The Political Economy of Japanese Globalization

By Glenn D. Hook; Hasegawa Harukiyo | Go to book overview

5

Globalization and oriental capitalism

The global meaning of Japan

Jaw-Yann Twu


Introduction

In this chapter, oriental capitalism is defined geographically as embracing Japan, the NIEs, ASEAN and China. They may be called JANAC, or NAC for the last three regions and country. Another keyword used here, namely globalization, is regarded as a dynamic process of integrating these economies into the world market. It signifies that their domestic markets have been fully incorporated into the international division of labour in terms of both trade and capital investment. In other words, the economic growth of JANAC has pushed the world market from the West towards the East and the rapidly developing markets of East Asia. In this process, Japan's position in the world market has grown in importance. From the perspective of an individual economy in the JANAC group, oriental capitalism refers to the progress of the national economy towards globalization at home. However, from the viewpoint of the world market, it implies that, in the development of global capitalism, its centre of gravity is moving from Atlantic Europe and the eastern seaboard of the US to the East Asian region. Of course, as these two aspects of oriental capitalism can be regarded as two sides of the same coin, they should be understood simultaneously.

With the above as a prelude, this chapter examines three related issues in globalization and oriental capitalism. First, how has NAC integrated itself into the world market or become a part of the globalization process? Second, what are the reasons for NAC's rise in the world from the 1970s to the mid-1990s? Third, how can we explain the apparent success of the NAC's integration into the world market? Answering these questions should provide a deeper understanding of the development process of oriental capitalism in the 1990s.

It should nonetheless be noted that Japan is not included in this section, as it was already an industrialized country at that time. Rather, this chapter will describe the role Japanese capitalism played in the process of NAC globalization; that is, the global meaning of Japan will become clear by examining the role Japan played in promoting the development of oriental capitalism. Finally, this chapter will explore why East Asia suffered currency turmoil starting in 1997 under NAC and Japan's influence. The crisis suggests oriental capitalism is

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