Japan: Wanted: A New Economic Model

In Japan, truth comes in several forms. There is the polite truth--the version of reality that one presents to strangers. Then there is another, less public truth that a Japanese shares with his intimates. Often these truths are at odds with each other. Perhaps a Japanese company will proclaim all is well, while its executives negotiate furiously with creditors for more loans. No one thinks such a company is violating any code of honor: As long as the executives privately acknowledge the real truth, they are free to retail another version of events to maintain harmony.

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