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December 22, 2008

Season's Greetings!

It was such a hard year. We all face a question; has the thinking of the "constant growth" after the Industrial Revolution come to its end?

Japan faces a question; have the companies which have been sustaining Japan's economy and society become hostile to the general public with their massive firing of workers?
Today in Japan companies thrive with their production in China, but people are left without proper jobs.

East Asia faces a question; can we revive the scheme in which the US consumes and East Asia produces and exports, reinvesting the dollar revenue back in the US?

Japan has been shamelessly depending too much on export to the US (via China,too) in its growth. We have to substantially increase our domestic consumption, partly by more meaningful public investment.

Status quo and free trade are sine qua non for East Asia and Japan. With them we will be able to thrive (hopefully after US's recovery) and ride over the historical enmities between Japan, China and South Korea.
In December the first (separate from ASEAN or APEC) tripartite summit meeting of Japan, China and South Korea was held in Japan. When the US joins this forum(at least Japan so wants), it will greatly contribute to stability in East Asia.

The "sovereign nation state", which was formulated in 18-19 centuries Europe, is gradually losing its efficacy. The US, for example, is not a (mono)nation state. It is rather a territory or space where one unified set of laws and regulations rule, an embryo of a world state (incidentally, Japan does not have any voting right in it).

Surely, it is a very challenging time. But probably we will not see a clear-cut solution of the problems. I only hope that we will be able to muddle through the turbulence only in a better way.


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