TOKYO – Once again, Japan is Asia’s odd country out. For two decades, as one Asian economy after another boomed, Japan’s economy remained virtually stagnant. Now, with GDP growth in Asia’s two giants, China and India, slowing precipitously – a decline that appears to be contributing to diminishing economic performance in much of the rest of Asia – Japan is recording its strongest growth since its 1980’s boom.
But, just as Japan’s post-war economic model became the template for the Asian economic miracles of recent decades, the reforms currently being implemented by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (“Abenomics”) may offer Asian economies a path back to strong growth. If the fallout from China’s slowdown is not to hit the entire region and jeopardize the economic integration that has already taken place, Asia’s governments – beginning with China – will need to embrace similar reforms.