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the top executive director. Of course, the interests of

the shareholders could thus increasingly become subordinated to the general interests of growth in the company. Yet this tendency did not come so strongly to the surface in pre-war Japan because of the high concentration of ownership - in the zaibatsu the family interests were safeguarded through the holding company

The first major reason for arriving at the new system was given in the supply conditions of the labour market. With rising de­ mand for workers the supply lines had to be widened. The girls in the spinning mills became scarce and spinning companies, not being able to secure sufficient women resorted sometimes to poaching and raiding other companies. Casual and seasonal male workers were grabbed right away from the railway stations where they arrived, and they could play the labour market, going from one place to another following the highest bidder. Labour turn­ over thus became almost unbearable, with 100 per cent turnover a year in one company not infrequent, reminding one of the early English spinning mills where such high instability also existed. Conditions became extremely bad during the First World War when many male labourers immigrated to the cities in quest for work and fluctuated uneasily from one factory to another.