The Recoveries of Japan and West Germany
The recoveries of Japan and West Germany were similar in many aspects. The most obvious similarity was that both Japan and West Germany were defeated and occupied nations in the time of their recoveries. In addition, both nations faced a bleak economic future immediately following their defeats and both were able to recover their dilapidated economies by the mid-1950s. They were both able to make a miraculous comeback because of their openness to accept new economic policies. For example, both Japan and West Germany endorsed a free market policy and a multilateral scheme for international trade. While Japan and West Germany accepted these policies, other recovering nations modernized their economies through coordinated planning and nationalization of key industries. The free market policies of these two nations helped create a multilateral system of world trade. Another major similarity between the two nations' economic recoveries was that they both received most of their aid from the United States, who sought to reconstruct these war-torn nations upon foundations of democracy in an attempt to prevent the further spread of Communism.
Japan and West Germany were also similar in their economic recoveries because they both replaced their wartime armaments factories with factories teeming with products made from the newest technology. In West Germany, wartime industrial giants such as I. G. Farben and Krupp munitions were broken into small units that concentrated on the production of goods made from the latest technology. Similarly, in Japan, major weapon factories underwent a revolution that resulted in their emerging as international giants in the production of consumer goods such as refrigerators, washing machines, television, and automobiles. Lastly, both nations' postwar demilitarization freed them from financial burdens such as maintaining an army and a navy.
In Japan, slowed population growth...