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→Economy of Japan
The most notable feature of Japan’s economic growth since World War II is the rapid development of manufacturing, with progress in quantitative growth, quality, variety, and efficiency. Emphasis has shifted from light to heavy industries and to a higher degree of processing. Thus, some of the older industries, including lumber and wood processing and the manufacture of textiles and foodstuffs, have declined considerably in relative importance.--->[[Manufacturing-Japan|>>>>Read More<<<]]
In the first decades after World War II, Japan’s complex financial system was significantly different from that of other developed countries in several respects, most notably in the major role played by banking and the relatively minor position of securities. However, these differences gradually disappeared as markets were deregulated and internationalized.--->[[Finance-Japan|>>>>Read More<<<]]
*TradeEXTERNAL TRADEEXPORTSAn outstanding feature of Japan’s economic development after World War II was the rapid advance in overseas sales, even though the share of exports in the country’s gross national product generally remained relatively constant.
However, from the point of view of individual industries and as a generator of growth, exports are much more important than their contribution to the national income suggests. Since the late 1960s, Japan has had a trade surplus nearly every year, with the size of the surplus often being the largest in the world. Reasons for this spectacular export performance are the wide variety of Japan’s industrial output, the shift to products with a relatively high value added, the country’s export competitiveness, and the dominant position of its industry in a number of fields. However, Japanese exports face increasing challenges. Most notable is strong competition from Japan’s industrial neighbours China, South Korea, and Taiwan, as well as from the countries of Southeast Asia. Other factors include protectionist sentiments among Japan’s chief trading partners, the valuation of the yen compared with that of other currencies, and a falloff in exports caused by the increased production of Japanese companies abroad. In addition, the global recession that began in 2007–08 is having a significant impact on Japan’s exports, notably of motor vehicles. A major change in the composition of exports occurred in the late 20th century. Textiles and food products constituted a considerably decreased share of total exports, while exports of a wide variety of machinery and apparatuses (including electronic equipment and components) and transport equipment grew dramatically, together accounting for the largest proportion of exports. Other important exports included chemicals, chemical products, and metals. The United States is Japan’s largest export market, though in the early 21st century China’s position rose to rival that of the United States; other countries of East and Southeast Asia and the countries of the European Union (EU) are also important export destinations.
==Government and Society of Japan==