Monday, September 12, 2016

Rebuilding of Japanese Economy after defeat of Second World War

Japanese industrial revolution was not a change brought overnight but the result of carefully constructed policies which led to Japan emerging as an important player on the world stage. The entry of US in Japan in 1853, opened the door for other European nations and in between 1853-1857, Japan became the victim of Western Imperialism. This shocked the people of Japan and they sent Iwakura mission to West to find out the reason for this. 

They analyzed and gave three primary reasons for the situation 

1) Powerful centralized political authority in West generally following the principle of democracy 

2) Modern education based on humanism and rationalism 

3) New economic patterns with special emphasis on industrialization 

The Japanese, based on these findings, took several steps which took them on the path of industrialization and economic prosperity 

1) Self Liberation – Daminios and Samurai voluntarily surrendered their powers and privileges to their emperor thereby ending feudalism in Japan. This established absolute monarchy. This incident of establishing powerful centralized political system in Japan in 1868 was called as Meiji Restoration 

2) This was followed by framing a new constitution for Japan which was based on Prussian model i.e. an absolute monarch and two houses in Japan – House of Representative and the House of Peers 

3) Education was promoted with following features 

a. Compulsory primary education for boys and girls 

b. Promotion of modern education in English language 

c. Establishing universities and colleges 

d. Promoting vernacular education 

4) Emphasis was placed on economic development in which the main thrust was on infrastructure development. Japan followed a state led policy of industrialization with learning from European countries. Bank of Japan was established which used taxes to fund steel and textile factories This is how the roots of economic development was laid down in Japan.

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