Economic development history of Japan in the last century, specially after the World War-II, is spectacular. In fact, the tremendous success of Japan in post-war recovery and national reconstruction can be compared to that of Germany only. In the world War-II almost half of Japan’s national wealth was destroyed.
The whole country was engulfed with famine and unemployment. Besides being humiliated by the disgrace of defeat and it was only an undaunted motivation and national determination that could help Japan re-establish it and regain its lost economic strength within three decades only.
Economic Development History of Japan
As a matter of fact, Japan is an industrial wonder in the contemporary global economy. The rate of economic progress of Japan during almost half a century after world war-II was unparalleled among the industrialized countries of the world. Its GNP is only second to that of the USA.
In the sphere of foreign trade and balance of payment positions Japan reoccupied a very prestigious position within a very short time. By the end of the last century the US economy owed about 50,000 million dollars to Japan. Japan’s GNP was also estimated to be over two thousand billion dollars in 1999, thereby making the per capita contribution in the GDP to be the highest in the world.
Perhaps the defeat of Japan in the war front, gave it the determination to win in the economic front. Most probably, the humiliation in World War II made it to work under an oath to take revenge of the defeat before the end of the 20th century.
It is thus rightly said, “Things changed when a defeated, humiliated, and almost destroyed Japan began painfully to rebuild and a humiliated Japan started to organize itself to become a modern commercial (and industrial) national while remaining profoundly Japanese in its culture.”
The great success of Japan in its post-war recovery and development, owes a great deal to the contribution of its people, who worked being self-motivated almost tirelessly and ceaselessly for their own nation.
A system of management also emerged for making use of the contribution of the people. Japanese people and its management are recognized as unique in the western world. We in Bangladesh also need to study the unique system of Japanese management for understanding the possible recovery of its crippled economy.
It is worthwhile at this stage to mention that Japan is blessed with little or no natural resources for industrial development. Although the total land area of Japan is almost three times as that of Bangladesh, its two-thirds are covered by jungle.
Only twelve percent of the land is cultivable. Population is almost as equal to that of Bangladesh. For almost everything it has to depend on imported oil to the extent of 99 percent, natural gas 91 percent, coal 82 percent and lumber 67 percent.
This grim picture of Japan’s dependence on imports, has in fact, invigorated the Japanese to work more for making Japan wealthier. Thus it is often believed that unlike the Americans, for example, the Japanese are far too conscious of their dependence on imports for energy, raw materials and food ever to shrug off the rest of the world or to push it out of their field of vision altogether.
The Japanese give preference to their national interests, much above their personal, group of sectional interests. They work hard for a prestigious position of Japan in the world economy. It has established itself in the markets world over.
Its economic supremacy can well be understood by the fact that even the US economy has become largely indebted to it. For the last few decades Japan has been recognized as the most formidable industrial wonder of the world.
Each and every citizen of Japan feels pound of being Japanese. They always try to synchronize their personal interests with those of national interests.
They have used their patriotic motives into industrial endeavors. Social responsibility of businessmen has been given widespread recognition in Japan since Iche Shibushaoa, a Japanese businessman cum philosopher, strongly advocated in its favor in the early 19th century.
Thus, in fact, the enterprises in both the private and the public sectors are equally committed to the people of Japan Mangers are also equally competent to serve Japan well.
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