What we can learn from Japan

Japan is often portrayed as teetering on the brink of a demographic abyss. But despite low economic growth, an ageing population and a declining workforce, life continues quite comfortably.

The World Today Updated 30 September 2020 Published 6 April 2017 1 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

As Joji Sakurai writes in our opening article, Japan’s problems may soon be everyone’s. Far from jeering on the sidelines, the rest of the rich world needs to learn some lessons from Japan’s experience.

One element of Japan’s solution to a world with fewer young people is enabling more women to work for longer. But why do so many Japanese women have to give up their jobs on marriage or childbirth? Frances McCall Rosenbluth says that major Japanese companies have to change their hierarchical structure.

If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, half her cabinet would be women. In our interview, Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served in the State Department under Clinton, looks at the line-up under Donald Trump and says she feels ‘erased’ by all the male faces.

Britain is heading for the exit from the European Union. On page 38 Sir Simon Fraser lists the huge obstacles in the way of Britain ‘going global’.

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