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The postwar economy of Japan grew from the leftovers of an industrial infrastructure which had undergone extensive devastation throughout World War II. When Allied Occupation came to an end in 1952, Japan had a per capita income which was approximately one fourth of the US. It became the 1st postwar nation to achieve the status of being developed, in less than 20 years.
Japan’s economic growth between 1950 and 1973 was fueled by land, labor, capital and technology. These four elements caused tremendous transformation of Japan's economic and social structure. Land provided the basis for agriculture, fishing and forestry which presently form the principal segment of industry in the Japanese economy, as well as the Japanese mining sector, the combined industries account for thirty percent of GNP. Although only twenty percent of Japan's land can be used for cultivation purposes, the government greatly subsidizes the agricultural economy.
Technological improvement gave Japan the power to reclaim a superior market status, despite the market dominance of US technology companies in computer manufacturing and software development. Technology also boosted Japan’s automobile industries and to this day its status as a leader in automobile sector remains unchallenged. Japanese software and electronic products dominate the world market. Between 1950 and 1970 the Japanese government heavily invested in medical research, scientific research and massively in technology. Japan attained the world's 3rd biggest budget for development and research having over eight hundred thousand researchers and spending over $130 billion dollars.
Japan greatly used capital investments into the economy during the era of high growth mainly targeting energy sector, transport, mining and agriculture. This in turn fueled high employment rates which further accelerated Japans growth. For 3 decades, Japan attained speedy economic development, which was viewed more as an economic miracle.