The World Bank's research programme is intended to provide information and guidance to the Bank's member countries and to its own operational staff on different development processes and policies as they apply across a wide range of countries. The topics covered are also wideranging.
It is in this context that a considerable amount of research has been done under a Program for the Study of the Japanese Development Management Experience financed by the Policy and Human Resources Development Trust Fund established at the World Bank by the Government of Japan. The programme is managed by the Studies and Training Design Division of the World Bank's Economic Development Institute.
Under this programme the Japanese development experience has been given close attention, especially the early post-war experiences that helped transform the country from a wartime command economy to a market economy which has yielded today's economic superpower. The programme analyses the key features of the Japanese financial system and its evolution, with particular reference to the main bank system of long-term relationships among the banks and their borrowers. It also examines the role of the Japanese state as agent for development and the implications of the Japanese experience for the comparative understanding of the state in other developing countries.
Until now, very little has been published outside of Japan about the relationship among banks, borrowers, and government—a potentially important topic for economies undergoing financial reforms and restructuring of the interface between the public and the private sectors. The Japanese Main Bank System is intended to help policy-makers and analysts better understand the issues they may currently be facing as they attempt to develop efficient and effective financial systems. The book describes, analyses, and evaluates the Japanese main bank system, and examines its relevance as a model for the developing market economies and transforming socialist economies.
The authors offer their findings and conclusions to readers in the developing world for their consideration as they seek solutions to the challenges they confront.
Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist
The World Bank