRT were added to the Japanese cargo fleet in 1942 from both captured and new construction. Elsewhere in the text its implied the new construction for 1942 was <300,000 GRT. If accurate that means approx 600,000 of seized foreign cargo shipping was added to the 5,996,657 GRT cargo ships Japan possess at the end of 1941. Or a 10% addition. Unfortunately for Japan 1,123,156 was sunk in 1942, so Japan remained drastically short of cargo transport.

jerryasher
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Re: Japanese use of captured industry

Post by jerryasher » 04 Aug 2021 02:22

Would prefer a narrower question to respond to, (I have the same problem sometimes when I raise a question. In addition to the seizures of ships Carl refers to, there was a major effort to build ships, Hong Kong and Shanghai yards all produced ships and there was also a major effort to build wooden hulled vessels that is even less documented, (am thinking of Manchuria yards here). Are you looking for generalities or specifics? The Miramar Ship Index lists individual construction by shipyard. Hope this helps.

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Re: Japanese use of captured industry

Post by cstunts » 04 Aug 2021 16:17

Another very useful & informative book which addresses such questions is Paul Kratoska's The Japanese Occupation of Malaya 1941-1945 (UHawaii Press, 1997).
In Chpt. 6 ("Economy") he discusses in detail how the Japanese operated captured industries within Malaya. Many that were destroyed by the British as they left the region were quickly repaired and back online. But, as in other captured territories, the secretive & heavy-handed nature of the Japanese occupiers was not conducive to efficiency.

Iron & steel were produced in Malaya, along with explosives, but in general Japanese-run wartime manufacturing had a rather haphazard & slipshod nature.

The difficulty in shipping materials from Japan in order to set up plants, etc., greatly complicated matters as well.

A similar problem existed in the NEI, when, for example, a large liner (Taiyō Maru) carrying many hundreds of Japanese oilfield experts, economists & technicians to the East Indies in May 1942 was sunk by an American submarine w/extremely heavy loss of life.

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