Cartels of the Mind: Japan's Intellectual Closed Shop (英語) ハードカバー – 1997/11
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As Washington and Tokyo continue to clarify their relationship and roles, Japan continues to block the access of foreign professionals, Westerners and Asians alike. These market barriers serve neither the professed goals of Japan nor those of the United States. Despite repeated promises to open up, Japanese legal, media, academic and research organizations run an intellectual closed shop. Western lawyers are stymied in efforts to help firms enter the Japanese market. Foreign correspondants are systematically walled off from the most important resources. Resident Asian academics in search of stable and productive careers and education find the roads blocked. Non-Japanese scientists and engineers are kept out of state-of-the-art laboratories. Japan aspires to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and a larger political voice, but its intellectual parsimony is simply not worthy of a world economic power, argues Ivan Hall. This book looks into the causes of these cultural and institutional barriers and examines ineffective past attempts to challenge them.
Ivan Hall has spent nearly three decades in Japan as a correspondent, cultural diplomat, and academic. He was the first associate director of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and spent nine years teaching as a professor in Japanese universities. He lives in Tokyo.
All in all reading the book was like watching one of those polemical documentaries that exhaustively argue one side of an issue - at first you are wrapped up in the damning evidence and thrill of wrongs being exposed, but after the same point is made over and over and over in the same way, you gradually grow skeptical about whether the situation could really be so simple. It would have made a fine magazine feature, but at this length I was hoping for more.