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USA Deliberately Slowed 1980s Japan Economy?

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:04 pm
by stuper1
I came across an intriguing idea very recently, which had never occurred to me before. I'm curious to know if anyone else had ever heard this idea before? Maybe this was obvious to a lot of people before, and somehow I just never encountered this idea before.

The idea is spelled out in this article: ... r-on-china .

Basically, the idea is that the USA deliberately caused the Japanese economic slowdown in the late 1980s, and the Japanese went along with it, because they are under the US security umbrella. I feel kind of stupid for not even considering such a thing before, although I have to say I don't recall ever reading any hints of such a thing, or maybe I was just too obtuse to catch hints that were given. To me, it was always just this big question mark on why the Japanese economy had slowed way down and never really got going again. If the US played a large driving role, as Sachs suggests, at least now I have an explanation of what happened, and it's certainly one I don't find unbelievable, as I think my US government has played a lot of dirty tricks in foreign affairs over the last 100+ years which I find shameful (actually could go back farther than 100 years to the Mexican war and such).

What do you all think? Had you ever heard of this idea on the Japanese slowdown before? Do you think the idea has any truth to it?

Re: USA Deliberately Slowed 1980s Japan Economy?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 2:20 am
by boglerdude
Stronger currency means higher wages, in purchasing power. Japan's rich with good income equality.

Bubble bust in ~92, working age population peaked in 95. And culturally, they dont like the layoffs required to restructure an economy. After covid not sure I like it either.

China's also entering the Middle Income Trap. Its "easy" to get people from the field to the factory, but not easy to get them to code.

China forced everyone to save via real estate, but now population is shrinking. Hopefully they got most of the restructuring and deleveraging done during the covid smokescreen. Otherwise...

Re: USA Deliberately Slowed 1980s Japan Economy?

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 7:18 pm
by dualstow
Very interesting idea, stuper. I could go along with the idea that the U.S. sought it. Did they cause it (even with Japan’s own compliance)? It just seems like there are too many variables.

The wiki entry on the author is quite a read as well.