Why is the Japanese economy so geared towards exports?

– Due to postwar currency controls, companies had to export to earn hard currency in order to buy the raw materials needed for any kind of production,including for the domestic market, Japan being famously short of primary products. The government giving their limited foreign currency reserves mainly to companies that exported exagerrated this trend. After that, I guess they just got into the habit…

– The domestic competition in some industries is so severe that exporting is actually easier than selling at home. It is noticeable that in industries where that is not the case (pharmaceuticals, life insurance, consumer finance) the big players basically don’t bother



  1. Tornadoes28 said,

    December 30, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    It may be related or unrelated, but Japanese people also tend to not want to buy and use foreign products. Japanese people from my experience tend to believe foreign products like rice, automobiles and electronics are inferior to Japanese brands.

  2. alexcase said,

    March 7, 2009 at 2:02 am

    That is certainly not true with cars. In the rather posh area of Sanno, everyone who is anyone has at least a VW

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