The new Japan: Economic recovery, corporate restructuring, and the Internet

Japan is in the process of a profound economic and business transformation, which has been underway for some time and will take perhaps another five years or more. Japan is moving toward a less regulated and more market-oriented economy, to a more open and competitive economy, and to an economy in which the information technology revolution is beginning to spread rapidly, transforming competitive conditions for firms and markets. Thirty years ago, agriculture and textiles may have characterized the "old Japan", while the "new Japan" included steel, automobiles, and consumer electronics. Today's "old Japan" refers to large, well-established firms in many heavy industrial sectors, the banking system, and the large trading companies. Unlike agriculture, many firms in these industries are transforming themselves by restructuring and investing in information technology in order to be effective participants in Japan's evolving economy. There are major new features of what is currently called the "New Japan." On February 11, 2000, the Center on Japanese Economy and Business, the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business and the Center for International Business Education of Columbia University, and Sumitomo Corporation of America, hosted a one-day international conference to explore these and related issues. Distinguished scholars, senior business executives, and young, successful entrepreneurs participated in a series of panel discussions to assess the macro-economic environment in Japan; the incipient explosion in Japan of venture capital activities, new Internet firms, and e-commerce; foreign Merger and Acquisition and foreign investment in Japanese industries; and the implications of these changes for the Japanese and American economies. Excerpts of their presentations are presented below with highlights of the intra-panel and audience discussions.



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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School
Published Here
April 28, 2011