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June 21, 2006

Japan’s back

With so much focus on China as an economic power in Asia, it seems as if we have forgotten about Japan. But is Japan making a comeback? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden thinks so.

"One reason we forgot about Japan … is that Japan was in a really bad economic slump for almost 15 years," says Dr. Walden, an economist with the North Carolina Cooperative Extnesion Service. "I mean, it’s kind of like being in a recession for that long.

"Many reasons: some of them policy related, their bureaucracy, kind of the cozy relationship their government’s had with some of the big industries.

"But it seems like Japan has figured it out, and for the first time in almost two decades they are now putting together several back-to-back years of economic growth.

"So I do think Japan is back," he says.

"Now … Japan has been eclipsed by China in terms of economic growth recently. And China is actually twice as big economically now as Japan.

"But Japan is still a very important trading partner with the U.S., especially in automobiles."

Posted by deeshore at June 21, 2006 08:07 AM