Sheridan criticizes the argument that, as Japan reaches economic maturity, its ability to make deliberate national choices backed by government action will give way to market forces. Sheridan offers a very different interpretation based on the existence of a sequence of policy cycles, discernible in the historical development of Japan's economy. Only by reconstructing this sequence of policy cycles over the last two centuries can we make sense of the "Japanese secret" and understand the significance of recent policy shifts.
List of Figures and Charts.
List of Material Appearing in the Appendix.
Introduction: The Past and Potential Role of Government in Japanese Economic Life.
1. Feudalism and Modernisation, 1800–1880.
2. Deciding the Principles of Japanese Capitalism, 1881–1900.
3. Capital Accumulation and Economic Growth, 1901–1936.
4. Social Policy in Economic Policy, 1901–1936.
5. Economic Conduct of the Pacific War, 1937–1945.
6. Reconstruction, 1946–1955.
7. High–Speed Economic Growth, 1956–1972.
8. A Decelerated Economy, 1973–1990.
9. Explanations: The Nature and Government of Japanese Capitalism, 1868–1990.
10. Neglected Producers.
Appendix: Statistical Tables.
. 'I was pleasantly surprised with Sheridan's book. ... She has been able to weave a consistent, complex tale about Japanese development with the state at the centre'.
The Journal of Asian Studies
'Governing the Japanese Economy, offers a provocative and timely assessment of the role of government in Japan over the past few hundred years and provides a blueprint for future policy. ... Sheridan provides excellent tables and accessible and detailed footnotes...'
Japanese Studies Bulletin
. 'Wide–ranging examination of Japanese economic development. Offering an 'alternative' historical overview, she presents Japanese economic performance as the culmination of 120 years of conscious government proprietorship.... There is a wide public consciousness of corruption, abuse of market power, and growing income inequalities. This book gives us the tools with which to forecast how Japanese government agencies are likely to respond to the social crisis.'
B J McFarlane, University of Newcastle