|With the outbreak of the Pacific War in December of 1941, every
industry in the country transferred production to war-related goods. With an extreme
shortage in materials, the Japanese government looked to Matsushita Electric to
supply them with wooden military ships. Completely inexperienced in this area
of production, Konosuke Matsushita remarked to Toshio, "What on earth is
the military thinking, asking an electric appliance maker to build ships?"
In response, Toshio pointed out, "The government believes that our plants
can produce anything. And in many ways they are right. We produce radio cabinets
out of wood, so why not ships."