La apertura del Japón

Después de doce años de estancamiento, la economía del Japón parece estar mejorando, pero las apariencias pueden engañar. Pese a las mejoras y las reformas, muchos de los fundamentos del Japón siguen siendo lamentables.

La decadencia del Japón ha sido palpable. A finales del decenio de 1980, en ciertos círculos dirigentes japoneses estaba de moda sostener que la Pax Americana se había acabado e iba a quedar substituida en Asia por la Pax Japónica. La economía de los Estados Unidos parecía estancarse, la del Japón remontaba el vuelo y las proyecciones fijaban 2005 como el año en que superaría a los Estados Unidos. El hecho de que las cosas hayan resultado muy diferentes refleja la inercia del Japón.

Los problemas subyacentes a la decadencia del Japón son legión. Los encargados de la formulación de las políticas y los dirigentes empresariales japoneses no entienden el concepto de "destrucción creativa". Se ayuda a demasiados dinosaurios industriales para mantenerlos con vida. De modo que, aunque algunas empresas funcionan extraordinariamente bien -Toyota y Canon, pongamos por caso-, hay poco espacio para nuevas empresas y empresarios. Si la economía del Japón fuera una computadora, tendría un disco duro lleno de programas obsoletos y una tecla para "eliminar" que no funcionaría.

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