Japan since 1980 (The World Since 1980)

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Selected Countries and Economies

And there has been little change since. The so called "city banks" which are really national banks, that stand at the hub of the postwar enterprise groups were in most instances greatly strengthened by critical legislation introduced between and , which designated a certain number of "authorized financial institutions" to receive special support from the government and Bank of Japan in providing the great bulk of loans to over major producers of strategic war materials.

Thus, in the ratio of direct equity, meaning stocks issued to the public or to some other private companies to indirect bank loan financing of industry was roughly By , it was , and by , as in the mid s, it was meaning for every dollar a company got from issuing tocks, it got nine dollars from bank loans.

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Dower,, pp. Steps to avoid competition: monopolies zaibatsu and the Keiretsu.

During the American occupation, one of the decisions MacArthur made to liberalize Japan was to abolish the monopolies zaibatsu. Because of the onset of the Cold War and the Korean War, the anti-monopoly stance was not upheld by the Americans to give the Japanese businesses a chance to compete more aggressively internationally. This opportunity was seized upon by the Japanese government. On Sept. To maximize the efficient use of resources, MITI preferred to have competition limited to a small number of very large corporations.

In one of the better documented cases of collusive behavior that resulted from the changed rules, six Japanese firms manufacturing televisions joined forces, forming a market stabilization group in to control the domestic price of televisions. They maintained a high price level in the domestic market while government tariff policy kept the market closed to foreign producers. With high profit margins and an ensured market at home, the industry turned to exports, especially to the US market.

Through below-cost exports to the US market, the Japanese firms were able to drive most of their US competitors out of business.


Japan Details First Trade Deficit Since 1980

The Japanese government spurred and shaped the development of the television industry through preferential credit allocation via large banks, lax antitrust enforcement, condoning of de facto recession cartels, MITI guided investment coordination, and various forms of non-tariff barriers. Besides sustaining monopolies to some extent, the Japanese government also condoned the building of a more flexible business alliance of different companies, either horizontally or vertically, called the keiretsu.

That is, each "horizontal keiretsu" comprised several dozen members including a main bank, large financial institutions, the largest manufacturing firms, and a large general trading company. Within each group, members held each other's shares. These horizontal keiretsu helped to provide long-term stability, efficiency, reduced risk, and mutual support. There were also giant vertical keiretsu organized in the automobile, electronic, and other industries Nissan, Toyota, Hitachi, Matsushita, Sony, etc.

They served to organize huge numbers of subcontractors and suppliers of services. The vertical keiretsu provided efficient, long term reciprocal benefits for a parent company and its suppliers, including coordination of planning and investment, sharing of technology and information, control of quality and delivery, and flexibility throughout the business cycles.

Finally, the distribution keiretsu allowed manufacturers to control the mass marketing of products. These networks allowed manufacturers to prevent price competition among retailers, to maintain high profit margins in the domestic market, and so to permit cutthroat competition in the international market. In other words, they become an effective means to force Japanese consumers to subsidize the international competitiveness of large manufacturing firms.

The following is an example of a keiretsu:. Reciprocal shareholding of Mitsubishi Bank Source: Hiroshi Okumura.

Lessons from Japan

Hojin Shibonshugi no kozo The structure of cooperative capitalism. Tokyo: Nihon Hyoronsha. In Japan, trade unions, in the s and 50s, were very militant, so much so that the Japanese government and big businesses decided to negotiate with them via Confucian values of trust and reciprocity. Unionized workers were promised life time employment in exchange for relatively speaking low salaries. This only applied to big companies.

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In small ones, workers did not have either job security or high salary. This mutual understanding, reached between unions and the management after a tremendous coal miners' strike in , allowed unions to negotiate with companies on a company basis instead of industry wide. It led to many company based unions and dedication to work with the reward of lifetime employment, which, together with numerous on job trainings, also contributed to postwar Japanese takeoff.

The trade unions were more concerned about job security than consumer rights of the union members. Although the welfare society maintained a total employment philosophy, it included many part-time workers who did not enjoy workplace benefits and had very low pay, and who were largely women. These people often worked for small companies that did not provide benefits such as lifetime employment as the big companies started to do after , and unemployment did happen in these small companies. Quite a percentage of the work of the big companies, such as Toyota and Sony, were contracted to these small companies which helped to reduce costs and add to the profit margin of the products.

Social mobilization of the Japanese: sacrifice for the nation's place in international economy. If you need to use the information here for your paper, please cite the authors cited in the paragraphs. The following is a bibliography of books used for this presentation.

Bibliography: Dower, John.

Japan since 1980 (The World since 1980) [Hardcover]

Norton, Gao, Bai. Gordon, Andrew.

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Pile, Kenneth. The Making of Modern Japan , 2nd ed. Lexington, MA: D. Japan's overwhelming dependence on exports for growth and its perceived unfair trade practices became a flashpoint for U.

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The end of trade surpluses is widely viewed as ominous for the world's third largest economy, as it copes with the disaster aftermath, along with energy shortages and an aging society. View the discussion thread. Related Program:. By , hydrogen is being processed in refinery-like plants and loaded onto cars that can go thousands of miles—and many months—before refueling. The technology is vastly cheaper and safer than in the s and well on its way to widespread use.

These technological developments drive nothing less than a wholesale transformation of the automobile industry through the first quarter of the new century. Initially prodded by government decrees such as California's zero-emission mandate—which called for 10 percent of new cars sold to have zero emissions by —the industrial behemoths begin to pick up speed when an actual market for hybrid cars opens up. People buy them not because they are the environmentally correct option but because they're sporty, fast, and fun.

And the auto companies build them because executives see green—as in money, not trees. This to year industrial retooling sends reverberations throughout the global economy. The petrochemical giants begin switching from maintaining vast networks that bring oil from remote Middle Eastern deserts to building similarly vast networks that supply the new elements of electrical power. Fossil fuels will continue to be a primary source of power into the middle of the 21st century—but they will be clean fossil fuels.

By , almost all new cars are hybrid vehicles, mostly using hydrogen power. That development alone defuses much of the pressure on the global environment. The world may be able to support quite a few additional automobile drivers—including nearly 2 billion Chinese. While the end of the Cold War initiates the waves of technology rippling through our year era, that's only half the story. The other half has to do with an equally powerful force: globalization. While it is spurred by new technologies, the emergence of an interconnected planet is propelled more by the power of an idea—the idea of an open society.

From a historical vantage point, globalization also begins right around One of the souls who best articulates this idea of the open society is Mikhail Gorbachev. It's Gorbachev who helps bring about some of its most dramatic manifestations: the fall of the Wall, the collapse of the Soviet empire, the end of the Cold War.

No, China is not the ‘next Japan’ | World Economic Forum

He helps inititate a vast wave of political change that includes the democratization of eastern Europe and Russia itself. To kick it off, Gorbachev introduces two key concepts to his pals in the Politburo in , two ideas that will resonate not just in the Soviet Union but through all the world. One is glasnost. The other is perestroika. Openness and restructuring—the formula for the age, the key ingredients of the long boom.

An equally important character is China's Deng Xiaoping. His actions don't bring about the same dramatic political change, but right around the same time as Gorbachev, Deng initiates a similarly profound shift of policies, applying the concepts of openness and restructuring to the economy. This process of opening up—creating free trade and free markets—ultimately makes just as large a global impact. No place is this more apparent than in Asia.

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