I . Purposes and Methodology



This is a general summary of the research activities of the Project on Technology Transfer, Transformation, and Development: The Japanese Experience (the JE Project) undertaken on behalf of the United Nations University for five years beginning in 1978. I was co-ordinator of that project.

In the first part of the report, I will identify the problems and explain the methodology used. The second part sketches the main findings of study groups in this project. The third is a theoretical proposal for continued "dialogue" on technology and development.

The co-ordinator was placed in charge of overall project design and operation, but the study group leaders decided how their assigned tasks would be implemented for each industrial sector. Needless to say, the groups held many discussions between themselves and sometimes made adjustments in the methods of performing their jobs. At no time though did I get involved in the details of group procedures. Each researcher was free to exercise his own judgement within the guidelines set by the co-ordinator. I benefited greatly from the co-operation extended to me on many critical points, but the opinions in this report are mine and mine alone. Scholarship is always accompanied by controversy, and one expects sharp disagreement between a co-ordinator and the experts he works within in academic endeavours. The true significance of such activity lies in its fostering of divergent views.

Thus, the second section of this report is by no means a mere summary of individual research. The rich variety of more than one hundred topics would make such a summary an enormous task. Rather, I have tried to give greater definition to the significance of each topic and how that topic relates to the project as a whole. I hope this proves to be of worth as a guide to individual in-depth research.

I want to make very clear, therefore, that this summary and the individual reports of the research workers, to be published in due time, are by nature complementary, but at the same time totally independent.

A bibliography compiled by Hirokazu Tada has been prepared in a separate issue. When interest in Japanese development has further increased, that bibliography will be useful as an aid in understanding the general and individual reports. In addition, we have prepared an as yet unpublished list of Japanese researchers and their achievements in areas related to the project. We provide this list because the UNU attaches as much importance to the building of a network related to the project as it does to the activities of the project itself.

A great many people, in Japan and abroad, have given tremendous support and assistance to the compilation of this general report. Limitations of space prevent the listing of each one, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them collectively.

The same restrictions of space prohibit me from listing the vast number of sources on which the report is based. From among the many pioneering works to which I am in debt, I mention only a few authors who are little known abroad but whose work has had a strong impression on me. This caution is also given because the major relevant literature is mentioned in the forthcoming, more highly specialized, individual reports.

In preparing the report I have relied on the co-operation of project staff. I am deeply indebted for their help and assistance. I have also been greatly assisted by the members of every branch of the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), Tokyo. However, the sole responsibility for this report is mine.

Takeshi Hayashi
October 1983