The Economist published an article on Japan's business and economic performance. The article outlines the periodic evolution of the Japanese economy. After a prolonged cyclical crisis of low output rates and deflation, which hit the bottom in 1998, Japanese economic performance surged a modest recovery. Indeed, Japan's old industrial model formed the country's economic miracle, but under very different circumstances, such as pyramidal population structure and high growth under 'catch-up' conditions. The old model, known as a binding cross-sectional partnership named keiretsu, ran out of time and hindered both; entrepreneurship and innovation.
However, the time is changing and Japanese economy and business also:
"So policymakers rewrote corporate law to allow Japanese companies to adopt an American-style model of corporate governance, and some companies began to adopt Anglo-Saxon practices such as performance-based pay, share options, outside directors, promotion based on ability, pursuit of shareholder value and hiring new employees in mid-career. The banking system was recapitalised, cross-shareholdings were unwound and companies embarked on a programme of restructuring."
Source: The Economist, Going hybrid, November 29th 2007 (link)