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In the second half of the 1800s, The Meiji Restoration took place.

These were a planned chain


of events, where the emperor of Japan sought to westernise the country. Samurai's were
banned from carrying swords, clans were brought together and forced to become 1 nation. What
started this was an American man called Matthew Perry, a commodore who came with large
American war ships. This made Japan realise that they were far behind the world. Perry wanted
Japan to open up its ports to trade. The leaders of the Meiji Restoration, as this revolution came to be
known, acted in the name of restoring imperial rule in order to strengthen Japan against the
threat represented by the colonial powers of the day. The word "Meiji" means "enlightened
rule" and the goal was to combine "western advances" with the traditional, "eastern" values.
So we can conclude that westernisation in Japan was voluntary, or enforced upon the people by the
ruler.

India had a deep connect with Britain through a few hundred years. We had a love-hate relationship
(pretty much?). The people in the city were mostly happy with British Rule, the people elsewhere were
not so happy. There hasn't been such a period in India's history where everybody in India was
uniformly ruled. Nor by a single king, neither were we ever properly ruled by a power. Not even
Britain.

That's the history of it.

1945: The world war has ended, Japan isn't well. Britain isn't well. Britain knows it is going to have to
give up all of its colonies.

1947 Japan:
Japan adopts a new constitution. The new constitution is all about liberal democratic practices. By the
late 1960s, Japan had risen from the ashes of World War II to achieve an astoundingly rapid and
complete economic recovery. The period leading up to the late 1960s saw the greatest years of
prosperity Japan had seen. In the 1960s, Japan's economy grew at an average of 10%, in the 1970s
it grew at an average of 5%, and in the 1980s at an average of 4%. That is massive if you know what
I'm talking about. The Japanese government contributed to the post-war Japanese economic miracle
by stimulating private sector growth, first by instituting regulations and protectionism that effectively
managed economic crises and later by concentrating on trade expansion.

1960s Japan:
Japan's 'Golden Sixties'. In 1965, Japan's nominal GDP was estimated at just over $91 billion.
Fifteen years later, in 1980, the nominal GDP had soared to a record $1.065 trillion. That is over
1000% growth in 15 years. That is incredible by any standards.

1991 Japan:
Japan hit a bump here with a property bubble burst.

1947 India:

Now, let's see what India did. Nehru's bright socialist 5 year plans inspired by the Soviet Union. The
economy wasn't allowed to open up to foreign investment. In fact, several foreign companies were
asked to shut shop and leave. Among the big ones, IBM and Coca-Cola. Among others, several small
ones. Domestic policy tended towards protectionism, with a strong emphasis on import substitution
industrialisation, economic interventionism, a large public sector, business regulation, and central
planning, while trade and foreign investment policies were relatively liberal. Steel, mining, machine
tools, telecommunications, insurance, and power plants, among other industries, were effectively
nationalised shortly after independence, in the 1950s. The license raj, having to ask the government's
permission for the smallest things, and other pettiness destroyed enthusiasm. The Tata Group applied
for 120 licenses between 1969-1989 for new businesses, but were rejected on grounds of
monopolisation, because they were a big corporation. The Ambanis would get them in days because
they paid up. In one instance, at a meeting between industrialist JRD Tata and Nehru, when Tata said
that state banks should be profitable, Nehru reacted "Never talk to me about profit, Jeh, it is a dirty
word." With that kind of an attitude, India, which was full of enterprising people, was pulled down by
fellow crabs from within the nation.

Finally in the 1970s, Morarji Desai's government removed price restrictions, reduced corporate taxes
and promoted the creation of small scale industries in large numbers. It would still be sometime to go
before the economic reforms of 1991.

1991 India:

The reforms did away with the Licence Raj, reduced tariffs and interest rates and ended many public
monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors. By the turn of
the 20th century, India finally progressed towards a free-market economy, with a substantial reduction
in state control of the economy and increased financial liberalisation.

Other than this, I personally feel that the Japanese people truly love their home nation. I don't think
the majority of us feel the same way about India.

If interested in Japan's growth post World War II, I seriously recommend you consider reading 'Made
in Japan' - Akio Morita (Sony's Founder)


EDIT #1: This may be out of context but I want to bring an incident to attention. In the 1960s, the
Americans started losing grip of their motor market to Honda. Honda brought excellent cars to
America from Japan which had superior electrical fittings, better quality plastics, and excellent
engines and were cheaper compared to American cars at the time. To discourage Honda, the
Americans passed a new emission law called the U. S. Clean Air Act, in 1970. There was a meeting
that representatives from various motor companies attended with the minister concerned at that time,
for U. S. Honda which was represented by Takeo Fujisawa. An exceptional bloke. So the story goes,
the American lawmaker read out the ridiculous emission control policy which everybody would
oppose, except Fujisawa, who raised his hand and said "We can do!". In 1974, the Civic CVCC was
the first car to hit the road and meet these norms.

I think there is a lot we Indians can learn from the Japanese story.

In my home, one of the two refrigerators we have, was purchased in 1985. This refrigerator
has NEVER needed repairs of any sort, this refrigerator is Made in Japan. We have a cordless
telephone, purchased in the mid 1990s, except for the battery requiring replacement, this telephone
still works perfectly. Also, Made in Japan. A television from 1989, CRT, Sony, never needed repairs
either. Made in Japan.

I love the Japanese for everything they gave the world.