Japan’s Trade and Industry

4 April 2015
A look at the rise and fall of Japan’s economy since the end of World War II .

This paper charts the changes in Japan’s economy since the end of World War II when Japan sprang back to productive capacity to fight off a huge inflation to modern day downfall.
From the 1950s to the middle of the 1980s, Japan imported raw materials from Western countries. Trade with neighboring countries also flourished then, owing to Japan’s capability to reduce costs, yet the United States remained its single most important trade partner (Man), with which it exported 30% and imported 24% merchandise. Japan’s exports possessed certain features: it centered on a few major commodities, i.e., products of large manufacturers; it exported 55% to developed countries and 45% to developing countries (unlike other developed countries’ exporting 75% among themselves and only 25% to developing countries) among these major exports were motor vehicles, semiconductors, office machinery, chemicals and metals.

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