• Saturday, February 22, 2020

Japan's Abe Is the World's Best Leader

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by Aepsilons, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    By Noah Smith

    I was a Shinzo Abe skeptic. That’s putting it mildly. After all, I was still living in Japan when Abe’s disastrous first term in office put a halt to the reform process begun by Junichiro Koizumi, and ushered in a return to the bad old days of prime minister musical chairs that paralyzed Japan in the 1990s.

    When Abe swept back into power in 2012, I thought he was just going to try to talk down the yen and give a little boost to stocks, increasing his public support just long enough to ram through a revision of Japan’s pacifist constitution. I thought he was going to ignore Japan’s moribund economy and long-festering social problems in order to throw red meat to his right-wing backers.

    Boy, was I wrong. I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Let me be blunt: Shinzo Abe is the most effective national leader in the world right now. I never thought I’d say this, but he’s an example that the rest of the world should be following.

    Abenomics

    This time around, Abe didn't ignore the economy. Backed by economic adviser Koichi Hamada and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, Abe first implemented the biggest monetarist push in world history. He went the opposite direction of Europe, and -- unlike the U.S. -- he gave every indication that the shift toward monetarism was permanent. The result: Japan has escaped deflation. The stock market is up, growth is way up and even wages are finally starting to rise.

    In other words, unlike everyone else in the world, Abe listened to Milton Friedman, and the results are looking good. As the Fed contemplates not whether to taper its quantitative easing but how fast, it might want to look at what’s happening in Japan.

    But monetary policy was just the beginning of Hurricane Abe.

    Japan’s top social problem is the role of women. The sexism of corporate Japan is legendary, and many millions of Japanese women are underemployed and out of the labor force; yet instead of pushing women back to traditional child-rearing roles, this has mainly just lowered the fertility rate to sub-European levels. But since taking office, Abe -- whose party is famous for sexist gaffes -- has become the most feminist leader I’ve ever seen.

    He constantly talks about the need to make women more equal in the workplace -- no small thing in a country where corporations have a reputation for following the government’s wishes. Abe’s detractors dismiss this as empty talk, but talk is never empty, especially when you say things that no one has said before. And Abe is putting his money where his mouth is, with a raft of measures to improve working women’s access to affordable day care.

    Already, I can sense a shift. When I lived in Japan 10 years ago, people said that women’s situation would never change, and treated women’s second-class status as an immutable fact of Japanese culture. Nowadays, when I go back, everyone is talking about women’s changing role, and everyone agrees that Abe is the prime mover.

    But that’s just the beginning. Abe is moving to cut Japan’s corporate tax rate, which along with the U.S.'s is the world’s highest. The country's government-run pension fund will probably invest more of its money in risky but high-yielding assets (in an echo of George W. Bush’s failed plan for Social Security). Abe has launched a large number of deregulation efforts, and has pushed -- so far unsuccessfully -- for Japan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would lower trade barriers. He is beginning to curb the powers of Japan’s entrenched bureaucracy. He has even suggested bringing in 200,000 immigrants a year to supplement Japan’s shrinking labor force.

    On the foreign policy front, Abe has surprised me as well. Yes, he angered China and South Korea by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine (where more than 1,000 war criminals are buried), appointing some right-wing historical revisionists, and generally being a nationalist. But recently he has turned his nationalism into something that looks like liberal internationalism, standing up for the various small Asian countries that have been bullied by China’s push into the South China Sea. Instead of being an apologist for old Japanese imperialism, Abe is championing the rule of law and the freedom of the seas.

    Michael Cucek, a blogger who writes about Japanese politics (usually very critically), calls Abe an “idealist liberal icon,” writing: “Abe Shinzo should perhaps now be considered the standard bearer of liberalism around the world.” To me, Abe looks very much like Japan’s answer to Ronald Reagan -- an unapologetic nationalist who wants to slash government and make a principled stand against a bullying rival. And unlike Reagan, Abe is a full-throated feminist.

    But where Abe really shines is in comparison with previous Japanese leaders. Those of us who watch Japan could be forgiven for thinking that nothing ever changes. At times, Japanese politics seems like the movie ``Edge of Tomorrow,'' where everything keeps repeating and the good guys seem to never win. Koizumi was different, but Koizumi seemed like a flash in the pan. Now here is Koizumi’s protégé, continuing and expanding the work his mentor began.

    The rest of the world should be paying attention. For the first time in 25 years, Japan looks like it could be at the head of the international pack. It’s far from a done deal, of course, but this writer, at least, is a Shinzo Abe convert.



    Reference: BLOOMBERG
     
  2. senheiser

    senheiser SENIOR MEMBER

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    what has he done? All he has done was running the printing press something that everyone else was doing too but because japan suffered from deflation more than other 1st world countries they profit the most right now, not to mention that japan came late to the party and had also a 2011 earthquake. There is room to grow obviously but will it keep forever no one can tell?
    The yen isnt also on the same level a reserve currency like dollar and euro, even below the pound so dont except this to be going on forever, japan also suffers high trade deficits now since abenomics.
    Hes more pro feminist and whats the benefits? Japan is already aging worse than any other country from high life expectancy and low birth rate so i doubt this will help to improve demographics if not the opposite.

    The only good thing hes trying to have better relationships with russia in comparison to other g7 countries but i doubt he has the balls to make an own foreign policy
     
  3. l'ingénieur

    l'ingénieur FULL MEMBER

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    Any leader is great if he is ambitious.
     
  4. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    He is going to counter the population issue by the following:
    1) Addressing maternity resources, which will accommodate family life -- this is essential.
    One of the reasons why Japan's population is in decline is because of the work-a-holic character of Japanese people; we don't 'half-a$$' anything. When we commit to a job, we do it meticulously and work towards perfection. Because of this 'uber-dedication', it takes a toll on family and personal life. This of course is manifest that most Japanese women are pressured to delay motherhood to accommodate work demands. So, having a 'pro-feminist' policy will actually ease the burden on Japanese female workers and stimulate child birth and rearing.

    2) Japan is considering a 200,000 immigration policy per year. This will offset the population decline , while at the same time bring in the young and brightest professionals from around the world into -- Japan.
     
  5. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    @senheiser

    In regards to immigration; right now Japan is seeking highly skilled professionals in the medical work force. We are actually hiring nurses , physicians, physical therapists from the Philippines to fill in the ranks of our medical work force. The good thing about this kind of immigration policy is that we are not bringing in low-skilled immigrants, but highly skilled professionals.

    These are the types of immigrants that should seek and retain indefinitely.
     
  6. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    The overwhelming portion of that needs to be from Asian countries, which would ensure that Japan's national charactersitics, including its culture would not be distorted. That would also further improve people-to-people relationship. Frankly, I would not like to see Japan to be turning into a mestizo-land.
     
  7. kalu_miah

    kalu_miah SENIOR MEMBER

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    For immigration to Japan, the attractive groups would be:
    - Asian Siberians from Asian part of Russia and migrants to other part of Russia such as Kalmyks in Kalmykia
    North Asia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    - Mongolians
    - Chinese
    - Koreans
    Most are either Buddhist, former Buddhist or shamanist.
     
  8. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    he he, i understand what you're saying. i think there should be no racial provision to immigration; so long as they are:

    1) highly educated (bachelors, masteral, doctoral +++)
    2) have capital and can support their stay in Japan
    3) should have a basic command of Japanese language (or at least enroll for classes)
    4) ABSOLUTELY no criminal or terrorist background




    PS. I am a proponent of more foreigners into Japan. Besides, Hapa kids are beautiful. :tup:

    I don't think it should be limited just to East Asian people. I say, we bring in professionals from Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka , Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, United States, Russia, Germany, France, Kenya, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, Nigeria, Mexico, Argentina etc...!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  9. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    Besides, Japanese blood is strong, lol. Even Hapa kids still retain very unique Japanese phenotypic traits:

    [​IMG]
    For example, here's a Japanese male hapa (he's part German and Japanese)



    [​IMG]
    Japanese hapa (half Japanese , half Chinese). To me, he looks 100% Japanese

    [​IMG]
    Japanese actor Mokomichi Hayami (he's 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Filipino).

    [​IMG]
    Japanese hapa (1/2 Pakistani, 1/2 Japanese)
     
  10. kalu_miah

    kalu_miah SENIOR MEMBER

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    Getting the highly educated and talented people from all over the world is of course a good idea, this is what Canada, Australia and New Zealand do, but EU and US have different criteria which result in a lot of undesirable people consuming their welfare funds, specially true for Western Europe as it has well developed welfare system.

    Limiting it to East Asians would limit future social problems, but your govt. would face accusation of racism for this kind of policy. Here is something interesting to consider:
    IQ and the Wealth of Nations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    [​IMG]

    From above picture, you can guess why I suggested that China, Japan and Korean peninsula in a North East Asian union should become Asia's core economic zone. Perhaps "tiny" Mongolia should be included in that union as well.
     
  11. Aepsilons

    Aepsilons ELITE MEMBER

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    @kalu_miah

    I think it can be possible to bring in successful immigrants to Japan ; you know there is even a considerable Bangladeshi population in Japan. They are called Zainichi Banguradeshujin. There are over 11,000 Bangladeshis living in Japan and almost all of them are graduates of secondary schools. So they're quite educated and successful. Bangladesh is a majority muslim country and most of the Bangladeshi that live in Japan are muslims, and we have no instance of muslim rioting or animosity towards the Buddhists, Shintoist there.

    I will use Bangladeshi immigrants to Japan as an example of immigration success. And they are South Asians!
     
  12. TheNoob

    TheNoob SENIOR MEMBER

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    LOL mistook the title for ape xDDDD
     
  13. xunzi

    xunzi SENIOR MEMBER

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    He is not a great leader. As far as foreign policy, his real test is whether he can woo South Korea into an alliance. Not the Philippines, one of the world's worse corrupt country, or Vietnam, literally a Japanese wannabe country, it is South Korean. SK is one of the most responsible, peaceful country in existence and Abe had done nothing but alienate South Korea with his foreign policy.

    In economics, massive inflation will hit Japan and tax hike will push the real damage on Japanese consumer in time when they need the money to spend after tsunami event. Not to mention, national debts are skyrocketing and Japan is losing market share to rival country. The only industry they still maintain a comparative advantage now is automobile and that is due to China demand for low cost car.
     
  14. kankan326

    kankan326 FULL MEMBER

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    Sooner or later, Japanese will regret to let Muslims enter their country. Muslim immigration are like Trojan horse. Short term, it's good for countries that lack human resource like Japan. Long term, it's a real disaster.

    Japan has no idea how dangerous Muslims are because there are few of them in your land. Remember: Muslims has the highest birth rate in the world and there is a little Bin Laden hidden in every Muslim's deep soul.
     
  15. cirr

    cirr ELITE MEMBER

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    Abe will be history in a couple of years。

    Period。