"Cambridge Gazette: Politico-Economic Commentaries" No.2 (November 6, 2009)

Revisiting the Vogelian Japan as Number One

  • Jun Kurihara
  • Research Director
    Jun Kurihara
  • [Expertise]
    U.S. Information and Network

 On October 30, 2009, the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) in Tokyo had the honor of welcoming Professor Ezra F. Vogel and held a seminar: "Recent Developments of Trilateral Relations--the United States, Japan, and China." The professor's speech offered a significant opportunity to think about the future course of Japanese society because this year marks the 30th anniversary of the book, Japan as Number One. Although there are a great number of references to the book, this retrospective essay tries to consider the book's significance for today's Japan.

 Two decades prior to the publication of Japan as Number One, Japan demonstrated high growth in exports by taking full advantage of the postwar free trading system. The relative size of Japan's exports compared with those of the United States increased from 18.1% in 1959 to 50.8% in 1979 (See Table 1). This export-led growth pattern fueled Japan's GDP expansion (from 7.2% of U.S. GDP in 1959 to 39.4% in 1979) and rapidly rising living standards--per capita GDP (US dollar base) climbed from 14.4% of the U.S. level in 1959 to 77.4% in 1979. ......

“Cambridge Gazette: Politico-Economic Commentaries” No.2 (November 6, 2009)PDF:63.5 KB

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