TURNING THE TABLES by Daniel Burstein

TURNING THE TABLES

A Machiavellian Strategy for Dealing with Japan
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An erstwhile alarmist's reassessment of the socioeconomic threat posed by Japan in the wake of its recent success. In Yen! (1988) and Euroquake (1991), Burstein offered a relentlessly dour evaluation of the West's chances in its rivalry with Japan. Now, with the Tokyo stock market in retreat, the island nation's financial system undermined by falling asset values, and its political leadership locked in an enervating power struggle, he's whistling an appreciably less mournful tune. But the author doesn't anticipate that Japan will remain in eclipse for long; building on demonstrable commercial strengths, he predicts, the country could regain its momentum within a very few years. To do so, Burstein believes, it must move in America's direction--while, by the same token, the US needs to save more, consume less, improve its productivity, and otherwise behave in ways identified as typically Japanese. Meanwhile, there's a window of opportunity that gives Washington time to develop a coherent long-term strategy to enhance corporate America's competitive position vis-Ö-vis that of Japan. Among other suggestions, Burstein urges: adoption of a technology (if not industrial) policy; encouragement of collaborative efforts in international trade; taking advantage of low-cost capital to renew US manufacturing capabilities; and price restraint. The most arresting item on the author's agenda, however, is what he calls the deal of the next century--i.e., a ``Trans- Pacific Community.'' Building on the Structural Impediments Initiative, America and Japan could create a borderless EC-like marketplace that would be the wonder of the world. Comparatively conventional analyses, plus provocative proposals that may remind some interested parties of the Civil War general who observed: ``If you can't lick `em, jine 'em.''

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-78953-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992




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