chapter
14 Pages

of subcontracting, and a freeze on the

living standards of the less secure two-thirds of the working class. Finally, the

During the 1 960s, however, the power of Japanese capital, which derived from its hold on low-paid workers in labor-intensive areas was, threatened by capital with an even stronger hold on low-paid workers, that is, capital in Southeast Asia. Japanese wages, even those of women, had risen sufficiently to give Southeast Asian capital an edge, and Japanese companies developed a threepronged strategy, which they would repeatedly use in the years to come. First, they intensified the (uneven) exploitation of Japanese workers at home. Second, they consciously moved out of the lighter industries where they were losing their competitive advantage and they consolidated their strength in the heavy industrial sector. Finally, if they were to retain their lead in the old industries, then they needed access to workers who were more vulnerable than their own, that is, they had to ally themselves with the capitalists of Southeast Asia and embark on a program ofFDI.5