chapter  7
The politics of imperial symbolism, 1952–1970
Pages 19

The first two decades of post-independence Sh)wa witnessed the extraordinary speed of Japan’s economic recovery from the war. By the mid-1950s, prewar levels of production had been restored, and between 1955 and 1965 the economy grew at an annual rate of 9.5 per cent, which rose impressively to an annual average of 12.3 per cent in the late 1960s (Hata 1984:21). In the early 1970s, ‘only the United States and the Soviet Union had economies that in terms of gross national product were bigger than Japan’s’ (Stockwin 1975:1).