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Tuesday 20 Feb 2018 | 13:07 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 20 Feb 2018 | 13:07 | SYDNEY

Japan's axiomatic challenge



8 December 2008 09:47

Being in Tokyo for the last week has reinforced just how different Japan and Australia are. Tokyo seems like a city of skyscrapers with no end and the population of greater Tokyo is roughly one and half time larger than our sunburnt continent. Australia is a new, multicultural society far away from great power shifts. Japan is an old,monocultural civilization facing China, Russia and North Korea.

Being in Tokyo at this time has also reinforced just how poisonous the present political battle is between the LDP and DPJ, and how paralysed the political system is as a whole. A Graeme Dobell post comparing Japanese and NSW politics is ringing truer now. The global financial crisis is leading many to fall back with fingers crossed on a well-known axiom about the US: that it is a uniquely flexible and resilient economy and society that can quickly recover from crises and come back stronger.

It strikes me that Japan's political paralysis and lack of leadership will test a well-known axiom of Japan: that it is a country and civilization particularly able to recover from crises and devise a new way to run their country that leads it to a new era of success. The Meiji Restoration and the post-war economic recovery are usually held up as the two examples of this inner strength. The next year or two should test this faith in Japan again.

Photo by Fickr user *Chie*, used under a Creative Commons license.

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