There have been better times to be Japanese. Still battling the unappeased demons of stagnation, bloated national debt, and the sclerotic effects of an ageing population, the authorities now seem paralysed in their efforts to rebuild after the 2011 earthquake. Despite the country’s riches and technological know-how.
Initially it seemed Japan was coping well considering the overwhelming forces that pummelled the country following the 11 March quake. Now many are criticising officials’ efforts as being slow and badly synchronised. It’s not a reaction adequate for one of the largest reconstruction efforts since the Second World War.
The obstacles to rebuilding, and to the renewed vitality that many hoped would characterise post-quake Japan, are varied and many. Foremost must be Japan’s rigid administrative system, which historically has hindered the momentum sparked by volunteers in any domestic disaster. Many also blame ineptitude and political infighting for bringing the reconstruction to a stall.
Read the rest of the story: Has cronyism wrecked Japan’s long-term repair?.