Asian Economic Growth
In his book Asiaís Miracle Economies, Jon Woronoff examines the dramatically
quick economic growth of five Asian countries. The five countries examined are

Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Through his study the author
demonstrates that there was no miracle involved in these countries growth. They
applied specific strategies that were adapted to their local environment. Some
of these strategies worked some didnít. The author says that by examining these
nations, one may be able to repeat there success. The book is divided into three
parts. In "Part One: Places" the author tells where these countries
started from. Some were poorer than average. Some had little natural resources.

The people of these countries had different outlooks on the world thus different
behavioral tendencies. Part I is divided into five chapters each examining a
countries. Woronoff begins Chapter 1 "Japanís Two Miracles," by
discussing Japanís first industrial revolution. In 1853 when Commodore Perry
opened Japanís ports to foreigners, Japan was feudal society. It was not very
evolved nor very modern. Agriculture was good but not enough for the growing
population. Japan wanted to learn from the West. Japan sent many students to

Europe and the United States. Soon Japan began industrializing. Groups called
zaibatsu formed. These zaibatsu dominated industry and commerce. They
manipulated politics to suit their own needs. Japan soon began concentrating own
building a War Machine. After the Russo-Japanese War, the country went into a
recession. But after the First World War, Imperial Japan began growing up until
the end of the WWII. The war left Japan resouceless and heavily overpopulated.

The victorious Allies gave or rather imposed democratization onto Japan. The
zaibatsu were disbanded. Japan was left weak. The United States provided much
financial support. Japanís economy then began growing very fast. The Japanese
protected themselves by implementing quotas and then non-tariff barriers.

Companies such as Sony, Honda, and YKK improved production methods. Businessmen
and bureaucrats worked together. Many firms formed keiretsu. Keiretsu was a sort
of lateral conglomeration of banks and companies loyal to each other. The author
concluded that the 1980ís, Japanís economy had surpassed those of France and

Britain and rivaled the United Statesí economy. The Japanese could now purchase
many luxury consumer goods, but at what price. Their obsession with production
as their prewar obsession with military might had its drawbacks. Lack of urban
planning has led to urban congestion with subsufficient pluming and sewage.

Their economic success came at the cost of living conditions, human relations
and natural beauty. The author begins Chapter 2 "Taiwan, Industrial

Island" with a brief history of Taiwan. Taiwan, the island of Formosa was
once a Dutch trading center. Then it became a part of the Chinese province of

Fukien in 1683. With this Chinese began immigrating. In 1895, Formosa was ceded
to Japan. The Japanese realized the agricultural potential of the island. They
built roads, railways and harbors. After the Second World War, the islandís
economy which had been based on exporting food and raw material to Japan was now
greatly weakened. In 1949 when the Kumintang moved to the island , so came over
one million refugees, fleeing from the communist mainland. The first priority of
the new Republic of China was its military. Aid came from the U.S. in 1953 in
the form of the Mutual Security Treaty. Taiwan attempted many things to help its
economy. These implementations made matters worse. The Nineteen Point Program of

Economic and Financial Reform enabled local businessmen to act more efficiently
and purposely. Despite many factors against it the Republic of China has been
able to steadily grow economically and is likely to continue to survive into the
future. In chapter 3 "Korea Man-Made Miracle" the author explores the
history of Korea. Korea has long had a history of Chinese domination. But as

China became more an more under western spheres of influence, Korea began to be
dominated by Russia and Japan. Soon after Japan took control. Japan used Korea
as mercantilist colony. Japan did build roads and develop the economy. After the
war, Korea was left in bad shape. The country was divided into a U.S. zone and a

USSR zone. The zone formed two separate nations. North Korea had all of the
industry and the South had all of the agriculture. Soon the North invaded the

South. The U.S. came the aid of the South, driving the communists back north.

The United States provided financial assistance for reconstruction in 1954.

Economic progress was slow coming. In 1961, General Park takes charge. He was a
military man. He wanted the country to emphasize economic growth. Under his
influence, the government