The Japanese Economy And Where It Gets Its Capital From.

1310 words - 5 pages

Japan is one of the world's economic giants. Only that of the United States exceeds its economic output. The Japanese manufacture a wide range of products, including automobiles, computers, steel, television sets, textiles, and tires. The country's factories have some of the most highly developed equipment in the world. Japan has become a major economic power even though it has few natural resources. Japan imports many of the raw materials needed for industry and exports finished manufactured goods.Early Japan was greatly influenced by the neighboring Chinese civilization. From the late 400's to the early 800's, the Japanese borrowed heavily from Chinese art, government, language, religion, and technology. During the mid-1500's, the first Europeans arrived in Japan. Trade began with several European countries, and Christian missionaries from Europe converted some Japanese. During the early 1600's, however, the rulers of Japan decided to cut the country's ties with the rest of the world. They wanted to keep Japan free from outside influences. Japan's isolation lasted until 1853, when Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the United States sailed his warships into Tokyo Bay. As a result of Perry's show of force, Japan agreed in 1854 to open two ports to U.S. trade.During the 1870's, the Japanese government began a major drive to revise the country. New ideas and manufacturing methods were imported from Western countries. By the early 1900's, Japan had become an industrial and military power.In the late 19th century Japan was rapidly and thoroughly industrialized. Textiles were a leading item. Key elements of Japan's economy are manufacturing and trade. The country has few natural resources, so it must buy such necessities as aluminum, coal, lead, and petroleum. To pay for those imports, the government has adopted a strategy of exporting manufactured goods of high value. An especially important part of Japan's manufacturing sector is known as the large-firm sector. It includes such well-known companies as NEC Corporation, Nissan Motor Company, Sony Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, and Toyota Motor Corporation. Most of the large manufacturing firms assemble parts and components into a finished product such as a car, computer, or television set. The large firms then sell the product at a significantly higher price than the cost of the components.Japan has a wide variety of minerals, but supplies of most are too small to satisfy the nation's needs. The chief mining products are coal, copper, lead, limestone, manganese, silver, tin, and zinc.Throughout much of Japan's history, agriculture was the mainstay of the Japanese economy. As late as 1950, the agricultural sector employed 45 percent of the labor force. But as Japan's industries grew, the economic importance of agriculture declined.In many ways, the driving force of Japan's economy is international trade. By trading with other nations, Japan obtains the raw materials it does not have and finds buyers for...

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