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1. Compare and contrast the economic recovery in Japan and Western Europe after WWII. How were the two similar? How were the two different?
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1. Compare and contrast the economic recovery in Japan and Western

Europe after WWII. How were the two similar? How were the two different? Give two examples of each.
 
2. Choose one of the two trade blocs discussed in this section. Please include the following about the trade bloc:


• describe the historical circumstances surrounding its creation
• describe the goal of the organization 
• discuss the methods used to attain this goal
• identify the results of the organization on the economy of its member states
 
3. Do you think economic interdependence has had a positive or negative effect on the world since the end of WWII? In your answer be sure to include and explain one positive and one negative impact of economic interdependence along with other related facts and details. 


Information:
Recovery in Western Germany


After WWII, West Germany, with the help of the United States, Britain and France began to produce consumer goods using the latest modern equipment. In the 1950's industrial production in West Germany tripled and the prosperity allowed Germany to create a welfare state, following the model used in Great Britain and France. Refugees from all over Eastern Europe soon began to settle and work in capitalist West Germany.




In 1949, Konrad Adenauer helped form the first West German government with a capitalist economy and close ties to the United States and the rest of Western Europe. In 1955, West Germany joined NATO and Adenauer remained a strong leader who focused on European unity, an alliance with the West and the reunification of Germany under a democratic government. When he retired in 1963, West Germany had one of the most stable democratic governments in the world.Better Relations with the East


When West Berlin's mayor, Willy Brant, became chancellor of West Germany in 1969, he set out to improve relations with Soviet controlled Eastern Europe and through the 1970's he worked to reduce tensions under a policy known as Ostpolitik. In 1972, West Germany normalized relations with the Soviet Union and Poland and a year later developed a diplomatic relationship with East Germany.


After WWII, the Allies developed the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers (SCAP) to govern Japan. Though the occupation was planned to be a joint operation, the United States took full control with plans to reform Japan's government and economy. In 1947, Japan was forced to adopt a new, democratic constitution that took the power away from the emperor and gave it to the citizens of Japan. The SCAP also banned Japan from any future warfare, except for defense and the United States took control of Japan's military protection allowing Japan to focus on the production of consumer goods instead of military equipment. Also under the SCAP, Japanese agriculture was decentralized and major landowners were forced to sell off large amounts of land for a very low price allowing Japanese farmers to prosper. Policies were also put in place to decentralize the Japanese banking and industrial organization but the United States instead decided that a strong Japanese economy would prevent the spread of communism. During the Korean War, the United States poured $3.5 billion into Japanese industry to produce supplies close to the conflict and provided training in management skills. During this time Japan also rebuilt many of its factories to meet modern standards and Japanese industry benefited greatly from American aid. In 1951, the United States ended its occupation of Japan as part of its recognition for Japan's support during the Korean War.      
  Japan as an Economic Superpower


After American occupation ended, the Japanese government continued to take advantage of the boom that it created by working with large cooperations to promote industrial growth. In the late 1950's the Japanese government and industry agreed to focus heavily on research, development and production of home electronics and by the 1970's they became leaders in the American dominated world market. The Japanese government helped fund research on the development of high-milage, affordable automobiles and managers and laborer were able to work together to develop more efficient production techniques. The sale of Japanese automobiles soared as they produced high quality vehicles at competitive prices. By 1980, Japan had one of the world most successful economies with a gross domestic product (GDP) that was about half the size of the GDP of the United States and a very high standard of living. Thanks to the success of the Japanese economy, Japanese businesses were able to invest in overseas real estate, banks and factories.  
 




Due to its limited natural resources, Japan has had to import resources from other nations. However, Japan has still managed to export more products than imports, creating a trade surplus with many nations. This is partly thanks to strict Japanese regulations on the ability of foreign companies to sell goods in Japan. Japanese retailers maintain long-standing ties with local producers and Japanese consumers buy products made in Japan to protect the jobs of its citizens. As a result, Japan's trade partners have a trade deficit with Japan that has led to tensions. In the 1990's the United States urged Japan to ease restrictions and open the Japanese market to foreign goods. Japan has also become a major influence in East Asia by creating relationships with China and South Korea despite tensions left over from Japan's occupation of the region during WWII.  




 
  

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