The period of Tokugawa-Meiji transition saw Japan becoming the first Asian industrialized nation. While the consequences of rapid development of Japanese industry are obvious, there is no absolute agreement for the key factors that contributed to success of the process. Some praise the traditions and mentality of the Japanese, some believe in the key role of the foreign help, others place emphasis on well-considered governmental policy, etc.
Domestic commercial activities and small-scale foreign trade satisfied the economic demand observed in Japan during the Tokugawa period. The period of Meiji rule was characterised by dramatically different requirements, and Meiji rulers employed the concept of a market economy based on the capitalist economy type established in Britain and the United States of that period - free enterprise capitalism. Such innovation in economic approaches found positive response in the private sector which also became an essential factor in successful implementation of the industrial modernization policy (Dolan & Worden, 1994).
Reformation of the economic system involved introduction of a unified modern currency (yen), development and restructuring of banking system, improved commercial laws and tax ...