I . Purposes and Methodology



A 29 March 1977 letter from United Nations University Vice-Rector Kinhide Mushakoji to Mr. Noboru Kanokogi, then president of the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), Tokyo stated:

The long-term objective of this project is to promote the exchange of technological information and experience among institutes engaged in the transfer of technology research, with a view to provide a key contribution to the vital area of modern development analysis of the process of technological change in industrialized and developing countries,

and further,

Dr. Takeshi Hayashi will organize a group of experts who may or may not belong to the Institute to conduct a feasibility study of the project with the above-mentioned conceptual framework. The group will consult institutions in Japan which may be involved in the project and prepare a project proposal containing a conceptual framework, research schedule, expected outputs, participating institutions, and budget.

Based on this letter, I, as UNU consultant, drafted the Final Project Proposal of 27 October 1977. The UNU Council met in Tokyo for its ninth session from 5 to 9 December 1977 and approved the proposal.

The Final Project Proposal defines the objectives of the JE Project as follows:

The study of development is now in a state of "disarray," as the United Nations University's Expert Group on Human and Social Development, at its meeting 10-14 November 1975, pointed out, in terms of approaches, conceptual frameworks, methodologies, and, more importantly, setting up development goals. There is an urgent need, therefore, to reexamine development problems and issues from fresh and diversified angles on a global scale.

With this in mind, the project will attempt to make a comprehensive study of various aspects of technology transfer (positive as well as negative), using the case of Japan as both a recipient and a transmitter of technology.

To date there have been numerous studies in Japan which have focused on the problem of the relationship between technology transfer and the attempt at increasing economic self-reliance. These studies, however, differ from those which the United Nations University envisages for two reasons: firstly, a consideration of developing countries, particularly in terms of development based on self-help and self-reliance, is absent; secondly, technology is narrowly defined, compared with the definition of the United Nations University's Human and Social Development Programme (UNU/HSDP). The task of the JE project, therefore, will be to review the history of modern Japan by taking into full account the problems related to development which the developing countries currently face.

Japan shares many things with other non-Western cultures and, at the same time, it shares much with Western industrial societies. This dualistic character of Japanese society enables us to understand the transcultural characteristics of technology and to transcend the conventional notion of the non-transferability of technology. However, care must be taken with respect to the role and function of international relations as well as domestic conditions (i.e., socio-economic and political structures) corresponding to each stage of technology transfer.

The Japanese experience provides evidence that the growth-oriented strategy has been pushing aside problems concerning human rights, life-styles, the quality of life, and cultural and national identity (linkages with the projects on Human Rights in the Context of Development, the Socio-Cultural Comparative Evaluation of Development Alternatives in a Changing World). The lagging development in pollution control technology is also attributable to this strategy. Therefore, the necessity of studying the impacts of technology transfer, particularly its cultural and social costs and its relationship with environmental problems, has to be emphasized.

On the other hand, it should be emphasized that technology -- broadly defined -- is useful and, moreover, is inevitable for human and social development. In this connection, it is meaningful to re-evaluate the significant role of endogenous technology (linkage with the Project on the Sharing of Traditional Technology). In any case, what is needed is to conduct careful studies on the objectives and methods of technology transfer, together with the agents and/or channels of such transfer (i.e., individuals as well as groups or organizations) .1/

1. T. Hayashi, Project on Technology Transfer, Transformation, and Development: The Japanese Experience (United Nations University, Tokyo, 1979; HSDP-11/UNUP-13), pp. 3-4.

The proposal more elaborately describes the project's approach and conceptual framework. In essence:

The basic approach toward the JE project can be summarized as follows. First, to broaden the definition of development and technology, and to place major emphasis on the inquiry into the infrastructure of technology and on the impact of technology transfer on human and social development. Second, to review the Japanese experience in the context of self-reliant efforts toward development of the developing countries. Third, to analyse the problems of technology transfer, transformation, and development centring around labour and organization of labour (shifting emphasis from capital and natural resources to labour and organization of labour) .2/


2.1. Previous Studies on Modern Japan

Many scholars have studied Japanese development and provided a large amount of serious research on the subject and its related aspects. However, only a few have dealt directly with the issues of technological development in Japan. Most of what has been done is the work of Japanese scholars and is, therefore, published in the Japanese language, a formidable obstacle to access for the non-Japanese student. Fortunately, though, we were able to use this research extensively for the JE Project.

Quite a few non-Japanese scholars have produced high-level works in other languages, particularly English. Generally speaking, however, they do not deal with technological development in depth. Moreover, these studies attempt to solve problems, both theoretical and practical, of the industrialized countries; they do not attempt to deal with the problems confronted by the developing nations today.

In analysing the stages of Japan's socio-economic development, many Japanese social scientists use the Marxian approach. Not a few have used Weberian analysis while some others developed a unique blend of the two. For the Marxians, the analytical stance is generally Marxist-universalist, not cosmopolitan. The theoretical viewpoints of the Japanese scholar have been derived in the kind of intellectual climate that is apt to occur when national development emphasizes catching up with the West. Generally speaking, however, Japanese social scientists are as one in the view that

2. T. Hayashi, "Progress Report on the Project on Technology Transfer, Transformation, and Development: The Japanese Experience, 1 February-31 May 1978."

the development of capitalism in Japan must be studied from the perspectives of "natural history," i.e., the logical development of society, based on the model provided by the European, especially English, capitalist experience. The Japanese scholar usually assumes that industrialization took the same course in Japan as in Europe. The concept is more strongly advocated by social scientists who were students of one faction or another of the Marxist school. Whatever exceptions from the European model existed in Japanese history were regarded as "impure" deviations from the theoretical ideal, destined to disappear sooner or later.

Room exists for such approaches if one is seeking to identify the characteristics of Japanese socio-economic and political development. A leading authority in the field emphasizes that Japan's basic course in the development of capitalism was similar to that of Europe.

Industrial development in Japan took much the same pattern as it had in the European countries. After the opening of the country to the West, light industry arose first and in due course became firmly established. Heavy industry then developed on the foundations laid by light industry. True, there were distortions in the natural course of industrial development due to the promotion of military capacity, but, the history of Japanese industrial development assumed, essentially, the classical pattern. I think Japan will be the last case in the world of this pattern of industrial development.

But those scholars give no theoretical foundations on which to justify their comparisons of Japan and Europe nor do they state the reasons why they call Japan the "last case" of development in the European pattern. It was with a limited foundation from this area that we had to make a start.

Moreover, the similarities between the European and Japanese course of capitalistic development should not be overemphasized; there are many dissimilarities, attributable possible to a delay of more than a century in the development of modern capitalism. These delays in turn affected the course of technological development in Japan. For a long time, Japan was confronted with the actual might of the Western powers and subsequently assumed the features characteristic to late-comers. Japan had to import technology for many decades and in terms of the volume of new annual export-import agreements did not become a net exporter until 1972. Japan had the full range of successes and failures, unique to late-comers, in technological import, transformation, and development. Japan's experience is different from its Western predecessors in those respects, but relevant to the experiences of the present-day development countries.

Most home-grown studies on Japanese economic development, moreover, sought to find basic strategies for changing current social evils, strategies which include methods of moving toward socialist revolution. No doubt the efforts of those scholars contributed to changes in the social setup, but their aims and ours are different. Moreover, their sincere dedication to fulfilling the requirements of a theoretically idealized model of the European modern state led to a void in recognizing the problems of that major component of the world population: the Third World.

In addition to the conventional approaches, recent econometric studies of Japanese economic development have produced excellent empirical results. Research of this type is highly useful in concisely elucidating the basic factors of growth. However, the transfer, transformation, and development of technology are areas to which mathematical models cannot be used to their best. The econometric approach neglects national specifics in the historical-cultural context due to its flat paradigm of comparative methodology, i.e., the cosmopolitan, neither national nor international approach. The cosmopolitan approach, as a matter of fact, does little to clarify what the dynamic potential of the Third World is.

2.2. Basic Issues in the Japanese Experience

To identify the basic problems of the JE Project study, three postulates were advanced in the initial stage: (1) science and technology are, in essence, different; (2) technology tends to develop in stages; and (3) exogenous technology is transferable but should be modified through interaction with endogenous technology and other factors.

Definition of technology

More often than not, science and technology are discussed as if they were the same, but there are essential differences and those differences must be recognized. As our research on the Japanese experience proceeded, we became more keenly aware of what those differences are. Science is comparatively easy to transfer to other cultures because it is a systematic knowledge explainable in language, while technology is not.

After perusing many definitions, and comparing the conspicuous difficulties of Japanese economic and technological evolution with the difficulties faced by the developing countries, we developed a definition in which technology is "the totality of scientific principles that enter, consciously or unconsciously, into the production, distribution, and consumption of goods, services, and information."

Technology is bound up with social relations and natural circumstances. Although synchronic and cross-cultural in principle, technology in its specific mode differs according to the country and region to which it is adopted. In recognition of this basic premise, JE Project scholars decided to use a multidisciplinary approach to the problems of the Japanese experience based on historical analysis.

Stages of technological development

Given that technology is restricted to its social environment and that

technological evolution is continuous even during periods of revolution, the development of technology must occur in stages.

Not only that, but technology itself is encumbered with its own problems. Industrial robots are excellent examples of the advances in high technology today. The robot moves its arm according to programmed motions. The program is created after carefully analysing a skilled worker's hands in motion during operations. In addition, the programmed "hand" movements presuppose materials to be worked on that are homogeneous in size, shape, and quality. Development of industrial robots requires not only knowledge of electronics technology but of the entire range of engineering technologies.

Japan's recent technological developments have been "astounding," the type of development which is of great interest to those concerned with the advancement of technology in the Third World countries. In the eyes of such observers, Japan's technological development was so speedy, so miraculous, that they often asked the JE Project to concentrate on postwar development. Those observers had either forgotten or were simply unaware that the formation of skills and know-how had already reached very high levels before the Second World War. Recent technological development is only part of a long chain of achievements that can be traced back to the Meiji Restoration; a formidable reason for the JE Project devoting itself to technology development from that era on.

Another important reason for the JE Project's attention to the longer historical perspective is that a better understanding had to be gained of the socio-economic and political environment in which technological development occurs. Society in postwar Japan is not directly comparable to any Third World (or even Western) society, although prewar Japanese society does have similarities. Meiji was a dynamic era, marked by a brief civil war, the gradual restoration of full Japanese sovereignty, and varied examples of success and failure, a situation generally similar to what is happening today in many of the developing nations.

Technology transfer for further development

Science is transferable, and so is technology, but not as easily. Transferability of foreign technology is a major advantage to the late-comer. Inventing new products and processes takes a lot of time and money, and late-comers must rely heavily on the technology import from the industrialized nations.

But, transferability of technology depends upon factors of adaptability to local situations. At the beginning of the JE Project, we postulated four categories in the relations between endogenous and foreign technology. In these categories, imported modern technology either -- replaces traditional or endogenous technology (e.g., iron and steel, railway transport),

-- fails to replace traditional or endogenous technology (e.g., management, food processing, weaving),
-- co-exists with traditional or endogenous technology (e.g., mining), or
-- is integrated with traditional or endogenous technology (e.g., irrigation).

These postulates required the selection of certain key industries relevant to each. We had to examine the process of interaction between native and introduced technologies and given due attention to specifications of time and space. Examination of factors of time and space was necessitated because, conceivably, the second set of relations between traditional and imported technology could be observed at one time in one place and then a shift to the third or fourth type of relationship could occur after a lag in time and under other ecological conditions.

The developing countries face problems during the process of importing technology that include: (1) high price, (2) difficulty in identifying appropriate technologies, (3) slowness in mastering exogenous technologies, and (4) slowness in improving those technologies to fit in with local conditions.

The Japanese experience seems to have few hints for the obtaining of lower prices, because the cost of technology was generally high throughout the history of importation. But, Japan's noted genius as "copycat" was a positive advantage in overcoming high cost foreign imports, particularly in the early stages of technological adaptation when the gap between endogenous and foreign was not as wide as it is for today's developing nations.

This is why the project looked fully into the Japanese process of copying foreign machinery and technique. As the research proceeded, we found this endogenous ability to copy crucial to the spreading and taking root of the new technology. After a certain period of time, we also realized a need to know the level of endogenous engineering in early Meiji, and how engineering potential was subsequently enhanced.

Theoretical generalizations on identifying appropriate technology are difficult. We, therefore, confined ourselves to fact-finding on failures in technology transfers in order to elucidate what the conditions of appropriateness are. From the approach laid down the Japanese experience taught us the importance of high selectivity in technological choices, the attention that must be given to linkage with already implanted technologies and the crucial role native engineers, with their knowledge of local conditions, have in correctly choosing and, more importantly, developing technology.

Needless to say, technology transfer should not result in blind dependence on more imports; it should foster endogenous technological capabilities.

Increased capability gives the recipient more knowledge to choose adequate technologies, greater bargaining power, reduced need to import more technology, and an incentive to improve foreign technology to suit local conditions and available resources. Importing of technology can increase such endogenous potential for technological capability if transfer and subsequent development are well managed.

After a technology is transplanted from a foreign country, development occurs in stages: (1) proper operation, (2) proper maintenance, (3) partial improvements, (4) total improvement in design (new invention), and (5) manufacture of plant and equipment to produce the newly invented process or product. When native technicians and engineers attain one of the stages totally on their own, the next stage becomes, logically, easier to reach.

Thus, the following questions were important to the JE Project: (1) Is the postulated theory of stages supported by a century of Japanese experience? (2) What role did the foreign engineer play vis-a-vis the native? (3) What is the real character of "copycat" in Japan? Were technicians and engineers simply copying or doing something more complex? (4) How were partial improvements visualized; what were the salient features of those improvements and were they merely linear upgrades of imported technology? (5) How were skilled workers, technicians, and engineers educated and trained? (6) What was the role of the supporting institutions -- government (national and local), management, special financial institutions peculiar to late-comers, and general trading companies?


3.1. General

As mentioned in section 2, we set out to tackle a wide range of issues. Such an effort requires a multidisciplinary approach as well as an attempt to analyse our own historical experience as researchers who are citizens of a particular nation.

We were able to fully use research literature published in Japanese and foreign languages, but found much to be of little help in solving the immediate problems, problems rather novel to the Japanese scholar. To find better solutions, we realized the need to organize study groups that could find new approaches.

To clarify what "the Japanese experience" is, we asked the study groups to approach the problem by examining individual industrial sectors. Only a few sectors were selected; the selection was based on the relevance those sectors have to the problems encountered by the developing countries today.

We expected this approach to be more effective than asking scholars to directly study problems we had posed. That expectation was subsequently borne out. The reason we thought this would be the case was that the scholars were, in general, little conversant with the problems faced by the developing countries.

Our judgements in regard to technology are further reasons for adopting the methodology used.

Up to now, most theories of technology transfer and development have considered technology as merely an intermediary between resources and capital. Those theories have tended to be optimistic about the effects of technology transfer on development and have failed to give proper attention to its impact on politics and society.

We were critical of the work done previously and felt a need for a sharp distinction between technology suited to basic national needs and technology suited to basic human needs.

This need led us to examine the various aspects of technology transfer which aim at economic self-reliance as the goal of national development. It led to a focus on the relationship between technology transfer and the society and culture of a nation and, more particularly, on the managerial aspects of technology transfer and its interrelationship with labour and employment.

While confining their study to individual fields, the study groups gradually gave more attention to a wider range of problems including the "hardware" and "software" aspects of technology related to their particular fields. Naturally, the co-ordinator had the task of integrating that research with work done by others.

In other words, we did not include the entire "Japanese experience" as a subject for the study groups, and omitted many essential areas of Japanese technology including machine tools, chemicals, electrical and electronics, as well as whole industrial sectors like architecture and shipbuilding. One reason for the omissions was that restrictions of time and budget forced us to be selective. We did our best under these and many other limitations and were still able to enlist a maximum number of experts in diverse specialties. Proof of these efforts is in the voluminous, original manuscripts written by our collaborating scholars that are soon to be published.

3.2. Mode of Operation: Project Management

Let us look at the way the project was organized and managed.

Co-ordinator's office

The role of the co-ordinator's office was to periodically blend together past researchwith that done by the study groups. Several researchers and specialists from IDE, highly reputed for their work, were attached to the co-ordinator's office as full- and part-time staff members and associate co-ordinators. (The staff members in the co-ordinator's office are listed in Appendix A.)

Full-timers assisted the co-ordinator in network building, liaison, and editorial work (editing the "working papers," issued in Japanese and English). Each was in charge of planning and handling activities for several study groups assigned in line with their fields of specialization. Although each full-time staff member maintained responsibility for the same study groups, the group he was in charge of sometimes changed. The staff members assisted each other and even substituted when necessary.

In addition to regular weekly meetings of the secretariat, meetings were held whenever necessary. Even when the co-ordinator was absent for long periods, information and opinions about the general progress of the project were exchanged among the staff members. If a particular problem came up it could be discussed and solved by them. With this kind of setup, all full-timers oversaw project activities in their entirety and in considerable detail; in fact, the organizational setup required it. Thus, even in the absence of the person directly in charge, information on the activities of each groups was assembled.

Although lines of major responsibility were drawn between staff members, the actual work was not rigidly divided. If temporary work was added, all staff members handled it as a joint responsibility.

The co-ordinator was fully responsible for external affairs and each staff member had a great degree of internal responsibility. The situation was much the same with authority. Although, in principle, all authority was vested in the co-ordinator, in practice, it was delegated to associate co-ordinators and staff members in spiral fashion. Since there was a rational handling of matters at all levels, conclusions were definintive once the co-ordinator gave final approval. Moreover, the co-ordinator's policy intentions were considered at each meeting and confirmed on the basis of feasibility. Information was not concentrated at the top, i. e., in the co-ordinator, by rigidly controlling the scope of responsibility for each staff member. Rather, the characteristic feature of our methodology was that information rose in spiral fashion.

The typical Japanese mode of group work makes this type of organization possible. It is based on our national cultural attitudes. In other industrialized countries and in less developed countries as well, information is treated as a possession like private property, provided from the top down to control the lower echelons or from the bottom up in expectation of

Organizing research associates

In selecting those outside IDE to participate in the project, we first drew up a long list of experts, respected for their accomplishments, from each relevant discipline. The next step was to interview them to ensure availability. In some cases, the experts were unable to work with us due to prior commitments that left them too little free time. Fortunately, however, we enlisted the services of more than sufficient numbers of first-rate scholars in each field.

These specialists then gave lectures to the entire staff (other IDE staff members were included in some subjects and areas). When mutually agreed upon, the specialist either assumed leadership of a group or joined it as a member. The leader was entrusted with selecting the members of his group according to project orientation.

Study groups

The number of members cbmprising a group ranged, generally, from five to ten. (The members of the study groups are listed in Appendix B.) Although some lived quite a distance from Tokyo, almost all attended meetings once or twice a month. The co-ordinator and his staff usually participated in those meetings, and at them, the group's research work was reported on and discussed. Sometimes lectures were given by non-member specialists with discussions afterwards.

Besides studying the pertinent literature and having interviews, we placed a great deal of emphasis on field surveys, including visits to factories and offices. In some survey trips, more than one group participated. These activities were immensely rewarding in the opportunities provided to analyse the history and present state of technology. The survey trips also included the researchers who had been invited from Third World and other countries to group meetings and activities and visiting research fellows to IDE. The questions and observations on points interesting and pertinent to them were invaluable in helping to pinpoint and crystallize issues.

The co-ordinator was particularly enthusiastic about "area studies" on Hokkaido and the Ryukyu Islands, but unfortunately these studies never really got off the ground. The reasons were simple: insufficient funds and staff.

Stages in activities

The five-year period for the project can be roughly divided into two stages, each a little longer than two years. The first half was devoted mainly to technological "hardware," and the second half mainly to "software." Of course, such categorization is artificial, made only for convenience, since the two are interdependent aspects.

Except for groups late in starting on their projects, the fifth year was devoted to supplemental studies and to the editing and organizing of final summaries and group reports. In addition to group reports, there were reports by individuals. At times, contributions on particular subjects were solicited. In many cases, researchers graciously agreed to completely rewrite their manuscripts after each group had completed its work. The rewriting was based on guidelines indicated by the staff so that the reports would be consistent overall. Making such a request is unusual in Japan except to those who are just getting started in research careers. In accepting such an onerous task, the scholars showed a strong sense of participation and a high degree of intellectual commitment to the subject of development. This is one of the reasons we expect the results of the project to be a stimulus to those in other countries engaged in research on development. Reaction so far to the publishing of the "working papers series" in English has included requests to participate in conferences , to co-operate in similar research projects, and to translate the papers into other languages.

Advisory committee

Since Japan is host to the UNU and our project is the first with a Japanese co-ordinator, the project was often, and quite unexpectedly, viewed as a Japanese national project.

The advisory committee for the project was made up of about twenty persons, many of them instrumental in realizing the late UN Secretary-General U Thant's proposal for a United Nations University. The committee included Mr. Isao Amagi, former Vice Minister of Education, Professor Michio Nagai, former Minister of Education, Professor Shizuo Saito, former Ambassador to the UN and current member of the UNU Council, and other intellectuals and scholars with rich experience in international exchange and the problems of development. Besides advising and assisting in our activities, they helped to acquaint various groups in Japan with the UNU itself.


4.1. Rationale of the Early Study Groups

Let us consider what was discussed in the previous section in light of the tasks for each study group. In this section we will look specifically at the groups that began work during the first two years of the project.

Group 1. Urban society

Group leader: Shogo Koyano

This study group and group 2, on rural society, were active throughout the five-year period.

The topic was selected because the city is where the process and effects of modernization are most visible. The city and its level of urbanization are indices of social change, a concentration of population in the cities being a precondition of industrialization and industrialization being the result of urban development. The city is also the starting point and hub of political change.

The beginning of Japan's road to modernization was accompanied by a change in the national capital from Kyoto to Tokyo. The reason the study group focused attention on the new capital, was that the problem of the "primate city," i.e., the capital city and the capital city alone growing to gigantic proportions, is endemic to most developing countries. It is still a problem in Japan in the form of a gargantuan metropolitan capital area. In addition, Tokyo has had, and still has, much in common with the cities of the Third World.

New technology accumulates in the city and new technology, in turn, results in more urban development.

With the establishment of large, modern industry, there emerged a new labouring and middle class from the amorphous mixture of small tradesmen and craftsmen and semi-employed, unskilled band of "odd-jobbers," resulting in changes in the urban ecology. Even if such a division had not yet occurred in the cities of the Third World, those cities would have another important point in common with the Japanese city: the almost complete lack of city planning. If it is incorrect to say that there has been no city planning. If it is incorrect to say that there has been no city planning, certainly the city planning that has taken place, based on the European model, has been ineffectual. The only remaining option is to attempt to solve the problem based on the knowledge derived through an exchange of national experience, including that on the "software" aspects of city life. This is the reason for selecting urban society and technology as one of the main topics for the project.

Besides Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, and other metropolitan areas, the group's work took it on field trips to Kanazawa, Takaoka, and Takayama. The group leader also enlisted the assistance of other organizations for parallel surveys of cities in South-East Asia and South America. This provided further input into group performance. Two members made a survey trip to several cities in South-East Asia and India. Furthermore, most who contributed to the group's work had previously participated in survey trips to Third World cities, experience which provided an invaluable basis for group study.

Foreign researchers of urban problems residing in the Japanese capital often participated in survey work here. Questions by researchers from the Third World were particularly helpful in formulating perspectives and discussing critical points.

Since the group's activities continued throughout the five-year period, members of the group conducted 21 field survey trips involving 129 man/days, and its members participated in a wide range of conferences, workshops, and symposiums both here and abroad.

Group 2. Rural society

Group leader: Akira Tamaki

This group was made up of experts in agricultural policy, agricultural technology, the history of agriculture, and geography.

Japanese industrialization from the middle of the nineteenth century was supported by agriculture. The fourfold increase in the Japanese population was made possible by enormous increases in agricultural production, especially in the production of rice, the nation's staple, and by staple production quantities.

It would be impossible to discuss the development and the effects of modern technology without considering the changes undergone by rural farm communities and the way in which their dependence on industry increased for necessary machines, energy, fertilizers, and canal and dam construction materials. Since this problem is very complicated, we asked the study group to work on it for five years. However, irrigation technology was to become the focus for their study because irrigation has a key role in stabilizing high yields, and because it highlights rural mass participation in development projects.

Four irrigation system types were selected as case studies: large-river, small-river, reservoir, and creek irrigation. Attention was further given to conflicts of interest over the use of water for industrial purposes such as the building of dams for hydroelectric projects. The group's work was based on thorough field surveys and a wealth of statistical data. More than 28 field surveys were conducted involving 448 man/days.

Experts in the group actively participated in conferences, workshops, and symposiums that related to project activities. The group had the great misfortune of losing its leader, Professor Akira Tamaki, who passed away suddenly when the group was in the last stage of editing its findings.

Group 3. Steel and transportation

This topic is divided between two sub-groups.

Sub-group 3A. Iron and steel

Group leader: Ken'ichi Iida

Japan now leads the world in steel production technology, but the history of attaining that position is the history of a struggle marked by all the sundry problems of technology transfer. It is an excellent warning against blind confidence in foreign engineers and confirms the special significance of the native engineer. Furthermore, the Japanese experience in steelmaking demonstrates the repeated failure of government in management of technology, an attempt government made because steelmaking was an industry geared to national needs.

Experience in the steel sector shows how necessary it is to consider the decisive factors of resource and location in technology transfer. The sector has a large number of examples where technology originally imported was eventually exported.

These are good reasons for choosing steel as a sector for new experimental work.

In comparing the experiences of Brazil, Malaysia, and Japan, we organized a "triangle project," collaborating with two outside research groups, from Brazil and Malaysia.

A total of 11 joint survey trips were made, involving 48 man/days, in addition to trips abroad to Brazil and Malaysia. More than fifty people were involved in those surveys, including those who participated in the triangle project and those in a Japanologist's conference.

Sub-group 3B. Transportation

Group leader: Hirofumi Yamamoto

The transportation sub-group was set up to study the issue of infrastructure as a precondition to development. The sub-group listed as its participants experts in economic history, the history of transportation, the history of railroad technology, geography, and civil engineering.

The history of railroads in Japan begins with the introduction of foreign technology and leads to eventual self-reliance in the form of developments

like the Shinkansen bullet trains. It is a history providing excellent insights into the scope and depth of development problems. We postulated that the repair stations set up throughout the country acted as foci for the strategic dissemination of technology in their local areas. The history of the railroads contrasts with that of steel manufacture in that the railways are one of the few areas that benefited from the services of outstanding foreign engineers.

Japan has no period in its history in which the main form of transportation was the horse and the horse-drawn carriage. The Meiji period began with mixed transportation modes of railroad, horse-drawn carriage, and rickshaw. Transition took place gradually with the introduction of streetcar, bus, and automobile on one hand, and high-speed loop train, suburban electric train, subway, and expressway on the other. These technological changes are noteworthy in terms of the social change subsequently induced in changing life-styles and housing patterns which were additionally affected by the factors of urbanization and industrialization.

One hardly need mention the importance of ports and harbours in development. The case of Nobiru Port in Miyagi Prefecture is a good indication of what can go wrong when central government policy is unsound and relies too much on foreign engineers. After huge sums had been invested for development, the port was rendered useless by the drifting sand that filled it.

The group's overseas surveys included cases in which to members of the group studied jointly with Indian researchers in a parallel IDE project. Ten local survey trips were held, with a total of 71 man/days, including research in the Ryukyu Islands, Nagasaki, Nobiru, etc. One member of the group participated in international conferences, including a series of seminars in France.

Group 4. Textiles

Group leaders: Yukihiko Kiyokawa and Kozaburo Kato

The textile industry has been the "engine" of Japanese economic development. The history of modern Japanese industry was in large part a history of silk-reeling and cotton spinning. In view of the important role of textiles, the sector could hardly be left out of any project dealing with the Japanese experience in technology.

The emphasis in textile development, as in other areas, was on technological dissemination, labour procurement (particularly female), and skill training.

For many years, raw silk was Japan's most important export item and its main source of foreign exchange. The shedding of greater light on the

developments in technology that fostered the textile industry is relevant to the present developmental stage of the LDCs.

Development of the modern textile industry was aimed at providing a replacement for imports. The vanguard of the textile industry was ten small spinning mills imported with government funds. But this initial effort ended in failure due to a lack of maintenance technology, uneven raw material quality, and unstable hydraulic power supplies.

Government-run factories tried to produce the first domestic spinning machines but failed. Private entrepreneurs then built large mills with the latest imported equipment, a direction opposite to that taken in silk manufacture. The private companies succeeded in attaining satisfactory production and stabilizing business.

The ring spinning frames used were reputedly the most advanced in the industry. With some exaggeration, they were described as representatives of a revolution in productivity practically eliminating the need to train the operators in essential skills. But, still, the Japanese textile mills of those days were only one-fifth to one-third as productive as Great Britain's which used the older mule spinning frames.

An international gap in skill existed at first. A half-million workers sacrificed to close that gap. Those efforts are shown in the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce's 1903 survey report Shokk? jij? (The factory worker's condition). A vivid record of the living conditions of factory workers in those days is in Wakizo Hosoi's classic Jok? aishi (Tragic history of factory girls; 1925).

Nevertheless, we found it necessary to re-examine the thesis that the rapid development of the textile sector was based entirely on a cheap labour force. For instance, the Tomioka nikki (Tomioka diary), written by Ei Wada, one of the first trainees at the government pilot silk-reeling mill at Tomioka, clearly indicates the high educational and intellectual levels of those who contributed to the absorption and spread of foreign technology throughout Japan.

As a specific study of the preliminary conditions of industrialization and the process of fringe service maturation in Japan, including the differences between silk-reeling and spinning, this group provided clear indications of the overall historical and social process so that international comparisons can be made with the process of development in Great Britain, the United States, and India.

In addition to surveys carried out in Great Britain and India as "parallel activities," in UNU parlance, this group also engaged in four field surveys in Japan, involving 74 man/days.

Group 5. Small industry

Group leader: Shigeo Kikuura

The development of small industry is of considerable concern to the LDCs today. The products of small industry differ from those of larger industries, but they are not simply processed farm produce. This sector is usually directly linked to everyday needs while manual skills play a large part in its activities. Small industries evolved in Japan at the same time as factory and agricultural production were undergoing change with larger companies emerging during the course of evolution. Its products were major export items throughout most of Japan's modern era from Meiji to the 1960s period of rapid growth.

In the initial years of modernization, this sector had a rural industrial nature. Later, it underwent further development in the form of very small urban cottage industry. The small industry sector is characterized by family part-time businesses, or as the main work of the urban breadwinner in the burgeoning city. Work of this type is particularly noticeable among low-income groups, some of the fastest growing in the social strata.

The aim of the small industry study group was to investigate the impact of technological change on that sector, as well as the positive and negative roles of wholesale capital. The group also sought to elucidate the development of the local economy in the historical process.

Bicycle products are good indicators of the level of growth in the light machine industry. Since bicycles are produced through the assembly of standardized parts, the bicycle industry is an example of small industry fitting the basic requirements of mass product of interchangeable parts, the "three S's" of simplification, standardization, and specialization. Although possibly inferior in quantity and part type, the success of putting bicycle production on such a sound footing marks an important step forward in technological self-reliance.

Besides surveying the light metal industry in South Asia as an IDE "parallel activity," participating in three overseas surveys, three international conferences, and supporting another organization's South-East Asian survey, the members of this group made a total of 23 survey trips in a total of 231 man/days, including one to the Suwa region of Nagano Prefecture, where Japanese quartz watch production first started.

The nature of the small industry sector is such that there is a dearth of background literature and bona-fide description, making it a difficult subject for research. But it is a fascinating treasurehouse of significant information on technology that often leads to surprising results if one is willing to do the necessary leg work. Unfortunately, our coverage was limited.

Group 6. Mining

Group leaders: Junnosuke Sasaki and Nisaburo Murakushi

In spite of having much in common, the mining of nonferrous metals and coal are of such different nature that they cannot be studied as closely related phenomena. This is so not just in the technological aspect. It was for this reason that the main group was divided into two sub-groups.

Since both mining sectors have pronounced results in the modern transfer of technology, they present vivid examples of the transformation in labour, skills, and management responding to technological change and changes in operational mode. They are also good examples of the change in an industry's status in the national economic hierarchy. This being the case, the sector cannot be overlooked in any study of the Japanese experience in development. Another factor that makes studies of this sector indispensable is that mining provided the material axis for the development of the zaibatsu, that form of the Konzern or "business combine" peculiar to Japan. Since mining made comprehensive use of machinery, electricity, transportation, and other forms of technology, it was an impetus to further development in those technologies. When the system of domestically produced mining technology was complete, a spin-off effect was created, allowing the birth of new industrial sectors. The members of those sectors are now the giant corporations in the vanguard of technological innovation.

Miners developed their own subcultures and institutions, their own perceptions of the unique dangers, skills and safety required to perform their jobs. Their mores produced a spirit of mutual assistance.

For many reasons, the mining industry study group was unable to perform any cross-cultural overseas surveys, but I would like to mention for the record that it made the preparations for joint research requested by and carried out with Polish researchers. In Japan, the group made surveys at Chikuho in Kyushu, at Yubari and other mines in Hokkaido, and several other locations. Surveys on copper and iron ore mines in the Tohoku region were made in co-operation with other groups. In all, the members of the group made 15 trips to various areas in a gross total of 137 man/days.

It should be noted, in passing, that the group studying environmental hazards took cases of mining-related pollution into its purview. Unfortunately, neither group was able to make an independent in-depth examination of the problems of occupational diseases in mining, although the Pollution Study Group did cover it to some extent.

4.2. Rationale of the Later Study Groups

This section examines the activities of those study groups that became active during the third and fourth years of the project.

Initial plans and policies were revised somewhat for the second stage of our project activities. Six new groups started work in this stage making a total of eight for the entire project. But the total of subgroups, independent in all but name, was ten.

During the course of the project's activities, a number of new problems had appeared regarding technology and technology transfer on the international horizon, including those occasioned by the UN Conference on Science and Technology. In response to these trends as well as comments from advisors and reviewers, the project itself had already begun to develop activities through dialogue and the "triangle" experiment. But, to me, the most decisive new development was the revision in course based on experience and findings gained in field work.

Group 7. Financial institutions

Group leader: Ryuichi Shibuya

One hardly need mention the importance of financing to economic development. Technology is indispensable but not without major cost, and policy-makers are always confronted with the problem of procuring funds and credit for technology transfer in development.

Furthermore, the experience of many countries shows that the practical problems of government development financing are often imprudently considered when speed is a political imperative.

Immediately after Japan, under duress, opened its doors to the outside world, it lost considerably from a drain in gold caused by a silver standard with a gold-to-silver parity of three times the international level. When Japan reminted its coinage in an attempt to adjust parity to international levels, the powers threatened reprisal and forced Japan to revert to the original parity situation. The unfair exchange situation was ameliorated somewhat by changing the domestic gold-to-silver parity, but this move also upset the domestic economic balance. The resulting inflation triggered great unrest manifested in peasant uprisings and urban riots.

Those circumstances made the government aware of the need for a central bank to issue bank notes and for foreign exchange and commercial banks to ald in industrialization.

The initial model was British, a three-part relationship centred on the Bank of Japan with commercial banks on one side and industrial and savings banks on the other.

For more than twenty years, the commercial banks were unable to fulfil the role anticipated for them, and the government fostered many different kinds of special banks under its protection. Japan, an early LDC, had this in common with today's LDCs. Government economic policy was also supported by the postal savings system, originally "imported" from Britain but adapted to Japanese conditions to make it very effective.

This study group was organized to study the various special types of financing for the development process, including those introduced in former Japanese colonies.

The group made many survey trips to different parts of the country to gather information involving 70 man/days.

Group 8. Technology and management

Sub-group 8A. Business management

Group leader: Shigeaki Yasuoka

Management is a key element required in technology transfer. Transformation and development of technology for practical use, as well as the transfer of technology itself, are important areas in business activity.

Many students of Japan's recent development in technology have said that the reasons for its success lie in the management system and philosophy and the differences with those in the other industrialized countries. Others believe that the reasons lie primarily in the educational system. There are many other theories, leading one to postulate the lack of accuracy in any of them. If none are correct, then one could conclude that "modernization" does not have to be the same thing as "Westernization." In other words, Japan has developed its own brand of modernization and continues to do so.

Although the group limited itself in its analysis of the "Japanese experience" to business management, it expected to shed light on aspects of the Japanese style of management as a realistic and rational method for coping with actual circumstances.

The group based itself in Kyoto and thus much of its survey work was made in the Kansai region and western Japan. Staff members went to Kyoto whenever the group met for study or discussion and several meetings were held in Tokyo in which outside experts participated. This group was not the one newly formed for the JE project; it was a part of the "parallel activities" started by the research group led by Yasuoka.

In all, about 60 study sessions were held and the group made 10 data collection trips to Tokyo and elsewhere involving 100 man/days.

In further activities, the business management study group held a "research conference" under the aegis of the Kansal branch of the Business History Society of Japan. The conference sought international comparisons of the management of concerns such as the "zaibatsu-type" monopolies in India, Korea, and Japan.

Sub-group 8B. Pollution

Group leader: Jun Ui

Ui has rather aptly defined environmental hazards as a "negative impact of industrialization." Although much is to be said for the positive effects of industrialization, it is not without its drawbacks.

Environmental destruction is a side-effect of industrialization but not an unavoidable one, if technology is carefully managed. The critical threshold is developmentalism at the cost of ecological imbalance which is hard to recover.

Experience gained through dealing with severe problems in air and water pollution and other environmental hazards has made Japanese pollution-prevention technology a world leader. However, behind the development of such an achievement is a century-old history of struggles against environmental disaster. The group's activities focused on this history.

Japan is by no means the only country with environmental problems. "Smog" is a term coined in London, but it is safe to say that all countries have had environmental problems throughout the modern era. The difference now, however, is that the scale and speed of development has begun to exceed the earth's natural abilities of self-recovery and self-cleansing. The global ecological balance itself is in danger.

The pollution producers shirk responsibility for the havoc they created by calling it "mere natural disaster." When corporate management is guided by responsibility only to shareholders, it musters all the "scientific data" it can in an effort to abdicate inherent responsibility. Admission means penalties at the expense of profits. When national and local governments are accused of creating environmental problems, through the public sectors for instance, they sidestep their responsibilities by adhering to the letter rather than the spirit of the law.

The traditional mechanisms of settling disputes are ineffective in resolving problems of pollution and environmental damage, particularly when development is at stake. The scope of the pollution study group was an investigation of Japan's experience in this regard.

The group leader was also active during this period in other international areas. Group members engaged in surveys in South-East Asia and one

member in South and Central America, each lasting more than two weeks. The group made domestic field surveys at Minamata, Kochi, Miike, Ashio, Okayama, Toroku, and other areas involving 165 man/days.

Group 9. Vocational education

Group leader: Toshio Toyoda

Many intellectuals, in Third World and other nations, contend that Japan's success in modernization and industrialization is attributable to its citizens' level of education. We do not reject that view, but yet do not accept it unconditionally. The trouble with the argument is that it takes into account only formal education. No one denies the importance of the schools, but they certainly do not represent the entire field of education.

Japan instituted its system of formal education in 1872. Completing the compulsory levels of education was the third obligation of the Japanese citizen, the first being the payment of taxes, the second being service in the armed forces.

The Meiji Restoration removed the social and class barriers preventing people from choosing their own vocation and improving their material lot in life. People ambitious and willing to work hard to achieve their goals then began to look at education as a means of getting ahead in spite of humble origins, an attitude that was a strong impetus to the development of education and its popularization among the people of Japan.

A basic principle of Japanese compulsory education was that it be free of cost to the student and his family. Judging itself by international standards, Japan considered free education to be one of the marks of advanced status. The country also knew that education was a basic investment in the future. At the same time, however, the central government used the argument "if education is free, it can be compulsory" as a pretext to intervene in and rigidly standardize education. Generally, vocational and technical education were not in the mainstream of education, but they played an important role. Education was required to accomplish two tasks in order to modernize the country's technology. First, higher education had to groom techno-scientists and supply the high-level technical bureaucrats capable of planning technology policies, including transfer. Second, the educational system had to train and supply skilled technicians and engineers capable of on-the-job modernization of technology in traditional and small, local industry.

The vocational education study group examined the original forms those efforts took in various regions and traced their subsequent development.

Although voluminous, the government files and private research reports were of little use in this research activity. The group had to concentrate its energies on ferreting out pertinent information in localities throughout

Japan. This kind of research work took a great deal of time, money, and perseverance, making 41 trips involving 337 man/days. The group leader is the only expert on "development and education" in the entire project. He has considerable experience in South-East Asia and Africa in addition to having participated in numerous UNU and other international conferences in Japan and overseas.

Group 10. Economic policy and economic thought

Sub-group 10A. Economic policy

Group leader: Takafusa Nakamura

The character of the entire project is not that of "Japanese studies" alone. Rather, the project seeks to find the relevance of the Japanese experience to the entire problem of development. This is why each study group has looked into sectors that lend themselves to the individual problem approach.

However, even if an understanding is obtained of specific cases in the "Japanese experience," one cannot get a grasp of the entire experience with the individual problem approach.

An approach different from the sectoral approach is needed. We require the kind of work that makes possible both an overview of and detailed insights into the relationship between domestic politics and economics and at the same time uses macro methodology to determine Japan's place in international society and economy during the initial stage of development.

Looking at the period of Japanese "take-off," that of the Matsukata fiscal policy (1881-1885), we find an era of unprecedent crisis, a turning point in both politics and economy.

The group studied the maturation process of preconditions for "take-off" from perspectives of macro- and microeconomics on the international and domestic situation.

Furthermore, the work of group members highly regarded in the study and application of statistical data will probably result in critical examinations of the well-known, even classic, Kazushi Ohkawa-James Nakamura macroeconomic analysis of "pre-take-off" Japan. Although somewhat polemic in content, their work should produce findings at the forefront of present-day research in the field.

In addition to the planned, but unrealized, joint research project with French and Polish scholars that was to be worked into Nakamura's busy schedule in Japan and abroad, the group made many field surveys in Japan, mainly at Akashi and Hamamatsu, involving 164 man/days.

Sub-group lOB. Economic thought

Group leader: Yukio Cho

The Meiji Restoration was not guided by a single ideology, but by a mixture of many ideas and ideals. It was a period of flux and convulsive change much like other revolutions.

Jitsugyoka (entrepreneur) was a word unknown in Japan until the Meiji Restoration. Keisei saimin (managing state affairs and improving the people's lives) was at the core of political philosophy during this era. But, except for a few low-ranking samurai, no one was familiar with modern administration. Not surprising, then, that the active, capable administrators and entrepreneurs of the Meiji period rose mainly from their ranks. It is often said that the Meiji revolution came to fruition under the watch of the lower samurai class.

A representative figure is Eiichi Shibusawa (1840-1931). Although of farmer origin, Shibusawa participated in the royalist and anti-foreign movement of the 1860s and was later appointed to a position in the Tokugawa shogunate where he demonstrated outstanding abilities in accounting and finance. His talents were responsible for his inclusion in the party of shogunate officials that toured Europe.

When the Meiji government came to power, Shibusawa was retained in the Ministry of Finance for several years before retiring to enter the business world. As a business leader he helped in establishing most major corporations started during that time. The corporate projects that Shibusawa promoted, including banks and spinning mills, lists at well over 500. Although he did not establish his own zaibatsu, he had few equals in entrepreneurial ability and accomplishment.

The study group on economic thought investigated the formation and development of ideas on technology and development not only among industrial entrepreneurs, but in the government, armed forces, and farming class.

In addition to the six field surveys which centred on Hammamatsu, involving 30 man/days, members of the group were active participants in international conferences and workshops organized for the project.

Group 11. Female labour force

Group leader: Masanori Nakamura

For a long time, the foreign exchange needed to purchase equipment for Japanese industrialization was earned by exporting low-processed primary products such as raw silk, tea, coal, and copper. These industries

depended heavily on female labour for production and required the entrance of women into an area of traditional male dominance, mining.

When Japanese industrialization was well under way with the cotton spinning industry acquiring international competitiveness, women made up 60 per cent of the half-million industrial labour force at the turn of the century. The situation shows that Japan's modern development depended more on female than on male labour. Moreover, the contribution by women to Japan's developmental "success" is all the more deserving of recognition since the conditions under which they worked were extremely harsh.

This study group was formed to re-examine the situation of the female labour force in Japan before the Second World War, particularly for the women workers who came from poor rural families to work in the silk-reeling mills and coal mines.

Since the war, the role of female labour has changed along with advances in industrialization and technological innovation. Although the burden has generally lightened, such changes are probably not consistent throughout the labour force. Mechanization of agriculture, for instance, has freed adult male labour to seek employment in other sectors but the burden of farm work has been taken over by women. In fishing, too, technological progress in methods and equipment, including boats, has made the wife an indispensable partner in the husband's operations.

The study group sought to shed light on the changes in conditions for female labour in all industrial sectors during the earlier growth periods and the period of rapid economic growth.

The members of this group made a survey trip to Shirahama, involving 18 man/days.

Group 12. General trading companies

Group leader: Shin'ichi Yonekawa

The purpose of the group was to focus on the role of the Japanese general trading company (GTG) in technology transfer. The strong interest evoked in Third World observers led them to express a desire to create their own GTCs as soon as possible. Such eagerness clearly demonstrates an orientation toward direct exports common to all primary-product exporting countries. And this is even more understandable in light of Japan's experience in the early Meiji era. The newly industrialized countries were the first of the developing nations to express the wish to build GTCs, but, more recently, the same intentions are heard from the others as well.

In light of that need, we revised our original design and decided to study the Japanese GTC as an example of technological "software." Factors that led to the formation of gigantic GTCs were elucidated.

The GTCs have global networks of offices that list the gathering of intelligence among their activities. Their staffs are large and armed with highly specialized knowledge on all sorts of products and markets. They use a complex mixture of systems, including the "division system," in which corporate activities in a specialized area are pursued semi-independently by one division of the company, and the "project teams system" in which a number of divisions jointly participate to organize an individual project. Distinctive organizational procedures like these are necessary to effectively control a wide range of activities from a single corporate perspective. The group studied this aspect also.

The group interviewed many experienced businessmen who had played key roles in the development of the GTC.

4.3. Follow-up Activities

Work by the study groups progressed very well and each sent high-quality results to the co-ordinator's office in quite rapid time.

After slight editing, 86 "research reports" were published in Japanese. Of these, 42 were translated into English by the UNU and published as a "working paper series" (see Appendix C for a list of titles).

The co-ordinator also asked each study group to prepare a final report suitable for publication in book form. Fifteen reports were submitted and are now in the final stages of editing. Hopefully, the UNU will publish them in English and/or Japanese as they became available.

When editing work started, we began to feel a need for studies on additional themes. One theme suggested was that of peculiar features in the history of technological development. This would be an attempt to get an overall picture of the Japanese experience by looking at several important groups of industrial sectors. It would also give insights on the experiences in the individual sectors. Rather than having groups study these themes we felt that they could be better handled by individuals. We asked Tetsuro Nakaoka if he would handle the technological history theme, a request to which he gladly agreed. He made the survey in co-operation with his colleagues Kenkichi Honda, Hikaru Sato, and Yoshinori Shiozawa. Another suggested theme was a re-examination of the entire history of Japanese technology policy. Completion of this task was made possible by the energetic efforts of Hoshimi Uchida.

Another theme suggested was on a different level from the others: that of correlation between Japanese customs and economic development. We suspect that distinctive Japanese customs and ways of life have supported Japanese economic development. We asked several specialists to pursue this supplementary theme. Tsutomu Otsuka made a study of dietary customs,

Yoshifumi Sasama examined the flour milling and food oil industries, and Shozo Nakagome contributed with a study of the clothing industry.

Last but not least, we were able to enlist the efforts of Ken Namie, an expert engaged in the actual dissemination of technological information to the farmer at the grass-roots level. He reviewed the problems involved in providing such information and discussed their solutions.