Shinzo Abe at United Nations conference. UN ISDR/Flickr

L’avenir du Japon de Shinzo Abe

TOKYO – À l’heure où Shinzo Abe discute cette semaine au sommet de Séoul en compagnie de la présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-hye et du Premier ministre chinois Li Keqiang, le Premier ministre japonais œuvre à la tête d’un pays que beaucoup à travers le monde sous-estiment aujourd’hui considérablement. Cette tendance sera très certainement ressentie lors du premier sommet des trois grandes puissances du nord-est asiatique depuis 2012.

Il y a une trentaine d’années, nombre d’observateurs formulaient un avis bien différent dans leur évaluation du Japon. Beaucoup d’Américains craignaient en effet de perdre la main après que le revenu par habitant du Japon ait dépassé celui des États-Unis. Le secteur manufacturier japonais fixait à l’époque la norme sur le plan international. Certains ouvrages annonçaient même une guerre contre une superpuissance japonaise nucléaire. Ces prévisions reposaient alors sur une extrapolation de l’impressionnante croissance économique japonaise d’après-guerre ; aujourd’hui, après plus de deux décennies de malaise, elles nous rappellent tout simplement le manque de fiabilité des projections linéaires.

Ce manque de pertinence demeure d’actualité. En réponse à une montée rapide de la Chine ainsi qu’à l’affirmation de son gouvernement communiste, l’actuelle croyance populaire nous dresse le portrait d’un Japon relégué au statut de pays d’importance secondaire – ce qui constitue à nouveau une erreur.

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