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  1. What Kinds of Work Do People Do in Japan?
  2. Where Men and Women Work in Japan
  3. Reviving Basic Industries in Postwar Japan
  4. Japan’s Shipbuilding Industry
  5. Mining: An Industry in Decline
  6. Industrial Policy and Depressed Industries
  7. Consumer Goods Industries
  8. Small Firms in the Japanese Economy
  9. Links Between Large and Small Firms
  10. The Japanese Electronics Industry
  11. Beginning of the Japanese Automobile Industry
  12. The Rise of the Japanese Auto Industry and Auto Exports
  13. The Mobile Telephone Industry
  14. The Computer Game Industry
  15. Shopping Habits and Retail Stores
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A man puts coal into wooden coal cart on train tracks
A wooden coal cart at Iwakura Coal Mine.
Photo Courtesy of H.Mochimoto.
Reviving Basic Industries in Postwar Japan
In order to rebuild Japan’s basic industries after the war, the Allied Occupation directly financed the reconstruction of the steel and coal industries. By the early 1950s, direct financial assistance to the two key industries was replaced with tax exemptions and government loans. The goal was to rationalize production in coal and steel so that the industries come become internationally competitive. Instead, the coal policies became the forerunners of plans to help a wide range of depressed industries reduce production in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1960s the government subsidized the cost of using domestic coal in order to maintain the coal industry. After the 1973 Oil Shock there was a demand for coal, but both the steel industry and the electric power industry refused to pay premium prices for domestic coal when they could import cheaper coal from other countries. By the mid-1980s, the United States was also pressing Japan to import cheaper American coal. The Japanese government finally decided to phase out the domestic coal industry rather than continuing to prop it up.
Special Terms: Oil Shock

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