Monday, March 10, 2008

The price of xenophobia

Again, no surprises here. Japan to wants to return to the past which it never really left; to go to the fantasy world of Fujiwara. There are a few penalties to pay, but I am sure it can all be blamed on sneaky, Japan-bashing foreigners who don't understand The Beautiful Country:

By raising barriers to foreign investment and impeding the flow of foreign nationals, Japan, as a nation, is at risk of becoming a "subprime state."

[The Japanese Supreme Court labeling of Steel Partners as an "abusive acquirer"]
...the overwhelming lesson to be learned from this case was that external capital is no longer welcome in Japan.

...there are also steps that affect the people who move through them
[speaking of Japan's attempt restrict foreign investment in airports], in particular, foreign nationals.

It is hard to imagine another world-leading nation engaging in such regressive and exclusionary behavior.
From an article in the JT online by Jochen Legewie, President of CNC Japan.

Japan has been playing a rather insincere game of being an international, open, market-based economy for decades. It has never really been true. Japan won't usually open anything unless outside pressure is applied---how often has the government taken the position that opening some sector of the market or even society to foreign companies or people is good because it is good for Japan and the Japanese?

I know it is childish and spiteful, but I wish other countries would take a simpler policy towards Japan. "OK, we can't enter or freely work in your markets/society. No problem. It's your country and your 'tradition.' We won't argue. However, your companies and your people will not have free access to our markets/society. That's all. Should you ever decide to open up, come and see us after you have do so. We don't want to hear sweet talk and "we are unique" excuses. It's action or nothing. Until then, goodbye."

If Japan wants to return to a Third World status let it. If it wants to give up let it.

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