With an economy poised to overtake America's as the world's largest, Japan's is the undisputed success story of the late-20th century. Yet to many in the West it remains an enigma. What are the the reasons for the country's extraordinary prosperity? How has Japan managed to challenge the West's former industrial supremacy? What does the West have to learn - or to fear - from the Japanese experience? How do Japan's profoundly conservative social instincts sit with its high-tech riches? Will the country find a new role for itself in the wider world? And are recent fears about the Japanese banking system the first cracks in the edifice or merely a passing aberration? This study looks behind the headlines to provide a survey of Japan in the 1990s. It includes coverage of politics and society, unravelling Japanese bureaucracy, the corporate ethic, the financial markets, cracking Japan's trade barriers, technology and innovation, the role of the media, the law, Japan and the US, and Japan and the EC.