The politics of credit guarantees

For those wanting to really understand what makes Japan’s domestic political economy tick, this article by Kay Shimizu of Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute reveals the significant and largely hidden role of credit guarantees to small and medium business.

SMEs employ over 70% of the workforce, so the way prefectures funnel low-cost credit into what are by outside standards “inefficient” businesses, is key to understanding both the politics and the unique economic set-up of Japan.

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