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

Book Description

Father and son - entrepreneur and economist - search for Japan's economic cure

The Power to Compete tackles the issues central to the prosperity of Japan - and the world - in search of a cure for the "Japan Disease." As founder and CEO of Rakuten, one of the world's largest Internet companies, author Hiroshi Mikitani brings an entrepreneur's perspective to bear on the country's economic stagnation. Through a freewheeling and candid conversation with his economist father, Ryoichi Mikitani, the two examine the issues facing Japan, and explore possible roadmaps to revitalization. How can Japan overhaul its economy, education system, immigration, public infrastructure, and hold its own with China? Their ideas include applying business techniques like Key Performance Indicators to fix the economy, using information technology to cut government bureaucracy, and increasing the number of foreign firms with a head office in Japan. Readers gain rare insight into Japan's future, from both academic and practical perspectives on the inside.

Mikitani argues that Japan's tendency to shun international frameworks and hide from global realities is the root of the problem, while Mikitani Sr.'s background as an international economist puts the issue in perspective for a well-rounded look at today's Japan.

  • Examine the causes of Japan's endless economic stagnation

  • Discover the current efforts underway to enhance Japan's competitiveness

  • Learn how free market "Abenomics" affected Japan's economy long-term

  • See Japan's issues from the perspective of an entrepreneur and an economist

  • Japan's malaise is seated in a number of economic, business, political, and cultural issues, and this book doesn't shy away from hot topics. More than a discussion of economics, this book is a conversation between father and son as they work through opposing perspectives to help their country find The Power to Compete.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright
    3. Introduction: Japan Again
    4. Chapter 1: The Power to Innovate
      1. Japan Again
      2. The Keys to Revitalizing Japan
      3. Keidanren's Raison D'être
      4. The Nature of Innovation
      5. Schumpeter's Contribution
      6. Building Infrastructure
      7. Business Innovation
      8. Summary
    5. Chapter 2: The Power to Operate
      1. Workforce Fluidity
      2. Privatization
      3. Lifetime Employment
      4. Escaping Lifetime Employment
      5. Immigration Problems
      6. Why English Needs to Be a Common Language in Japan
      7. Growing the Population
      8. Summary
    6. Chapter 3: The Power in Questioning Abenomics
      1. History of Abenomics
      2. Independence in Finance
      3. The Optimal Inflation Rate
      4. Halting the Rise of Interest Rates
      5. What to Do About Our 1-Quadrillion-Yen Debt
      6. The Pros and Cons of Abenomics
      7. Summary
    7. Chapter 4: The Power of the Low-Cost State
      1. The High Cost of Governance
      2. How to Reform the High-Cost Structure
      3. Addressing the Japanese Disease
      4. The United States and Individualism
      5. The Impotent Bureaucracy
      6. Internationalizing the Bureaucracy
      7. Creating Think Tanks
      8. Political Appointees
      9. What It Will Take to Improve the Bureaucracy
      10. Summary
    8. Chapter 5: The Power to Succeed Overseas
      1. The Decline in the Number of Students Studying Abroad
      2. Escaping from the Galapagos Effect
      3. The Future of Journalism
      4. Media in the Internet Era
      5. The Importance of Liberal Arts
      6. Ryoichi Mikitani's Experiences Abroad
      7. Summary
    9. Chapter 6: The Power to Educate
      1. Uniform Japanese Education
      2. The Education of the Mikitani Family
      3. What the Education System Needs
      4. Higher Education
      5. What People Study in University
      6. The Founding of Rakuten
      7. The Evaluation System for Teachers
      8. The Need for Strategy in the Japanese Education System
      9. Summary
    10. Chapter 7: The Power to Build Brand Japan
      1. Brand Power
      2. The Demonstration Effect
      3. Brand Value at the National Level
      4. Foreign Nationals Working in Japan
      5. Making Japan Attractive to Foreign Nationals
      6. Japan and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
      7. Summary
    11. Conclusion: What Is the Power to Compete?
      1. Japan Uniquely Incorporates and Interprets Cultures
      2. Competitiveness as a Platform
      3. The Global Logistics Revolution
      4. Summary
    12. Epilogue
    13. Acknowledgments
    14. Index
    15. End User License Agreement