by George Friedman
"By 2040, Japan will rise as East Asia’s leading power. This is one of our most controversial forecasts at Geopolitical Futures.
Our readers know that GPF is bearish on China. And while some may disagree on that point, they usually see that the reasoning is sound. China will face serious problems in coming years… problems that will strain the Communist Party’s rule.
Japan, though, seems a bridge too far. Its population is less than a tenth of China’s size (and it’s not just aging… it’s shrinking). Japan also has a debt-to-GDP ratio over 229%.
So, how is it that Japan will emerge in the next 25 years as East Asia’s most powerful country?
A good place to start is a broad comparison of the structure of China and Japan’s economies (the second and third largest economies in the world, respectively).
This analysis will reveal strengths and weaknesses for both and will bring our forecast into sharper relief."