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What The West Can Learn From Japan's "Lost Decades".

Economists often label Japan as the "the sick man of Asia," but the country's stagnation may also reflect its leadership on sustainability. "Japan's stagnation, pilloried by economists and analysts in the west, may turn out to be the catalyst for its greatest strengths: resilience, reinvention and quiet endurance," writes Roland Kelts for the New Statesman. He points out that unending population and economic growth could pose more problems for governments than stagnation in a world with limited resources. Japan is adjusting to limits. Kelts compares the efficiencies and aesthetics of Tokyo versus New York City, arguing that the Japanese may focus more on "quality of life" rather than quantities. Japan's fertility rate is low, with 1.4 births per woman, but the nation's large cities are well managed and maintained, with bustling restaurants and low rates of crime. Other signs of sustainability: Japanese youth are content with less and volunteer more. The country has a rising numbers of startups, with all sectors showing innovation in sustainability. - YaleGlobal

Rather than scoff at Japan as the sick economy of Asia, other nations should take note its innovations on sustainability and focus on quality of life

Roland Kelts

The New Statesman, 3 April 2015

Roland Kelts is a contributing writer for the New Yorker and the Japan Times and the author of "Japanamerica" (Palgrave Macmillan).

Source:The New Statesman

Rights:[c] New Statesman 1913 - 2015

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Publication:YaleGlobal Online
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 3, 2015
Words:232
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