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Asia's industrial regions

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Asia's industrial regions

Power plant turbine in Japan

Despite large size and considerable mineral and agricultural resources the continent of Asia is generally, less industrialized then either Europe and North America. Some of the main factors, which have led to this situation are lack of technical know-how, lack of financial resources and a conservative attitude towards industrialization, but the position is rapidly changing. Japan has risen to become one of the most important industrial nations in the world. Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan have become major exporters of textiles and other goods. China has industrialized rapidly in the last 30 years and will continue to put great stress on industrial development. India and Pakistan already have well-established iron and steel, chemicals and textile industries and are striving to further industrial development to reduce unemployment among their large population. The south East Asian region, though traditionally agricultural in outlook, is also developing industries such as iron and steel, agriculture-based industries, timber-based industries and oil refining. So far Singapore is the most industrialized of the South-East Asian Countries.



  • The Middle East has one major resource, namely oil and though in the past most of the oil produced in the region has been exported, the more stringent attitude on the part of the oil producers, which have now begun to take effect, will ensure that oil refining and petrochemicals will become increasingly important in the region. On the basis of their oil royalties, some countries, notably Iran are also developing a wider range of industries.

    Japan: Japan is the most highly industrialized country in Asia. Despite shortage of industrial raw materials and solid fuel, it has been able to develop industries at an astonishing rate. Most of the industrial development of Japan has taken place since the Second World War. The reasons for Japan's spectacular industrialization are:



  • 1. Japan has little coal but has developed almost ail its Hydro-electric power resources to provide power for industrialization;
  • 2. Japan has an indented coastline and many large port said the import of large quantities of raw material from all over the world;
  • 3. The greatest possible use has been made of existing raw materials in the country such as copper, manganese, iron ore and sulphur as well as silk, kaolin and timber. For the same reason textiles manufactures have turned from cotton to synthetics, which can be made within the country from local timber or imported oil
  • 4. The Government gave every encouragement to industrialists and have developed a technically biased educational system; which has meant that Japan has caught up with, and even surpassed, many traditional industrial countries in technological advancement.

    There are four major industrial regions in Japan.

  • (a) The Keihin Region: The greatest industrial region of Japan is in the Kwanto Plain and is formed by the conurbation of three chief towns, Tokyo, Kawasaki and Yokohama. Within the conurbation live a fifth of Japan's population and it accounts for a quarter of the nations industrial output. Light industries dominate, amongst, which textiles, furniture, chemicals, paper and pulp are important. Tokyo is noted for electrical engineering (especially television set, refrigerators, washing machines and computers). Yokohama has precision engineering, shipbuilding, oil refining, petrochemicals and port industries. Kawasaki has marine engineering, cement works and glassworks.
  • (b) The Kanshin Region: Another great industrial conurbation is formed by the three cities of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, which produces 20 per cent of the nation's industrial output. Osaka is the greatest textiles town though generally textiles are nowadays a declining industry. Plastics, footwear and textiles machinery are also made. Kobe concentrates on shipbuilding, oil refining, and petrochemical industries. Kyoto, the imperial capital, has traditional handicrafts, oriental porcelain, toy and lacquer works. The Hanshin ports face the busy Inland sea and handle large foreign trade.
  • (c) The Ise Bay Region: This is the third industrial region dominated by one large town, Nagoya. Spreading around Nagoya on the Nobi plain are a wide range of manufacturing industries including textile mills that process local silk, imported cotton and wool and also synthetic fibres; engineering industries including all kinds of machinery, automobiles, locomotives and aircraft.
  • (d) The Kitakyathu region in Northern Kyushu includes Yawata and other centres. It makes steel, ships, machinery, chemicals and textiles.

    Next: Asia's industrial regions 2









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