Post-World War II Japan saw a dramatic shift in the country's priorities from a formerly proactive foreign policy to a greater focus on economic development that would coincide with a close relationship with the United States. The emphasis was now on government and big business cooperation to encourage manufacturing and heavy industry with sizeable increases in exports. Japan quickly saw rapid increases in economic growth, which eventually led to it becoming the second largest world economy by 1968. One of the preeminent enterprises to come out of this period was the Japanese automotive industry.
The 1970s saw innovative robotics manufacturing techniques being used by manufacturers, which decreased the cost of production and allowed for more precise assembly. Massive global imports from Japanese car companies, such as Toyota, Honda, and Mazda saw the Japanese auto industry become the largest in the world by the 1990s. Cars like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic soon became staples of auto owners around the world. Today, the Japanese auto industry continues to be among the leading markets in the world in terms of passenger vehicle production.
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