This is the story of an evolving relationship between two island nations – a relationship which could be (and should be) of growing importance as the UK seeks to re-position itself in a totally transformed international landscape.
Modern Japan defies Western analysis. It fails to fit into the Anglo-American model of liberal democratic capitalism which used to dominate Western thinking in the 20th century but
which now looks shaky. It is collectivist and yet capitalist. It is closed yet open. It is democratic, yet there is something different about the way its democracy works. It is distinctly nationalist and yet very outward-looking. It is traditionalist and bureaucratic and yet breathtakingly innovative. It is centralised and unitary but yet polycentric. It is corporatist and yet overwhelmingly an economy of small businesses. It’s industry, wealth and technology qualify it as a superpower and yet it has no superpower pretensions.
Through a series of articles, spanning some forty years, David Howell takes us through the story of the relationship between these two islands nations - a story that covers national development right up to the situation today.