Japan's capitalism in systemic transformation

Miyoshi, Masaya

"What I saw in America was quite different from the Japanese version of capitalism with
which I was familiar. Perhaps the most salient feature of the Japanese version was the leadership
role played by the government and bureaucracy in nurturing new industries and promoting
economic development, a feature which dates back to the Meiji Restoration of 130 years ago.
The Japanese bureaucracy is very deeply involved in the process of managing the economy and it
would be no exaggeration to state that the responsibility of governing the nation has in effect been
delegated to the bureaucracy. Because of these features, late Prof. William Lockwood labeled the
Japanese form of capitalism as “sponsored capitalism.” What he meant was that the capitalistic
system in Japan rested on the shoulders of the government and the bureaucracy who essentially
acted as the sponsors and chaperones of the system."

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Occasional Papers, 29
Published Here
February 16, 2011