The future Japanese standard of living will depend largely on that country's industries and their maintenance. In turn, those industries must depend on their mainspring, energy. And finally, since coal, oil, and electricity provide this power and are to a certain extent interchangeable, and since Japan lacks oil and coal, she must depend for energy on electricity developed chiefly from water power.

Electricity in Japan attained late but thorough popularization. Today more than 90 per cent of Japanese homes are wired for electric lights, and in 1937, just before the China incident, electric lighting was probably more prevalent in Japan than any place else in the world. Despite these impressive statements, however, most Japanese homes are but dimly lit, due to the use of only a few light bulbs of low wattage. In 1941 the average number of bulbs per family was 4.2.



Schumpeter E. B.
el al., The industrialization of Japan and Manchukuo, 1930–1940
New York
), pp.


See Table 1 for details and reference.


The capacity of all plants utilizing stored water in 1944 was 350,000 kw. or 6 per cent o£ installed capacity.


The plan for 1939–43 drawn in 1938 increased the goal for new capacity from 1,795,000 kw. of the 1937 plan to 2, 775,000 kw. (hydro: 1,850,000 kw.; thermal:925,000 kw.).


This figure includes the production of private industrial plants, which are not included on Table 1.


The maximum flow was calculated to be 10,794,000 kw. according to an investigation conducted by the Electric Power Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1933.


U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), The electric power industry of Japan, exhibit DD, p. 61.


Ibid., p. 79. Of the total destruction 1,266,000 kw. was thermal electric and 23,000 kw. was hydroelectric.


Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Summation of non-military activities in Japan, no. 9, June 1946, p. 118.


U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), op. cit., pp. 61–62; Summation, no. 6, March 1946, p. 151.


U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), op. cit., p. 61.


Figures for Japan are from Table 1. Figures for the U. S. are obtained from Federal Power Commission, Industrial electric power in the U. S., p. 112. Japanese figures include electric generation by public utility and railroad plants, but exclude industrial plant production, whereas the U. S. figures include all types of production. The generating capacity of the U. S. in 1939 was 49.4 million kw. which rose to 60.6 million kw. by 1943, and to 62.1 million kw. in 1944, an increase of 25.5 per cent.


U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), op. cit., p. 25.


Thermal electric generation was assumed to be in full-time operation in computing the figure above.


Japan even today does not have a uniform frequency for its electric power supply. Northcentral Honshu, most of Hokkaido, and the eastern side of Kyushu operate on a frequency of 50 cycles per second, while the rest of Japan proper oparates on a frequency of 60 cy. The hydroelectric stations of central Honshu can be operated at either 50 or 60 cy. About 40 per cent of the electric energy on the public utility system is generated at 50 cy and 60 per cent at 60 cy (see note 23).


Orchard John E. ,
Japan's economic position
New York
Whittlesey House
), p.


With the exception of 1941 the earnings of the company did not cover the guaranteed dividends, and the difference was paid by the government. The subsidy for the 1944–45 fiscal year amounted to 160 million yen.


During 1943–45 the Electric Power Bureau was transferred to the newly created Munitions Ministry.


According to the East Asia economic news,Sept. 1940, the new company took over the following facilities: 34 thermal power plants with 2,000,000-kw. capacity; 21 hydroelectric plants with 330,000-kw. capacity; and 4,900 miles of transmission lines.


The Japan year book, 1939–1940, p. 504, gives the length of the new transmission lines to be built by the company as 8,000 miles, part of which was to connect existing facilities and the rest to carry energy from the new plants. The length of the main transmission lines to be built was set at about 1,850 miles by the 1938 plan.


This was an Imperial Ordinance drawing its legal authority from the National Mobilization Law rather than from a separate act of the Diet.


Domei announced on July 10, 1944 that in Tohoku. conversion to a single 50-cycle frequency had been completed after rebuilding of 35 hydroelectric plants and 37 transformer substations.


U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), op. cit., pp. 15, 48.


Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Summation, no. 6, March 1946, p. 150.


Computed from Table 1.


Federal Power Commission, Industrial electric power in the United States, July 1945, p. iv.


U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), op. cit., pp. 93–95.


Supreme Commander for Allied Powers, Summation, no. 3, Dec. 1945, pp. 103–04.

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