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I visited in 1999, 2002, and 2003. Tokyo to Fukushima to Kyoto to Takefu. All that I saw was forests, small-scale agriculture, clear streams, egrets, high-speed trains, and a working populace in the countryside. Kyoto was clean and seemed prosperous. Tokyo was busy, much cleaner than most big cities - gleaming actually. Good food - seemed very wholesome. Helpful people with possible exception of one railroad clerk; 1 slightly obese person out of thousands observed; 1 beggar in Tokyo.

The business people that I knew there worked for one of the largest chemical firms in the world. I heard that the boss of our division made about 4 times the salaries of the office people. Nobody seemed to begrudge it, even after an evening of sake.

If that's stagnation in action, it looked good to me.

Slight change of subject in line with afew's and others' comments: I read a Reuters' article yesterday about the 'failure' of the current solar-energy initiative in Japan. It was one of the most egregiously stupid articles that I have ever read. Because they have only installed 3+ GW of solar in one year out of 20+ GW projected over the life of the policy, the initiative is a shambles. One other thing that I love about the Japanese - they don't spike the ball in the endzone (maybe occasionally run around the pitch a bit after scoring). They just listen, drink their sake with friends, and move on to the next problem.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (paulgspencer@gmail.com) on Tue Nov 19th, 2013 at 01:48:41 PM EST
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