Japan launched major yen-selling intervention on Oct. 31 in response to massive speculative yen-buying — the first such action since August. The ever-rising yen is threatening Japan's export industry and can easily derail the eagerly awaited economic recovery from the March 11 shock. However, it remains unclear whether the recent yen-selling will have any lasting effect on the currency's value.

This is first of all because of the debt crisis in Europe and the unclear future of the euro. Japan can only indirectly support Europe by continuing to buy bonds of the European Financial Stability Facility. It already is the biggest holder of EFSF bonds outside of the eurozone. But in the end, Japan's fate -and that of the entire global economy — will depend on developments within Europe itself. So which course will the euro and the European Union take?

The crystal ball with a clear answer to this question has not been found yet. But there are more and more observers who agree that only a radical solution will lead Europe out of its current crisis. Either the euro system will implode or European nations have to radically accelerate their integration process and move to something resembling a United States of Euro Land or the euro will implode. There seems to be less and less room for a muddling through between these two scenarios.