Japan's Postwar Economic Success and the Liberal Democratic Party

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Introduction Japan's postwar economic success has been variously attributed to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan. One line of thinking has it that the industrial policies outlined and supported by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry articulated the direction of industrial development and acted as a governor on the pace of that development. Against this background of MITI facilitation and regulation of pro-growth policies, other forces were enabled by multiples. Three primary forces acted as catalysts for these gains in industry and trade, and they are as follows: The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP), the labor and companies of the private sector, and the external circumstances and environment that were favorable to Japan. Regardless of how dynamic and influential these forces were, they may have taken a backseat to the stellar industry-specific interventions that were enacted and enabled by the state agency, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Specifically, for instance, the Ministry created within its own structure an import promotion office. Moreover, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry fostered the early development of most of the nations' major industries by implementing policies and conducting activities that served to reduce competition from importers. Those policies and activities covered a wide swath and included the provision of

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