Japan: the coming collapse
Behind the overwhelming economic and material success of Japan and the Japanese lies a hara-kiri economy, society and political system set to self-destruct. This timely, probing and provocative report on the Japanese miracle describes the looming crisis the country faces in the 1990s. Three rival politico-economic systems have dominated the postwar world: Communist dictatorship, capitalist democracy and neofeudal Japanese corporatism. After the war the Japanese people had nothing. Today they are among the wealthiest in the world. Japan's unique one-party system has produced an economic miracle, and the Japanese success is envied by all. Yet it is deeply flawed. Japan's political economy is unstable. Japan has become a nation of wealth, unfairly obtained and unequally shared, run by venal politicians for the benefit of their corrupt paymasters. Though Japan is materially rich, the quality of life for ordinary Japanese remains depressingly poor. Like Russians, Czechs, Hungarians and Poles, the Japanese recognise the superiority of free-market democracy. They are clamouring for reform. But reform requires that wealth be redistributed from the one-third who own everything to the two-thirds who own nothing. Consensus politics cannot deliver this. It is doomed. The factious ruling party is collapsing in a welter of scandal. Confrontational politics will follow, leading to civil disorder and violence. The country faces its worst economic and political crisis since the war. Its collapse will not be as cataclysmic as that of Communism. Nevertheless, Japan has entered a decade of turbulence.
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From Sakoku to Surrender
Save and Stagnate
Bamboo Shoot Years
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American assets average Bank of Japan became bonds boom borrowing brokers budget deficit bureaucrats candidates capital gains city banks collapse cost current account debts demand deposits Diet dollar economy excess savings exchange rate exports farmers favours forced foreign funds imports income increased industry inflation interest rates investment issue Itoman Izanami Japanese companies Kaifu Kakuei Tanaka keiretsu Kiichi Miyazawa labour land lending liberalisation loans major Masayoshi Ohira Meiji restoration Ministry of Finance miraculous growth Miyazawa Nakasone Nikkei index oil price party pension political politicians post-war postal savings postal savings system Prime Minister production profits property prices Recruit Cosmos Recruit Cosmos scandal remained rice rise rose sakoku securities shares Shogun sokaiya spending stockbrokers stockmarket surplus Takeshita Tanaka tokkins Tokyo Toshiki Kaifu Tozama trade vote yakuza zaibatsu