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Japan and the world

Despite its current problems Japan still wields huge economic power. But the country should reject an appeal to use that clout to rebuild the international order. It ain't broke...

By David Howell   January 1998

Books on Japan’s overwhelming economic power and influence-and how it should be deployed for the sake of a better world-read a bit oddly at the moment. Japan is everywhere described as “the sick man of Asia.” There is worried speculation as to whether its battered financial sector will recover or whether the whole system is about to implode, dragging the rest of Asia-and possibly, the global economy-down in the process. Yet this is probably a passing nightmare. A shrunken or stagnant Japan will still represent a huge slice of the world’s wealth; the concerns of Ron Dore and other experts…

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