Date: Thursday, February 08, 2024 6:30 PM
Location: Temple University, Japan Campus, 1-14-29 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 154-0004


  • Richard Katz (Toyo Keizai and Japan Economy Watch)


  • Robert Dujarric, ICAS Co-Director


Just as a wave of entrepreneurship created Japan’s postwar “economic miracle,” so it will take a new generation of entrepreneurs to revive its stagnant economy. In today’s Japan, assorted political and economic obstacles impede such newcomers.

Fortunately, major social and technological changes are breaking down those obstacles and creating Japan’s best opportunity in a generation. The lifetime employment system has long made it too risky to leave a job at a big firm to start or join a startup. Today’s generation is far more willing to take that risk, enabling newcomers to hire experienced staff. Many are talented women denied promotions at traditional companies. E-commerce is enabling tens of thousands of newcomers to bypass the traditional distribution system and gain access to millions of customers. Meanwhile, three “lost decades” have convinced many within both elites and the public of the need for change. Today’s trends go far beyond anything seen as recently as a decade ago when promises of entrepreneurial revival failed to come true.

The bad news is that these positive trends cannot reach critical mass without support from the government and the financial system. They are not getting it. While Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised “bold” actions to stimulate 100,000 new startups by 2027, he took almost no measures to turn his rhetoric into reality. It is hard for newcomers to get either initial financing or bank loans.

Japan’s economic future will be determined by the contest between the pro- and anti-entrepreneurship forces detailed in this book.

Date & Time:

Thursday, February 8th, 2024 18:30


Temple University, Japan Campus, the Shimada Parliament (Room 111) (Access)


Registration is not required but greatly appreciated. Please indicate your participation by filling out the below registration form.



This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Richard Katz

Toyo Keizai and Japan Economy Watch

Richard Katz is a special correspondent for Weekly Toyo Keizai and the publisher of the Japan Economy Watch blog on Substack.  The Contest For Japan’s Economic Future is his third book on Japan. His commentaries have been published in Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and others. He received his MA in Economics from New York University in 1996.


Robert Dujarric

ICAS Co-director, Temple University, Japan Campus

View Robert Dujarric's Profile

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