Last week Brussels and Tokyo created the biggest open economic area in the world; just as the US is walking away from multilateral trade regimes. The agreement comes as Japan exhibits 2.5% growth, the strongest in a generation. The agreement removes tariffs for Japanese cars and spare parts, while Japan opens up its public tenders to European contractors and its supermarkets to European cheese, wine, beef and pork with guaranteed names of origin.
This global headline reinforces the premise of one LID’s latest exciting titles, Pax Japonica by Takeo Harada, former Japanese diplomat and now CEO of the Institute of International Strategy and Information Analysis, a leading think tank. Pax Japonica launched in London in November at Foyles when Harada and his team flew into the Capital.
Japan, the world’s third largest economy and largest creditor nation, has been in crisis for more than two decades. Its economy has been depressed or in recession for much of that period, its banking sector in a critical state and its public sector burdened by recurring fiscal deficits and mounting debt. Yet, Harada argues in his book that a possible future ’Pax Japonica’ – one in which Japan will overcome its paralyzing debt and once again play a leading role in global finance – can become a reality and is now unfolding.
Harada says, till now, the hegemonic role in global trade and financial markets has been assumed by the USA and China, but this is now changing; and that Japan’s role in the global economy can never be under-estimated.
To understand what is happening in geo-politics with particular reference to Japan, this book is a must read and is ahead of its time.
Pax Japonica is available here.
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