How Reconstruction after World War II Contributed to Japan’s Contemporary Health Status

How Reconstruction after World War II Contributed to Japan’s Contemporary Health Status















How Reconstruction after World War II Contributed to Japan’s Contemporary Health Status

By the end of the World War II, the health status of Japan was at a critical condition. This however, changed in less than 35 years and the country’s life expectancy rose to being the highest worldwide. This could be widely attributed to the reintroduction of the Confucian principles and these aided in the provision of health improvements. Bezruchka, Namekata & Sistrom, (2008) in their study, found out that transformation in Japan’s economic hierarchy had intense health consequences. They further argue that the good health in Japan today is resultant to the continued economic equality that is the heritage of taking apart the prewar hierarchy.

The economic recovery in Japan was encouraged by the new constitution that was led by their ethics. General Douglas MacArthur, the leader of the Allied Powers who was in office from 1946 to 1951, helped in changing the Japanese view of the economy. He was of the opinion that wealth and power should not be concentrated in specific groups. He dismembered the Japanese empire, promoted democracy, and upset the focus of wealth and power in individual groupings and families. Both the dismantling of the economic and social hierarchy contributed to the improvement of health and longevity in Japan after the war (Bezruchka et al., 2008).

The contemporary health gains in Japan are not purely accredited to the healthcare system and related factors or the genetic makeup of the Japanese. They are known to feed on processed westernized foods, and the men are rampant smokers, hence these negative factors to proper health cannot be said to increase the life expectancy. Indeed, the improvement of the health status in Japan has been enabled by the equal distribution of national income among the people. With the softening of the social relations between people caused by a sound economy and equitable distribution of wealth, the health and longevity status of the Japanese is ensured.



Bezruchka, S., Namekata, T., & Sistrom, M. (2008). Interplay of politics and law to promote health: Improving economic equality and health: The case of postwar Japan. American Journal of Public Health, 98(4), 589–594.




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