Entrepreneurs, Not MITI, Decided Japan Outcomes in ’60s, ’70s and ’80s

(p. 164) Ishibashi’s regime was followed in the early 1960s by the “income-doubling campaign” of his associate Hayato Ikeda, who assumed power in 1961 and continued the supply-side thrust. The result was a steady upsurge of domestic growth, with firms and industries rapidly gaining experience in intense rivalries at home before entering the global arena as low-cost producers, and with government cutting taxes and increasing revenues and savings.

It is from this domestic crucible of intense competition with normal rates of bankruptcy far above those in the United States, with scores of rivals in every field, that the great Japanese companies have emerged. At various times during the last three decades, for example, there have been 58 integrated steel firms, 50 motorbike companies, 12 auto firms, 42 makers of hand-held calculators, 13 makers of facsimile machines, and 250 producers of robots. Overlooking this welter are always the crested bureaucrats of MITI, sometimes offering useful aid and guidance–but at the center, deciding outcomes, have always been the entrepreneurs.

Source:
Gilder, George. Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise: Updated for the 1990s. updated ed. New York: ICS Press, 1992.

One thought on “Entrepreneurs, Not MITI, Decided Japan Outcomes in ’60s, ’70s and ’80s”

  1. It is often forgotten that the Minister for International trade and industry in the late 1960s up until 1971 was Tanaka – the most corrupt man in postwar Japanese politics.
    He had previously been Minister for Public Works, but to generate the necessary bribe income to pay an entire generation of Japanese politicians to step aside to allow him to become Prime Minister in the early 1970s at a young age, he thought the Ministry of International trade and industry was a better position to garner influence and donations.
    My professors in Japan worked in the Ministry of International trade and industry and the Ministry of Finance in the 1970s and 1960s. None of them seemed to carry over their picking winners skills into their private portfolios when they retired.
    see http://utopiayouarestandinginit.com/2014/03/14/if-you-are-so-smart-why-arent-you-rich/

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