continued employment to Ed Meese.nParticular features of the independentncounsel law can be criticized, especiallynthe fact that it does not apply tonCongress. The principle behind the independentnprosecutor statute — thatnthe targets of investigations should notncontrol the investigators — is fundamentalnto the rule of law.nBut that is the old conservativenlearning. The new strict construction,nas practiced by born-again Republicannfans of the presidency created bynWoodrow Wilson and FDR, holds thatnthe constitutional powers of any branchnof government that the RepublicannParty does not control shall be strictlynconstrued as narrow exceptions to thenvast, awe-inspiring, and plenary powernof whatever branch the GOP doesntemporarily dominate. “There is insuf- •nficient appreciation in today’s politicalnculture for the origins and delicatencharacter of executive power (not tonmention its importance to limited government),”nwrites Eastland. “Executivenpoppycock,” that great conservativenlawyer Sam Ervin once snorted.n”Divine right went out with the AmericannRevolution.” The cold truth isnthat no one on the right would spare anmoment for hyper-subtle, paradoxical,nand farfetched constitutional argumentsnfor illimitable presidential lawnenforcement powers if we had a DemocraticnPresident. One day we will. Fornthat occasion, the Democrats, if theynare clever, will keep a library of polemicsnsuch as this, with which to tauntntheir Republican adversaries in Congress.nMichael Lind mites from Washington.nFor Immediate ServicenChroniclesnSUBSCRIBERSnTOLL FREE NUMBERn1-800-435-0715nILLINOIS RESIDENTSn1-800-892-0753n42/CHRONICLESnWhat AmericannBusiness Forgotnby Thomas L. AshtonnMy Bridge to Americanby Sam KusumotonNew York: E.P. Button;n340 pp., $19.95nEver since the Sony story, in thenform of Akio Morita’s Made innJapan, won a nitch on the best-sellernlists, Japanese executives have beennturning out memoirs on business successnfor American audiences. SadeheinKusumoto’s biography, written withnthe help of Edmund P. Murray, is anchronicle of Minolta’s rise from thenashes and the ensuing camera tradenwars that ended with a large chunk ofndomestic American market share innJapanese hands.nThe Japanese love Hollywood.nTheir first films were straight Westernsn— only wandering Samurai were castnin the parts normally filled by the LonenRanger or John Wayne. Those SamurainWesterns are the forerunners of thenJapanese business biographies that nownappear monthly. And Minolta’snKusumoto isn’t content simply to makenthe connection between the Samurainspirit and business success. He alsonquotes Gary Jacobson and John Hillkirk’snXerox: American Samurai tonpoint out that from 1976 to 1982 thenAmerican copier firm saw its worldwidenrevenues cut in half by Minolta,nCanon, Ricoh, and Sharp.nBut Kusumoto has another point tonmake as well. Having grown up innKorea as the son of a Ford dealer, thennspending the immediate postwar yearsnin Japan, and having lived now innAmerica for two dozen more years, henwants us to know that Japanese successnis more owing to America than to thenSamurai spirit. Having visited Chinanon Malcolm Forbes’ yacht, the CapitalistnTool, Kusumoto can’t help butnrepeat that Japan’s biggest debt was runnup by what it learned in America. Andnhe knows the irony is the pupil hasnbecome the master, with the U.S. nownmore than in debt to the Japanese.nThe causes are familiar ones. Thenimportance of family strength is anstrong theme throughout this biographynof the president of Minolta’snnnAmerican operation. Kusumoto’s marriagenwas family-arranged, though hisnwife was free to reject the arrangement.nElitism in education has alsonpaid off for the Japanese, whose executivesnare recruited from among thennation’s brightest men. GeneralnMacArthur’s occupation shielded domesticnJapanese industry from Americanncompetition, nourished new andnefficient factories built on bombed rubble,nand helped control communistnlabor influence. MacArthur soundsnlike just what post-perestroika EasternnEurope needs.nThe Japanese got quality controlnfrom Dr. W. Edwards Deming, reverednin Tokyo when he was disregardednat home. And marketing, whatnKusumoto does best, was learned directlynfrom Americans by hundreds ofnyoung Japanese executives in thencourse of their U.S. tours. Kusumotoncame early with a suitcase of Minoltandemonstration models that he had tonrepair nightly in his hotel room. Thirtynyears ago — Kusumoto’s years —n”Made in Japan” meant exacdy thenreverse of what it means now. Andnwhat has the American auto industryndone about that?nBut Kusumoto’s analysis goes further.nHe sees that resource-poor Japanndeveloped an export economy early innits history. The importance of exportsnis a truth deeply woven into the fabricnof Japanese business thinking. It underliesnthe idea oikeiretsu, the union ofnexport bank, trading company, andnmanufacturer that contributes to Japan’snexport strength. Here, asnKusumoto notes, banks have only recentlyncaught on to the idea of exportnconsulting. Most just prefer to makenbad Third Worid loans. And Kusumotonnotes the huge eflFect of Americannmilitary spending — over $10nbillion — in Japan up to and includingnthe Vietnam war years, in helping backnthe subsequent Japanese export drive.nThere is also JETRO, the Japanesengovernment export-promoting agency,nthe likes of which, as Kusumoto pointsnout, still doesn’t exist here. JETROnmakes the U.S. Commerce Departmentnlook plain silly. Despite all this,nKusumoto still writes: “We learnednabout exporting from America. Meanwhile,nAmerica forgot.” Those arenthe most important sentences in hisnbook.n