The South Manchurian Railway Company and the Mining Industry: The Case of the Fushun Coal Mine
Following the Japanese victory over Czarist Russia in the Russo-Japanese War and the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, the southernmost section of the southern branch of the China Far East Railway (Changchun–Port Arthur) was transferred to Japanese control. A new, semi-privately held company, the South Manchuria Railway Company (SMR, Mantetsu, was established with 85.6 percent capitalization by the Japanese government and foreign bonds to operate the railroad and to develop settlements (including highways, public health facilities, educational institutions,) and industries (coal mines, harbor facilities, electrical power plants, shale oil plants, chemical plants, and restaurants) along its route. SMR nonetheless emphasized railway and mining investment. The centerpiece of its mining interests was the Fushun Coal Mine. Starting in 1917, SMR began to prosper, with most profits coming from its coal mines, and it soon spun off subsidiary companies. In this sense, although the factors that influenced development of the Fushun Coal Mine in each period were different, this development still shows continuity of the business management.
Keywords: South Manchuria Railway Company (SMR, Mantetsu), Fushun Coal Mine, mining industry, Japan, Manchuria