Category Archives: History

The myth of Japan’s “lost decades”: An invitation to Ambassador John Roos

Why do Americans keep misunderstanding Japan? Much of the blame must be placed at the door of the State Department. And that is why last week I extended an unusual offer  to  the current U.S. ambassador to Tokyo. As part … Continue reading

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The Japanese Electronics Industry: A Rebuttal

A message for Richard Katz and other Japan declinists: Look at the big picture. Probably no commentator has been more outspoken in proclaiming the demise of the Japanese economic model than Richard Katz, author of The System that Soured. While many … Continue reading

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The Nanking Massacre: Iris Chang’s legacy

The late Iris Chang, author of the best selling book The Rape of Nanking, is the subject of a compelling new biography by her mother Ying-Ying Chang. (This commentary was first published at the  website of the Atlantic Monthly.) Hints … Continue reading

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A message to Japan Forum members

My offer to debate the “basket case Japan” story has generated more heat than light at the National Bureau of Asian Research’s Japan Forum. As a matter of policy, I do not participate in online forums but, as friends have … Continue reading

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Would a debate solve anything?

Although my proposal to hold a debate on Japan’s “lost decades” story has met with considerable support, some people have demurred. Would a debate on the Japanese economy really solve anything? One correspondent at a major American university seems to … Continue reading

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More reactions to my debate initiative

My call for a debate on Japan’s “lost decades” story continues to make  waves and many well-placed observers have written in support. I have obtained permission to pass on the comments below. From an investment banker in the United States: … Continue reading

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Japan’s “slump”: editorial page article from The Guardian

Britain’s Guardian newspaper ran an editorial page article last year that closely supported the Fingleton analysis of   Japan’s “slump.” Among the many expressions of support I have had since  I posted a blog  article at theatlantic.com last week on … Continue reading

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America’s bases: collateral damage for the US economy

America’s foreign military bases are bad business. (This article first appeared in the January 2011 issue of the American Conservative.) TOKYO. When German executives visit Tokyo, they are often treated to a session at Bernd’s Bar, a notably authentic German pub. … Continue reading

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The Economist on Japan’s population “problem”

The Economist magazine likes to feel superior to anything it doesn’t understand. Luckily for its self-esteem, there is a lot in East Asia that has it stumped.  An example is Japan’s population policy. In the course of a major article … Continue reading

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