The willingness of state financial institutions to

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The willingness of state financial institutions to back industrial debt/equity ratios at levels unheard of in the West was a critical ingredient in the expansion of new industries. The state's centrality to the provision of new capital also allowed it to implement "industrial rationalization" and "industrial structure policy" (John- son, 1982:27-28). MITI, given its role in the approval of investment loans from the Japan Development Bank, its authority over foreign currency allo- cations for industrial purposes and licenses to import foreign technology, its ability to provide tax breaks, and its capacity to articulate "administra- tive guidance cartels" that would regulate competition in an industry, was in a perfect position to "maximize induced decision-making" (see Johnson, 1982:236). The administrative apparatus that oversaw Japan's industrial transfor- mation was as impressive as the transformation itself. Some might consider Evans 572 This content downloaded from 132.206.27.25 on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 01:23:36 UTCAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Predatory, Developmental, and Other Apparatuses Johnson's (1982:26) characterization of MITI as "without doubt the greatest concentration of brainpower in Japan" hyperbole, but few would deny the fact that Japan's startling postwar economic growth occurred in the presence of "a powerful, talented and prestige-laden economic bureaucracy." Nor is it controversial to assert that, at least up to the recent past, "official agen- cies attract the most talented graduates of the best universities in the coun- try and positions of higher level officials in these ministries have been and still are the most prestigious in the country" (Johnson, 1982:20). The ability of the higher civil service exam to weed out all but the top graduates of the top universities is apparent in the failure rate. As few as 2% or 3%o of those who take the exam in a given year pass (Johnson, 1982:57). There is clearly a Weberian aspect to the Japanese developmental state. Officials have the special status that Weber felt was essential to a true bureaucracy. They follow long-term career paths within the bureaucracy, and generally operate in accordance with rules and established norms. In gener- al, individual maximization must take place via conformity to bureaucratic rules rather than via exploitation of individual opportunities presented by the invisible hand. Weberian pronouncements regarding the necessity of a coherent meritocratic bureaucracy are confirmed but the Japanese case also indicates the necessity of going beyond them. All descriptions of the Japanese state emphasize the indispensibility of informal networks, both internal and ex- ternal, to the state's functioning. Internal networks are crucial to the bureaucracy's coherence. Johnson (1982:57-59) emphasizes the centrality of the gakubatsu, ties among classmates at the elite universities from which offi- cials are recruited, and particularly the "batsu of all batsu," which bring together the alumni of Tokyo University Law School who comprised in to- tal an astounding 73%7 of higher bureaucrats in 1965.

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