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Rapid Economic Growth and its Standstill

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Abstract

In the 22 years from 1951 the Japanese GDP grew continuously and rapidly by 9.2 per cent per annum on average, making it seven times as big as a result. The annual growth rate was elevated from 8.9 per cent in 1951–61 to 9.4 per cent in 1961–73. These were remarkably high rates of economic growth in historical experience in the world. As a result, in the two decades until 1973, Japanese GNE (gross national expenditure) per capita multiplied 12.5 times in nominal yen and 4.9 times in real terms. This process was certainly not merely a quantitative change. In the first half of this period, various home electrical appliances such as cleaners, TV, washing machines, refrigerators, which had been almost non-existent in Japanese economic life just after the Second World War, became popular and generalised. In the second half, along with the sophistication of these home appliances, an automobile society with a general ownership of cars was constructed.

Keywords

Real Wage Rapid Economic Growth High Economic Growth Capitalist Firm Product Wage 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    The Pauley Reparation Mission, proposed in autumn 1945, that all aircraft, light mineral, and bearing factory facilities were to be removed, together with about half of the equipment in the shipyards, steam-powered electricity generation plants, and steel, machine-tool, ammonium sulphate and soda factories. The initial policy on reparations was once described such that the Allied powers should ‘take no action to assist Japan in maintaining a standard of living higher than that of neighbouring Asiatic countries injured by Japanese aggression’. J. Cohen, Japan’s Economy in Wartime and Reconstruction (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1949), p. 420.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    T. Nakamura, The Postwar Japanese Economy, translated by J. Kaminski, (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1981), pp. 41–2. Since one of the main restrictions on Japanese economic growth was in the tendential shortage of dollars, compared with the necessary amount of raw materials and technological knowhow to be imported, the special procurement income of the dollar worked to promote economic growth quite powerfully and not merely as an addition to effective demand.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    T. Ouchi, [A Treatise on the Japanese Economy], 2 vols, (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1962, 1963) among others, presents this critique of the Koza-ha view of the postwar land reform (e.g. in pp. 599–602 in Vol. 2).Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    P. Armstrong, A. Glyn, J. Harrison, Capitalism since World War II (London: Fontana, 1984), p. 197.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Makoto Itoh 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TokyoJapan

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