Institutional Restructuring in the Japanese Economy 1985-1996
The question we seek to address is: what effect has economic turbulence since 1985 had on three of the institutional foundations of post-war Japanese industrial success? First, we examine the Japanese 'main bank' system whereby a 'main' bank is involved in a special type of long-term relationship with the non-financial firms that it lends to. Second, we look at the close inter-corporate relationships between main manufacturing firms and their suppliers. And third, we consider the nature of Japanese industrial policy and the interventionist role of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the relatively weak role of Japanese competition policy under the authority of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC). In each case we present evidence which suggests that these institutional foundations of the post- war Japanese economy have been fundamentally weakened over the period we look at.
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