The role of the state in Japan's economic development and the role of the state in China's economic development during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were similar due to them both being politically isolated until 1860 which led to them economically lagging behind the west, different due to Japan maintaining independence from European control because they came out of isolation while China was controlled by the west due to their traditionalist government corrupting the economy which made it easy for the Europeans to control, and different due to Japan being able to maintain political and thus economic vigor through the 20th century while China fell into disastrous conditions politically and thus economically due to Western intrusion with the Boxer Rebellion. .
Similarities between China and Japan were limited through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but most resided in the beginning of this time period. Both Japanese governments and Chinese governments were isolated at the beginning of the 1860s. The conservative Manchu regime in China demanded isolation from the Western world, and Japanese government wanted isolation due to their belief that they were still superior. This evident isolation, however, led to China and Japan falling behind the West due to the West having superior technology and wealth. Also, Japan needed raw materials that were required to industrialize. .
Japanese government came out of isolation because in 1853 Matthew Perry came from the United States to insist Japan trade with them and open up their markets, Japan decided to trade. Then, they sent samurai to explore the Western world, and the samurai came back with new technology and ideals such as democracy. The Japanese were so shocked, they decided to open up trade despite the conservative daiymos opposition. Because of Japan's decision to expand their trade and ideals into the western world, and effectively using their own treasury and importing metals to innovate, their contributions helped them maintain independence from the West despite Europe's global power.