What is “Turning Japanese”? “The Economist” Uses the Phrase to Criticize America and Germany

Obama Merkel Turning Japanese

What is “Turning Japanese”? “The Economist” Uses the Phrase to Criticize American and German Leaders
Saki Ōuchi reporting from London August 2, 2011

The cover story of the latest edition of England’s Economist criticizes American President Obama and Germany Prime Minister Merkel for avoiding painful decisions about America’s debt and the Euro crisis, respectively, by saying they are “Turning Japanese”.

In the satirical cover image, President Obama is wearing a green kimono with an American dollar pattern while Merkel’s kanzashi (ornamental hairpin) has euro signs on it. The headline says “Debt, default and the West’s new politics of paralysis” is equivalent to “Turning Japanese”. The magazine ridicules the leaders and says “politicians who are loathe to make decisions are becoming the source of the problem, and their behavior is prolonging the recession.”

The article warns that “the European and American economic crisis is a reproduction of what happened in Japan after its bubble burst 20 years ago” and calls for the leaders to be more decisive, saying “Japanese leaders taught us that the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to change direction.”





(2011年8月2日11時30分 読売新聞)

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3 Comments on “What is “Turning Japanese”? “The Economist” Uses the Phrase to Criticize America and Germany”

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