Civil aviation. – It is currently operated by six air navigation companies, whose traffic takes place on 6000 kilometers of lines, of which 4300 of regular lines. This aviation is subsidized by the government (except the Japan Maritime Aviation Company). The main of the six companies, the Japan Air Transport Company, directly controlled by the Directorate of Civil Aviation, operates three major airlines: the Tōkyō-Shimizu-Nagoya-Ōsaka-Kure-Fukuoka-Fusan-Söul-Shingishū-Dairen imperial line (2215 kilometers); the imperial airline Tōkyō-Taihoku (Formosa) (1500 kilometers) with branch in Fukuoka for Kanoya (Kyūshū Island) and Nawa Island (belonging to the Ryū-kyū); the 395-kilometer Tōkyō-Toyama line, extended from Toyama to Ōsaka.
The Air Transport Encouragement Company operates the 410-kilometer (3-hour and 30-minute flight) Tōkyō-Takamatsu- Matsuyama line.
The Company of the Asahi newspaper (Asahi Shimbun Kokubu), with capital of 6 million yen, operates the Tōkyō-Niigata-Ōsaka line.
The Tōkyō Air Transport Company (T ō ky ō k ō k ū y ū s ō Sha) operates a 260-kilometer line over the Tōkyō industrial region: Tōkyō-Shimoda-Shimizu.
Ando Air Expansion Company (Ando Kikori Kenkuno) has a small 120km line: Nagoya-Gamagōri-Futomi.
Finally, the Japan Maritime Aviation Company (Nihuka K ō k ū Kabushiki Kwaisha) operates on the coast of the Sea of Japan: the Kinosaki-Tottori-Matsue line of 335 kilometers, the Ōsaka-Nagano (510 kilometers) and the Tōkyō-Ushigata line (380 km.).
The civil aviation of Manchuria, organized in 1932 with the foundation of the empire, has an essentially political and strategic task. The airlines are, in general, weekly; some with seasonal traffic, except that of Dairen-Harbin. They are operated by a single company: the Manchurian Air Transport Company (Man chou k ō k ū kabushiki kwaisha: MKKK), with its registered office in Mukden. This company is controlled by Japan, Manchuria, the Sumitomoe consortium and the South Manchurian Railways. Traffic was opened on November 3, 1932 on Shingishū-Mukden, a branch of the Tōkyō-Dairen imperial line. There are currently about ten lines forming a network of over 4500 kilometers. The main line forms the Dairen-Mukden-Hsin-cheng-Harbin-Tsi-tsi-har axis (1100 km), with daily traffic in both directions. From Tsi-tsi-har there are two branches: Tsi-tsi-har-Hai-lar-erh-Man-chu-li (575 kilometers, two-way traffic twice a week) and Tsi-tsi-har-Laha-Peianchen-Taheiho (towards Blagoveščensk, 375 km, three-weekly traffic in both directions). From Harbin a radial of 465 kilometers goes towards Fuchin, for San-sing, along the Sungari (two-way traffic three times a week) and the 275-kilometer Ninguta radial (towards Vladivostok). In addition, two circulars depart from Harbin: Harbin-Kailui-Kashan-Tsi-tsi-har (420 kilometers) and Harbin-Lalin-Kirin-Khei-Nking (390 kilometers), from which traffic continues towards Lungshingsiun (400 kilometers, three-weekly traffic in both directions).
Two radials depart from Mukden: Mukden-Chin-chow (230 kilometers, three-weekly traffic) and Mukden-Shingishū (210 kilometers), daily traffic, branch of the Tōkyō-Dairen line.
From Chin-chow there are two branches to Linsi (450 kilometers) and to Jehol (320 kilometers).
Merchant Navy (p. 26). – The Japanese merchant navy was constituted as of June 30, 1937 by 2564 ships per ton. 4,476,110 (Lloyd’s Register, ed. 1937-38) compared to 4,276,341 of 1931. Until the beginning of the world crisis, the Japanese shipping was characterized by a considerable mass of aged, slow, uneconomic material; but since 1932 considerable improvements have been made mainly as a result of decisive state action. In that year. In fact, it was forbidden to purchase, if not demolition, foreign vessels of more than 5 years and less speed of 13 1 / 2knots. In October 1932, a demolition and reconstruction bonus was then granted to shipowners who, demolishing two tons, ordered a new one from national shipyards. 10 million yen were allocated for this purpose; at the expiry of the two-year validity of the law, 94 antiquated ships per ton. 399,192 had been scrapped and replaced by 31 ships per ton. 199,310 of new construction. The quarterly average of tonnage launched in Japan increased from 18,605 tons. gross in 1932 to 111,818 in 1937; that of the completed tonnage, from 9963 to 103,730; that of the canal under construction, from 49,806 to 301,247; that of the tonnage set, from 12,479 to 128,933. On the one hand, this activity has led to a reduction in the mass of the ships by more than 20 years and has also had an impact on the speed of the ships; between 1930 and 1936 (but the constructions of the first two years are almost negligible) Japan prepared 77 ships per ton. gross 556.705 with speeds over 12 knots.
Starting from July 1, 1937, and for a three-year period, the seven most important shipping companies in the country which overall own half of the national shipping (almost 2 million gross tons), have submitted to a unitary discipline, relative to the free shipping, to face any shortage of tonnage and to respond, more especially, to the needs of importers of essential raw materials. But this step did not seem sufficient to face the shortage of shipping resulting from the conflict with China; the government has therefore decided to implement complete control over the navy by means of a legal scheme that: a) repeals the prohibition on the purchase of foreign vessels over 5 years of age; b) empowers the state to restrict or prohibit the operations of national shipowners between foreign ports and also to issue shipowners and builders with any appropriate order regarding the freight rates, construction costs and selling prices of ships.
The dioeesi of Hakodate changed its name to Sendai (1936); the apostolic prefecture of Sapporo has been elevated to vicariate since 1929. The following were established: the mission of Karafuto (1932), the apostolic prefecture of Kyōto (1937) and the diocese of Yokohama (9 November 1937); to which we must also add the apostolic prefecture of Isola Formosa (1913).
Finances. – With the abandonment of convertibility in December 1931, a period of credit expansion and business recovery began following the emergence of the government’s inflationary policy, induced to increasingly resort to loans due to increasing military spending, as well as in connection with a large program of public works and with the accentuation of the direction towards the managed economy. The return of economic prosperity in Japan is therefore largely connected to this government policy which, through the devaluation of the yen, has stimulated industrial development, has tried to support exports (hampered by various international restrictions and growing more slowly than imports), and has faced, together with fiscal tightening, the increased burden of public debt and extraordinary budgetary expenses (following the war with China in 1937-1938 these exceed 3 billion, a figure slightly lower than that achieved overall in the five-year period 1932-1936). However, an ever greater rationalization of work and a more efficient organization of the various activities, under the control of the state, also contributed to it; control naturally sharpened with the war, but already in full development after the various laws of 1936 which strictly regulated the market for the main agricultural products, industry and credit,
Connected, as has been said, to the deficit situation of the budget, is the increase in the internal public debt which at 31 December 1937 was 9702 million (9258 of consolidated), while the foreign debt, slightly reduced, was 1317.
The average devaluation of the yen in relation to gold which in 1932 was 43.7% since 1935 fluctuates around 65%. Through strict foreign exchange control (introduced on 1 July 1932 and strengthened on 8 January 1937) and above all through large exports of gold, its exchange rate against the pound sterling since 1933 has nevertheless been kept stable at the rate of 1 s. 2 d. In order to provide support for the currency, the government on the other hand gradually raised the purchase price of gold (from 1.3 yen per gram up to 3.77 in May 1937), authorized the Bank of Japan to increase its gold purchases and sought to stimulate gold production from both Japan and Korea.
Starting from 25 August 1937 the gold reserves of the Bank of Japan and those of the banks of Korea and Formosa (until then calculated on the gold parity of 1897: one yen = 750 mg. Of gold) were revalued on the basis of 290 mg. of fine gold per yen. The issuing faculty of the Bank of Japan was thus automatically extended, which in July 1932 had already been allowed to issue notes on collateral for securities up to 1 billion instead of up to 120 million (the tax beyond this limit was simultaneously reduced to 3%). The government was also authorized to order the centralization of the gold held by the Korean and Taiwanese banks. The benefits of the revaluation were donated to the government which set up a gold fund with them to meet special treasury needs.
According to INTERSHIPPINGRATES.COM, there are five major commercial banks in Japan: Yasuda (1864), Daiichi (1873), Mitsui (the oldest: 1683), Mitsubishi (1885), Sumitomo (1895), to which a sixth was added in 1933: the B Sanwa, resulting from the merger of three banks in Ōsaka. Also important are the Yokohama Specie Bank (1880) and the Industrial Bank (1902). The banks of Formosa (1899) and Korea (1909) have particular characteristics of a central bank, authorized to issue notes and exercise banking control.