Crisis and innovation in Japan: a new future through techno-entrepreneurship?
This paper looks at the profound transitions Japan is currently experiencing, focusing on 'techno-entrepreneurship' and ideological currents of nationalism and internationalism. After a brief examination of Japan's financial crisis, it focuses on manufacturing, both in large firms - with a case study of electric-electronics giant Hitachi - and small firms. It then looks at policy attempts to strengthen the science and technology base, and reforms to the bureaucracy itself. While rejecting some of the more simplistic 'systemic failure' explanations of Japan's 'lost decade', it argues that past success made incremental reform problematic, and conversely that multiple transitions have complicated subsequent attempts at reform. A reversion to learning from abroad (notably the US) and openness to inward investment mark a modification of 'techno-nationalism', though not its disappearance.