January 17, 2013
Can Abe Return Japan to World No. 1?
Clyde Prestowitz, Foreign Policy
In the late 1970s, Ezra Vogel's book, Japan as Number One, became a runaway best seller both in Japan and in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, the book did not predict that Japan's GDP would surpass America's to make Japan the world's biggest economy. Rather it noted that in a wide variety of industrial, technical, and socio-political fields, Japan's performance was, well, number one.
Over the past twenty odd years, what Japan had accomplished and is capable of accomplishing has been forgotten in a dismal fog of schadenfreude inspired denigration of what has come to be widely accepted as Japan's "two lost decades." During this time, it is said, Japan has endured anemic growth rates, has lost its ranking as the world's number two economy to China, has...