Learning from the Japanese: Japan's Pre-War Development and the Third World

Learning from the Japanese: Japan's Pre-War Development and the Third World

Learning from the Japanese: Japan's Pre-War Development and the Third World

Learning from the Japanese: Japan's Pre-War Development and the Third World

Synopsis

This book looks at Japan's early economic modernization to see if today's low-income countries can learn any lessons. The author focuses on education, technology policy, capital formation, the transfer of savings from agriculture to industry, state aid to the private sector, improvement engineering in the informal sector, low wages, industrial dualism, export expansion, and resistance to Western imperialism (a strategy which included acquiring its own empire) under Japan's "guided capitalism". He criticizes modernization scholars for underemphasizing the damage of imperialism and the importance of economic autonomy and technological learning, the dependency school for prescribing trade reduction and neglecting market exchange-rate policies, and world-system theorists for rejecting the possibility of global economic growth.

Excerpt

"Are we watching the 'death of the Japanese model'?" the Toronto Globe and Mail recently asked. Economic growth in Japan, as in the other industrialized countries, decelerated steadily during the past three decades. Why, then, write a book about Japan's development? Japan grew faster than any Western country, not only from 1970 to 1994, but also from 1870 to 1994. Japan deserves attention as a developing country from the Meiji Restoration (1868) to World War II. During those seven decades, Japan grew more rapidly than any other country in the world. Japan stressed education, savings, technological borrowing and modification, learning by doing, and market exchange rates; modernization also engendered pathologies, however, such as income concentration, labor repression, authoritarianism, militarism, and imperialism. This book concentrates on what Third World economies can learn from Japan's early modernization.

I began this book in 1983, when I was visiting professor at the International University of Japan. Kansas State University supported me for two leaves of absence, which James Ragan, Peter Nicholls, Jarvin Emerson, and William Stamey helped me obtain. Herbert Bix, Roger Buckley, Patrick Gormely, Sadasumi Hara, Yujiro Hayami, Chihiro Hosoya, Ichirou Inukai, Shigeru Ishikawa, Takafumi Kaneko, Hiroshi Kitamura, Hirohisa Kohama, Fumie Kumagai, Ryoshin Minami, Tsuneo Nakauchi, Seiji Naya, Konosuke Odaka, Kazushi Ohkawa, Yoshi Okada, Saburo Okita, Katsuo Otsuka, John Power, Mark Selden, Toshio Shishido, Howard Stein, Rodney Wilson, Hiroyuki Yoshioka, and many others facilitated my research. Elfrieda, Brian, and Kevin Nafziger tolerated inconveniences in Japan and the United States, leaving me more time for research. I am grateful for all these, but I am solely responsible for errors.

I also thank the following for permission to reproduce copyrighted materials: the World Future Society for my The Japanese Development Model, in Howard F. Didsbury Jr. , ed., The Global Economy: Today, Tomorrow, and the Tran . . .

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