There is a common idea among Koreans that the reason for the success of the Japanese economy during the 50s and 60s is due to their sales of leftover weapons to both sides of the Korean War. I don't know how much of this is true (perhaps it is true, but exaggerated by many Koreans). We have to remember that Japanese people are very industrious and education-oriented. I think many of us need to move away from the positivistic concept of economics (that all socio-economic successes or failures are due to economic systems). Many other factors come into play, like cultural mindset, temperaments of people, land conditions, etc. Just because a country is capitalistic and democratic does not mean everything is going to turn all right.