Japanese Economy, A Long and Slow Slide


A recent article in Washington Post, Sunday February 3rd ‘For Japan, a Long, Slow Slide: Declines in Productivity, Population Combining to Stifle Economic Growth’ resonates with recent special issues on Japan as well as quite a number of books published in Japan and elsewhere.  It is clear that Japan still needs powerful reform to re-build vibrant economy and not much time is left for Japan.  The political situation may be a bit difficult to maneuver now, but has to act, and business must ‘act globally’ focusing on the core competence.  Business sector needs more Morita-san of SONY in 60s.

I felt quite disturbed or uneasy in Davos of a session ‘Japan: A Forgotten Power?’ with a moderator and panelists being all Japanese.  Similar sessions in the past always included non-Japanese experts in the panel.  In fact, when I walked in the room toward the end of the session, there only a few non-Japanese in the room and the language spoken were understandably entirely Japanese (maybe someone, Japanese or non-Japanese, may have used English before I entered the room) and discussing mostly domestic issues, such as gender empowerment and immigration policy rather than what Japan’s role in globalized world: why not discuss domestic issues in Japan?

Japan still is the world’s second largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, but It seems Japan wishes to withdraw itself from global affairs, at least me.