Japan's Economic Recovery

Japan's Economic Recovery

Japan's Economic Recovery

Japan's Economic Recovery

Excerpt

Nearly twelve years have passed since the Japanese economy lay in ruins at the end of the Second World War. After a long period of confusion and hesitancy, by 1957 Japan had moved far on the path of recovery, and although a complete understanding of what was accomplished doubtless requires a longer perspective than the present can command, the task of description and explanation can now be approached with reasonable assurance. In this short book attention has been concentrated on the outstanding features of the recovery and the major causes of recent achievements. In examining and interpreting the course of events in the various sectors of the economy (agriculture, industry, finance and banking, labour and foreign trade), I have been particularly concerned with the differences in structure and organization between the present day and the middle 1930's, although every observer with an acquaintance with the pre-war economy must be conscious of the identities as well as of contrasts. No student of post-war Japan can afford to neglect the powerful influence exerted by the United States on the country's economic development and policy, both during the reformist period of the Occupation and subsequently. Among other tasks, therefore, I have tried to appraise that influence and to estimate the extent to which the initial reforms have endured or are likely to endure.

I was fortunate during the later months of 1954 in being able to revisit Japan, as this allowed me to renew connexions broken by the war, to collect printed materials, to inspect industrial establishments, and to discuss economic problems with public officials, economists, and business men. I am deeply indebted to all those who so readily provided information not only during the period of my visit but also since my return to England. As during my previous studies in Japan, I owe a special debt to Mr. Tanzan Ishibashi, recently Prime Minister of Japan and formerly editor of the Oriental Economist, and to members of the staff of that journal who prepared detailed answers to a long list of questions. Among the many government officials who assisted me, I am particularly grateful to . . .

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