East Asia Development Board

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The was a cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 level agency in the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

, created on 1938-11-18 under the first Konoe
Fumimaro Konoe
Prince was a politician in the Empire of Japan who served as the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan and founder/leader of the Taisei Yokusankai.- Early life :...

 administration to coordinate the government's China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 policy.

The Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 had not been quickly resolved as had been promised by the Japanese military, and Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

 Konoe authorized the establishment of a central agency to coordinate all government activities and economic initiatives on the Chinese mainland, aside from the issue of formal diplomatic relations, which remained the preserve of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was intended that the Kōain would sponsor industrial and commercial development, creating jobs and infrastructure, and thus boosting support for Japanese-rule in the occupied territories.

The Kōain established branch offices throughout Japanese-occupied China; however, its activities were quickly usurped by the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

, which hoped to limit all civilian involvement in China and which appointed General Yanagawa Heisuke to oversee its operations.

According to Chinese historian Zhifen Ju, the Kōain implemented a system of forced labor. She argues that until 1942, at least five million Chinese civilians from northern China
North China
thumb|250px|Northern [[People's Republic of China]] region.Northern China or North China is a geographical region of China. The heartland of North China is the North China Plain....

 and Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

 were enslaved for work in mines and war industries.

Also, per Japanese journalist Reiji Yoshida, the Kōain was directly involved in providing funds to opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 dealers in China for the benefit of puppet governments of Nanjing
Wang Jingwei Government
In March 1940 a puppet government led by Wang Jingwei was established in the Republic of China under the protection of the Empire of Japan. The regime officially called itself the Republic of China and its government the Reorganized National Government of China...

, Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

 and Mengjiang
Mengjiang
Mengjiang , also known in English as Mongol Border Land, was an autonomous area in Inner Mongolia, operating under nominal Chinese sovereignty and Japanese control. It consisted of the then-Chinese provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan, corresponding to the central part of modern Inner Mongolia...

. This document corroborates evidence analyzed earlier by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East
International Military Tribunal for the Far East
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East , also known as the Tokyo Trials, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, or simply the Tribunal, was convened on April 29, 1946, to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A" crimes were reserved for those who...

 which stated:


"Japan, having signed and ratified the opium conventions, was bound not to engage in drug traffic, but she found in the alleged but false independence of Manchukuo a convenient opportunity to carry on a worldwide drug traffic and cast the guilt upon that puppet state (...) In 1937, it was pointed out in the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 that 90% of all illicit white drugs in the world were of Japanese origin...".


The Kōain was absorbed into the Ministry of Greater East Asia
Ministry of Greater East Asia
The was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1942–1945, established to administer overseas territories obtained by Japan in the Pacific War and to coordinate the establishment and development of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.-History and...

in November 1942.