Structural Changes in Japanese Capitalism

  • Makoto Itoh


Just as the wide-ranging unevenness and imbalance between the North and South, as well as among various countries in each global region, intensify in the process of the current great depression, the restructuring of the Japanese economy is giving quite a different influence to its components or classes. If we conventionally divide the major components of a national economy into capitalist firms, workers, and the state, it is clearly the firms as a whole among these three that have gained most through the economic crisis, by recovering and then improving their financial position. Landed proprietors, especially of the metropolitan areas, who often overlap with capitalist firms, have also become much wealthier, due to the enormous increase in the price of land. In contrast, the burden of the great depression has been shifted more and more on to the shoulders of working people by weakening the social power of trade unions. The deepening financial crisis of the states also conspicuous and is being utilised in breaking down the social positions of workers.


Real Wage Liberal Democratic Party Regular Worker Tertiary Industry High Economic Growth 
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  1. 3.
    The number of bankrupted corporations, most of which are small and medium sized, is as follows; for the years 1972 to 1986. 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 7 139 11 681 15 641 15 875 17 884 17 122 20 841 17 476 Source: Economic Planning Agency, [The Economic Handbook], 1986, (Tokyo: Ministry of Finance, Printing Bureau),Google Scholar
  2. The Bank of Japan, [Comparative Economic and Financial Statistics], 1987.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    The output-capital ratio, as net value added divided by net capital stock in Japanese manufacturing, actually stagnated in a lower and narrower range between 72 per cent and 75 per cent in 1976–83, after falling from 102 per cent in 1973 to 68 per cent in 1975. P. Armstrong and A. Glyn, Accumulation, Profits, State Spending: Data for Advanced Capitalist Countries 1952–1983, Oxford Institute, Economics and Statistics, July 1986, p. 56.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    This formulation is presented by M. Yoshitomi, [Japanese Economy], (Tokyo: Toyokeizai-shinpo-sha, 1980, p. 51) in analysing the earlier period of the process at the beginning of the 1970s. Its analogy with D. Ricardo’s theory of increasing differential rent is of some interest; and we shall refer to it later.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    S. Tsuru, [Challenging the Land Price Issue], in Sekai, March 1988.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Makoto Itoh 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Itoh
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TokyoJapan

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