Japan's relationships with the
industrialized economies (NIEs) of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong,
and Singapore, together often called the Four Tigers,
were marked by both cooperation and competition. After the
early 1980s, when Tokyo extended a large financial credit to
South Korea for essentially political reasons, Japan
avoided significant aid relationships with the NIEs. Relations
instead involved capital investment, technology transfer, and trade.
Increasingly, the NIEs came to be viewed as Japan's rivals in
the competition for export markets for manufactured goods,
especially the vast United States market.