Japan is in the middle of a historic experiment. Nearly a quarter-century after the end of its post-World War II economic miracle, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is boldly attempting—through massive government spending, monetary easing, and an overhaul of Japan’s highly regulated economy—to end a long period of political paralysis and revive the country, lifting it into a leadership role in Asia.
Michael Auslin, a resident scholar and the director of Japan studies at the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, examines the effort and the lessons it may hold for the West. Many of Japan’s problems are mirrored in America and Europe. Its success, or lack of it, could signal whether they are on a similar path to low growth, political incompetence, and social malaise.