Labor practices in Japan contrast sharply with those in the United States, where companies are quick to lay off workers when demand slows or a product becomes obsolete. It is cruel to the worker, but it usually gives the overall economy agility. The practice was ended in The United Auto Workers and automakers had created, under union contracts, places where idled workers were essentially warehoused. Sony, a sprawling company with more than , employees, is under pressure.
It has been outmaneuvered by more nimble competitors and its executives are trying to remake the company. Fixing Sony is especially critical after it snubbed the American activist investor Daniel S. Its shares have fallen almost 10 percent since Sony rejected his proposal earlier this month. Critics of labor changes say something more important is at stake.
For a country that has long prided itself on stability and relatively equitable incomes, such a change would be unacceptable. It would be a radical change. Proponents of employment change point out that stiff protections for workers have prompted companies to make major cuts in hiring, shrinking opportunities for scores of younger Japanese. Sony hired fresh college graduates this fiscal year, compared with about 1, in Companies have also adjusted by using a secondary class of temporary or part-time workers they can more easily let go. Still, some fear that Mr. A weaker yen has brought exporters like Sony windfall profits, yet no substantial increases in salary have followed, and many manufacturers continue to shift production overseas.
Tensions Began During the Great Depression
The delicacy of labor changes has forced Mr. Infographic: 'Firsts' between China and Germany. Bullet train starts journey from Beijing to Xiongan New Area. Shanghai father makes dresses for daughter. Copyright -.
All rights reserved. Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. License for publishing multimedia online Registration Number: About China Daily. Suggestions for a coalition government arose for the first time. No settlement was reached, but it appeared that the antagonists were seeking a peaceful solution. Vice Pres. Henry A. Wallace visited Chongqing in June and had several discussions with Chiang, who requested U. In September , Patrick J. Hurley arrived as U.
But the positions of the two sides could not be reconciled , and the talks broke off in March Between June and August, Hurley resumed protracted discussions, both indirect and in conferences with high-level representatives from both sides. Each side distrusted the other; each sought to guarantee its own survival, but the KMT intended to continue its political dominance, while the CCP insisted on the independence of its armies and regional governments under whatever coalition formula might be worked out.
China rejoiced. Yet the country faced enormously difficult problems of reunification and reconstruction and a future clouded by the dark prospect of civil war. The factors that brought this about were many and complex and subject to widely varying interpretation, but the basic fact was a communist military triumph growing out of a profound and popularly based revolution. The United States aided the Chinese government by flying many divisions from the southwest to occupy the main eastern cities, such as Beiping, Tianjin, Shanghai, and the prewar capital, Nanjing. Navy moved Chinese troops from southern China to other coastal cities and landed 53, marines at Tianjin and Qingdao to assist in disarming and repatriating Japanese troops but also to serve as a counterweight to the Soviet army in southern Manchuria.
Furthermore, U. Douglas MacArthur ordered all Japanese forces in China proper to surrender their arms only to forces of the Nationalist government.
They obeyed and thereby were occasionally engaged against Chinese communist forces. Immediately after the surrender, the communists sent political cadres and troops into Manchuria Northeast China. This had been planned long in advance. Lin Biao became commander of the forces the Northeast Democratic Allied Army , which incorporated puppet troops of the former Japanese Manchukuo regime and began to recruit volunteers; it got most of its arms from Japanese stocks taken over by the Soviets.
Manchuria was a vast area with a population of 40 million, the greatest concentration of heavy industry and railways in China, and enormous reserves of coal, iron, and many other minerals. Soon the two sides were locked in a fierce struggle for the corridors into Manchuria, although negotiations were under way in Chongqing between Mao Zedong and Chiang for a peaceful settlement. The Soviet army avoided direct involvement in the struggle, but it dismantled much industrial machinery and shipped it to the Soviet Union together with hundreds of thousands of Japanese prisoners of war.
By the end of the Nationalists had positioned some of their best U. By the end of , communist forces were spread across a band of provinces from the northwest to the sea. They had a grip on great sections of all the railway lines north of the Longhai line, which were vital supply lines for Nationalist armies in the Tianjin-Beiping area and in Manchuria.
The Nationalist government held vast territories in the south and west and had reestablished its authority in the rich provinces of the lower Yangtze valley and in a few important cities in northern China; it had also assumed civil control on Taiwan. An agreement reached on Oct. Still, the sides were far apart over the character of the new government, control over the areas liberated by the communists, and the size and degree of autonomy of the communist armies in a national military system.
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Hurley resigned his ambassadorship on November 26, and the next day U. Harry S. Truman appointed Gen. George C. Marshall as his special representative, with the specific mission of trying to bring about political unification and the cessation of hostilities in China. Marshall arrived in China on December The Nationalist government proposed the formation of a committee of three, with Marshall as chairman, to end the fighting. The two agreed on January 10 that Chiang and Mao would issue orders to cease hostilities and halt troop movements as of January 13 midnight, with the exception of government troop movements south of the Yangtze and into and within Manchuria to restore Chinese sovereignty.
The agreement also called for the establishment in Beiping of an executive headquarters, equally represented by both sides, to supervise the cease-fire. For the remainder of January, the council issued a series of agreed recommendations regarding governmental reorganization, peaceful national reconstruction, military reductions, the creation of a national assembly, and the drafting of a constitution.
President Chiang pledged that the government would carry out these recommendations, and the political parties stated their intention to abide by them. The next step was meetings of a military subcommittee, with Marshall as adviser, to discuss troop reductions and amalgamation of forces into a single national army. Early was the high point of conciliation. The communists attempted to prevent the extension of Nationalist military control in Manchuria.
On March 17—18 a communist army attacked and captured a strategic junction between Mukden and Changchun , the former Manchukuo capital; on April 18 communists captured Changchun from a small Nationalist garrison directly following the Soviet withdrawal. On that day Marshall returned to China after a trip to Washington and resumed his efforts to stop the spreading civil war. Each side seemed convinced that it could win by war what it could not achieve by negotiation—dominance over the other.
Despite the efforts of Chinese moderates and General Marshall, fighting resumed in July in Manchuria, and in northern China the Nationalists attempted massive drives in Jiangsu and Shandong to break the communist grip on the railways. The communists launched a propaganda campaign against the United States, playing upon the nationalistic theme of liberation; they were hostile because of the extensive U.
The Nationalist government had become increasingly intransigent , confident of continued U.
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To exert pressure and to try to keep the United States out of the civil war, in August Marshall imposed an embargo on further shipment of U. By the end of the year, however, he realized that his efforts had failed. In January he left China, issuing a statement denouncing the intransigents on both sides. All negotiations ended in March; the die was cast for war. In the latter half of , government forces made significant gains in northern China and Manchuria, capturing towns from the enemy.
Buoyed by these victories, the government convened a multiparty National Assembly on November 15, despite a boycott by the CCP and the Democratic League. The way was prepared for election of both central and local officials, upon which the period of Nationalist tutelage would end. The Nationalist government struggled with grave economic problems. Inflation continued unabated, caused principally by government financing of military and other operations through the printing press: approximately 65 percent of the budget was met by currency expansion and only 10 percent by taxes.
Government spending was uncontrolled; funds were dissipated in maintaining large and unproductive garrison forces. Much tax revenue failed to reach the treasury because of malpractices throughout the bureaucracy.
Inflation inhibited exports and enhanced the demand for imports. As an anti-inflationary measure, it sold gold on the open market.
War between Nationalists and communists
These policies permitted a large gold and U. Foreign trade was hampered by excessive regulation and corrupt practices. The spiraling effects of inflation were somewhat curbed by large amounts of supplies imported by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration , chiefly food and clothing, a wide variety of capital goods, and materials for the rehabilitation of agriculture, industry, and transportation.
In August the United States sold to China civilian-type army and navy surplus property at less than 20 percent of its estimated procurement cost. In spite of these and other forms of aid, the costs of civil war kept the budget continuously out of balance. Speculation, hoarding of goods, and black market operations as hedges against inflation continued unabated. The constant depreciation in the value of paper currency undermined morale in all classes who depended on salaries, including troops, officers, and civilian officials. By contrast, it appears that the communists in their areas, which were mostly rural, practiced a Spartan style of life close to the common people.
Morale remained high in the army and was continuously bolstered by indoctrination and effective propaganda. As they had during the war years, communist troops tried in many ways to win support of the masses. In newly occupied areas, social policy was at first reformist rather than revolutionary.
Military history of Japan
In Manchuria, Lin Biao was forging a formidable army of veteran cadres from northern China and natives of Manchuria, now well equipped with Japanese weapons. Beginning in January , Lin Biao launched a series of small offensives. Lin Biao was not yet strong enough to take Manchuria, but he had the Nationalist armies hemmed up in a few major cities and with only a tenuous hold on the railways leading southward.
In midsummer, troops under Liu Bocheng started moving toward the Yangtze; by late in the year the communists had concentrated strong forces in central China. These groups cut Nationalist lines of communication, destroyed protecting outposts along the Longhai and Ping-Han lines, and isolated cities.
By the end of the government forces, according to U. In November, Mao Zedong established the communist headquarters at Shijiazhuang , a railway centre leading from the Beiping-Hankou line into Shanxi; this was a measure of how consolidated the communist position was in northern China.
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One reason for communist success was the social revolution in rural China. In mid, as civil war became more certain, the party leaders launched a land revolution. This demanded a decisive attack on the traditional village social structure. The party leaders believed that to crack the age-old peasant fear of the local elite and overcome the traditional respect for property rights required unleashing the hatred of the oppressed. The party tried to control the process in order not to alienate the broad middle ranks among the peasants, but land revolution had a dynamism of its own, and rural China went through a period of terror.
Yet apparently the party gained from the revolutionary dynamism; morale was at fever pitch, and, for those who had benefited from land distribution, there was no turning back. The year was the turning point in the civil war. In central China, communist armies of , troops proved their ability to fight major battles on the plains and to capture, though not always hold, important towns on the Longhai line such as Luoyang and Kaifeng. For the government it was a year of military and economic disasters. Instead of withdrawing that garrison southward to Suzhou , the government left it, for political reasons, to stand and fight.
This opened the way for a communist attack on Suzhou, the historic northern shield for Nanjing and a vital railway centre. Beginning in December , a communist offensive severed all railway connections into Mukden and isolated the Nationalist garrisons in Manchuria. The government armies went on the defensive in besieged cities, partly out of fear that demoralized divisions would defect in the field. Instead of withdrawing from Manchuria before it was too late, the government tried unsuccessfully to reinforce its armies and to supply the garrisons by air.