Hiroaki Richard Watanabe
Although still the world’s third largest economy, Japan continues to feel the effects of the collapse of a massive asset price bubble in the early 1990s. In recent years further setbacks, including both the Asian and global financial crises, and the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, have only added to the economy’s difficulties and made its prospects under Abenomics at best mixed.
Hiroaki Richard Watanabe examines the ups and downs of Japan’s postwar economic history to offer an up-to-date and authoritative guide to the workings of Japan’s economy. The book highlights the country’s distinct business networks and its unique state–market relationship. It explores the characteristic institutional complementarity that exists among different sectors and business practices and gives particular attention to human factors, such as labour market dualism, gender discrimination and migration. Although often associated in western minds with futuristic automated efficiency, Japan’s economy, Watanabe shows, retains many inefficient and peculiar business practices that do not comply with global standards.
The book provides readers with a concise survey of Japan’s recent economic history, the economy’s characteristic features and the challenges it faces.
1. Introducing the Japanese economy 2. The formation of the postwar Japanese economy, 1945–90 3. The transformation of the Japanese economy since the early 1990s 4. The structure of the Japanese economy 5. The human and labour factors of the Japanese economy 6. A distinctive Japanese economic feature: “Galapagos syndrome” 7. Conclusion: Prospects and challenges for the Japanese economy
Hiroaki Richard Watanabe is a Lecturer in the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield. His books include Labour Market Deregulation in Japan and Italy (Routledge, 2014).