How have small shops managed to survive in Japan?

Just like in Italy, small business owners are, due to their number, organisation and support of the ruling party for most of the last 50 years, a politically influential group that is well protected by its politician friends. If I’m right about this one, the same must be true in France- any France experts want to support me or put me right? Not sure if the profusion of small shops in Japan that give the place atmosphere and a personal touch but keep prices high is an argument for or against free markets- maybe an argument for a happy medium between Italy and the UK?? Actually, who could argue against anywhere that was a happy medium between Italy and the UK in almost anything??

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2 Comments

  1. David said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:28 am

    I don’t know if I’m a France expert, but I’m French.
    To my knowledge, there’s no such thing in France, but there might be some laws to protect them. Actually, some of them are really struggling and closing by numbers (I’m thinking butchers for example) because of supermarkets.
    This is mostly true in smaller towns.
    Then, you have a cultural factors too. For example bakers and cafés are such a big part of our culture that they’re in no danger of being supplanted by large chains and such…

    (anyway, this comment was mostly to tell you that I enjoy reading your blog as I recently started to have interest in Japan and its culture)

  2. alexcase said,

    February 24, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Thanks David.


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