The Japan Society and The Japan Foundation, Toronto are honoured and privileged to co-present a luncheon seminar with French scholar Professor Sebastien Lechevalier. He is a professor at EHESS (L'Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences socials/The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), president of the France-Japan Foundation of EHESS, director of the French Network for Asian Studies, and a recipient of a Japan Foundation fellowship. His recent publications include The Great Transformation of Japanese Capitalism (Science-Po 2011, Routledge, 2014, Iwanami Shoten, 2015). Professor Lechevalier has been invited to speak by various organizations including Japanese business associations and the foreign chamber of commerce in Japan.
What assessment can be made of Abenomics three years after their initial implementation and midway through the mandate of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? Fears that they would give rise to an inflationary spiral or a sovereign and banking crisis did not materialize. At the same time, despite encouraging results in terms of inflation, growth outcomes remain disappointing. The continued concerted use of different levers of economic policy is needed to consolidate the exit from deflation and to strengthen growth.
Beyond the most recent period, Abenomics is hard to understand without reference to Japan's economic history since the bursting of the real estate and financial bubble. What are the lessons of Japan's "lost decades"?
The Japanese experience over the past twenty-five years provides useful benchmarks to understand the risks to North America and Europe of protracted slower growth, or the effects of quantitative easing policies implemented in Japan over fifteen years. These lessons were followed very closely by economic policy makers in North America but much less so in Europe, until recently.
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