Shinzo Abe at United Nations conference. UN ISDR/Flickr

Das Schicksal Japans unter Abe

TOKIO – Shinzo Abe nimmt diese Woche in Seoul an einem Treffen mit der südkoreanischen Präsidentin Park Geun-hye und dem chinesischen Premierminister Li Keqiang teil und er tut dies in seiner Eigenschaft als Regierungschef eines Landes, das derzeit von vielen Menschen weltweit schwer unterschätzt wird. Diese Dynamik wird im Laufe des ersten Gipfeltreffens der drei nordostasiatischen Mächte seit 2012 mit Sicherheit zu spüren sein.

Vor drei Jahrzehnten irrten sich viele in ihrer Einschätzung Japans in die entgegengesetzte Richtung. In den USA herrschte vielfach die Angst, von Japan überholt zu werden, als das japanische Pro-Kopf-Einkommen den entsprechenden Wert Amerikas überstieg. Die japanische Industrie setzte internationale Maßstäbe und in manchen Büchern prognostizierte man sogar einen Krieg mit einer japanischen Atom-Großmacht. Man gelangte zu dieser Sichtweise, weil man das eindrucksvolle Wirtschaftswachstum in Japan nach dem Krieg einfach extrapolierte. Heute, nach über zwei Jahrzehnten der wirtschaftlichen Misere, erinnern sie uns diese Ansichten lediglich an die Gefahren linearer Vorhersagen.

Diese Gefahren bestehen nach wie vor. Angesichts des raschen Aufstiegs Chinas und des wachsenden Selbstbewusstseins seiner kommunistischen Führung wird Japan in der landläufigen Meinung als Land untergeordneter Bedeutung dargestellt – eine ebenso fehlerhafte Sicht der Dinge.

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