Magazine July 6, 2009, Issue

Japanese Crossroads

Mt. Fuji seen through Shinjuku skyscrapers in Tokyo, Japan, January 8, 2006. (Reuters)
Does our most important Asian ally face another decade of decline?

Over the past quarter century, global perceptions of Japan have fluctuated violently. In the 1980s, the country was touted as an emerging superpower that would rival the United States. Then a Lost Decade of recession and deflation eclipsed the Rising Sun, and outsiders dismissed Japan as a basket case. The Japanese economy rebounded under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a conservative who held office from 2001 to 2006, during which time we heard warnings about a resurgence of right-wing nationalism. Such fears were overblown, though Koizumi’s successor, Shinzo Abe, did not help matters by trying to sugarcoat Japan’s practice of sex …

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A reader reacts to Mitch Daniels's comment on government intervention in the energy market.
The Week

The Week

It took only a few hours for the “Wise Latina” cover of our last issue to be roundly denounced as offensive by lefty bloggers.