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Japan Since 1980 : World Since 1980 - Thomas F. Cargill

Japan Since 1980

World Since 1980

Paperback Published: 27th October 2008
ISBN: 9780521672726
Number Of Pages: 336

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This book tells the story of the performance of Japan"s economic and political institutions starting in the late 1970s through late 2007.

The authors explain how Japan"s flawed response to new economic, political, and technological forces requiring more open markets and more democratic political institutions ushered in a "lost decade and a half" of economic development from 1990 to 2005. Japan"s impressive economic performance in the 1980s in fact masked an "accident waiting to happen," the accident being the burst of the bubble in equity and real estate prices in 1990 and 1991.

Japan"s iron triangle of politicians, bureaucrats, and client industries, combined with a flawed financial liberalisation process and policy errors by the Bank of Japan and the Ministry of Finance, brought Japan to an abyss of deflation, recession, and insolvency by the late 1990s. The turning point was the election of Koizumi as prime minister in 2001. Koizumi took advantage of important institutional changes in Japan"s electoral system and policy making and implemented many changes in economic policy.

The book explores Koizumi"s economic reform, new developments in Japanese people"s socio-economic conditions, the politics and economy after Koizumi, and the economic and political challenges facing Japan in the new century.

About the Authors

Thomas F. Cargill is Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno. He studies financial and central bank policy in Japan and the United States. Professor Cargill is co-author of The Political Economy of Japanese Monetary Policy (1997), Financial Policy and Central Banking in Japan (2001), and Postal Savings and Fiscal Investment in Japan (2003). He has published in the Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Political Economy, and Monetary and Economic Studies.

Takayuki Sakamoto is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. He studies comparative political economy of industrialised democracies. Professor Sakamoto is the author of Economic Policy and Performance in Industrial Democracies (forthcoming) and Building Policy Legitimacy in Japan (1999). His articles have appeared in such journals as Comparative Political Studies, European Studies, European Journal of Political Research, and Party Politics.

Industry Reviews

'In little more than two decades Japan has traveled a bewildering trajectory from dynamic industrial marvel to financial basket case to reformed but aging post-industrial society. Cargill and Sakamoto integrate politics, taxes and budgetary expenditures, financial and monetary policy, and corporate governance into a remarkably comprehensive explication of this puzzling journey and evaluate prospects for Japan's future development. This will prove a valuable resource for researchers and students alike.' Gregory W. Noble, Australian National University, Canberra 'Japan Since 1980 provides a comprehensive overview of a period that saw the country fall from 'model economy' to one in severe distress and carefully traces the underlying causes as well as the institutional transformation the crisis has engendered. The strength of the book lies in the fact that it combines economic with political analysis, thus providing the nonspecialist reader with an ideal introduction to the issues that have shaped recent developments in Japan and to the formidable challenges it continues to face. The analysis also clearly illustrates that although reform in Japan is often described as progressing at a snail's pace, cumulatively the economic, political, and social changes of the last two decades have led to a substantial transformation of the Japanese economic system.' Ralph Paprzycki, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo 'The Cargill and Sakamoto book is a masterful review of the recent economic and political history of Japan. The authors detail the persistent efforts of Japanese policy makers to liberate themselves from past traditions and economic policies that caused the economic downturn of the lost decade. They rightfully advise their readers that this effort is still ongoing, even as Japan faces even more daunting demographic challenges in the future.' Hal Scott, Harvard Law School

Prefacep. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introduction and Overviewp. 1
Introductionp. 1
The Pretransition Period: Developments up to 1980p. 3
The Transition since 1980 in Broad Perspectivep. 10
The High-Water Mark of Japanese Economy, 1980-1985p. 11
An Accident Waiting to Happen, 1985-1990p. 13
Economic, Financial and Political Distress, 1990 to 2001p. 15
Koizumi - The Unconventional Politician, April 2001-September 2006p. 17
Beyond September 2006p. 20
Outline of the Studyp. 22
Economic and Political Institutions in the 1970sp. 27
Introductionp. 27
Economic and Political Institutions: Is Japan Special?p. 29
The Financial Systemp. 32
Corporate Governancep. 38
Labor Market Institutionsp. 40
LDP Dominancep. 46
The Bureaucracyp. 48
Constrained Policy-Making Power of the Prime Ministerp. 49
The Iron Triangle in Sump. 53
The "High-Water Mark" of the Japanese Economy - A "Model" of Financial Liberalization: 1980 to 1985p. 55
Introductionp. 55
Financial Liberalization at the Forefront of the Transitionp. 57
Collapse of Bretton Woodsp. 57
Inflationary Monetary Policyp. 59
Low Transactions Cost of Institutional Change in Financep. 61
Advances in Computer and Telecommunication Technologyp. 62
Financial Redesign and Financial Liberalization in Broad Perspectivep. 63
Japan Commences Financial Liberalizationp. 68
Financial Liberalization Becomes Official Policy in Japanp. 75
Redesign of Japan's Financial Systemp. 76
Japan as a Model of Financial Liberalization and Central Bank Policyp. 80
An Accident Waiting to Happen - The Bubble Economy from 1985 to 1990p. 83
Introductionp. 83
Japan's Fundamentally Flawed Financial Liberalization Processp. 84
The Bubble Economy in the Second Half of the 1980s - the Beginning of the Endp. 90
Japan's Bubble and Burst of the Bubble a la Minskyp. 92
The Story up to 1990p. 99
Economic and Financial Distress from 1990 to 2001 and the Turning Pointp. 101
Introductionp. 101
Government Response to the Economic and Financial Distress of the 1990sp. 105
The Turning Point: Koizumip. 119
Why Did the Economic and Financial Distress Last So Long?p. 123
Introductionp. 123
Japan-Specific Restraints on Institutional Redesignp. 125
General Restraints: Bank of Japan Policyp. 136
Deflation Is a Serious Problemp. 137
Why Did the BOJ Permit Deflation?p. 139
Koizumi and the BOJp. 142
General Restraints: Japan's Fiscal Programp. 143
The Transition of Political Institutions in the 1990s and the New Centuryp. 148
Introductionp. 148
Political Corruption and Call for Political Reformp. 150
The LDP's Split and Fall from Power, Electoral Reform, and Party Realignmentp. 151
Economic and Financial Distress and Government Inactionp. 154
Electoral Reform and Implications for Prime Minister Leadershipp. 157
Administrative Reform and Implications for Prime Minister Leadershipp. 160
Central Bank Reform and Political Implicationsp. 163
The Policy-Making Process during the Koizumi Administrationp. 166
Political Economy of Japan's Fiscal Programp. 172
Introductionp. 172
Fiscal Conservatism out the Window in the 1990s, Except in 1997p. 173
The General Budget: Pre-1990sp. 176
The General Budget in the 1990sp. 183
Fiscal Consolidation Debacle of 1997 in Detailp. 189
The Redesign of Japan's Fiscal Policy: Hashimoto and Koizumip. 193
The FILP Budget: Pre-1990sp. 196
Redesign of the FILP Budgetp. 197
Koizumi Administration's Reform in Broad Perspective: Fiscal Consolidation and Market Reformp. 201
Introductionp. 201
Reducing Government Spendingp. 203
Reform of Government Programs and Institutionsp. 207
Postal Privatizationp. 216
Restructuring of Government Financial Institutionsp. 217
Privatization of Japan Highway Public Corporationsp. 218
Closure or Privatization of Other Public Corporationsp. 219
Reforming the Relationship between the National and the Local Governments - Devolutionp. 220
FILP Budget Reduction Manifests the Combined Effect of Koizumi's Policiesp. 221
Administrative Reform and Amakudarip. 222
Other Economic Policy Reformsp. 223
Accounting for Koizumi's Successp. 226
Koizumi: Lasting Influence?p. 229
Japan's Corporate Governance, Labor Practices, and Citizens' Social and Economic Life at the Beginning of the New Centuryp. 235
Introductionp. 235
What Are Japanese Companies Like Now?p. 237
New Corporate Governance Institutionsp. 242
Adverse Consequence of Restructuring for Japanese Workers: Increase of "Nonregular" Workers and Personal Financial Fragility and Instabilityp. 246
Increasing Income Inequality and Poverty: Japan Is Not the Egalitarian Society that It Wasp. 249
Decline of Population and Birth Rates, Population Aging, and Their Effectsp. 256
Women, Work, and Birth Ratesp. 259
Immigration is Not an Immediate Solution for Workforce Declinep. 263
Japan's Welfare Regime: Implications for the Economy and People Today and in the Futurep. 264
Japan's Welfare in Comparative Perspectivep. 265
Expected Economic and Social Difficulties in the New Centuryp. 273
Overviewp. 278
Japanese Political Economy in the First Decade of the New Centuryp. 280
Introductionp. 280
Economic Reform and the Economyp. 281
Demographic and Socioeconomic Challengesp. 285
Generational Replacementp. 286
Power of the Prime Minister: Lasting Influence of Koizumip. 288
The Bureaucracy in the New Japanp. 291
Public Opinion, Policy Competition, and Potential for Change in Governmentp. 294
A Final Notep. 298
Referencesp. 299
Indexp. 307

ISBN: 9780521672726
ISBN-10: 0521672724
Series: World Since 1980
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 27th October 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.45

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