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eBook Japan As Number One: Lessons for America download

by Ezra F. Vogel

eBook Japan As Number One: Lessons for America download ISBN: 0674472152
Author: Ezra F. Vogel
Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 22, 1979)
Language: English
Pages: 286
ePub: 1319 kb
Fb2: 1115 kb
Rating: 4.5
Other formats: azw mobi txt lrf
Category: Political
Subcategory: Social Sciences

Japan as Number One is an older book (originally printed in 1979), but it still provides some really great, pertinent information about . I have just finished Ezra Vogel's Japan as Number One and I found it a surprisingly good book.

Japan as Number One is an older book (originally printed in 1979), but it still provides some really great, pertinent information about Japan. One person found this helpful.

I have just finished Ezra Vogel's Japan as Number One and I found it a surprisingly good book

I have just finished Ezra Vogel's Japan as Number One and I found it a surprisingly good book.

None the less, we d o not Tanner Pascale and Anthony Athos also proposes know because the nature of organization-envir- that Japan be used as a mirror for America.

THEORY Z: HOW AMERICAN BUSINESS It is interesting how changes in the American z zyx zy zyxw Strategic Munugement Journal, Vol. 3, 381-387 (1982) Japan as Number One: Lessons f o r America by Ezra Vogel builds a very strong case for the superiority of Japan’s socio-economic and politi- cal institutions. None the less, we d o not Tanner Pascale and Anthony Athos also proposes know because the nature of organization-envir- that Japan be used as a mirror for America.

Vogel, Ezra F. Publication date. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Trent University Library Donation. Internet Archive Books.

tor overtaking us? Japan as Number One: Lessons for America. The very title will blow. the minds of many Americans. Vogel’s fascinating book will help explainx this best organized and most dynamic of all major modern nations. it also has some hints that might help us with our problems. If the Japanese could learn from us with such profit in the past, perhaps there is something that we now need to learn from them. Edwin D. Reischauer An important and challenging book.

Japan as Number One. Lessons for America.

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Ward, R. and Sakamoto, Y. (ed., 1987, Democratizing Japan: The Allied Occu- pation, University of. .Wolf, . 1983, The Japanese Conspiracy: A Stunning Analysis of the International Trade War, Empire Books, New York., 1987, Democratizing Japan: The Allied Occu- pation, University of Hawaii Press. Wood, . 1993, The Bubble Economy: The Japanese Economic Collapse, Tuttle, T o ky o. Woronoff, . 1985, Japan: The Coming Economic Crisis, Lotus Press, T o ky o. 1990, Japan As- Anything But-Number One, Yohan Publica- tions, T o ky o. Yamaguchi, . 1983, Early Modern Economy (1868–1945), KEJ, vol. 2, pp. 151–4.

Vogel suggests that the methods by which Japan twice modernized its institutions--late in the nineteenth century and again after World War II--may aid America in rethinking its own societal difficulties
Comments: (7)
Ezra Vogel is a Harvard educated and based scholar on the Far East. He has published 10 or so books on the area, including ones on China, Korea, and "the four tigers." In 1979, when this work was published, it advanced the controversial thesis that America had already been eclipsed economically. Japan's success was primarily attributed to the flexibility and willingness of their governing institutions to do what worked, shorn of ideological considerations. And, they had an "industrial policy," with the government picking and supporting likely "winners," and closing down the "losers."

There is an old adage on Wall Street that when a company makes the cover of a popular news magazine, touted as a success, then it is time to sell it short. All the good news has been "fully discounted." Vogel's book was a bit too "cutting edge" to merit the same fate. Japan continued to flourish, as he indicated, for another entire decade, before its ludicrous real estate "house of cards" collapsed in 1989 (as one indicator, the land under the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was valued at more than all the land in California). Hum, real estate "games" does have a familiar ring.

Vogel is knowledgeable. He had been visiting Japan annually, for extended periods, for two decades prior to this work's publication. His first chapter is entitled the Japanese "miracle" and recounts how it quickly recovered from the utter devastation of World War II. In part, the "clean slate" allowed them to have a fresh look, and actually make changes in the way their society was organized, with very real poverty being a constant goad to pragmatism. He says that if there is a single factor that explains their success, it is a group-directed quest for knowledge. Although it has a strange ring to American ears, the phrase "dedicated government bureaucrat," specifically and in particular, those who worked at M.I.T.I. (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and who ran their "industrial policy" were also an essential component to Japan's success. Vogel devotes chapters to their political institutions and practices (hint: they were no dysfunctional deadlocks), to their large companies that were promoted to be global competitors, as well as chapters on their basic education, crime control and welfare, key societal components whose smooth functioning supported their economic efforts.

A few of the key observations that I noted: Japanese society was far more equalitarian than America's in 1970, with an income ratio of 4.3 between the highest and lowest quintile in Japan compared to 7.1 in the USA( and that was 1970, long before the aggrandizement of the 1%); Japan had 10,000 lawyers compared to 340,000 in the USA; and perhaps most importantly, in the USA, "we have supported egoism and self-interest and have damaged group or common interests" (the Ayn Rand syndrome?)

Vogel was no Pollyanna; he identified the problems, but he was not prescient enough to predict the factors that would led to Japan's stagnation over the last two decades, and even suggest that China might eclipse Japan in turn. I do note his recent book, published in 2011, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China might provide some insights. Overall, a solid achievement, that is now somewhat dated. 4-stars.
I have just finished Ezra Vogel's Japan as Number One and I found it a surprisingly good book. I say surprisingly good because I had some preconceived notions about the book without having even read it. I thought that it was full of cliches, that it was too positive about Japan and that it ignored the bad aspects of Japanese economy and society, that it wasn't based on serious research and that one could only learn distorted lessons from it.

And in a way all these criticisms proved to be true: the cliches in the book are those generalizations that Japanese love to repeat about themselves, especially in the presence of foreigners; painting a rosy picture was all too natural for a country that had experienced more than two decades of unprecedented growth and overcome the first oil shock; most of the structural weaknesses of the Japanese economy were not already visible (although the book does pinpoint social weaknesses), Western scholars who had studied contemporary Japan were only a handful, and the knowledge base was very thin; and the book proved too pessimistic in its depiction of American ills that it thought could be cured by drawing lessons from the Japanese model.

So what makes it a good book? First, one has to consider the date when it was published: 1979. At that time, an academic pretending that Japan was a number one nation may only have invited incredulity and bewilderment. Americans knew very little about Japan or, if they did, were mostly attracted to the traditional aspects of its culture and national character. But here was a book that was telling the general public that "Japan has dealt more successfully with more of the basic problems of postindustrial society than any other country", and that "Japanese success had less to do with traditional character traits than with specific organizational structures, policy programs, and conscious planning" that America would do well to imitate. One can barely imagine how new and provocative these statements were at that time. But the book came to define the zeitgeist of the following decade, when learning from Japan was all the rage.

Second, at a time when little was known about Japan, the book gathered an impressive array of knowledge spanning all aspects of Japanese economy and society. This knowledge formed the conventional wisdom about Japan that was to be echoed and amplified in numerous publications, seminars, and everyday conversations. Most of this conventional wisdom is no longer true, and some wasn't even accurate at the time the book was published, but these generalizations inherited from the past still influence the beliefs that foreigners entertain about Japan or the image that Japanese hold about themselves. People who specialize in contemporary Japan will only ignore them at their peril.

Third, although the lessons for America that Vogel identified some thirty years ago may no longer hold, the idea that Japan has lessons for other countries is still as true today as when it was first formulated. The reasons listed by the author are as follows. For one, Japan, unlike Western countries, has consciously examined and restructured all traditional institutions on the basis of rational considerations and offers the best example of intelligent design in modern societies. A second reason why Japan is a useful mirror is that of all the industrialized democratic countries, Japan, as the only non-Western one, is the most distinctive, and thus offers must sought-after variance that allows the testing of hypotheses and the validation of theories. Third, circumstance has forced Japan to pioneer in confronting problems that other developed countries later experienced with a time lag. If only by its failures and challenges, Japan still holds lessons for America and other Western countries.
Written in 1979 before the world new just how big that little country on the edge of Asia was going to be, this book prefigured the realisation if not the reality of Japan's rise to economic power by a decade. In that decade many more 'Japan Hype' books came out, and a decade or two later the "Japanese miracle" is seen as a debacle. But Japanese economy remains the second largest in the world and there are still lessons to be learned from the Japanese in various areas such as education (still doing far better than the US despite the lack of inter-school competition), public safety (still way up at the top of the OECD tables), and manufacturing technology and management. Japan has its problems, and so does the US, but who would have thought, when this book was written, that the Japanese economy and Japanese way, would compare almost on a par with that of the USA some thirty years later? Which economy will turn out to be 'number one' is still open to debate, but as a book that started the debate, it deserves to be read for its insight.

Furthermore, despite the initial postwar success of the Japanese economy the Japanese have and continue to import Western economic, educational and management systems wholesale, with decreasing sucess. Who knows, perhaps if this book had been read *more* in Japan, and the Japanese had more confidence in their own convictions, the Japanese way might even still be flourishing. The Japanese themselves, increasingly nationalist and increasingly self-confident, are starting to think so.