The world media these days are fond of depicting Japan Incorporated as a . monolith. But the stereotype makes little sense when set against the amount of diversity and conflict within the Japanese domestic scene. Political pressure groups have been a part of that scene throughout the modern century, and during the last generation they have grown in numbers, in variety, and often in power. Professor Steslicke has come up with the first book-length study in English showing us one such influential pressure group in action. A physician in private practice in Japan earns much of his income by directly dispensing the medicines he prescribes. When legislators sought to end this practice in the 1950s the Japan Medical Association sprang to new vitality. The Association won that fight handily, but for most of the time since then it has been locked in extended wrangles with the state and with other pressure groups over how best to operate the national health insurance system. At times the JMA has been flamboyant, as in the summer of 1971 when 50,000 doctors boycotted the insurance system for a month. But most often the Association has to sustain the kind of political polylog
Journal of Asian and African Studies (in 2002 continued as African and Asian Studies) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1974
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