Volume 15, Issue 49
Week of December 17, 2012
In This Issue
Feature: Asia Letter, Q1 2013: Japan-India Cooperation
- Infrastructure Development
- Private-Sector Expansion
- Security Ties
- Appeasement, Anyone?
- About the Scott Foster
Publisher’s Note: For almost a decade now, we have been writing about the economy called “ChinaPan”: the interesting duopoly created with Japan’s capital, China’s workforce, and a shared – and competitive – mercantilist national business model. In addition to desperately needed capital during China’s early days of moving into the 20th-century (post–Information Age) economy, Japan brought something even more important: a treasure trove of Intellectual Property – much of it stolen in turn from Inventing Nations – and the even more valuable IP of efficient manufacturing, much of this developed by Japan itself.
If a nation ever needed an economic kick-start, this was it, and Japan was the place to get it.
OK, those days are over.
China has chosen to dump its top source of Foreign Direct Investment as a serious partner for its own reasons. It is already obvious that Xi Jinping was behind the recent acceleration in military activities surrounding China’s specious South China Sea territorial claims, beginning months before his recent ascension to the presidency.
It is also now clear that Xi’s regime will be more tilted toward military solutions than Hu Jintao’s. This has cleared away any confusion about China’s behavior in the SCS and its treatment of its neighbors. Indeed, many Chinese now see the re-taking of the Senkaku islands as a rewind of WWII history, when Japan did the same to China as the first step toward a brutal war.
The result of all this is a reduction in interest among Chinese consumers in things Japanese, not the least of which are cars. Much of the world, based as it is on free trade, has no understanding of how the Chinese national buying habits can be turned on a dime by the government’s propaganda machine. Today, the Japanese understand.
They also understand the new military situation; and the expected election of Shinzo Abe, and the political success of Ishihara’s new party, have underlined this process.
All of this speaks to the destruction of the ChinaPan economic machine. What will take its place? This week’s issue provides the answer. – mra