Who Rules Japan? The Inner Circles of Economic and Political Power

Who Rules Japan? The Inner Circles of Economic and Political Power

Who Rules Japan? The Inner Circles of Economic and Political Power

Who Rules Japan? The Inner Circles of Economic and Political Power

Synopsis

Bound to be controversial, Who Rules Japan? is a study that expertly connects the country's economic, cultural, historical, and political facets. Kerbo and McKinstry explain how this new type of upper class has gradually spurned the "traditional" ideals of democracy in favor of an elitist approach that exploits the masses and causes ominous unrest. As a result, Japan is now confronted with a critical turning point in its history. The elites must choose between consolidating their personal power by continuing to resist change or beginning to make necessary sacrifices for their nation at the expense of their own privilege and prestige. The course they take will determine Japan's fate and the shape of the world order into the next century. Unique in its approach, this book will be of interest to scholars, researchers, students, and the general reader - all those interested in understanding Japan's inner struggle.

Excerpt

This story is about the ruling elites that guided Japan's reemergence as a major economic power in this new world economy. These were elites who were determined to move their people to prosperity and well-being after the destruction of war; elites who were made up of the best and brightest Japan had to offer; elites who, if not totally free of personal greed, at least had enough dedication and self-sacrifice to temper any greed with behavior designed for the common good of their people. An explanation of who some of these key Japanese elites were and are is based on information seldom if ever brought to the reading public, especially outside of Japan. Equally important is a description of how these elites are selected, how they are organized, and why they are unified to a far greater extent than found in any other post-industrial society.

The story then turns to the process of change among elites in Japan in recent years, change in a direction that if continued will be detrimental to the future of the Japanese people. There are distinct signs that Japan's elites are becoming more inbred, more self-serving, and even somewhat less talented than those of the post-war generation. As a result of the most severe economic recession since World War II, and with unprecedented political turmoil in the first half of the 1990s, Japan is presently facing up to the necessity of change. How such change will proceed, and if such change will proceed, will not only determine the place of Japan in the new world order, but also influence prospects for North America and Europe in meeting the challenge of Japan in the new world economy.

We thank several people in the United States and Japan for their help.

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