Japan's overwhelming success story came to an abrupt end when the bubble burst in the 1980s. The Japanese economy has since found itself in a permanent crisis. Its economic situation has been characterised by deflation. Despite all political attempts, domestic demand has not recovered. In its latest volume of the Quarterly Journal of Economic Research Japan: How to overcome the Difficult Decade?, the DIW Berlin comprehensively analyses the possibilities and limitations of Japanese reform policy for the first time; both Japan's macro-policy and its recent structural reforms in the business and banking sector and the social welfare system are examined.
The studies show that traditional macro-policy is unable to solve the manifold problems of the Japanese economy. However, Japan is not a case in point for the decreasing importance of national economic policy in a globalised world. Rather, it is the stop-and-go-course of economic policy, which has led Japan into this crisis. Reform efforts were often only half-hearted and ad hoc. However, the past decade should not be regarded as the lost decade. In actual fact, important steps were taken to open up markets, especially in the business and banking sector.
The findings presented in the volume suggest that the permanent stimulation of the Japanese domestic economy does not only require well co-ordinated reform steps and a consistent macro-policy, but also a more intensified integration of Japan into the global economy. This would allow Japan to benefit from its often underrated stance as the world forerunner in the distribution of modern communication technology.
· Günter Weinert Japanese Macro-Policy
· Jörn Kleinert, The Kiel Institute of World Economics: Japan's Integration into the World Economy
· Gunter Schnabl, Tübingen University and Stanford University: Deciding Factors for the yen-dollar exchange rate
· Andreas Nabor, HWWA-Hamburg Institute of International Economics: Reforms Attempts in the Financial Sector
· Mechthild Schrooten, DIW Berlin: The Connection between Financial Markets and Growth
· Martin Schulz, Fujitsu Research Institute: Business Reforms
· Hilda Joffe, Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology: E-Commerce in Japan
· Tetsuo Fukawa, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research IPSS Tokyo: Comparison of the Social Welfare Reforms in Japan and Germany.
Vierteljahreshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Heft 4/2001, erschienen bei Verlag Duncker & Humblot GmbH (Tel. 030-7900-060), Preis: ca. 60 Euro. Rezensionsexemplare (in Englisch) über die Pressestelle des DIW Berlin.