Japan's emergence as an economic superpower - one whose trade surplus with the rest of the world stood in 1993 at $140 billion - has been neither sudden nor entirely economically driven. Rather it is the result of a centuries-old process. Japan's understanding of the wider world, of trade and of other relationships has expanded in stages, each determined by both internal and external factors. Christopher Howe's principal theme is the way in which Japan overcame the barriers to modem economic growth - institutional, ideological and technological which it did partly through changes in economic organisation and training. This enabled it to resist, then overcome, trade competition from the West. The author argues that the driving force in all this was not national (let alone individual) enrichment as such but rather the desire for an economic and technological base to help maintain Japanese nationhood and independence.
Part 1: TRADE AND THE TRADITIONAL ECONOMY The Japanese Trading World Before 1853 and the First Trade with Europeans; The West and Japan before the Opening of the Ports; Kaikoku: the Opening of Japan; Early Meiji Modernisation and the Development of the Traditional Export Sector. Part 2: JAPAN'S ENTRY INTO THE MODERN WORLD TRADING SYSTEM Growth and Transformation in Japan's Trade and Payments, 1890-1937; The Role of Public Policy; The Private Sector; Achieving International Competitiveness in Cotton Textiles, 1914-37. Part 3: THE TRANSFORMATION OF TECHNOLOGY Building the Technological Infrastructure; Technology and Trade in the Strategic Industries; Technology and Trade in the Commercial Sector. Part 4: WAR, EMPIRE AND THE GLOBALISATION OF TRADE The Imperial Background and the Role of Taiwan; The Economic Expansion of Japan in Manchuria; Japan's Trade and Direct Investment in the Chinese Textile Industry.