Japan and the United States Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1080 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History


The result was a rapid growth in GNP and a swift rise as a major world economic power (CIA, 2004a). However, Japan must import much of its basic needs. It does not have the land to grow all the food needed for its population and has few natural resources for raw materials and fuel (CIA, 2004a). The United States is the most significant world economic force (CIA, 2004a) but has built its economic base more gradually, over several centuries. It has a wider range of incomes among the population with significant number of both wealthy and poor families (CIA, 2004a).

Politically, the two countries have some similarities and some significant differences. They both use a parliamentary form of government. However Japan also has an emperor by birthright (CIA, 2004a), who exerts significant influence on the country's policies. Japan is a relatively new democracy, having adopted its Constitution in 1947 (CIA, 2004a). By comparison, the United States adopted its Constitution in 1789, giving the country well over 200 years of experience with representational democracy as a form of government (CIA, 2004b).

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The two countries' histories are markedly different. Japan existed for centuries as a band of feudal states, founded as a country in 660 BC. The country has a long history of relative isolation, which allowed the country to focus in on itself, its culture, its heritage, and develop a common collective view of what it meant to be Japan and Japanese. However, once Japan opened its doors to the West, it rapidly adopted some facets of Western culture, so today's Japan is a meld of very old and relatively new ideas (CIA, 2004a).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Japan and the United States Assignment

The land that is now the United States was of course populated for many centuries before Europeans came, but its identity as a country began with the American Revolution (1776-1783). The United States had an entirely different response to contact with other cultures and encouraged people to emigrate, resulting in a country with many cultural heritages and influences (CIA, 2004b).

Finally, environmentally both countries face significant challenges because both countries rely on manufacturing for a significant portion of their economy. Japan, for instance, is dealing with acid rain and the resulting changes in the pH of bodies of water (CIA, 2004a). In addition, Japan uses large amounts of timber, and the traditional diet emphasizes consumption of seafood. As a result, both forestry and fishing industries face depletion of resources not only in Japan but for the other countries, mostly Asian, supplying those materials (CIA, 2004a). Japan also grapples with air pollution.

The United States, because of its size as well as its consumption habits, emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country. Runoff into waters of pesticides and fertilizers challenge the quality of water. The country has had to aggressively work to reduce both acid rain and air pollution.


CIA. 2004. "Japan," in The World Fact Book. Accessed via the Internet 6/16/04. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ja.html

CIA. 2004. "United States," in The World Fact Book. Accessed via the Internet 6/16/04. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html

Kitao, Kenji. 2003. "A Study of Japanese and American Perceptions of Politeness in Requests," in ELT and Communication. Accessed via the Internet 6/16/04. http://ilc2.doshisha.ac.jp/users/kkitao/library/article/polite2.htm [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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