1992: Integration and Disintegration of the World Economy ? The Role of Japan

Integration and disintegration are contrasted with focus on EC, USSR, and East Europe. MNCs and the role of the US are also considered. The role of Japan is common to all keynote speakers. The 1992 convention was characterized by five, instead of the usual three, keynote presentations. These five dealt more or less with world integration and disintegration seriously, deeply and extensively. It was indeed a very busy convention, but also quite meaningful, making another success story of the JSIE.

Sadatoshi SHIMIZU (Ritsumeikan University) in the first keynote speech “Completion of EC Internal Market and Japan” expressed cautious optimism about the future of the European integration after pointing out inherent difficulties on the road.

Serguey BRAGUINSKY (Yokohama City University) in the second keynote presentation ” Disintegration and Economic Integrity in the Former Soviet Union” used the Shang-Jin Wei model and analyzed the former USSR in terms of interdependence vs. disintegration.

Hirohisa KOHAMA (Shizuoka Prefectural University) in the third keynote speech “Economic Transition in Eastern Europe-A Structural Adjustment Approach” examines the process of transition from planned to market economy in Eastern Europe, which requires extensive long-term structural adjustment. In this requirement, developing countries in other continents are no different. In the 1980s, developing countries had been shifting to market-guided strategies based on World- Bank-type advice of structural adjustment. Japanese experiences of structural adjustments, it was pointed out, would prove beneficial for Eastern Europe. Herein lies the role of Japan.

Shohshichi SUGIMOTO (Kyoto University) in the fourth speech ” Integration and Disintegration of the World Economy- Position of Japan” concludes that there will be unification of advanced countries and incorporation of developing countries therein. This is something new and could be called a new historical stage, with unification and incorporation taking place at the same time. It is MNCs that play a central role in this historical process. The MNCs (e.g. Japanese big businesses) build up and keep supply networks throughout the world (e.g. Asia), contributing to the above process.

Fukutaro WATANABE (Gakushuin University) in the fifth speech “U.S. Policy for Integration and Disintegration of the World Economy” refers to the end of the Pax Americana, the rise of EC and Japan relative to the US, the consequent three-pole system, and the importance of the principle common to Europe and the US, viz. , free market economy and parliamentary democracy. Japan follows. The US will pursue its national interest in the new three-pole political system.