Mitsubishi had, as samurai company, a tradition of 'service to the nation'. We saw in the previous chapter which ideological role this entrepreneurial patriotism had played. Koyata who as­ sumed the presidency of the M. Goshi in 1916, at the time when the Japanese system of familistic labour relations was introduced, also at Mitsubishi companies, continued to play up this line. He came up frequently with pronouncements that the first duty of Mitsubishi companies, and of the whole zaibatsu, was to serve the country and that profits had to be subordinated to this supreme goal. One such statement in 1920 reads like this:

'We must never lose sight of the fact that while we pursue material objectives in our enterprises we also strive for spiritual goals. We combine labour, capital and organisation to engage in production, yet the growth or decline of production is intimately related to the prosperity or decline of the nation and to the cultural progress of society. Since we have thus been entrusted, by the state, with this important task of production, it must remain the supreme goal of management of our enterprises that they serve the country first, it is our ideal to exert all our energies in the pursuit of this ultimate goal.'52