Money on the Road to Empire —Japan's Choice for Gold Monometallism
Matsukata Masayoshi's decision to bring Japan upon the gold standard has often been presented as the self-evident result of his insight in some imperfections endemic to the silver standard and bimetallism. Turning to Marc Flandreau's refutation of the view that the growth toward an international gold standard system was preordained, this article inquires its consequences for discussions of Japan's late nineteenth century monetary situation. I argue that Matsukata's policies should not be discussed in terms of the assumed superiority of one standard over another, but should be studied as a political choice with respect to Japan's place in the world, both strategically (as an imperialist power) and economically (namely as economic partner of the gold standard countries).
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