It turns out — surprise — that not everyone thinks the Japanese economy is a basket case.
A few days ago I issued an invitation to ten top Japan watchers to a debate on what has really happened to the Japanese economy in the last twenty years. I publicized my initiative not only in this forum but via James Fallows’s blog at The Atlantic — where I was privileged to be a guest blogger last week — and I must say both the size of the reaction and its tone have been a very pleasant surprise.
It seems I am far from alone in my view that the “two lost decades” story is a myth. Several capable observers who have known Japan for years (most of them new to me) have written to congratulate me on my stand. I will quote from some of their messages when I obtain their permission. In the meantime readers might like to check out this link to an article someone has just drawn to my attention. It is by a well-placed Tokyo-based journalist who has lived in Japan even longer than me.