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So much has been written about immigration, aging, globalization, and the shortage of trained workers, but nothing ties these matters together like Thirty Tomorrows. Noting how the aging population will make economic prosperity dependent on immigration and international trade, the analysis also recognizes that these trends carry ills as well has help and puts into context how the nation ought to approach both. Further it recognizes how the challenges facing the country require policies that encourage innovation and train workers to work effectively in a high-value-added economy — the only way ensure wage increases and a vibrant middle class. Explaining today’s strains, Thirty Tomorrowsalso charts the course by which the country can alleviate them and sustain prosperity into the indefinite future.
Japan is in transition and has been dealing with this challenge for a while. Kawari, when it first came out, identified the causes of this transition and how it will play out over time. The analysis still applies.
Noting a confluence of the rise of China and how Japan’s very low birth rate is causing an extreme aging of its population, Kawari showed clearly how Japan had to give up its former status as workshop of the world and place its industry increasingly overseas elsewhere in Asia where it could fine a youthful and eager workforce. That need, especially in the face of China’s aggressive foreign policy, demanded that the country at last shift from the extreme pacifism could of the last seven decades and became what the Japanese refer to as a “normal nation.”
The book goes on to look at the implications for the United States and other nations, most especially in Asia, of these shifts and also points our the peculiar dangers involved given Japan’s unique culture and history.
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