Date of Graduation

Winter 12-22-2022

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies


Kaiser cohort MSN capstone

First Advisor

Brain Dempster

Second Advisor

Stanly Dwong


As a geologically and culturally significant region, Taiwan has always attracted the world’s attention. Taiwan initiated its modernization in the 1860s under Manchu China’s government by opening up ports for international trade and developing the mining industry. For Taiwan, the colonial period between 1894 to 1945 was a double-edged sword. Despite the negative impact of colonialism on Taiwan’s culture and language, the country experienced healthy economic development under Japan’s rule through its agriculture and manufacturing industry being modernized. After World War II, with aid from the United States and Japan, Taiwan did not slow down its pace and became a member of the “Four Asian Tigers” in the 1990s, the model of the East Asian Economic Miracle. This project analyzes Taiwan’s economic growth pattern and Japan’s complicated influence throughout this development process. This research argues that Japan’s influence left a lasting legacy—which includes high levels of educational attainment—that forever altered the identity and culture of the Taiwanese yet continued to help the region’s economic development. The FDI on capital investment and technology exchange since 1970s has also played a critical role in the growth of Taiwan’s industrialization and electronics industry, resulting in Taiwan’s economic miracle. Qualitative studies and quantitative data support this project’s assertions and validate the features of Taiwan’s economic growth. Interviews of and testimonials from industry specialists and practitioners provide the important perspective of the Taiwanese regarding Japan’s impact. Ultimately, this project seeks to find solutions—in the form of future collaborative opportunities—that can serve as a catalyst for Taiwan to step out of stagnation and recover its economic momentum.

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