"I am more afraid of the Japanese than I am of the Russians," a young lawyer, partner in a leading law firm, said recently to me. "To be sure, the Russians are out to conquer the world. But their unity is imposed from the top and is unlikely to survive a challenge. The Japanese too are out to conquer us, and their unity comes from within. They act as one superconglomerate." But this is myth rather than reality. The Japanese indeed have learned how to act in the world economy effectively and with national consensus behind their policies. But their unity is not the result of a "Japan Inc.," of a monolith of thought and action. It is the result of something far more interesting and perhaps far more important: of policies aimed at using conflict, diversity, dissent to produce effective policy and effective action.