J.A.A. Stockwin: New Directions in Japan under the Abe Government — Constitution, Defence and Nationalism

Posted: July 18, 2014
Category: Keynotes, News, News Updates, Research

New Directions in Japan under the Abe Government: Constitution, Defence and Nationalism
J.A.A. Stockwin
The European Conference on Politics, Economics and Law 2014
Keynote Address

 

Stockwin Keynote cover

New Directions in Japan under the Abe Government: Constitution, Defence and Nationalism

J.A.A. Stockwin
Emeritus Fellow and Founding Director of the Nissan Institute for Japanese Studies, The University of Oxford

J.A.A. Stockwin presented this keynote address at The European Conference on Politics, Economics and Law (ECPEL) 2014, in association with the IAFOR Japan Research Institute, in Brighton, United Kingdom on July 4, 2014.

Excerpt
David Cameron, as leader of the opposition, once famously told Tony Blair at Prime Minister’s Questions: “You were the future, once”. In 1979 the Harvard scholar Ezra Vogel published a book entitled Japan as Number One, arguing that the political economy of Japan, and indeed Japan as a country, was the wave of the future, and that the United States should sit up, take notice and reform its own systems to match this up-and-coming superpower, if it wanted to stay ahead.

Yes, Japan was the future, once. The Japanese economy in the 1980s seemed unstoppable, Japanese companies were buying choice pieces of real estate and famous companies in the US and elsewhere, economic growth rates were the envy of the world and the value of all land and buildings in Tokyo’s central business and government district was said to be the equivalent of all the land and buildings in Canada. All this came crashing down at the beginning of the 1990s with the collapse of a monstrous asset bubble, the banking system struggled under a mountain of toxic debt, and the ‘lost decade’ (so described by the Tokyo University economist Professor Yoshikawa Hiroshi), began. Only the lost decade moved into a second lost decade, serious deflation set in, and the process may not have stopped even now, although the business world has become more bullish.

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Learn more about the IAFOR Japan Research Institute or read more of the IAFOR Keynote Series.

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