Case | HBS Case Collection | May 1998 (Revised January 1999)

Japan: "Free, Fair, and Global?"

by Richard H.K. Vietor and Stephen E. Lynagh


In April 1998, Prime Minister Hashimoto faced serious problems, both with his program of six systemic reforms and with his fiscal policy. Japan had been in effective recession for six years, unable to retain the miracle-growth achieved in earlier decades. Hashimoto has proposed to reform social security, fiscal policy, administration, regulation, education, and especially the financial system. But institutional rigidities--the bureaucracy, labor policies, corporate governance, and the aging population among others--has made change exceedingly difficult.

Keywords: Sovereign Finance; Development Economics; Social Issues; Policy; Economy; Government Administration; Financial Crisis; Japan;


Vietor, Richard H.K., and Stephen E. Lynagh. Japan: "Free, Fair, and Global?". Harvard Business School Case 798-083, May 1998. (Revised January 1999.)