TOKYO -- As Shinzo Abe sat down this week in Seoul with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, he did so as the leader of a country that many people around the world now seriously underestimate. That dynamic certainly was felt during the three Northeast Asian powers' first summit since 2012.
Soon, China, Japan, Korea will be locked into an Asian and perhaps global competition for market share. This would be reminiscent of another time when that was indeed the case, in multiple ways. Clearly, Japan and Japanese companies would need to be at the top of their game, along with many changes made on the innovation side.
Republicans lost the White House. They lost an opportunity to control the Senate. They lost seats in the House, though they remain the majority there. Yet it is their plan, from that minority position, to sustain their sink-middle-class-boats economic policies and scuttle all attempts to change course.
"I have experienced failure as a politician," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once said. In his second round as the country's prime minister, he is determined to avoid the mistakes of the past -- beginning with how to deal with the stagnant Japanese economy. I asked Abe about this when I met with him on Thursday afternoon in his office in Tokyo. "My policies do not conform with the conventional wisdom," he said. "However we have been suffering from a long period of deflation and at the end of last year we faced a serious unemployment crisis. I am convinced that my economic policies are the only path to break out of this crisis." For now, while the U.S. and Europe sputter along, restrained by the politics of austerity, Japan under Shinzo Abe is set on a bold course to revive a moribund economy.