El Japón como número tres

TOKYO – Ahora China ha suplantado oficialmente al Japón como la segunda economía del mundo por su tamaño. La cuestión que ahora se le plantea al Japón es la de si seguirá bajando por la lista de las grandes economías del mundo o si sus políticos volverán a una senda de reformas que reavive su crecimiento. Que el Partido Democrático del Japón parece ahora atrapado en una lucha de poder entre el Primer Ministro, Naoto Kan, y el hombre fuerte del partido, Ichiro Ozawa, indica que una reforma económica seria no ocupa el primer puesto en el programa del PDJ.

En el decenio de 1980, el crecimiento anual del PIB del Japón ascendió, por término medio, al 4,5 por ciento; desde comienzos del decenio de 1990, la economía ha estado prácticamente estancada, con un crecimiento anual medio del 1 por ciento. En el decenio de 1990, el Gobierno del Japón, al equivocarse garrafalmente sobre las causas de las dificultades de la economía, aumentó enormemente los gastos estatales enobras públicas, pero pasó por alto los ajustes de la oferta.

Aquella política engendró nuevos intereses creados y, por tanto, un nuevo ambiente político, pues las empresas de la construcción y otros beneficiarios de los contratos estatales empezaron a hacer importantes donaciones al gobernante Partido Liberal Democrático, con lo que las arcas del PLD quedaron abarrotadas, pero se pusieron las bases para la grave crisis financiera habida al final del decenio de 1990.

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