‘Build a rich country with a strong army’, as the famous slogan of the Meiji Japanese government defined the basic goals of its economic policy, or that of any modern government for that matter, or ‘build a rich country without a strong army’, if circumstances demand it, as one of the contributors to this volume, Professor Takafusa Nakamura, has pointed out. This has been the basic strategy of economic policy in postwar Japan and, perhaps, a common goal of many other nations in the era when the erection and maintenance of a strong national army has often been replaced by integration into an international alliance and protection by a superpower, both in Europe and in Asia.1 Under the rapidly changing and constantly challenging circumstances of international political economy in recent decades, to be a rich country, with or without a strong national army, requires an enormous amount of effort and sophistication in managing a national economy that is buffeted by international energy and financial crises and plagued by the greying of key domestic industries. For many national economies, both developed and developing, this pursuit has brought serious economic maladjustments and social crises rather than the promised prosperity and happiness. This book addresses itself to the Japanese and West German efforts to cope with such diverse and troublesome problems of managing contemporary political economies, their successes and failures, their similarities and differences.


Federal Republic Economic Change German Democratic Republic Liberal Democratic Party European Economic Community 
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Copyright information

© Haruhiro Fukui and Peter H. Merkl 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haruhiro Fukui
  • Peter H. Merkl

There are no affiliations available

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