JAPAN: Kicking the Growth Cult

"The Japanese worked too hard in the past. It is most important to curb the growth rate and eliminate various negative conditions, including pollution."

—Konosuke Matsushita, chief of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

In what could be Japan's most significant policy shift since V-J day, the world's third mightiest industrial power is reining in its breakneck drive for economic growth. Many industrialists and economists have joined with Matsushita, himself the symbol of Japan's high-growth ideology, in calling for a slower, steadier pace. Kazutaka Kikawada, chairman of the Tokyo Electric Power Co., complains that Japan's growth drive has led to a "flippant materialism,"...

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