The Japanese corporation and its management

Saba, Shoichi

The concepts of capitalism and modern industry were introduced into Japan about 120 years ago following the restoration of the Meiji Emperor to power in 1868. Industry did begin developing rapidly after capitalism was introduced to Japan, and capitalism in Japan at that time was similar to Western capitalism at that time. Capitalist corporate owners invested capital and exploited laborers, with whom they had an antagonistic relationship. Many industries were dominated by monopolies, and the major corporate groupings, or zaibatsu, were much more powerful than they are today. Several fundamental aspects of the early Japanese capitalism were changed by reforms made by the United States during the period of occupation following World War II. These reforms ultimately led to a strikingly high level of economic and social equality in postwar Japan.

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Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 26
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February 7, 2011