28 Mar '11, 10pm

For Japan, this could be the catalyst for a better future: Commentary

Tragic as it is, this natural disaster may serve as a catalyst for Japan to forge a brighter future. Prime Minister Naoto Kan described Japan's earthquake and tsunami as presenting the country with its biggest crisis and challenge since World War II. For a country that rose from the nuclear ashes of horrendous defeat to become (and remain for four decades) the second-largest economy in the world, this is no small claim. It may be true, or at least close to the truth. In economic terms, natural disasters such as this one represent (in the broad) a combination of an immediate negative shock to supply, as human life, infrastructure and wealth are lost and economic activity is disrupted - and a positive shock to demand, which starts to emerge with a lag and can last for several years. The Japanese government has estimated that the damage caused by the disaster may be as much a...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentary/EDC110329-0000011/F...

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