Le Japon : Médaille de bronze

TOKYO – C’est officiel, la Chine a désormais dérobé au Japon le rang de deuxième économie mondiale. A se demander si ce pays va continuer de rétrograder dans la liste des meilleures économies ou si ses responsables politiques vont emprunter le chemin de la réforme afin de raviver la croissance. Comme une lutte de pouvoir entre le Premier ministre Naoto Kan et l’homme d’influence du parti Ichiro Ozawa handicape le Parti démocrate du Japon (PDJ), il ne semble pas que les réformes économiques de fond soient à l’ordre du jour.

Dans les années 1980, le taux de croissance annuel moyen du PIB du Japon était de 4,5 %. Depuis le début des années 1990 et la quasi stagnation de l’économie, ce taux avoisine à peine 1 %. Durant la décennie précédant le nouveau millénaire, le gouvernement japonais, qui se méprenait grossièrement sur l’origine des difficultés économiques, a fortement accru ses dépenses, en investissant dans les travaux publics, au détriment de tout ajustement visant à relancer la demande.

Cette politique a engendré de nouveaux intérêts, ainsi qu’un climat politique différent : le secteur du bâtiment et les autres bénéficiaires des contrats ont commencé à doter gracieusement le Parti libéral-démocrate (PLD) au pouvoir. C’était faire déborder les coffres du PLD et risquer l’éruption d’une grave crise financière à la fin des années 1990.

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