“To me the fundamental problem Japan faces now is not the aging population or anything like that; the country needs a political system with the capacity to respond to effectively to problems in a long-term way. I think there was an elite community of talented people who, through the 70s provided coherence in planning for the future. This coherence ended in the 90s, when there was a collapse of parties. Japan hasn’t built the right political system to put things back together again.”
Ezra F. Vogel, “What happened to number one?” in Reimagining Japan
Ezra Vogel is a professor emiritus in Sociology at Harvard.
Reimagining Japan is a thick book (mainly because of its good quality glossy paper) edited by McKinsey, compiling articles from various influential figures.
I would also add that books written by huge consulting firms need to be taken with a pinch of salt, as they are often written with the intention of profiling their own clients and companies (and we often do not know who these clients are!). But since this is a compilation, I think each piece should be somewhat more credible.