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(Meeting Needs and Wants: U.S. and Japanese Transportaion Innovations in the 1950s and 1960s). During World War II Japan's economy was destroyed by military attacks, use of scarce resources for military purposes, and severed trade relations. Transport was nearly impossible, and urban industrial production halted. During the 50s and 60s the government rapidly expanded investment in Japan's infrastructure: building highways, high-speed railways, subways, airports, port facilities, and dams. Students will explore not only Japan's transportation innovations during the middle of the 20th century but also look at the U.S. expansion of its highway system and the opportunity cost (trade-offs) of commuting. This unit will introduce students to U.S. and Japanese geography and population density. Students will also explore who "won" and "lost" as a result of transportation developments.
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