Contrary to general belief, and to Japan's own self-image, inequality of income and wealth distribution in Japan has grown in the past two decades. In this well-written and accessible book, Toshiaki Tachibanaki analyzes the movement toward more income inequality in Japan and offers policy recommendations to counter the trend. Tachibanaki, Japan's leading expert on income distribution, draws on new statistical data covering wealth, inheritance, farm and business holdings, salary, and other relevant factors, to demonstrate that Japan can no longer be thought of as a "90 percent middle-class society." The book, updated and substantially expanded from Tachibanaki's 1998 Japanese bestseller, discusses the history and the causes of Japan's increasing income inequality and analyzes the effect on wealth distribution of intergenerational transfer. Employing cross-national comparisons to the United States and Europe throughout, "Confronting Income Inequality in Japan" examines the contrast between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, evaluates equality of opportunity in terms of education and occupation, analyzes the relationship between income distribution and income growth, discusses the role of hierarchical positions in organizations, and considers the differences between welfare states and nonwelfare states. Concluding with policy recommendations, Tachibanaki argues against the belief of some economists that greater inequality is unavoidable if Japan is to achieve a strong economic recovery.
This volume considers the theme of the protection of the user in the field of information technology, and more specifically in relation to software licences, electronic information services and Internet access services. Litigation in IT usually stems from the users' feeling that their expectations have been frustrated at performance. When dealing with such cases, the courts seem to increasingly take the objective of user protection into account. How is this protection implemented? Is this trend generally desirable? Is this judicial protection excessive? What are the constraints met by IT providers that should be taken into account in litigation? How can the user's position be improved? "User Protection in IT Contracts" extensively presents the reasons why, and the ways in which national courts may decide a case in favour of the user. Many practical issues are considered in this respect. Which factors appear relevant to deal with liability claims in IT? Are exemption clauses always enforceable? What are the implications of information duties for IT providers? How can general conditions be safely incorporated to a contract? What is the validity of shrinkwrap licences? Is it safe to rely on an entire-agreement clause? This book exhaustively reviews these issues in English, Dutch and French law.
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