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One of the most prevalent and dangerous misperceptions is the image of Japan as a faceless, impersonal, corporate entity. In this book Weinstein aims to give a human face to the leaders who will lead that nation into the next century. In doing so, he hopes to give the reader a better idea of what makes these men tick, of the experiences which have shaped their values and their views of Japan and the world. Weinstein conducted approximately 100 hours of taped interviews with 12 internationalized Japanese leaders in their 40s and 50s, including four members of the Diet, four bureaucrats and four businessmen. These interviews form the core of the book - 12 biographical portraits, presented as oral histories and largely in the participant's words. These are individual, personal accounts which begin with family and regional background and include childhood and youth in World War II and the occupation - educational experiences and views of Japan's future. These accounts also shed light on how the system of educational meritocracy and family interact to produce Japanese leaders. Japan's leadership includes a relatively high proportion of people, who while insiders and members of their establishment, are at the same time knowledgeable and at ease in foreign languages and cultures. These internationalized leaders are committed to successful interaction with the outside world. Weinstein's book aims to help readers gain a more accurate, balanced view of the USA's most important overseas trading partner and ally in the Pacific.
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