Fifty years ago, a new alliance of Japanese elites sparked the miraculous transformation of their country from a land decimated by war to an economic superpower that would become the envy of the world. These elites represented the best and brightest of Japan and they were willing to make great sacrifices for the prosperity of their people. Now, this same elitist system may be the nation's downfall. The new elites who replaced the pre-World War II zaibatsu elite have formed their own brand of upper class rule based on corporate control and domination of the state. Intent on solidifying their power through arranged marriages and interlocking families, many Japanese believe the new elite has become corrupt and self-serving. The resulting inequality has spurred growing anger among the non-elite classes. At a time when stability defines the new world order, Japan faces its greatest threat-the threat from within. Bound to be controversial, Who Rules Japan? is a study that expertly connects the country's economic, cultural, historical, and political facets.
Kerbo and McKinstry explain how this new type of upper class has gradually spurned the traditional ideals of democracy in favor of an elitist approach that exploits the masses and causes ominous unrest. As a result, Japan is now confronted with a critical turning point in its history. The elites must choose between consolidating their personal power by continuing to resist change or beginning to make necessary sacrifices for their nation at the expense of their own privilege and prestige. The course they take will determine Japan's fate and the shape of the world order into the next century. Unique in its approach, this book will be of interest to scholars, researchers, students, and the general reader-all those interested in understanding Japan's inner struggle.