Dec. 25, 2021


Ques:- Latecomer Industrial Revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were marked by different from what the west had experienced. Analyze

Ans: -The difference in experience between industrialization in Western Europe and that in Japan should be viewed in the context of the specific politico-economic condition of Japan.

In Western Europe, industrialization was basically an economic programme but Japan’s industrialization was guided mainly by a political project. It was part of the modernization programme that had started with the Meiji restoration. Its objective was to make Japan a powerful nation so that it could counter western imperialism.

Unlike Western Europe, in Japan, there did not emerge any independent  entrepreneurial class which could have initiated investment or industrialization. Thus, in Japan, the whole process was initiated by ex-daimyo  or ex-Samurai. So Japanese capitalism flourished under a feudal set-up.

Apart from that unlike Western Europe, in Japan government itself invested in industries and when industries became functional they sold them to private capitalists at a subsidized rate. It produced two visible impacts - firstly as we find the case in the west it could not give birth to an independent middle class that could have put a check over the autocratic nature of the government. Secondly, the purchasers of these industries were none else but Japanese bankers. So in Japan, it was banking capital itself that was converted into industrial capital. Marriage between industrial capital and banking capital culminated in the rise of monopoly capital. In Western Europe, this tendency appeared during the late phase but in Japan, it appeared very early. It was monopoly capitalism that added militarist flavour to Japanese foreign policy.

In this way, in an objective and nature, both industrialization in Japan reflected distinct features.