Much interest andthe economic progress made in Taiwan since the end of World attention have been recently focused onWar II. A major factor in Taiwan's postwar economic development is that the island already possessed a progressive and productive agricultural sector when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1945. The transformation of Taiwan's agriculture was the major accomplishment of the Japanese Colonial Administration. When Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895, its agriculture was stagnant and its peasants were engaged almost exclusively in subsistence farming. To enable Taiwan to make a contribution to Japan's efforts at industrialization, the Colonial Government was given the task of rationalizing and modernizing Taiwan's agriculture. Taiwan was to be integrated with the Japanese economy to provide a food surplus to help maintain the Japanese laborers diverted from agricultural to industrial activities. Foreign exchange that Japan would otherwise have spent on food imports would be used to finance more strategic imports. More explicitly, the Japanese had two objectives: to increase Taiwan's agricultural output and to divert the increase away from agriculture in Taiwan without committing an equivalent transfer of production value to agriculture in Taiwan.