In Japan, the relationship between the government and business has traditionally been strong due to the country's historical and cultural background. The major governmental organizations have played a critical role supporting the nation's CI activities in business and in the industrial/technology arena. Until the 1980s, the government, especially through the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Culture (METI), directed business to facilitate the country's economic recovery following the devastation of World War II. The government not only coordinates complex issues among companies, but also provides CI support through METI, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and its embassies. Japan's economic recession and bureaucratic corruption of the 1990s suggest that its economy is now in a transitional period from its postwar industrial success. The national policy may now change focus. It is anticipated that the roles of METI and its affiliates would also have to change. Businesses and citizens are calling for the liquidation of government-affiliated organizations whose roles are no longer relevant or appropriate. In light of this, any CI distributed by those national organizations would be somewhat, or greatly, reduced if such restructuring takes place. However, collaboration between the government and business organizations will continue. As long as Japanese companies maintain their information-intensive culture, there will be support for CI activities regardless of whether it comes from the government or other sources. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.