Noriko Hama, is a Japanese economist, the Dean of Doshisha Business School in Kyoto and a contributor to The Japan Times. Well known for her candid television commentaries, popular columns, she is completely absorbed in the world of economics, and utterly unfazed by its ups and downs. Hama has never been interested in making money, however, only thinking about it — a lot. And talking about it, eloquently and often.

Japan needs to be saved from our politicians. Japanese people experience fear, uncertainty and loss of confidence as deflation continues. Prices don't go up as they should. All in all, Japan has an economy that is not functioning and it needs saving, both with policy and politics — neither of which currently work in Japan.

Growth is for the young. Both the Japanese political establishment and business people make the mistake of assuming that growth is what we need to save Japan. This preoccupation with growth is our biggest problem as it leads to economic deadlock. Growth is for young countries. We're a refined economy and past the growing stage — except spiritually.