Changing Japan’s corporate culture

Japan's highest mountain, Mount Fuji is seen behind the skyline of the Shinjuku area of Tokyo on 6 December 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

It wasn’t long ago that US governments and corporations had Japan in the dock for competing via ‘unfair business practices’ to take over world markets. Japanese corporate conglomerates (the keiretsu financial groups) were responsible, so the accusation ran, for a whole range of problems in the United States–Japan relationship: from ‘closed’ Japanese markets for manufactured goods that artificially held imports of manufactured goods down to the bilateral trade deficit between the two countries. Read more…

Looking after this generation in Asia, and the next

Children scatter autumn leaves into the air at dusk in Tokyo, Japan, 21 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The issue of the sustainability of economic growth is a hot issue in the debate about economic policy. Growth, as measured through change in GDP, means that people are better off, but it does not mean that people will continue to enjoy a higher standard of living in the future. Sustainability means that social consumption can be at least as high in the future as it is now. Read more…

Getting a bead on China’s diplomacy

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou enter the ballroom at the Shangri-la Hotel in Singapore, 07 November 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore on 7 November was widely interpreted as another perhaps-ill-advised Chinese intervention in Taiwan’s electoral processes. This idea doesn’t stack up for several reasons. Read more…

Coping with global economic risks

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 economies gather for a photo session on the final day of their two-day meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on 5 September 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The G20 summit at Antalya in Turkey next weekend takes place at a time of continuing risk in the global economy. Although the United States seems on a path to steady recovery, Europe remains fragile, growth in the major emerging economies, except India, is weakening and world trade has taken a nosedive. Read more…

Myanmar’s political choice

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of National League for Democracy party, delivers a speech during her election campaign rally in Yangon, Myanmar, 01 November 2015.  (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

On 8 November, the people of Myanmar will make their choice in an election that represents an important step along the way towards a more democratic political system. Whatever the outcome, the election will not be the end of Myanmar’s story of political reform and there are many uncertain steps ahead. The lead-up to the election was plagued by criticism and uncertainty. Read more…

Can India make it without manufacturing?

Indian labourers work at a brick manufacturing unit on the outskirts of Hyderabad on 2 March 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

There’s one school of thought in Indian academic and policy circles that India represents a completely new model of development on the way to prosperity. India, it’s claimed, will be a services-led growth model, built on the spectacular international success of its IT hub in Bangalore, and its supply of English-literate back office services to the world. Read more…

What comes after the Atlanta deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Gantry cranes and shipping containers are seen beside a vessel at the cargo terminal area of Tokyo port on October 6, 2015. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hailed a deal to create the world's largest free trade area 6 October as the start of a "new century" for Asia, and expressed hope China might one day join the historic accord. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Peter Drysdale and Shiro Armstrong, East Asia Forum

The 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was all but concluded last week after five years of negotiations. The deal now faces the challenge of ratification in each of the 12 countries, with all their domestic political obstacles — including a possible election year vote in the US Congress and the Australian Senate. Read more…