Revival and Revolution in Japan and China
This chapter examines the very different postwar histories of Japan and China. The Japanese economy was destroyed by the war, and almost all of its cities bombed to rubble. Japan lived under American military occupation from 1945 to 1952. Japan is unlikely to resume the economic growth rates of the 1980s, but in the long run the national ethic of hard work and group effort, and the high technological level Japan has maintained, should certainly revive the economy. Japan's relations with China began taking center stage in the early years of the twenty-first century. From 1966 to 1976 China passed through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, as Mao called it, perhaps the greatest cataclysm in world history, measured by the hundreds of millions of people involved in mass persecution and suffering. The Chinese revolution remained ostensibly a peasant movement, a Chinese rather than a Western answer to China’s problems.