by Max Barry

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日本 | Kon'nichiwa

“...O Snail; Climb Mount Fuji But slowly, slowly!...”
— Kobayashi Issa, Japanese Poet

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日本 • Kon'nichiwa | 政府 • Tokyo | 経済 • Economics | 防衛 • Defence | 書庫 • National Archives | 国際 • International |
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L A N D—O F—T H E—R I S I N G—S U N
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From 1952 to 1973 Japan experienced accelerated economic growth and social change. By 1952 Japan had at last regained its prewar industrial output. Thereafter, the economy expanded at unprecedented rates. At the same time, economic development and industrialization supported the emergence of a mass consumer society. Large numbers of Japanese who had previously resided in villages became urbanized; Tokyo, whose population stood at about three million in 1945, reached some nine million by 1970. Initial close ties to the United States fostered by the Mutual Security Treaty gave way to occasional tensions over American policies toward Vietnam, China, and exchange rates. The first trade frictions, over Japanese textile exports, took place at that time. Meanwhile, foreign culture, as was the case in the 1920s, greatly influenced young urban dwellers, who in the postwar period broke with their own traditions and turned increasingly to Hollywood and American popular culture for alternatives. Japan’s new international image was projected and enhanced by events such as the highly successful 1964 Olympic Summer Games and the Ōsaka World Exposition of 1970.

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