El ascenso del Japón liberal

La mayoría de las personas que observan el ascenso del poder en Asia se fijan en China o la India. Frecuentemente olvidan que la economía de cinco billones de dólares de Japón es la segunda más grande del mundo –más que China y la India combinadas- con un ingreso per cápita que es diez veces mayor que el de China. Además, Japón gasta 40 mil millones de dólares anuales en defensa y sus fuerzas militares están entre las primeras cinco del mundo. La economía de China está creciendo más rápidamente y su tamaño total probablemente superará al de Japón en una o dos décadas pero cualquier análisis serio sobre el poder en Asia oriental debe incluir a Japón como un actor importante.

Japón ha desempeñado un papel único en la historia mundial. Fue el primer país asiático que se topó con las fuerzas de la globalización, las dominó y las utilizó a favor de sus propios intereses.

Además, Japón se ha reinventado dos veces. Durante la restauración Meiji del siglo XIX, Japón buscó en todo el mundo ideas y tecnología que le permitieron derrotar a una gran potencia europea en la guerra ruso-japonesa de 1904. Desafortunadamente, Japón adoptó el imperialismo militarista en los años 1930, lo que en última instancia condujo a su rendición y ocupación en 1945.

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