The Lessons From Japan

After a debt-fueled binge, the world's second largest economy entered a lost decade. Three reasons for the Obama Administration to heed what went wrong in Japan

Keith Bedford

Japan can play a key part in getting growth going again. But that will require expanding its domestic economy rather than relying on exports.

Correction Appended: March 12, 2009

Wandering the streets of Tokyo's Roppongi district on a wet night, you know where film director Ridley Scott got the inspiration for his dystopian Los Angeles in Blade Runner. Multicolored neon; disembodied voices from video screens; a freeway over your head; the smells and sounds of bars and noodle shops; fake fur everywhere. Then, the next morning, you look out a window and see another Japan: a hedge in which each leaf seems to have been clipped by hand; a couple of rocks placed, in some Zen way, just so.

In many years of visiting Japan, I've...

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