Japan and the Art of Survival

May 6th, 2014
9781469028897.jpgBack in the 1980’s we thought Japan was not only the number one economic power, but we thought it was taking over the world.  The Japanese bought iconic properties like Rockefeller Center, and Pebble Beach.  We were looking at Japanese schooling and trying to emulate their educational and economic success.  Just as we want our kids to learn Mandarin today, back then we wanted them to learn Japanese. 

All that has changed.  Japan’s economy has spent twenty years in the doldrums.  The Japanese population is aging, and it’s been anything but a dynamic society. 

How are all of these events related?  How does the rise of China, the stagnation of Japan and the insecurities of the US all fit together?  And how has Japan, especially since the multiple and overlapping tragedies of Fukushima, been able to cope with its place in the world?

Is there something we can all learn from the way that Japan deals with its adversity? Journalist David Pilling thinks so, and he gives his views in Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

My conversation with David Pilling: