Economic Miracle in Japan - Essay Example

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Japan's catapult to world economic power in the latter half of the twentieth century had been phenomenal. Out of the ashes of Second World War, this tiny nation rose like the mythological phoenix and soared high in the sun-lit skies of prosperity for decades on end…
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Economic Miracle in Japan
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Download file to see previous pages Although by definition, a miracle is inexplicable, the basic cause behind Japan's economic success can perhaps be explained in simple terms: the indomitable desire of the Japanese people to grow, their deeply persistent will to succeed at any cost. Between 1945 and 1970, the Japanese economy sustained an unprecedented annual growth rate of nearly ten percent on average (Kosai). But this in itself would seem like a minor detail in comparison to the stupendous driving force that compelled the Japanese people to race towards technological excellence and economic supremacy, most notably during 1960's. In the second-half of 1960's Japan reached a peak of economic progress, with an average of nearly 12% real annual growth rate. And for nearly 40 years surrounding this peak period, the country and its people subordinated all other goals in order to single-mindedly pursue their ambition of catching up with the U.S. economy (Crawford). In fact, their ambition knew no bounds; the aggressive strain so characteristic of Japanese men, which was employed for the purposes of destruction during the War, was rechannelled into more positive and constructive directions during the years of the economic boom. Consequently, Japan thrived, and even today, as well as for geneartions to come, represents a legendary story of success, an inspiration and exemplar for scores of developing nations in Asia and elsewhere. In fact, Japan should become an inspiration to itself. If this nation could pull it off once - this so-called economic miracle - it can pull it off again. All it needs is a push! While circumstances associated with Japan's days of glory may be at sharp variance from those of today, and while many of its past economic policies stand discredited today, and its culture too is changing fast - deep down, the spirit of this ancient nation remains as powerfully vital as ever. Above all, miracles have to do with spirit - of which Japan perhaps does not need too much before it again becomes a force to be reckoned with.
Factors contributing to Japan's High Growth Rate: Although Japan's spectacular economic growth culminating towards the end of 1960's may initially give the impression of not being subject to rational analysis, in the same manner as a painting of supreme artisitry or as a deeply touching Zen haiku, it too is as much a cause-and-effect phenomenon as any other worldly matter. Japan is the purest example of what has become known as a producer economic state. But what lies behind this country's remarkable and record-breaking productivity levels
Advances in knowledge, for one thing. Japan's economic success was achieved to a great extent on the basis of a superior technological know-how. The Japanese had the intellectual capacity to soak in vast amounts of knowledge necessary to stay at par with any other nation in our modern techonology-dominated world - and they put their intellects at the service of technology with a vengeance. They not only were able to ingeniously adopt the latest technologies, they actually adapted it to their own needs, and were moreover setting a number of innovative trends in a wide variety of technology-intensive industries.
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