Abe is yet another example of one of our mentally deficient leaders.
It is almost as if they were chosen for their lack of judgement, lack of realpolitik and inability to see what consequences flow from their actions.
Dr Alf wonders if there are parallels for Southern Europe which seems to be going into reverse at warp speed.
I suspect not because the Japanese people are hardworking and productive, whereas people in Southern Europe really do not understand as people in the UK still don’t what it really takes to be competitive. To be clear, here are some building blocks for European labor:
- Highly skilled, in terms of both basic education, languages and the capacity to manufacture or provide services in demand
- Hardworking in terms of global competition
- Cost competitive in terms of global competition
- Global reputation for quality, skill and cost competitiveness, and finally
- Government and European policies that aggressively support the above.
China to quote the Donald is “eating Japan’s lunch” and Abe failed to see the writing on the wall when they said “There cannot be two suns in the sky”.
Abe started laying claim to some islands which the Chinese also claim and did so by force, knowing that the Americans were obliged by treaty to come to his aid. This has inflamed tensions and has caused China to redouble her efforts to best Japan which it has now succeeded in doing with car manufacturing, insurance, banking, creating world financial centers (Hong Kong will be the biggest in the world by 2016), owning mining companies in Africa, land in Australia and buying up firms in America and Europe.
Japan needs to co-venture and co-operate with others in the region and not inflame age-old enmities with their larger neighbor but under Abe its policies have been confrontational and in economic terms misguided and foolish.
Germany and the European Commission need to quickly learn from Japan, and get back in the game of international competitiveness.