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Japanese economic thought : a foreigner's-eye view

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  • Agricultural Science
  • Economics


Mita Journal of Economics 〔特別寄稿〕 —^ _ • •Japanese Economic Thougnt —A Foreigner^s-Eve View— A f* B r o n f e n b r e n n e r Introduction The Arnerican Economic Association is devoting two sessions of its 1955 Annual GonveutioB to a discussion of contemporary economic thought in eight countries, one of which is Japan. As the speaker on Japan, I propose to outline, both too briefly and too generally, some of the main teatures and main currents of Japanese economic thought as seen through one foreigner^ eyes. The detailed job of compiling and criticizing: individual works and writers is being' done, not only in Japanese but in English, by Japanese writers. Let me mentioxi in passing the Japan Science Review (Economic Sciences'),1) whose first volume has already appeared, and which may in the future develop into an equivalent of the Anglo-American Survey o f Contem- porary Economics. From time to time I shall say a few words in this essay which my fx'iends among the Japanese economists may be tempted to interpret as impolitey so I shall begin by paying some sincere and heartfelt compliments. I am impressed with the ability of the younger Japanese economists in particular to recover in ten years all Japan had lost (in comparison with Western economics) during the previous militarist generation. Their capacity for study and scholarship is especially impressive in view of /the miserable conditions under whiclv they have had to live for this whole period, and the need for most of them to accept side work of a non-academic nature to keep from starving.2) — -^------:---------:~ —------— :-- — -^ ------ --------------------:------------- 7---- ---- - .1) Japan Science Review {Economic Sciences), vol . 1 (Tokyo : Japan TJnion of Associations of Economio Sciences, 1953). This particular issue is one-sided in omitting, any reference to agricultural economics, labor economics, Oriental economic history or the history of Oriental economic ideas. 2) The average sala

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