Japan: Shipbuilder to the World

Like huge Japanese lanterns, the harbors along Japan's jagged coast sparkled at night last week with the blue fire of acetylene welding rods and the white glare of arc lights. The lights burned overtime as Japan worked to meet the greatest shipbuilding boom in its history. All 54 ways at Japan's nine major shipyards are occupied; one ship is barely launched before a new keel is laid.

Ingenious Engineering. Japan's shipbuilding boom is all the more amazing because the rest of the world's shipyards are suffering from a lack of new orders. Such a lion's share of the business is...

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