Japan Today

Voices
in
Japan

quote of the day

I have a message for all the experts back in Washington: You don’t know the Japan of today. Their predictions of what the future of Japan would be were myths. Japan has busted every one of those myths.

17 Comments

Rahm Emanuel, U.S. ambassador to Japan

© Bloomberg

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
Login to comment

How true. Japan has become a better place to live while most Western countries are getting worse. The improvements in infrastructure, healthcare, housing, food, environment, safety, etc., experienced by this long-term Tokyo resident are extraordinary.

None of this was supposed to happen, according to the cavalcade of neo-liberal multi-culty free-marketeer talking heads regularly trotted out on Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN over the past couple of decades, who predicted nothing but doom and gloom for Japan unless it embraced large-scale immigration and "free" markets.

If you want real doom and gloom, look at Canada, neo-liberalism's poster child: healthcare crisis, housing crisis, drug overdose crisis, teacher shortages, doctor shortages, and so on, with no solutions in sight. Germany, the UK, Sweden, etc are are in similar boats.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

It would be nice to know which experts and which predictions.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Too bad, the way things go today, Japan is going the neo-liberal cultural-enrichment free-market globalism.

It's easy to predict what Japan would be, just look all the culturally-enriched western countries today, you can see what Japan will be in the next 10 years.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

And how is Japan improving today ??

Salary wise ? ! It's shockingly abysmal.

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

As usual, Emmanuel nails it. This guy calls it as it is. Japan - as he says - is forging ahead, growing the economy nicely all the while carefully managing the population decline. The tourism sector in Japan is absolutely booming, Tokyo is the IT place in 2024, as are the heavy industries such as auto-making. Nations like the US and UK are going backwards in terms of development and public services. The US is in particular tangled up in Communist China - with greedy, China-loving corporations like Tesla and Apple doing the nation a grave dis-service.

Investors the world over would be wise to pull out of the US (and many parts of Europe) and fully focus on Japan going forward.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

What the hay is he talking about? He lives in a palace in Tokyo with a chauffeur and guards. Has he even been outside the Yamanote Line?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

If you ask me, many things are still better in Japan, but that's not so very much busting any myths, whatever is meant above, but more due to a certain time lag of about five to ten years. In general, in Asia and also Japan not an own strategy or development but a kind of copy culture sets the future standards. So everything first is only watched and checked very precisely for merits and demerits, then the West's good things are copied or adapted very fast and the bad things are tried to be avoided. This common strategy sometimes fails too and still doesn't exclude or prevent from almost all of those bad things coming anyway, with that postponing time lag.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And how is Japan improving today ??

You would have had to first stepped foot in Japan in 1986 like I did, and witness a very different society. In Osaka, I remember numerous communities of working people living in small dilapidated wooden shacks-- under the arches of Shinkansen track; in the middle of a busy traffic roundabout in the center of Osaka: on the banks of the Yodogawa River, under the Juso Bridge, and many others. Those are all gone, either greenified or replaced by new and modern houses accessed by paved roads.

We had to clean our window screens at least once a week as they were covered in black soot. These days, maybe once a year. The homeless were nearly everywhere back then, not just in the most rundown areas, but in all the major train stations, for example, and their communities were big, maybe scores of them per area living in cardboard houses on train station concourses. I could go on, but my fingers are tired from typing.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

That's why I say YES to strict immigration policy and protect the homogeneous society that is JAPAN.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

it would be nice to know which experts

For starters, take a look at William Pesek or the IMF. There's tons out there if you make a small effort to find them on the Interwebs,

Predictions are harder to pin down, because they or the investment banks they work for remove their reports from the web or revise them when it looks like real world events are proving them wrong, which is so often the case. I was thinking about compiling my own log titled "The Ewrongimists" Lol.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

For starters, take a look at William Pesek or the IMF. There's tons out there if you make a small effort to find them on the Interwebs,

I can't be bothered though. If someone makes an assertion, it is not usually the listener's responsibility to follow up with finding the evidence for their assertion. If someone does not provide the evidence at the time they make the assertion, I generally ignore them or assume they have none. In this case, it is not even clear to me that Emanuel is deriding experts who made negative predictions and yet things turned out the opposite, as you and some others seem to be assuming. How do you even know Pesek is in Emanuel's sights? Alternatively, some experts may have made positive predictions which came up short. Not hard to find (Vogel and Kahn). And we can all find negatives that came true (Emmott) and positives that came true besides. And who is Emanuel's audience? He seems to often be in the Reischauer mould, buttering up Japan for geopolitical reasons.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It is perplexing how some people seem to think that a desire for more information regarding experts and predictions connected with the quote is a bad thing.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japan may have beaten those "predictions," whatever they may have been, but it is certainly not what it was 30 years ago during the bubble days.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Rahm is also turning out to be a better ambassador than predicted!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, what era of myths are we talking about here? Japan was supposed to end up as the #1 economy in the world for a long time, and every other country needed to follow suit or fall behind, as JT readers surely know.

Anyways, calling out "Washington experts" is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it's even more rich coming from an experienced political operator such as Emanuel.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rahm has become a mouthpiece of the Japanese government.

Much like the publisher of that abysmal magazine called 'Monocle' a few years ago,

He is blowing Japan(s trumpet while the population is getting poorer and poorer by the day.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No matter what, empires fall and there's definitely no such thing as infinite growth- but again ... nations have to focus on their own internal affairs, rather than distorting what globalization really is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites