Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
Double Top In Transportation and Metals Breakout Are Key Stock Market Topping Signals - 18th July 19
AI Machine Learning PC Custom Build Specs for £2,500 - Scan Computers 3SX - 18th July 19
The Best “Pick-and-Shovel” Play for the Online Grocery Boom - 18th July 19
Is the Stock Market Rally Floating on Thin Air? - 18th July 19
Biotech Stocks With Near Term Catalysts - 18th July 19
SPX Consolidating, GBP and CAD Could be in Focus - 18th July 19
UK House Building and Population Growth Analysis - 17th July 19
Financial Crisis Stocks Bear Market Is Scary Close - 17th July 19
Want to See What's Next for the US Economy? Try This. - 17th July 19
What to do if You Blow the Trading Account - 17th July 19
Bitcoin Is Far Too Risky for Most Investors - 17th July 19
Core Inflation Rises but Fed Is Going to Cut Rates. Will Gold Gain? - 17th July 19
Boost your Trading Results - FREE eBook - 17th July 19
This Needs To Happen Before Silver Really Takes Off - 17th July 19
NASDAQ Should Reach 8031 Before Topping - 17th July 19
US Housing Market Real Terms BUY / SELL Indicator - 16th July 19
Could Trump Really Win the 2020 US Presidential Election? - 16th July 19
Gold Stocks Forming Bullish Consolidation - 16th July 19
Will Fed Easing Turn Out Like 1995 or 2007? - 16th July 19
Red Rock Entertainment Investments: Around the world in a day with Supreme Jets - 16th July 19
Silver Has Already Gone from Weak to Strong Hands - 15th July 19
Top Equity Mutual Funds That Offer Best Returns - 15th July 19
Gold’s Breakout And The US Dollar - 15th July 19
Financial Markets, Iran, U.S. Global Hegemony - 15th July 19
U.S Bond Yields Point to a 40% Rise in SPX - 15th July 19
Corporate Earnings may Surprise the Stock Market – Watch Out! - 15th July 19
Stock Market Interest Rate Cut Prevails - 15th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State July 2019 Video - 15th July 19
Why Summer is the Best Time to be in the Entertainment Industry - 15th July 19
Mid-August Is A Critical Turning Point For US Stocks - 14th July 19
Fed’s Recessionary Indicators and Gold - 14th July 19
The Problem with Keynesian Economics - 14th July 19
Stocks Market Investors Worried About the Fed? Don't Be -- Here's Why - 13th July 19
Could Gold Launch Into A Parabolic Upside Rally? - 13th July 19
Stock Market SPX and Dow in BREAKOUT but this is the worrying part - 13th July 19
Key Stage 2 SATS Tests Results Grades and Scores GDS, EXS, WTS Explained - 13th July 19
INTEL Stock Investing in Qubits and AI Neural Network Processors - Video - 12th July 19
Gold Price Selloff Risk High - 12th July 19
State of the US Economy as Laffer Gets Laughable - 12th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State - 12th July 19
Stock Market Major Index Top In 3 to 5 Weeks? - 11th July 19
Platinum Price vs Gold Price - 11th July 19
What This Centi-Billionaire Fashion Magnate Can Teach You About Investing - 11th July 19
Stock Market Fundamentals are Weakening: 3000 on SPX Means Nothing - 11th July 19
This Tobacco Stock Is a Big Winner from E-Cigarette Bans - 11th July 19
Investing in Life Extending Pharma Stocks - 11th July 19
How to Pay for It All: An Option the Presidential Candidates Missed - 11th July 19
Mining Stocks Flash Powerful Signal for Gold and Silver Markets - 11th July 19
5 Surefire Ways to Get More Viewers for Your Video Series - 11th July 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

What Hope Means in Japan These Days

Economics / Japan Economy Nov 02, 2012 - 05:55 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleKeith Fitz-Gerald writes: [Kyoto] - Frustrated by a system that has trapped them in decades of low to no growth, an entirely new generation of Japanese may be working with the most precious of all resources - hope.

They're taking matters into their own hands and going around the traditional Japanese way of doing things.


That's good.

The so-called "Lost Decade" is now entering its 3rd lost decade following 8-10 separate bailout failures, depending on how you count the various initiatives over the years.

Growth remains a paralyzed version of its former self with the nation's GDP roughly the size it was in 1990.

Worse, many Japanese companies like Panasonic and Sony, once at the vanguard of innovation, now find themselves scrambling to keep up with clever rivals who have taken the lead and who now threaten to push them out of the global industries they once dominated for good.

Combined public, private and corporate debt now approaches 500% of GDP.

Roughly 35% of the working population here remains trapped in arubaito, or part- time work. T hat's a far cry from the vision of lifetime employment that once dominated the corporate landscape.

Some, like Tadashi Yanai, who founded and heads the Japanese brand Uniqlo (pronounced yu-ni-klo), are deemed "young thinkers" bent on change through the sheer force of will and the economic means to bring it about. Yanai is actually 63 years old.

Speaking Truth to Power
Others are truly young, like Osaka's controversial mayor, Toru Hashimoto. At 43, he's as frank as they come in the staid world of Japanese politics where change is nearly impossible to come by.

To give you an example of what I am talking about, consider Hashimoto's recent observation that the Japanese political system is "crap." Not "difficult," not "worth consideration," not deserving of "careful thought," as would be the traditional ways the hyper- polite Japanese have expressed their opinions -- but "crap" as in the four- letter variety.

When I first came to Japan in the late 1980s, such remarks would be unthinkable and the person who made them immediately banished to the fringes of Japanese society. Yet, Hashimoto is the mayor of Japan's third largest city. That, too, would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.

What's more, he's gathering allies like Tokyo Mayor Ishihara Shintaro, who stunned Japan a few days ago by resigning immediately to form a new "true conservative" political party in the interest of reformation in the upcoming December elections.

The firebrand Ishihara wants to ally with Hashimoto and another maverick named Watanabe Yoshimi, who heads "Your Party."

If you're tempted to frame this in terms of Western political elections, which require years of lead up and campaigning, don't. This is a very serious development and presents a real challenge to the status quo.

Imagine, for example, the Tea Party suddenly having one-third or more of the U.S. Electoral College votes two months before the presidential elections. That would truly be a game changer.

Or Ross Perot in his heyday teaming up with Ron Paul to play "outside the rules" by presenting a unified plan for smaller, decentralized government, fiscal responsibility, and newly revised international policies...and having a huge swath of the American voters immediately line up with them, leaving the Democrats and Republicans on the sidelines.

Here in Japan, third- party players can do something the long- dominant Liberal Democratic Party can't -- actually speak in clear, well-articulated terms. Effectively, they play the role of spoiler by forcing the major parties to come to them on their terms and prompt action for the same reason.

Like our own, traditional Japanese politicians are trapped in a morass of ineffective politics bent on ensuring survival rather than the benefit of its citizens.

If Hashimoto, Ishihara and Watanabe can reach an agreement, there could be a sea change here come December with newly localized policies, changes in centralized spending, reduced central government,and foreign policies that are probably very independent of the United States.

Hope and Change in Japan
Japanese of all ages I have talked with recently in my neighborhood sense that change won't be immediate. But they are very excited by the fact that things have gotten so bad that there is actually change itself.

Younger Japanese like my niece, Natsuko, are willing to buck the system that would otherwise trap them were things not so challenging by pursuing careers with a decidedly international focus.

Today, there are tech incubators blossoming and the once overwhelming stigma of failure is falling by the wayside. My friends Masao and Hiro have both left traditional corporate Japan and are risking it all with their own ventures.

Independent thinking is being encouraged , even if only begrudgingly at the moment. Nails that stick up are no longer hammered down, to paraphrase a traditional Japanese saying that highlights the historical need to be like-minded.

Older executives like Yoshichika Teresawa, who recently retired from JETRO, Japan's external trade resource organization, are seeing a new wave of entrepreneurship take hold outside Japan's traditional corporate structure. He's cautiously optimistic that the "young people" will be able to make change where "we couldn't" politically.

I asked him what he meant by that, to which he replied, the "serious economic conditions we have lived with since the 1990s may finally be forcing change not only in the business community, but in the Japanese mind and political process, too."

And what does he think about Hashimoto's assessment that Japanese politics are "crap." Ever the gentleman, he looked at me with a wry smile and added, "not unlike the United States, eh?"

Then he added, "Okashi-hito ni narimasu" (meaning roughly, we Japanese need to become "strange" by embracing new thought and discarding the previously staid old practices that haven't worked).

Indeed. Some things don't need translation.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/11/02/what-hope-means-in-japan-these-days/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules