The Japan That Never Was

Explaining the Rise and Decline of a Misunderstood Country

By Dick Beason & Dennis Patterson

Subjects: Political Science, Economics, Business History, Asian Studies
Paperback : 9780791460405, 226 pages, January 2006
Hardcover : 9780791460399, 226 pages, March 2004

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Table of contents

Tables and Figures


I. The Misunderstood Country


1. The Japan That Never Was
2. How Different Is Different? Bureaucrats, Politicians, and Economic Policy Making in Postwar Japan


II. Political Economics in a Capitalist Japan


3. The Problem of Japanese Industrial Policy
4. Management Practices and Labor Relations: A Japanese System or Economic Incentives?
5. The Postwar Japanese Economy: From High Growth to Structural Adjustment


III. Politics and Policy Making in a Democratic Nation


6. The Electoral Origins of Japan's Economic Policies
7. Political Change and Economic Policy Making
8. Postwar Japanese Politics: From LDP Predominance to Coalition Politics


IV. Japan in the New Millennium


9. The Past in Japan's Political-Economic Future





Contests conventional wisdom on Japan's postwar economic success and its economic and political problems in the 1990s, providing a new account of these conditions.


In this book, the authors address Japan's economic crisis of the 1990s. They argue that most attempts to reconcile Japan's past success with its current problems have been inadequate, primarily because scholars fail to fully understand how Japan's political-economic system was organized and how it operated in the past. Revealing that certain long-term political and economic trends suggested in subtle but unambiguous ways that the crisis of the 1990s was long in the making, the authors offer an alternative explanation for Japan's postwar political-economic trajectory and a better understanding of the challenges that Japan currently faces.

Dick Beason is Professor of Economics at the University of Alberta and the coauthor (with Jason James) of The Political Economy of Japanese Financial Markets: Myths versus Reality. Dennis Patterson is Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech University.