Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Law and Development Review

Editor-in-Chief: Lee, Y.S.

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Open Access in the Economic Sphere or the Political Sphere: Evidence from Japan

Guanghua Yu
Published Online: 2018-01-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ldr-2017-0037


The article uses the case of Japan to argue that the theory of open access order advocated by North and his colleagues goes beyond what is necessary. Although their theory of open access order explains the West relatively well, it does not always apply to contemporary non-Western countries. Similar to the case of India examined elsewhere, the case of Japan reveals that what is more important to economic and human development is the open access in the economic sphere and the interconnected institutions in the areas of property rights protection and contract enforcement, financial market, rule of law, and human resource accumulation. In other words, countries without open access in the political sphere may also be able to achieve a great deal of success in terms of economic and human development if they ensure open access in the economic sphere and devote adequate resources to establishing the necessary interconnected institutions examined in this article. Further research elsewhere on Singapore and China will shed more light on this debate.

Keywords: open access order; interconnected institutions; competitive democracy; Japan


  • Electoral System: Japan, available at:<https://www.asiapacificgreens.org/content/electoral-system-japan>, accessed 22 March 2017.

  • Half of New Teen Voters Choose Ruling Parties, available at:<http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607110058.html>, accessed 23 March 2017.

  • Japan: Infant Mortality Rate, available at:<https://knoema.com/atlas/Japan/topics/Demographics/Mortality/Infant-mortality-rate>, accessed 10 January 2017.

  • List of Political Parties, available at:<https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-political-parties-2028711>, accessed 20 March 2017.

  • 1946 Constitution, available at:<https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Japan_1946.pdf>, accessed 15 January 2017.

  • Barro, R.J., Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997).Google Scholar

  • Baum, M.A. and D.A. Lake, The Political Economy of Growth: Democracy and Human Capital, 47 American Journal of Political Science, no. 2 (2003).Google Scholar

  • Beasley, W.G., The Meiji Restoration (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1972).Google Scholar

  • Bowen, R.W., Japan’s Dysfunctional Democracy (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 2003).Google Scholar

  • Bronfenbrenner, M., Some Lessons of Japan’s Economic Development, 1853–1938, 34 Pacific Affairs, no. 1 (1961).Google Scholar

  • Dahl, R.A., Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1971).Google Scholar

  • Fujita, T., De-codification of the Commercial Code in Japan, available at:<http://www.gcoe.j.u-tokyo.ac.jp/pdf/GCOESOFTLAW-2012-5.pdf>, accessed 25 January 2017.

  • Godo, Y. and Y. Hayami, Catching up in Education in the Economic Catch-Up of Japan with the United States, 1890–1990, 50 Economic Development and Cultural Change, no. 4 (2002).Google Scholar

  • Grabowski, R., Early Japanese Development: The Role of Trade, 1885–1940, 27 Quarterly Journal of Business and Economics, no. 1 (1988).Google Scholar

  • Henderson, D.F., ‘Contracts’ in Tokugawa Villages, 1 Journal of Japanese Studies, no. 1 (1974).Google Scholar

  • Hoshi, T. and A.K. Kashyap, Japan’s Financial Crises and Economic Stagnation, 18 The Journal of Economic Perspective, no. 1 (2004).Google Scholar

  • Ito, T., Japan and the Asian Economies: A `Miracle’ in Transition, 2 Brookings Paper on Economic Activity (1996).Google Scholar

  • Itoh, H., The Japanese Supreme Court: Constitutional Policies (New York: Markus Wiener Publishing, 1989).Google Scholar

  • Jenks, E., Esq., The Japanese Commercial Code, 14 Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, no. 1 (1932).Google Scholar

  • Kabashima, I., Supportive Participation with Economic Growth: The Case of Japan, 36 World Politics, no. 3 (1984).Google Scholar

  • Kasza, G.J. and T. Horie, “Welfare Policy”, in T. Inoguchi and P. Jain (eds.), Japanese Politics Today: From Karaoky to Kabuki Democracy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).Google Scholar

  • Kazuhiro, T., The Meiji Constitution: The Japanese Experience of the West and the Shaping of the Modern State (Tokyo: International House of Japan, Translated by Noble D, 2007).Google Scholar

  • Kida, H., Higher Education in Japan, 4 Higher Education, no. 3 (1975).Google Scholar

  • King, R.G. and R. Levine, Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right, 108 Quarter Journal of Economics, no. 3 (1993).Google Scholar

  • Kobayashi, T., Tokugawa Education as a Foundation of Modern Education in Japan, 9 Comparative Education Review, no. 3 (1965).Google Scholar

  • Krauss, E.S. and R. Pekkanen, “Reforming the Liberal Democratic Party”, in S.L. Martin and G. Steel (eds.), Democratic Reform in Japan: Assessing the Impact (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2008).Google Scholar

  • Kuroda, Y., The Core of Japanese Democracy: Latent Interparty Politics (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).Google Scholar

  • La Porta, R., F. Lopez-de-Silanes, A. Shleifer and R. Vishny, Legal Determinants of External Finance, 52 Journal of Finance, no. 3 (1997).Google Scholar

  • Leblang, D.A., Property Rights, Democracy, and Economic Growth, 49 Political Research Quarterly, no. 1 (1996).Google Scholar

  • Levine, R. and S. Zervos, Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth, 88 The American Economic Review, no. 3 (1998).Google Scholar

  • Lucas, R.E., Jr, On the Mechanisms of Economic Development, 22 Journal of Monetary Economics, no. 1 (1988).Google Scholar

  • Luney, P.R., Jr, “The Judiciary: Its Organization and Status in the Parliamentary System”, in P.R. Luney, Jr and K. Takahashi (eds.), Japanese Constitutional Law (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1993).Google Scholar

  • Masui, S., The Problem of the Comprehensive Secondary School in Japan, 17 International Review of Education, no. 1 (1971).Google Scholar

  • Matsumura, T. and M. Ryser, Revelation of Private Information about Unpaid Notes in the Trade Credit Bill System in Japan, 24 The Journal of Legal Studies, no. 1 (1995).Google Scholar

  • The Meiji Constitution, a soft copy of the constitution is available at:<http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/ps/japan/meiji_constitution.pdf>, accessed 15 January 2017.

  • Milhaupt, C.J. and M.D. West, The Dark Side of Private Ordering: An Institutional and Empirical Analysis of Organized Crime, 67 The University of Chicago University Law Review, no. 1 (2000).Google Scholar

  • Mitchener, K.J. and M. Ohnuki, Institutions, Competition, and Capital Market Integration in Japan, 69 The Journal of Economic History, no. 1 (2009).Google Scholar

  • Miyamoto, M., Y. Sakudō and Y. Yasuba, Economic Development in Preindustrial Japan, 1859–1894, 25 The Journal of Economic History, no. 4 (1965).Google Scholar

  • Nakamura, M., “Freedom of Economic Activities and the Right to Property”, in P.R. Luney, Jr and K. Takahashi (eds.), Japanese Constitutional Law (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1993).Google Scholar

  • North, D.C., Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).Google Scholar

  • North, D.C., J.J. Wallis and B.R. Weingast, Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).Google Scholar

  • Okita, S., Savings and Economic Growth in Japan, 6 Economic Development and Cultural Change, no. 1 (1957).Google Scholar

  • Okuda, S. and Y. Hishimura, The Development of Secondary Education in Japan after World War II, 12 Higher Education, no. 5 (1983).Google Scholar

  • Okudaira, Y., “Forty Years of the Constitution and Its Various Influences: Japanese American, and European”, in P.R. Luney, Jr and K. Takahashi (eds.), Japanese Constitutional Law (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1993).Google Scholar

  • Ott, D.J., The Financial Development of Japan, 1878–1958, 69 Journal of Political Economy, no. 2 (1961).Google Scholar

  • Porter, M.P. and M. Sakakibara, Competition in Japan, 18 Journal of Economic Perspective, no. 1 (2004).Google Scholar

  • Romer, P.M., Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth, 94 Journal of Political Economy, no. 5 (1986).Google Scholar

  • Rosenbluth, F.M., Japan in 2011: Cataclysmic Crisis and Chronic Deflation, 52 Asian Survey, no. 1 (2012).Google Scholar

  • Ruoff, K.J., The People’s Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarch, 1945–1995 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2001).Google Scholar

  • Scheiner, E., Democracy without Competition in Japan: Opposition Failure in a One Party Dominant State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).Google Scholar

  • Sherman, C.P., The Debt of Modern Japanese Law to French Law, 6 California Law Review, no. 3 (1918).Google Scholar

  • Stevenson, H.W., Japanese Elementary School Education, 92 The Elementary School Journal, no. 1 (1991).Google Scholar

  • Valdés, B., An Application of Convergence Theory to Japan’s Post-WWII Economic ‘Miracle’, 34 The Journal of Economic Education, no. 1 (2003).Google Scholar

  • Yu, G., The Roles of Law and Politics in China’s Economic Development (Singapore: Springer, 2014).Google Scholar

  • Yu, G., Open Access Order and Interconnected Institutions: The Case of India, 17 Australian Journal of Asian Law, no. 2 (2017), 1–19. Article 11.Google Scholar

  • Ziemba, W.T. and S.L. Schwartz, The Growth in the Japanese Stock Market, 1949–90 and Prospects for the Future, 12 Managerial and Decision Economics, no. 2 (1991).Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-01-19

Published in Print: 2018-01-26

Citation Information: Law and Development Review, Volume 11, Issue 1, Pages 173–208, ISSN (Online) 1943-3867, ISSN (Print) 2194-6523, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ldr-2017-0037.

Export Citation

© 2018 Law and Development Review.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in