Question – ‘Japan’s industrialization was different from Western industrialization’. Analyze this statement.

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Question – ‘Japan’s industrialization was different from Western industrialization’. Analyze this statement. – 31 May 2021

Answer – 

In fact, Japan’s industrialization was part of the modernization program that began with the Meiji Restoration and aimed at opposing Western imperialism.

Nature of Japanese industrialization:

  • The most important aspect of Japan’s modernization was its unprecedented industrial development. Large factories were opened in Japan and production of goods started on a very large scale. Thus, Japan became an industrialized country. Modern industrialization has been the most important motivating element of imperialism.
  • Japan did not blindly imitate the western model of industrialization; it sent officials to western European countries to study their institutions, technology and economy. The result was a state- led industrialization policy that enabled Japan to quickly catch up.
  • By the 1890’s japan had partially completed its transition from feudal to modern state. But till the first world war japan lagged behind the western industrial countries because of its dependence on western imports i.e. equipment and coal.
  • During the First World War Japan used the absence of war-torn European competitors on world market to advance its economy and by 1920 japan had developed its transportation and communication to sustain industrial development.
  • By 1930’s manufacturing and mining accounted 30% of Japan’s economy which was double to that of the agriculture sector, further japan had little effect of the world depression. However, most of the industrial development diverted towards the development of nations military power.


Thus, we can see that the experience of industrialization of Japan was different from the experience of western countries and it also left an impact on Japan’s foreign policy.

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