Japans Economic Development

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JAPAN'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT In the following paper I will be examining the process of economic development in Japan. I begin with their history in the Meiji period and how that effected their great success in the postwar development. Then I will go through the different economic stages of economic development in postwar Japan. I will examine the high periods and low period in Japan economics, and the factors behind these shifts in development. Last I will give a conclusion and where I believe Japan economy will be in the future. To understand Japan economic boom after the war you must also look at there history. Without the creation of the industrial economy during the Meiji Japan this economic growth after postwar could have not happened. To look even closer lets examine the period before called the Tokugawa period, from 1630's until the 1860's. Smith explains that "during this period Japanese economy experienced unparalleled growth and structural change" (Smith, Page 4). The system was set up on rules and obligations on all sections of society. These systems of control helped rapid urbanization. Education is also a factor in the economic development in Tokugawa period. Tokugawa Japan abapted Confucianism belief system from there neighbors China. This became important because "one of the distinctive traits of Confucianism was reverence for education and learning" (Smith, Page 5). This spread of education was dramatic. Not Macdonnell, 2 Only did the knowledge seep the upper class (such as the samurai and merchants) but in order to expand business it filtrates down to the peasants and artisans also. During this period up to forty percent of boys and ten percent of girls were educated by the 1850's. These are great numbers compared to other societies. The Tokugawa period in turn developed an economy familiar to bureaucratic direction and directed by the well-educated people stated Dennis Smith. In 1869 the Tokugawa shogunta was bought down and Meiji restoration began. Japan was under great change. Meiji Japan began to industrialize. This was due to the western countries that have already industrialized. It was through private investment and enterprise that Japan began this process. The backbone of industrialization was the zaibatsu. Zaibatsu were industrial and financial conglomerates. They were given government support including benefits from government subsidies and sell-off of government factories. The first of these zaibatsu were Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, and Yasuda. Growth of industrialization began slowly. In the beginning they still depended largely on United States and Europe for most specialized and worldly machinery and manufactured goods.
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