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Japan - recession - debt

knowltok2

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Saw a news story the other day that indicated that Japan was still in a major recsession and that one of their problems was a $10 trillion debt. I may have that figure wrong, but I know it was a huge amount. My question for anyone who might know is, what in the world did they spend all that money on? I mean, I know where the US debt came from, its floating in the IUndian ocean and launching planes, or its black, wing shaped, and drops bombs. What did the Japanese spend so much money on?
 
One of the reasons has been that they have spent huge amounts of money on Airports that they have built on islands in the sea...
 
Japan has the second largest (in terms of dollars, not percentage) military budget in the world.

Japan also finances a lot of American & UN military operations since it can't directly participate because of its Constitution. For example, the cost of the Gulf War was paid almost entirely by Germany and Japan, even though the bulk of the fighting was done by the U.S. & Arabs.

I'm not sure if that is where the debt is from, just fielding it.
 
Now here's a question: Why the large defense budget? I'm not saying that there aren't reasons, but what do all of you think?
 
Originally posted by knowltok2
Now here's a question: Why the large defense budget? I'm not saying that there aren't reasons, but what do all of you think?
I could be very wrong but wasn't it so that after WWII they weren't allowed to have an offensive army anymore? So in conflicts where the UN interferes the Japanese don't send soldiers but money to the UN so that other nation's expenses can be covered.
Just a question, US troops are still in Japan, do the Japanese have to pay for that too? (could be another reason for the defense budget)
 
I don't know, but I doubt that the Japanese are paying for US troops to be in Japan. As I said, I don't know for sure.

Your point on the offensive force being restricted is true, which adds to the question of why the large defense budget.

If I was Japan, I'd want a good defense too. N. Korea ans China are close, and China has a long memory.
 
Japan is reeling under heavy debt because mainly the banks have been hit badly by the non-repayment of loans. To try and prop up these failing banks, the Japanese govt. is spending ridiculous amounts trying to repay bad debts. There are several examples given in TIME magazines recent edition("Japan's Sob Stroy").

Their real problem is that their economy has not been able to get out of Manufacturing and trade which is being taken over by countries like India and China, (more so the latter) where the cheap labour and equally high technical skill is proving more than a match for the Japs.

Somebody also mentioned Airports in the middle of nowwhere. Thsi is also a huge problem .The Japanese mindset that wasteful expenditure on unnnecessary infrastructure projects is preventing any real reform.
 
Originally posted by civ1-addict
Just a question, US troops are still in Japan, do the Japanese have to pay for that too?

The U.S. does not require payment from any country to station its troops there. Indeed, the U.S. normally 'rents' the land, and sometimes buildings, for its bases.

Now, you CAN argue about whether the rent is at 'true market value', or whether it is rented and not bought (as I believe is sometimes the case). And then there is the question of intangibles, i.e., "We'll stay here and 'protect' you, so you need to cut us a deal on those new cars you want to export to us", and that sort of thing.
 
Originally posted by knowltok2
Saw a news story the other day that indicated that Japan was still in a major recsession and that one of their problems was a $10 trillion debt. I may have that figure wrong, but I know it was a huge amount. My question for anyone who might know is, what in the world did they spend all that money on?


In large part, inflated real estate during the 1980's economic boom. Remember when the US was feeling nervous because "the Japanese are buying our whole country"? Well, most of those purchases are now worth less than what they paid for them.

Also, you may remember the Japanese business model of the 1980's -- rigid corporate leadership, lifetime employment, a long-term plan that allows for little flexibility. Those things work well in economic boom times, but can really cut into your profits when a recession hits. So the companies borrow to ride out the recession, but the recession lasts longer than they expect, so they can't repay the loans as scheduled, so banks are threatened, so the government props up the banks... it's a big domino chain that results in a prolonged slump from which no one can really see an escape any time soon.

I mean, I know where the US debt came from, its floating in the IUndian ocean and launching planes, or its black, wing shaped, and drops bombs.

Actually, most of the American debt is in the shape of small, thin plastic cards with magnetic strips, and little envelopes with windows that show up in the family mailbox every month. The American consumer is even more fiscally irresponsible than the American government.
 
Originally posted by allhailIndia
Japan is reeling under heavy debt because mainly the banks have been hit badly by the non-repayment of loans. To try and prop up these failing banks, the Japanese govt. is spending ridiculous amounts trying to repay bad debts. There are several examples given in TIME magazines recent edition("Japan's Sob Stroy").
Very true. Banking reforms are stalling and the Jap govt is still unwilling to confront the daunting mass of bad loans in their banks' portfolios. They're unwilling to endure the short-term pain (couple of yrs) of cutting loose all those loans fr the pool. And then they keep throwing in good money, to shore up all those loans (and the banks).

Their real problem is that their economy has not been able to get out of Manufacturing and trade which is being taken over by countries like India and China, (more so the latter) where the cheap labour and equally high technical skill is proving more than a match for the Japs.
Their greatest hinder in this case is they're still unwilling to face up to the Chinese challenge. It's the mentality. And unwillingness to lower their std of living to match Chinese competition.

Also lack of political leadership fr above. Too many chges in the Prime Ministership over the last decade.

Somebody also mentioned Airports in the middle of nowwhere. Thsi is also a huge problem .The Japanese mindset that wasteful expenditure on unnnecessary infrastructure projects is preventing any real reform.
It's a matter of local politics. Rural constituencies are more powerful than their equivalent in the cities, per capita on a man-to-man basis. E.g. a rural parlimentary seat (with a lot less people) gives one MP, same as a seat in Tokyo (with a lot more people).

The LDP politicians whose strongest supporters are vested interests (farmers etc) in the countryside thus need to keep their constituents happy and so build all these grand stuff in the middle of nowhere (in their rural constituencies). It's democracy at work. ;)
 
Originally posted by knowltok2
Now here's a question: Why the large defense budget? I'm not saying that there aren't reasons, but what do all of you think?

Consider who their close neighbers are.

EDIT: oops, I see now that you already have.

On another note, I would appreciate it if Japanese people were not referred to as "Japs" in these forums- I know you didn't do this knowltok2, but others have.
 
And just when you think it could not get worse, guess who is Junichiro Kiozumi's best pal, the ex-PM, Yoshiro Mori.:crazyeyes
 
Originally posted by knowltok2
I don't know, but I doubt that the Japanese are paying for US troops to be in Japan. As I said, I don't know for sure.
The Japanese paid for the maintenance of the US bases in Japan methinks. They also provided the land.

Your point on the offensive force being restricted is true, which adds to the question of why the large defense budget.
It's the high standard of living, making everything expensive. They also produced the most expensive tank per unit.

If I was Japan, I'd want a good defense too. N. Korea ans China are close, and China has a long memory.
After you rampaged thru those countries and massacring and killing and plundering for almost half a century (for Korea), you got to expect some reprisals at least. The S Koreans don't like the Japanese much either.

Plus the fact you don't even want to acknowledge what you have done and keep whitewashing your history books to the point all those young Japanese grew up and wondered why the hell all of Japan's immediate neighbours dislike it immensely (to put it mildly).

The Japanese govt won't even want to give a direct all-out apology till this day. :mad:
 
I'd heard about the banking problem and did a little reading. Its a HUGE mess, the problem is similar to the one the U.S. had with banks during the depression. Fortunately, many of the other problems the U.S. was having don't exist so its nothing near as severe in Japan.

Originally posted by knowltok2
Your point on the offensive force being restricted is true, which adds to the question of why the large defense budget.
The U.S. drafted Constitution Japan operates under restricts the military budget to 1% of the GDP. Of course, Japan has the second largest economy in the world, so 1% of the GDP is about $500 billion.

Originally posted by Knight-Dragon
The Japanese govt won't even want to give a direct all-out apology till this day. :mad:
Would an apology at this point matter? It is a very different world now... I suppose I'm speaking from a non-victim, but isn't it time to let it go?
 
Originally posted by Greadius
Would an apology at this point matter? It is a very different world now... I suppose I'm speaking from a non-victim, but isn't it time to let it go?
Not to me personally, but the Japanese shld at the very least make a public apologetic gesture about it like Germany, and more importantly, acknowledge it.

Do you know they whitewash down the actrocities the Japanese forces committed in their rampage thru Asia in the high school textbooks used in their national schools?

Worse, public medium (comics, popular culture medium) portrayed the imperial Japanese soldiers as patriotic heroes fighting against the evil imperialist Westerners. :rolleyes: In most cases, Japanese never knew the real history at all or only vaguely.

Japanese rightists even denied that atrocities like the Nanjing Massacre ever took place and that the righteous Japanese imperial forces were 'liberating' Asia fr European colonialism. :mad:

All they have to do is acknowledge the history and remember it. :rolleyes: Is that so very hard?
 
Also the Japanese have wasted billions in failed infrastructure projects. They spent almost five billion dollars building the Konsai airport; a massive modern airport built three miles out to sea on soft clay. They expected the clay to compress 20-25 feet and then stop, but it compressed nearly thirty feet and then slowed down to three feet per year. To compound the problem it compresses unevenly so the the aircraft runways are beginning to buckle and crack. So now the Japanese Government is stuck with a five billion dollar expenditure in addition to an explosive growing expense for an airport that is doing half the business they expected which will probably sink beneath the waves in twenty years despite their best efforts to stop the seafloor compression.
 
Thanks for all the good information.

I agree that the word "japs" shouldn't be used.

I even more firmly agree with Knight-Dragon about Japan admitting to its past and including it in their history books. I suppose it is the whole "saving face" mentality, but that mentality is a dangerous road.

If the US can appologize to and pay the Japanese Americans interned on the west coast, Japan can at least acknowledge things like the Bataan Death March, The Railroad of Death, and The Rape of Nanking.

Hiding mistakes is a good way to repeat them, and the Japanese should take the German example regarding this.
 
Originally posted by knowltok2
If the US can appologize to and pay the Japanese Americans interned on the west coast, Japan can at least acknowledge things like the Bataan Death March, The Railroad of Death, and The Rape of Nanking.

Hiding mistakes is a good way to repeat them, and the Japanese should take the German example regarding this.

I know I'm just asking for flames here, but...

Perhaps Japan could apologize for their atrocities in exchange for a US apology for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The American reparation to the Japanese-American internees was not the same as an apology for military actions against another country. The people in the internment camps were American citizens, and it's easier to admit that you wronged your own citizens than to apologize to a foreign power.
 
Well, I for one won't flame you, even though I disagree with you. I hope no one else flames you. RMsharpe started a good thread on this topic (either here or in history) that has some good insight.

My thought is that if an appology in neccesary for those two cities, than one would be neccessary for almost all the other japanese cities that were equally leveled, and in many cases with a greater loss of life. Bombing cities to defeat an enemy during a total war was, and likely still is, standard world procedure. An apology for doing that in a war started by Japan is in my mind not needed.

Employing slave labor in extreme conditions, tuning an army loose to rape and pillage a city, using prisoners for bayonet practice, and marching prisoners in extreme conditions with constant beatings and a lack of water do require an apology.
 
"Japan - recession - debt"
Read the title and post on-topic. Take the other discussions elsewhere. :)
 
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