The economic system of contemporary Japan is often referred to as the “Japanesestyle” system. This is because, whether consciously or unconsciously, many people consider the economic system in Japan to be different from that in Western Europe and, in particular, from that in the United States. Specifically, the following phenomena, considered characteristic of the Japanese-style system, are seldom observed in other countries:

• Long-term fixed employment, a seniority-based wage system, and internal promotion in the labor-management relationship

• The dominance of indirect financing and the “main bank” system in the financial market

• The subcontracting and corporate affiliates (keiretsu) in the interfirm relationship

• The limited power of stockholders within a corporation, the interfirm stockholding which supports it, and a board of directors whose dominant majority is composed of executives who advanced through the ranks

• The prevalence of administrative guidance in the govemment-business relationship, and

• The unique position of trade associations that are supported by former bureaucrats.