The newly elected Japanese ruling Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Naoto Kan (l.) has pledged to rein that nation’s huge debt, the world’s largest, calling for drastic tax reform including a hiking the sales tax. Public opinion polls show Japanese citizens prepared for tax increases and budget cuts if they can reduce the risk of a Greek-style economic meltdown. International relations Professor Thomas Berger, an authority on East Asian political culture, says the contrast between the Japanese public and its willingness to sacrifice to solve economic problems and people in other advanced industrial countries — notably France — is striking.
“There are, of course, many challenges that lie ahead in the months to come. Still, while it may be too early to say it is ‘morning in Japan,’ there may be some glimmerings on the horizon.”
Contact Thomas Berger, 617-353-5351, firstname.lastname@example.org