By George T. Yu (eds.)

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We are told that Japan is producer-oriented while the West is consumer-oriented as though this represents some basic cultural difference . But this exaggerates the importance of consumer interests in US history, underestimates the importance attached to pleasing the consumer in Japan, and fails to recognize that these orientations in any case change over time in response to changing economic conditions and shifting social values. POLITICIAN AND BUREAUCRAT UNDER ONE-PARTY DOMINANCE Does one-party dominance function to provide a kind of cover for bureaucratic control of policy making?

One consequence of the experience of the military's takeover of the government in the 1930s was that the great majority of politicians after World War II, whether conservative or progressive, wanted to prevent a return of militarism . There was a widespread belief that 36 Asia's New World Order the interests of the nation required democratic governance. When some political leaders were suspected of trying to reverse the democratizing trend, they were challenged vigorously by others. In other countries in Asia, too, it is evident that leadership commitment to democratic institutions is crucial.

But all the evidence points to a decline in bureaucratic power along with the weakness of political leadership. There has been a general deflation of political power in Japan since the end of LDP dominance. THE JAPANESE MODEL The lessons Japan has to offer the rest of East Asia, and countries elsewhere as well, about political development are quite different from what it is currently fashionable to believe they are . There are five lessons in particular deserving of emphasis. The first lesson relates to the importance of institutions.

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Asia’s New World Order by George T. Yu (eds.)
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