Takamitsu Sawa


Takamitsu Sawa
Jan 29, 2001
'Bubble' ethics cripple Japan
Chaos prevailed at some of the coming-of-age ceremonies held across the nation on Jan. 8. Youngsters who had joined the ranks of adults behaved like rogues, swilling sake from king-size bottles, throwing firecrackers at a mayor, or shouting "go home" to a governor. These and other acts of gross incivility,...
Jan 1, 2001
A possible Third Way for Japan
During the last decade of the 20th century, Japan's economy stagnated. The recession that followed the collapse of the asset-price bubble (1987-90) hit bottom in October 1993, but the economy remained flat through the end of 2000, with no visible signs of a lasting recovery.
Nov 6, 2000
Profit, but at whose expense?
Oct 9, 2000
The crystal balls grow opaque
All kinds of "self-confident" experts make predictions in the mass media about the economy and politics. In Japan, such experts are rarely held accountable if they err in their predictions. In the late 1980s, when the bubble economy peaked, Japanese experts expressed the following opinions that later...
Sep 12, 2000
Japan needs a Third Way
Through the last decade of the 20th century, the Japanese economy has been in a state of confusion. After the bubble peaked in 1987-90, the economy went into a tailspin. The economy hit bottom in October 1993, according to official statistics, but since then it has shown few tangible signs of robust...
Aug 7, 2000
Laissez faire destroys itself
The market economy is akin to nature. Government intervention in the market is comparable to the destruction of the natural environment and should be avoided. Nature untouched by the human hand is great. The fury of the elements dwarfs human power. Essentially, that is the opinion of free-market advocates,...
Jul 3, 2000
Japan's money-loving youth
With industrialized economies entering the postindustrial age, key issues in domestic politics are shifting their focus from materialism to postmaterialism. The "materialistic" issues include economic growth, income redistribution, welfare, employment, industrial development and international trade....
Jun 5, 2000
The conservative's dilemma
Traditionally American voters have been given a choice between conservatism and liberalism. The Republican Party is labeled "conservative" and the Democratic Party "liberal." In Japan before 1993, when the Liberal Democratic Party lost its monopoly on power, the choice was between conservatism and socialism....
May 8, 2000
Japan drifts without goals
This last decade of the 20th century has been labeled a "lost decade" for Japan. The Heisei recession that began in May 1991 bottomed out in October 1993. In subsequent years, however, Japan's economy continued to stagnate, contrary to general expectations. A decade of economic drift has created a sense...
Apr 11, 2000
Hot air about the carbon tax
The debate on the carbon tax is heating up again after a lapse of two and a half years. Before the 1997 Kyoto conference on climate change, I proposed that Japan introduce this environmental tax, following Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. However, the Ministry of International Trade...
Mar 14, 2000
In praise of market heretics
During the 1980s and 1990s, waves of neoconservatism swept the world. The movement was sparked by two politicians: Margaret Thatcher, who became the prime minister of Britain in 1979, and Ronald Reagan, who became president of the United States in 1981. In Japan, a neoconservative administration headed...
Feb 7, 2000
Choose: equality or freedom
The third ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization, held in Seattle Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, ended in unexpected failure. The push for new global trade talks collapsed due to opposition by developing countries, which account for more than 100 of the WTO's 134 member nations. The developing...
Jan 1, 2000
Japan looks for a purpose
The 1990s is said to have been a "lost decade" for Japan. That may be true. In May 1991, Japan's economy plunged into a slump that would be called the "Heisei Recession." In October 1993, the economy "bottomed out," but ever since then it has remained in the doldrums. The protracted slump has had extensive...


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