Article | Foreign Affairs

Fixing What Really Ails Japan

by Michael E. Porter and Hirotaka Takeuchi


Conventional wisdom claims that Japan’s “economic miracle” stemmed from its unique model of government guidance and its revolutionary corporate management techniques. An in-depth study proves this seriously wrong. Rampant government intervention has caused more business failures than successes, and a fundamental cautiousness has led Japanese companies to ignore strategic thinking and shun risk. To pull out of its current slump, Japan must embrace competition, innovation, and bold leadership.

Keywords: Leadership; Competition; Innovation and Invention; Business and Government Relations; Japan;


Porter, Michael E., and Hirotaka Takeuchi. "Fixing What Really Ails Japan." Foreign Affairs 78, no. 3 (May–June 1999): 66–81.