Thursday, January 01, 2009

Japan as a bold policy-maker?

The editorial of the Asahi shimbun of January 1st often is a big piece expected to influence the year ahead. Here is an extract:

"Japanese people long for a bold policy vision that transcends simple short-term measures to stimulate job creation and economic growth. They also want strong political leadership that will realize the vision.

The age when economic growth was the top priority has ended. Japan should be rebuilt in line with a drastic change to our sense of values.

Such a grand vision could focus on the environment, education or welfare. It should be designed to concentrate resources on crafting a decent future for the nation and job creation. Again, strong political leadership is essential to realize this grand vision.

The unipolar world dominated by the United States is now being replaced by a multipolar world where countries like China and India are gaining increasing clout. Given the growing importance of international cooperation to overcome the crisis and protect the environment of the planet, political leadership has a crucial role to play...

... Will the upcoming Lower House election in Japan, which must be held this year, shape up as a similar sea change for the nation? The 20 years since the end of the Cold War have led the nation from the heyday of the bubble economy to this glum new year, a period of constant turmoil.

Voters must now be more critical of the nation's politics than ever before."

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