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There are many factors that contributed greatly to Japan's rise as an economic world power after the Second World War, but one that deserves particular attention is the Ministry of International Trade and Industry known more popularly as MITI. MITI has been part of the Japanese government in one form or another since 1925. It was originally called "The Ministry of Commerce and Industry". In 1943 it changed its name to the "Ministry of Munitions". In 1945 it changed its name back to "The Ministry of Commerce and Industry" before changing its name finally in 1949 to its present name "The Ministry of International Trade and Industry".

MITI grew out of the economy of the Second World War and has been considered by many experts to be the driving force behind the rapid growth of the Japanese economy. Since the end of the Second World War, MITI has pursued an aggressively nationalistic economic philosophy and has grown to become one of the most influential branches of the Japanese government. It has been able to excercise a strong influence over the economy of Japan since the end of the Second World War. MITI is largely concerned with the implementation of industrial policy. Prior to 1975 MITI defined this policy in two ways : industrial rationalization and industrial structure policy. Industrial rationalization is the complete integration of all forms of economic policy concerning the nation, or put more simply, it is state policy at the micro-economic level. Industrial structure policy is how much of a country's resources should be allocated to a particular industry at any given time.

MITI has described its economic function as one of " administrative guidance ". Its duties over the years have included ::

Over the years MITI has attained a very prestigious position within Japanese politics. Many of its ministers have gone on to high ranking positions in the Japanese national government. Prior to 1975 it was considered a prerequisite for anyone wanting to be the prime minister of Japan to have worked for some time in one of three ministries before moving on to the prime ministership : teh finance ministry, the foreign ministry, and MITI.

To see a chart of the various departments that make up MITI click here.

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