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Economic experiences of Japanese civilian repatriates in Hiroshima prefecture, 1945-1956

Nishizaki, Sumiyo (2019) Economic experiences of Japanese civilian repatriates in Hiroshima prefecture, 1945-1956. Economic history working papers (299). Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

After World War II, more than six million people returned to Japan from various parts of the former Japanese empire. Most studies of Japanese postwar repatriation have focused on the repatriation policies of the Allied powers and the Japanese government, the repatriation process between 1945 and 1956, and postwar memories of repatriates. In contrast, the economic experiences of repatriates in the postwar era have yet to be studied. This paper uses a large-scale national survey of repatriates’ postwar lives conducted by the Japanese government in 1956, focussing more specifically on approximately 110,000 civilian repatriates living in Hiroshima prefecture in 1956. The findings of this research contrast with prevailing suggestions that repatriates were totally neglected by the Japanese government and society. Instead, this research demonstrates that in Hiroshima prefecture, repatriates’ postwar job placement was facilitated by employment in agriculture, public sector employment, and the transferable skills possessed by some repatriates. The information from the 1956 government survey shows that approximately 60 per cent of repatriates fell in these categories, while the remaining 40 per cent found employment in new areas or became unemployed. Research on repatriates in other prefectures (Ibaraki, Osaka, and Kanagawa) shows a similar trend. As a result, despite the scale of the repatriation, the settlement was broadly successful. It can be argued that this type of transition helped to bring political and economic stability, which became a foundation of Japan’s postwar economic recovery.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Economic-History/Working-Pape...
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N15 - Asia including Middle East
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N35 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Asia including Middle East
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N45 - Asia including Middle East
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J62 - Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2019 10:09
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 23:27
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101172

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