This is an introductory essay towards establishing what intellectual and cultural heritage Adam Smith (1723-1790), one of the representative figures of the eighteenth-century “Enlightenment”, specifically “Scottish Enlightenment”, left for the twenty-first century. Attempts are made in this essay to analyze and dissect the thought world of Adam Smith in its logical make-up and intellectual-historical setting.The first thing to note is the intellectual interest Smith took throughout his academic career in the seven subjects of “artes liberales” and those fields of study which fell under the three branches of Logic (or a theory of knowledge), Natural Philosophy and Moral Philosophy according to the eighteenth-century British manner of dividing Philosophy, or logikē, physikē and ethikē in the Stoicist division of sciences.Secondly, in his lectures and essays, Smith discussed and criticized several existing branches of learning or systems of ideas, such as natural philosophy, natural theology, natural morality, natural jurisprudence, and so forth. The point to be noted is that while these names referred to those sciences which were actually taught and prevalent in the intellectual climate of the age in question, Smith stressed the “natural” character of every one of these systems. In this sense he was a legitimate successor to Hume in the philosophy of human nature or Moral Philosophy as it was called in the eighteenth-century climate. By “natural”, Smith meant: starting from the basis of human nature and never getting remote from it; according to human nature; in accordance with the principles of human nature; capable of meeting the basic needs of human nature. Bringing ready-made systems of thought back to the foundation of human nature, Smith reduced them to its principles. By using the method of what K. Marx and, following him, a twentieth-century Japanese philosopher K. Miki called “the genealogy of theories”, Smith demonstrated how physical and social theories, systems of thought, moral and ethical rules, social institutions are formed and constituted on the basis, and starting from the foundation, of human nature.It is important to focus upon the vital role which the “imagination” plays in Smith’s system of thought. It is the imagination that, starting from the basis of human nature, brings into a complete form what remains imperfect on the basis of human nature. Insofar, the imagination takes on the task of artificial completion of what nature cannot carry out to an end.These are the questions which the essay tries to examine. This is in order to reconstruct the imagination and remake it; render it original and creative; and as is the subject of the essays to follow, revitalize it so that it can meet the needs of a new intelligence and help it find its way through the chaos of
Industrial clusters in the US, Europe and Asia are equipped with provisions for “quality of life” (QOL), while those in Japan are often artificially located in isolated areas and lack QOL.Knowledge workers appreciate urban convenience, life amenities, open culture, natural environment, leisure activities, and other aspects of QOL, on top of challenging and rewarding jobs; therefore, a region’s QOL, among other factors, can attract and sustain knowledge workers, thereby promoting innovation and strengthening the industrial cluster’s competitiveness. In return, an industrial cluster can create employment, increase a region’s revenues from personal income and other taxes, provide “civic entrepreneurs” who take the leadership of regional development, and improve a region’s QOL.This productive cycle between QOL and industrial clusters can be a key factor in improving a region in a sustainable way. Local governments should not forget to improve the region’s QOL when developing industrial clusters in the age of inter-regional competition in the knowledge economy.
With the globalization of development and production, the position of automobile part suppliers is rising. From among auto parts manufacturers that operate and carry out technological innovation overseas, independent of automobile manufacturers at home, a new type of suppliers have emerged – Tier One Automobile Part Suppliers. They can provide key auto parts on a global scale. This is where the Japanese automobile supplier system, in spite of its reputation as a world model, is forced to transform itself.
Today the Islam world is confronted with difficult problems of radical political campaigns largely imbued with ideologies of “Islam Fundamentalism”. In several Southeast Asian countries, fierce political movements are often conducted by groups of radical fundamentalists. This is particularly true in the Philippines and Indonesia.However, Malaysia can be regarded as an exception. With the former Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad exercising strong leadership in taking effective measures for public security and economic takeoff, this country has succeeded in subduing extreme fundamentalist movements. Mahathir has been instrumental in securing the peace of the country; during the 22 years in office, by peace-keeping policies, he contributed to establishing the national stability of a country which comprises Malaysians, Chinese, Indians, and other ethnical groups.On October 31, 2003, Mahathir resigned from his post. Abdulah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi succeeded him and took over his office. It is true that Abdulah is now revered and respected by the people. However, his ability as a political leader is still to be seen. Since in Malaysia, internal security and economic development of the country largely depends on the social stability of the Islam groups, it is absolutely necessary to keep security within the country. This is the first thing he has to do. It is up to the new prime minister, and everything depends upon his ability to carry out his own policies and administer the country.
How an IT-based society should inform its citizens of potential natural disasters in advance so that they can take preventive measures. This is the main point that this paper is going to consider.The process of urbanization has gone so far as to reach rural and mountainous regions and to expose inhabitants concerned to the threats of natural disasters. Populated areas have expanded. More and more people have come to inhabit areas where no or few people lived formerly. In proportion to that, workings of nature are no longer mere forces of nature, but have become causes of an increasing number of actual threats and disasters. The point is whether local governments or municipal corporations are sufficiently equipped and prepared to provide that kind of information which residents of areas concerned really need and find useful in preventing disasters?The author has looked through disaster prevention information websites, especially of local governments. The examination revealed that some local governments are doing the very best they can to provide necessary information and others make little effort, that the methods they use of providing information are quite various, that this diversity and difference in turn give rise to information gaps between one government and another. These and other facts all point to an important issue: there is still a long way to go before most local governments can provide necessary and sufficient information of natural disasters by means of IT.
After the end of World War II, Japanese economy continued to grow phenomenally for a long period of time. This is largely due to a system, called the main bank system, under which business corporations and their main banks are closely and effectively connected. While the system works well, everything goes well. However, when the bubble economy of the 1880s burst, the Japanese economy plunged into a slump which lasted for some ten years – a period usually called “a lost decade.” The system stopped working properly. This malfunction reflects an inadequate monitoring of corporate management and an insufficient risk control of financing.This essay attempts to define the main bank system in a new and broad perspective and consider the relationships between business corporations and their main banks.
The Japanese businesses used to set management goals on attaining a certain rate of increase in sales or increasing the share in the domestic industry, but they have finally begun to place emphasis on return on equity (ROE), which is an indicator of how efficiently shareholders’ equity is being used. Calls for more rigorous corporate governance from domestic and foreign institutional investors are behind this shift. The new trend is expected to accelerate innovations in the Japanese companies’ management system as well as in management control measures. In fact, high-growth companies have been adopting economic value added (EVA) or market value added (MVA) as their management benchmarks in increasing numbers.