Abstract: There is nothing more scrutinized than the Japanese bureaucracy in the analysis of finding causes of the trade friction between the United State and Japan. This paper attempts to see where such scrutiny stemmed from by analyzing the historical background for the birth and development of the Japanese bureaucracy and what roles the bureaucracy took in forming modern Japanese economy and establishing its astonishing successes and achievements. The paper also closely looks at the Japan bashers’ points of view, particularly one of the most well known Japan bashers, Chalmers Johnson’s: where his contentions come from and what is weakness and strength in his arguments.
Probably there is nothing more scrutinized than the Japanese bureaucracy in the analysis of finding causes of the trade friction between the United States and Japan. Japan bashers show an accordance in their argument that Japan's economic success is a result of the orchestration by Japanese bureaucrats with their calculated effort to secure their power by bringing the public norm to the "supreme objective of making and keeping Japan economically and politically competitive at any cost.
It is true that the orchestration took place-particularly, during the Meiji Restoration 1868 and the following Meiji Era (1868-1912), it was conducted in a vigorous manner, and today, the bureaucracy still remains as a core part of the Japanese political and economic systems, if less conspicuously than before. One ought to be careful, however, before he or she accepts the Japan bashers’ argument. The orchestration has been conducted by the bureaucrats in a far less selfish and less forceful manner than what the Japan bashers claim to be. It does not really take a scholarly eye or knowledge to discern that their arguments are based on distortion and inadequateness in analyzing the social and economic conditions of Japanese society.
The purpose of this paper is to establish a proper understanding of the nature of the Japanese bureaucracy and its role in today’s Japanese economy by examining the historical background of the development of the bureaucratic system and the allegedly unfair practices of the Japanese bureaucracy.