The precedent of the United States’s great depression and Japan’s post-bubble collapse should haunt today’s G8 summiteers, writes Ann Pettifor in Open Democracy.
Japan hosts the G8 summit in the northern island of Hokkaido on 7-9 July 2008 at a time when its prolonged period of deflation and economic failure have rendered its politicians impotent. Philip Stephens notes that – despite Japan’s still considerable role in the global economy – the country’s politicians are the weaklings of global geopolitics. “Where is Japan?”, he asks. “The question is one of psychology rather than geography. Japan is still the world’s second most powerful economy. Politically, it is all but invisible” (see “Japan goes missing: invisible host at the summit“, Financial Times, 4 July 2008).