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The Human Face of Japan's Leadership: Twelve Portraits (Paperback)Martin E. Weinstein
Paperback Published: 11/09/1989
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One of the most prevalent and dangerous American misperceptions is the image of Japan as a faceless, impersonal, corporate entity. In The Human Face of Japan's Leadership, Weinstein gives a human face to the leaders who will lead that nation into the next century. In doing so, he gives 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 will help Americans gain a more accurate, balanced view of their most important overseas trading partner and ally in the Pacific. It could easily serve as a supplementary text in many courses on Japan, ranging from history and politics to business and management.