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Public Lecture Video (3.8.2012): Extreme Japan: How the country will both soar and sink

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Published on Mar 26, 2012

Is Japan poised for a resurgence, or is the country entering a long
decline? On one hand, industry is hollowing out, public finances are a
mess, politics in disarray and the unfavorable demographics are
irreversible. Japan's economy flourished in the 20th century but many
forces, notably China, challenge it in the 21st. On the other hand,
Japan has one of the strongest engineering cultures and work ethics in the world, producing things that no one else can. It can afford to
have such clownish politics and sovereign debt because it has such a
solid societal structure and private wealth. And 3/11 has subtly
unleashed creative forces that are preparing to blossom. Kenneth
Cukier argues that between these extremes a third way is likely: the
country will bifurcate into pockets of outperformance amid a general
morass of decrepitude. A handful of companies, sectors and locations
will be extraordinarily successful globally, in an environment of
national deterioration. After nearly five years as a foreign
correspondent, Kenn returns to London in March. He will use the talk
as a chance to reflect on the themes, to spur a broader conversation
on Japan's future that sadly will take place without him.

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