Hegemony of American Banks and Corporations in the Making of Japan-United States Relations

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: 419
Distributed Paper
Hisanao TAKASE , Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University, Kunitachi, Japan
This study investigates hegemony of American banks and corporations in the making of Japan-U.S. relations in the period between 1920 and 2008, using the framework of Neo-Gramscian approach and sociological state theorists and referring to primary and secondary sources. In the period, three specific forms of hegemony have crystallized with 'internationalization of capital', accompanying cooperation and conflict with Japanese counterparts. The three forms of hegemony are liberal internationalism around high finance, corporate liberalism (embedded liberalism) undergirded by Fordism, state intervention and Bretton Woods, and neoliberal globalization. According to the form of hegemony, the period is divided into five terms. The first is the post-First World War. Wall Street bankers formed the alliance with Japanese bankers through the investment in Japan and Versailles-Washington system. The second is  the term between mid-1930's and 1945. Great Depression destroyed liberal internationalism, and the conflict between Japan and the U.S. finally led to the war. In Japan, national industries like steel supported expansion of sphere of interest, which clashed against American 'grand area' design. In the U.S. New Deal and war mobilization formed the coalition that supported corporate liberalism. The third is the term between 1945 and 1971. American corporations and banks formed cooperation with Japanese counterparts through the investment in Japan and Japan-U.S. alliance in the cold war. Japanese leaders supported corporate liberalism, but the catch-up broke Bretton Woods. The fourth is the term between 1970's and early 1990's with trade conflicts, during which American international banks rose, formed neoliberal globalization, and increased the investment in Japan. In Japan, multinational corporations rose through FDI in the U.S. after Plaza Accord. The fifth is the term between mid-1990's and 2008. American banks and Japanese corporations shared neoliberal globalization, increasing mutual investment in Japan and the U.S. Neoliberal globalization finally, however, faced the crisis.