Race to the Swift: State and Finance in Korean by Jung-en Woo

By Jung-en Woo

A entire and unique account of the increase of Korea's developmental country, Race to the Swift by way of Jung-en Woo argues that Korea's business progress is neither a miracle nor a cultural secret, however the consequence of a formerly misunderstood political economy.

(Far japanese financial Review )

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Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were ex­ ploited, true, but were allowed a significantly wider realm for do­ mestic capital growth. The division of Korea that followed the Japanese surrender also denied the South Koreans much of the fruits-at least in the physi­ cal sense-of the formidable industrialization of the war years. War­ related and heavy industrialization, as we know, occurred in north- SOLDIERS, BANKERS, AND THE ZAIBATSU ern Korea, in complexes in Hungnam, Kyomip'o, Ch'ongjin, Najin, Songjin, and Wonsan.

This phenomenon of a ubiquitous state was not, of course, confined to Korea. It occurred in Japan proper, and in Taiwan. 74 The extent of state repression and the failed efforts at legitimation are well documented, from the chilling details of massacres to harsh labor controls, to the unleashing of a classic police state for the politics of forced conformity: obliteration of the Korean national identity, language, and surnames, the institution of emperor and Shinto worship, and so on. 75 This SOLDIERS, BANKERS, AND THE ZAIBATSU "mobilization from above" sought to structure nearly every aspect and every unit of Korean life to serve Japanese interests; included here were efforts like the National General Mobilization Law (for labor control), the General Mobilization of the National Spirit (to enforce the naisen ittai-Japanese-Korean unity-policy), the Spe­ cial Volunteers Corps, the Korean Anti-Communist Association, the Korean Youth Special Training Law, and various forms of conscrip­ tion and participation in work details, "patriotic organizations," and the like.

The most edifying memory for the latter day industrializers, how­ ever, was that the colonial industrialization pattern worked, and that its success was based on close collaboration between the state and the zaibatsu, and on the building of economies of scale. Perhaps nobody knew and appreciated this better than President Park Chung Hee (1961-1979), a military cadet in Manchuria in 1940 and a lieu­ tenant in the Kwantung Army-the architect of industrialization in Japan's continental territory-when war came to a halt in 1945.

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