We're not sure we agree with the author's solution (re: immigration), but his analysis of Japan's stagnation is worth the read.
In Japan, houses are like cars.
As soon as you move in, your new home is worth less than what you paid for it and after you’ve finished paying off your mortgage in 40 years, it is worth almost nothing.
It bewildered me when I first moved here as a correspondent for the BBC – 10 years on, as I prepared to leave, it was still the same.
This is the world’s third-largest economy. It’s a peaceful, prosperous country with the longest life expectancy in the world, the lowest murder rate, little political conflict, a powerful passport, and the sublime Shinkansen, the world’s best high-speed rail network.
America and Europe once feared the Japanese economic juggernaut much the same way they fear China’s growing economic might today. But the Japan the world expected never arrived. In the late 1980s, Japanese people were richer than Americans. Now they earn less than Britons.
For decades Japan has been struggling with a sluggish economy, held back by a deep resistance to change and a stubborn attachment to the past. Now, its population is both ageing and shrinking.
Japan is stuck.