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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #199: June 24, 2005

Social Science Japan Journal

Journal Name: Social Science Japan Journal: April 2005, Vol. 8, No. 1

Print ISSN: 1369-1465, Online ISSN: 1468-2680

General Papers:

Just Who Reversed the Course? The Red Purge in Higher Education during the Occupation of Japan (pp1-18)
Hans Martin Krämer (Lecturer at the Faculty for East Asian Studies, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany)
This paper examines the dismissals of allegedly Communist teaching staff at Japanese universities between 1948 and 1950 ('red purge') as one example of developments usually attributed to a 'reverse course' in occupation policy. It argues that the red purge came about less as a result of a change in US policy than through Japanese initiative. Based on primary source material, this paper shows that anti-Communism had been an integral part of the thinking of the Occupation's education administrators since 1946. They were, however, careful not to translate this thinking into victimizing action. Rather, a quantitative analysis indicates that, in bringing about an individual's dismissal, factors such as low academic standing were more decisive than political involvement, implying that the purges were not simply ordered from above. Two case studies of purgees, one a philosophy lecturer from Hirosaki Higher School and the other a professor of anatomy at Kyoto Prefectural School of Medicine, serve to corroborate these findings. Assumptions about a reverse course have led to false conceptions about the respective contribution of US and Japanese administrators to late occupation policies. An accurate assessment of the occupation period requires that historians take into account lower-level events and decisions in order to gauge better Japan's role in shaping occupation policy.

Transition from University to Work under Transformation: The Changing Role of Institutional and Alumni Networks in Contemporary Japan (pp19-41)
David Chiavacci (University Assistant at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Zurich)
Institutional and semi-institutional networks between employers and educational institutions have been noted as important mechanisms in the transition from school to work in Japan. At the university level, long-term trust relationships between universities and companies were important ties in the transition of science graduates. During the 1980s and early 1990s, institutionally embedded alumni networks also formed a distinctive transition path between high-ranked universities and large corporations for non-science graduates. However, the lost decade of economical stagnation has been accompanied by changes in the structures of the labor market and the transition process of university graduates. In recent years, the institutional and semi-institutional linkages between universities and corporations show strong tendencies toward disbandment. This paper analyzes these structural transformations in the transition from university to work in Japan. The current deinstitutionalization tendencies are the result of new forms of behavior among the corporate actors as well as the university graduates. These structural changes are not only a result of the economic stagnation and the falling demand for university graduates in the labor market, but also are a reflection of changes in the social values and attitudes of the younger generation of university graduates.

Corporate Organization in Japan and the United States: Is There Evidence of Convergence? (pp43-67)
Sanford M. Jacoby (Howard Noble Professor of Management, History, and Public Affairs at UCLA), Emily M. Nason (Ph.D. candidate in Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management) and Saguchi Kazuro (Professor in the Graduate School of Economics at the University of Tokyo, specializing in employment relations)
We investigate the changing structure of Japanese and US companies and ask whether there are signs of national convergence in corporate organization. We present three types of evidence to address this question: longitudinal data, cross-sectional survey data and structural equation models (SEM). The models are ideal types of Japanese and US companies and relate human-resource strategy and corporate governance to organizational outcomes such as employment practices and the role of the executive human resources (HR) function. We find mixed evidence of convergence. The longitudinal data show some Japanese companies becoming more like those in the US, and the SEM results show a Japanese-style model emerging in some US companies. However, there is also evidence of continuing differences in corporate governance, employment and executive-decision-making in Japan and the US.

In Search of Strategic Partners: Japan's Campaign for Equal Opportunity (pp69-89)
Charles Weathers (Professor in the Osaka City University Graduate School of Economics teaching political economy and industrial relations)
Although advocates of equal opportunity in Japan have recently achieved significant policy-making gains, including the strengthening of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law in 1997, progress toward greater workplace gender equality remains hampered by the weakness of 'strategic partnerships' among actors such as national bureaucrats and women's rights activists. Using interviews with participants and expert observers, this paper explores Japan's recent equal opportunity initiatives, noting the leading role of national labor bureaucrats in formal policy-making, the lack of support for activists fighting discrimination in the courts, and divisions among union officials.The actors have sometimes used international norms to considerable effect, but public policies often undermine their efforts, notably by encouraging the use of women as low-paid non-regular workers.

Survey Articles:

The Incorporation and Economic Structural Reform of Japan's National Universities (pp91-102)
Tabata Hirokuni (Professor specializing in labor law at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo)
This essay describes the reform of Japan's national universities resulting from the enactment of the National University Corporations Law (Kokuritsu Daigaku Hjin-h) in April 2003, which aimed at converting all the national universities into corporate entities (kokuritsu daigaku hjin).The intention of this law is to effect major changes in the heretofore self-governing structure of national universities and to introduce a management system based on the corporate organization style.The National University Corporations Law will lead to a major transformation of universities from sites of research and education grounded in traditional basic research into corporate-like organizations which respond sensitively to social and market needs and which provide more practical research and education services. However, the increased power of the Ministry of Education resulting from incorporation may also limit the academic freedom and autonomy of Japan's national universities.

NGOs in Environmental Networks in Germany and Japan: The Question of Power and Influence (pp103-117)
Gesine Foljanty-Jost (Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)
The paper argues that differences between German and Japanese environmental politics during the 1990s are due to differences in the composition and working of the environmental policy-making networks in both countries. The main assumption is that the relatively proactive role of German environmental politics can be explained by a highly integrated pluralistic network, which includes all major actors in the environmental field. The paper explores this argument by focusing on the role NGOs play in the national environmental policymaking in Germany and Japan. It presents empirical data concerning the position of NGOs in the policymaking networks in both countries with regard to NGOs' resources and opportunities to shape environmental policies. The analysis of the data demonstrates that NGOs are still weak in the network in Japan while, in Germany, the big national NGOs are well integrated and are considered to play a significant role in the policy-making process. This comparison suggests that what accounts for their greatest difference is the availability of means of compensating for weak resources, which is considered to be much more favorable in Germany than in Japan.

Social Science Japan Journal (2005)
Copyright©2005 by the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Tokyo.

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Posted with permission from the publisher.

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications