“Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what west had experience.
Candidates can start the answer by basic definition of industrial revolution. And then simply highlight the difference based on features of Japan industrial revolution with European IR.
In Western Europe, industrialization was basically an economic programme but Japan’s industrialization was guided mainly by a political project the reason Japan is known to be latecomer.
Different from the west industrialization:
- Japan was resistant to Industrial Revolution, Industrial Revolution in Japan was government based, Industrial Revolution in Europe was more individual.
- Japan’s industrialization was intentional, Europe’s industrialization was unintentional, industrialization in Japan led by government under more feudal set up.
- Among the reasons given were a large and accessible supply of domestic coal and an existing overseas empire. Japan had neither of these things, but it was the first Asian nation to industrialize. Indeed, it industrialized faster than many European countries.
- Japan’s leaders developed a new form of government that mixed Western industrial styles with their own traditions and needs. It was part of the modernization programme that had started with the Meiji restoration.
- They built even more schools and changed the curriculum to train people to work in and run factories. They re-organized the army and trained it with new weapons.
- So, in Japan, it was banking capital itself that was converted into industrial capital. Marriage between industrial capital and banking capital culminated in the rise of monopoly capital.
- In Western Europe, this tendency appeared during the late phase but in Japan, it appeared very early. It was monopoly capitalism that added militarist flavour to Japanese foreign policy.
In this way application of controlled efficient industrial techniques with high standard of education. And good relations between labour and management led Japan to become the Asian superpower.