The current banking crisis in Japan illustrates two major points. The first is the renewed emphasis on the importance of market-based solutions to policy problems by American policy makers. The second is the broader point, that differences in the structures and operation of capitalism persist in the two countries despite the purported homogenising influences of globalisation. These two points are both analyzed in this paper through a systematic examination of the varied and contrasting positions in both Japan and the United States among policy makers and commentators regarding what kind of policies Japan should institute and the prospective success of such proposals. The paper offers a pessimistic conclusion that the most appropriate policy prescription requires bilateral policy coordination, a option that the United States has so far rejected and seems unlikely to initiate at this point
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