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March 27, 2017

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Following World War II, what factors led to Japan's economic success?

A. The adoption of eastern economic philosophy that emphasized supply and demand economy.

B. The concentration on the production of high-quality agricultural products

C. Efficient, modern factories, adapted to the latest technology, and high-quality exports

D. A trade agreement with China, the world's largest exporter of goods.

  • History - ,

    Which do YOU THINK is correct?

  • History - ,

    When you are given a multiple choice question, you have to look at each possible answer to determine why it might be wrong. You have to look at each of the possibilities and find a logical reason to eliminate them until you have eliminated all but one answer. When only one answer has not been eliminated, that left over answer is the correct answer.

    This means that you don't necessarily need to know which answer is correct. You only need to identify all of the answers that are NOT correct, and choose as your answer the answer that is left over after the elimination process.

    When you have eliminated all of the obviously, definitely wrong answers, then the answer that you have NOT eliminated is the "right" answer, even if it seems not quite satisfying for some reason.

    If you can find any part of an answer alternative that is definitely not true or logical, then you can eliminate that as an alternative and focus on the rest.

    So, let's apply this process to the four answer choices you were given:

    "A" Cannot be right, because "supply and demand" is not an "eastern" economic philosophy.

    "B" seems rather unlikely, because Japan is a tiny country with little land mass and so concentrating on agriculture doesn't seem like the path to economic success.

    "D" seems unlikely, because China and Japan were bitter adversaries during the Second World War, so it seems unlikely that Japan became a major economic power because it was helped along by China.

    So, the only remaining answer is "C," which is consistent with what we know about Japan: It produced mass-produced products efficiently and with a high level of quality, superior to that which the US could offer, and that's why Japan's Toyota has been competing with the US's General Motors to be the world's top automaker.

    Also, you've probably seen a lot of cars and electronic devices (like Sony) that are marked "made in Japan," but have you seen any food ("agriculture") in the supermarket that's marked "grown in Japan"? I didn't think so.

    Although I wasn't immediately sure what the right answer was, and I was initially confused by the number of alternatives, I believe I was able to arrive at the correct answer by systematically and logically eliminating wrong answers one by one until eliminating three and having only one left over.

    If you can eliminate just two answers on the basis that they are DEFINITELY wrong, then you have a 50% chance of choosing the right answer from among the remaining two, even if you choose between them by guessing with no additional effort. By reading them, you increase your likelihood of getting the right answer.

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