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The Power to Compete: An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy

The Power to Compete: An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy

Hiroshi Mikitani, Ryoichi Mikitani

ISBN: 978-1-119-00060-0

Nov 2014

240 pages

In Stock

CAD $30.00


A Penetrating, Sensitive, and Engaging Analysis of the Road to a Brighter Future for Japan

The Japanese economy needs a jump-start. This is not an indictment, but rather an honest assessment of reality. The Power to Compete is a conversation between two of the men most qualified to discuss the situation: a CEO of one of the world's largest Internet companies and his father, a leading international economist and longtime Kobe University professor.

Between Hiroshi and Ryoichi Mikitani, there is a depth of understanding—both of global issues and of the Japanese identity—that makes their conversations stimulating, informative, and even transformational. In each chapter of The Power to Compete, father and son tackle complex issues with intelligence and humor, arriving at a series of recommendations for the future that have the power to inspire a generation of readers to work for a more prosperous Japan. Their ideas are ambitious, wide-ranging, and often controversial, but they aren't shy about presenting them.

Internationally, Japan has a reputation of resisting foreign ideas and isolating itself from progress. To change this image and cure "the Japan Disease," members of all generations need to work together. The Power to Compete is an inspiring book that will show you how to take the history and traditions of Japan onto the global stage.

"Hiroshi Mikitani is not only an important business leader in Japan, but, along with his late father, Ryoichi, someone who has done a tremendous amount of strategic thinking on the Japanese economy, its history and its recovery. Mikitani-san is a shining example for up and coming innovators and entrepreneurs across Japan who will be critical to Japan's economy and, in turn, the U.S.-Japan relationship for years to come."
— John V. Roos, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan

"Ryoichi Mikitani was one of Japan's most thoughtful and probing economists, and Hiroshi is today probably Japan's most dynamic entrepreneur. And Ryoichi clearly passed on to his son a deep Japanese patriotism in the finest sense. Everyone who wishes Japan well should hope that the ideas they shared will receive the widest attention among the country's government and people."
— Benjamin M. Friedman, William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University, and author of The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth

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Introduction Japan Again ix

Chapter 1 The Power to Innovate 1

Japan Again 1

The Keys to Revitalizing Japan 4

Keidanren’s Raison D’̂etre 7

The Nature of Innovation 11

Schumpeter’s Contribution 15

Building Infrastructure 19

Business Innovation 23

Summary 27

Chapter 2 The Power to Operate 29

Workforce Fluidity 29

Privatization 33

Lifetime Employment 37

Escaping Lifetime Employment 40

Immigration Problems 43

Why English Needs to Be a Common Language in Japan 45

Growing the Population 50

Summary 53

Chapter 3 The Power in Questioning Abenomics 55

History of Abenomics 55

Independence in Finance 59

The Optimal Inflation Rate 62

Halting the Rise of Interest Rates 65

What to Do About Our 1-Quadrillion-Yen Debt 67

The Pros and Cons of Abenomics 70

Summary 75

Chapter 4 The Power of the Low-Cost State 77

The High Cost of Governance 77

How to Reform the High-Cost Structure 83

Addressing the Japanese Disease 87

The United States and Individualism 92

The Impotent Bureaucracy 95

Internationalizing the Bureaucracy 99

Creating Think Tanks 103

Political Appointees 106

What It Will Take to Improve the Bureaucracy 109

Summary 111

Chapter 5 The Power to Succeed Overseas 113

The Decline in the Number of Students Studying Abroad 113

Escaping from the Galapagos Effect 118

The Future of Journalism 121

Media in the Internet Era 125

The Importance of Liberal Arts 131

Ryoichi Mikitani’s Experiences Abroad 134

Summary 137

Chapter 6 The Power to Educate 139

Uniform Japanese Education 139

The Education of the Mikitani Family 141

What the Education System Needs 146

Higher Education 151

What People Study in University 154

The Founding of Rakuten 157

The Evaluation System for Teachers 160

The Need for Strategy in the Japanese Education System 162

Summary 168

Chapter 7 The Power to Build Brand Japan 169

Brand Power 169

The Demonstration Effect 174

Brand Value at the National Level 178

Foreign Nationals Working in Japan 183

Making Japan Attractive to Foreign Nationals 186

Japan and the Trans-Pacific Partnership 189

Summary 195

Conclusion What Is the Power to Compete? 197

Japan Uniquely Incorporates and Interprets Cultures 197

Competitiveness as a Platform 200

The Global Logistics Revolution 202

Summary 205

Epilogue 207

Acknowledgments 211

Index 213