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The Economic Might of Germany and Japan in the 21st Century

  • Category(s): Politics Essays
  • Created on : 02 August 2013
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  • Author: Richard Michael Lamb


An essay on the importance of Japan and Germany to the world economy.


These two nation states were totally defeated militarily and economically in World War Two. They have been allowed to rebuild industrially and financially so that they are now the strongest countries in the world in those two senses and almost under our very noses. They present no armed threat to the Anglo-American alliance and world peace, however.


Their economic power places them in a position of strength through their financial undertakings (Banks) and industrial enterprises. In a subtle and careful manner that power is without doubt utilised to benefit those two nation states, despite the supra-national nature of the world economy and in the case of Germany the Euro and the EU. The power of the Japanese Yen and the Euro springs directly from Japan and Germany’s policies. Those two currencies are formidable financial weapons and fortifications.


The Japanese are known to be aggressive. Their late 19th and 20th Century past history proves it. They know they will not be allowed such military latitude again. Therefore they have deliberately targeted the financial and economic levers of power and much of their leverage is concealed. Japan has the “intelligence” to pursue this policy which China and South Korea and Taiwan lack. That “intelligence” combined with manufacturing industry on a very considerable and technically expert scale and Banks with real muscle have combined to put Japan in the economic driving seat internationally. There is no EU in the Far East. Japan will not advertise or disclose its economic power and strategy but they have achieved an enormous amount economically since 1945. We are misled to believe Japan is in a slump. Their economy will not slow down by its very nature and character.


The German story is very similar to Japan’s but the EU is grafted on a Union close to Germany’s heart but currently creaking in the chassis. Germany has since the Treaty of Rome in the 1950’s concealed its strategy of economic aggrandisement within the cloak of the Common Market and later the EU. Neither Germany nor Japan wish to take over the world economically but they do wish to maximise their wealth for the benefit of their businesses and nations. Germany also has enormous manufacturing might and financial strength through its industries and banks e.g.: Deutsch Bank and Commerzbank in Europe and worldwide. Japan likewise has a powerful worldwide presence in this field through its merchant Banking arm.


Is the German and Japanese economic might currently of benefit to the comity of states in Europe and the Far East and worldwide. I argue it is not in the interests of the worldwide economy to concentrate so much economic power within these two countries regardless of the course of the Second World War and its outcome and the so called need to regenerate these two states defeated in that conflict.

The Solution

I submit the process of sharing these two economic bases with the countries of the world should occur in accordance with “natural osmosis” and positive action. This is happening already but not sufficiently and should not be impeded by narrow mindedness in Germany and Japan. Essentially the IMF need to drive this action and this “osmosis” forward by funding the sharing and partition of German and Japanese wealth and industries. It must be made clear to Germany and Japan their domination of finance, world industry and markets cannot last forever. No one wishes to stigmatise and expropriate their wealth but that wealth should be parted with in portions not horded and miserly preserved. We are not communists but we do believe in share and share alike. All nations should enjoy and participate in these riches. Japan and Germany should prove their mettle and be put on the spot. This unequal division of world commerce is insupportable. Let us have new economic structures which allow for more financial equality among nations and thereby remove the causation of instability and economic stagnation in countries e.g.: the Middle East and central Asia and Africa. With prosperity countries will thrive and grow into stability. The wealth of the world should truly be equalised. The whole question of German and Japanese economic domination should be brought into the open and debated. No country should be allowed the lopsided leverage of these two nations. It is simply unequal, unfair and volatile internationally. Let the debate proceed and the amity of nations grow. May reason and diplomacy and sound economics prevail. Currently there is no openness and debate on these issues. No one will strip Germany and Japan of all their assets and power. That would be unreasonable.

China, India and South Korea

Three fast growing economies, without doubt. How do they fit into this German/Japanese equation? Undoubtedly Germany and Japan will have very strong business links with China, India and Korea. China is not democratic and wants growth at all costs – where is that leading? There is no accountability or proper representation of the people in China. Therefore the uninhibited economic upward change lacks direction. The society is uniformly secular and lacks a binding belief structure.

Where are the vested interests? China must be lead to understand unrestrained growth is not an end in itself. The taming of the German colossus and Japanese phenomenon will be brought about through international dialogue. If those two states give up their top dog positions the way will be laid for China to take the foot off the pedal of growth herself and thereby follow suit. The same applies to India which is democratic but has a massive gap between rich and poor. If that gap is to be bridged the unrestrained pursuit of growth must be reined in. Growth in these three nations for its own sake cannot be right. There must be a pursuit of the ideal to be attained above mere growth which is a means to an end.


Essentially we have an international economy comprised of nation states and the EU. Germany and Japan have both risen from the ashes like the phoenix. There is a small and vociferous body of opinion in the west against Big Business. Most people are realistic and rightly desire regular and stable work. The power of the German and Japanese economic machines enables them sometimes to ride out rough patches. In the long run of competition and economic turbulence the German miracle may vanish and the Japanese success disappears. I argue it makes sense now for Germany and Japan to downsize and remove the unstable top heavy nature of the world economy. Make the way straight and flatten out the troughs and peaks. Recognise the success they have had may be time limited and secure a long term future for their people and the world through giving up something presently for the long term benefit (loss and gain). This is good practical and economic sense and will reduce world tension as well. As I have said Germany and Japan should grasp the nettle of growth and recognise it cannot be an end in itself. Their economies should be harnessed to the aim of altruism. I submit in every sense urged in this essay. That will revitalise their national psyche more than any drive to greater profit and growth. Let us assert the deep and abiding Germanic and Japanese national beings and allow them to blossom and grow afresh in the deepest sense.