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Monday, April 12, 2010

Is Japan "Tapping Out"?

I have been like "St John the Divine" with my apocalyptic comments about the monster looking over Japan's back...China, during the past few years. The reality of China's boom and Japan's many growing economic woes including; the previous and sustained drop in the birthrate, the decrease in taxpayers, the increase in pension recipients and an ideological and recent political shift away from the west. For an export based industrial country things look dim.

Surprisingly, most of my students seem to be surprised by what seems economically clear.

I WAS surprised myself though to see this...

By Blaine Harden
Sunday, April 11, 2010

TOKYO -- Takuya Otani would love an MBA from a top U.S. business school, but he won't apply. When he graduates from college in Tokyo next year, he'll pass on an American degree and attend graduate school in Japan.

"I am a grass-eater," Otani said wistfully, using an in-vogue expression for a person who avoids stress, controls risk and grazes contentedly in home pastures.

Once a voracious consumer of American higher education, Japan is becoming a nation of grass-eaters. Undergraduate enrollment in U.S. universities has fallen 52 percent since 2000; graduate enrollment has dropped 27 percent.

It is a steep, sustained and potentially harmful decline for an export-dependent nation that is losing global market share to its highly competitive Asian neighbors, whose students are stampeding into American schools.

Total enrollment from China is up 164 percent in the past decade; from India, it has jumped 190 percent. South Korea has about 76 million fewer people than Japan, but it now sends 2 1/2 times as many students to U.S. college

The full article can be found HERE

Why does it appear that Japan is pulling back? The realities of the global economy and the history between them and China paint a clear picture of the future. America will also be eventually pushed over the cliff if not be saved by it's "consumer" based economy. Japan is not being pushed. It looks like they're jumping!

A student said today that she thought the quality gap would insulate Japan. I told her that perception is reality and the Toyota mess (see MSN for today's latest story regarding Toyota or check HERE) along with a lack of bad news for China will create a new reality for kids growing up right now. They will not have any preference or bias for either country other than the image put in-front of them now.
2010 is shaping up to be the worst year I can remember for post war Japan.

("Tapping Out" is a reference to a submission move in M.M.A (Mixed Martial Arts)