Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Alex Kerr on Japan's Recovery

The Japan Times recently had an absorbing interview (full text here, archived here) with Alex Kerr, author of the insightful and sometimes shocking Dogs and Demons :
Things are getting good again economically a little too soon. What that does is lull everyone back into a feeling that everything is going to be OK: "Let's talk about reform, but we don't really have to take the pain of it."

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At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Adamu said...

I know man, I am reading Dogs n Demons right now... It is such an eye-opener.

Would you say that the real estate market right now is working to help Japanese society or is continuing to take it apart as Kerr writes?

REITs such as Hep Five etc. don't seem to be doing much for the atmosphere of Osaka or wherever... I wonder what kind of garish wonders the new design of Osaka station will unfurl?

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Taro Akasaka said...

Thanks for commenting. I think you're missing Kerr's point; misdirected government policy, not the real estate industry, is the main culprit in his book. I think if anything the real estate industry is moving towards a more effective use of the nation's assets, which (speaking generally) is good for society.
And speaking of Osaka, which is more of a blight on its landscape : the garish HEP Five building, or the dismal slums of Kamagasaki?

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Adamu said...

Good point! I shouldn't front -- I have a lot of love for Hep Five as a place where I hung out as a high school exchange student.

As someone struggling to learn about Japan's business world, I wanna let you know your blog is very informative and thought-provoking. Keep up the good work!


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