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Critical Japan

Posted January. 12, 2002 11:26,   


The controversy in Japan over its future is continuously debated. Some foresee Japan`s economic recovery coming sooner or later, while others feel that the nation is in deep trouble.

The author, originally from England, but who lived in Japan for 35 years and graduating from Keio University, is severely criticizing Japan`s social conditions. His book `Lost Japan` had won the foreign writers` Shinjo International Literature Award, and he is currently working as a writer and a publishing consultant, traveling back and forth between Japan and Thailand.

The book was first published in the U.S. under the title `Dogs and Demons`, and earned its fame. Its translation is expected to be published in Japan after Korea.

In short, the author insists that Japan is chasing a ghost, false dreams. The ghost is transformed into images of impractical constructions, cramming education, destruction of old cities under the name of culture industry, internationally incompetent financial enterprises, globalization that deepens isolation, expensive bureaucracy, children-centered movie industry, firms` gilding accounts, environmental ignorance, unstable medical sales, information full of falsity and conspiracy, a useless airport supposedly built for vegetable- transportation, etc.

Even if one does not agree with everything he says, his analysis gives us much to think about. Two PhD from Japan`s Tokyo University and Keio University, Lee Jong Hoon and Sim Kyung Ho, argue their opinions in `Issue Review`.

Written by Alex Kerr, edited by Lee Na Young

Hong Ik Publisher