Best Answer

Because when Japan was occupied by the Allies after WWII in 1945, the Japanese civilian industry supported the US Military stationed there. If a US warship, tank, or aircraft broke down, it did not make any sense to send it all the way back to the United States to fix it. Just fix it there in Japan.
Five years later, in 1950, the Korean War broke out just across from Japan. The US immediately entered the conflict. Now the US military demanded ASAP (As Soon As Possible) new tanks, new jeeps (1/4 tons), new army trucks, artillery, aircraft, boats, ships, ammunition, etc. The Japanese industry built those products.
After the Korean War, those military vehicles turned into today's automobiles, motorcycles, TVs, microwaves, cell phones, and computers.

Now, what is Japan's potential military might? Can Japan be a military superpower again? This is one question that rarely is asked when one looks at the Asian landscape, mostly because China has caught most of the headlines.

Japan arguably has the second-best navy in the Pacific and a very modern force. Japan's rate of ship construction has held its own with China, and this is with Japan arguably holding back.

Japan's air force is super-modern, and is built around the F-15J (a variant of the F-15C) and the F-2 (a stealthier version of the F-16 with four additional hard-points). Currently, 130 F-2s are authorized (49 are presently in service), but the figure could likely go higher as the 92 F-4EJ Kai Phantoms are retired as well. Japan has a huge advantage, in airborne early warning aircraft, over China, having operated E-2s since the 1980s. China might have four A-50 Mainstay aircraft in service as of 2005, but this is a huge if, and they are trailing Japan by 15 years in learning how to use them.

Japan also holds a significant lead in technology (for instance, the Civic and Prius hybrids that are on the road today were designed in Japan), and its shipbuilding program continues. Japan is also keeping its military strength at this level by spending one percent of its GDP on defense. China spends about 1.7 percent of its GDP. As one can see, Japan has the potential to be a superpower. But what is holding it back?

The major military obstacle is the fact that Japan does not have power projection capabilities. This could be changing. One of the proposals for new warships includes 13,500-ton helicopter-carrying destroyers that look like a small aircraft carrier. Japan also was reportedly considering purchasing Tomahawk cruise missiles in 2003. Capable of being launched from ships with a vertical-launch systems and from submarines, this could be another means of providing Japan a power-projection capability.

Japan also faces a major political/legal obstacle. Since the 1945 surrender in WWII, Japan has taken a low key approach to military matters, choosing a strictly defensive posture. Japan also has a very strict “no nuclear weapons” policy. That said, Japan reprocesses plutonium for its many nuclear power plants, which gives it the ability to make nuclear weapons if it needs to, and it does have a strong space-launch capability (many ICBMs have become the means to launch satellites and other vehicles into space). Japan could have a working nuclear weapons capability in one year should they decide to.

The underlying truth is that at this time, Japan is arguably the strongest power in East Asia – and it is at this point with one hand tied behind its back. Should Japan be pushed to the point where it feels it needs to use all the military power it is capable of generating, it could readily become a superpower in military terms. Its tradition is of a highly-trained, professional force that can be a fierce adversary would be there. The only reason Japan is not a superpower is because it has chosen not to pursue that course.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2013-04-14 07:26:16
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: How did Japan become a superpower after World War 2?
Write your answer...
Sign up for more answers

Registered users can ask questions, leave comments, and earn points for submitting new answers.

Already have an account? Log in

Related questions

Why has japan become a superpower since end of world war 2?

Economic prosperity and choosing their friends well

Which of the following helped the United States become a superpower after World War II?

The U.S. economy had not been destroyed by fighting during World War II.

How did japan become an important power after world war 1?

japan become a power because of the researchers and scintests

Japan has become one of the worlds most nations since world war 2?

Japan did become one of the worlds most known nation since World War 2. Japan is a large country.

How did the us become a world superpower?

The USA became a superpower in World War 2 when it was able to demonstrate its ability to protect itself, help others to eliminate the enemies of the world and when many of its armaments had superiority and supremacy. As the Cold War with the USSR progressed, the USA was able to achieve more superiority. It still has military superiority, but is no longer the only superpower in the economic realm.

One result of the United States' involvement in World War I was that it allowed the country to?

become an international superpower later in the twentieth century.

How did World War 2 affect the US and the world?

The United States emerged from the war as superpower.

What Asian country did not become communist after World War 2?


Why was US the strongest superpower after World War 2?


What country was considered a superpower after world war 2?


What are the two superpower after world war 2?

America and Russia.

What helped the US become a superpower after World War 2?

The U.S. economy had not been destroyed by fighting during World War II.

Which helped Japan rise to become an economic power after World War 2?

The United States helped Japan after the war and was in control of the government.

What factors led the US to become a superpower?

After World War II, the productive capacity and technological advances gave the US a distinct advantage. It was not ravaged by the war and its infrastructure was intact.

How did World War 1 help the US become a superpower?

I dont think that it really did. Although the U.S. was involved with the Versailles treaty and the war it wasn't until WWII that the U.S. became a 'superpower'. Look at the size of the US military..we were still rather small at this point.

Why did Japan become involved in World War 1?

They had a treatie with great Britain.

When did Japan actually become involved in the World War 2?


When did Japan become involved in World War II?

December 7, 1941

What was the role of the US as a superpower after World War 2?

The US was the LEADER.

Was Germany a superpower during World War 2?

yes they were they were terriable

What was the role of the US after the world war 2?

The US turned into a superpower

Why did the US become involved in World War II?

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor

What did japan have in the beginning of World War 2?

become the strongest East Asian nation.

How did great britains victory change the balance of power in north america?

Unable to tell if you are referring to The American Revolution or World War 2. The Brits retained the superpower status after the American Revolution and The War of 1812. The United Kingdom lost their superpower status after World War 2 when the US and USSR took the superpower status.

How do you use the word superpower in a sentence?

After the Cold War, the United States emerged as the world's leading superpower. Even as a superpower, the US cannot enforce all of its policies on the rest of the countries in the world.