National Mobilization Law

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Labor Mobilization, 1944

National Mobilization Law (国家総動員法 Kokka Sōdōin Hō?) was legislated in the Diet of Japan by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on 24 March 1938 to put the national economy of the Empire of Japan on war-time footing after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The National Mobilization Law had fifty clauses, which provided for government controls over civilian organizations (including labor unions), nationalization of strategic industries, price controls and rationing, and nationalized the news media.[1] The laws gave the government the authority to use unlimited budgets to subsidize war production, and to compensate manufacturers for losses caused by war-time mobilization. Eighteen of the fifty articles outlined penalties for violators.

The law was attacked as unconstitutional when introduced to the Diet in January 1938, but was passed due to strong pressure from the military and took effect from May 1938. It was abolished on 20 December 1945 by the American occupation authories after the surrender of Japan.

The National Service Draft Ordinance (国民徴用令 Kokumin Choyo rei?) was a supplemental law promulgated by Prime Minister Konoe as part of the National Mobilization Law. It empowered the government to draft civilian workers to ensure an adequate supply of labor in strategic war industries, with exceptions allowed only in the case of the physically handicapped or mentally handicapped.

The program was organized under the Ministry of Welfare, and at its peak 1,600,000 men and women were drafted, and 4,500,000 workers were reclassified as draftees (and thus were unable to quit their jobs). The Ordinance was superseded by the National Labor Service Mobilization Law in March 1945, which was in turn abolished on 20 December 1945 by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers after the surrender of Japan.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pauer, Japan's War Economy, pp.13

References[edit]

  • Pauer, Erich (1999). Japan's War Economy. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-15472-3. 
  • Sims, Richard (2001). Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7.