The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 16. 2014    

April 21, 2014    
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In This Issue


Steinmo, Bayram and DeWit offer a wide-ranging assessment of Japan's two decades long economic meltdown through a close comparison of Sweden's simultaneous economic crisis and its handling in the 1990s. The nomination of Japan's Article Nine for a Nobel Peace prize opens a new frontier in the debate over Japan's course at a time when its Prime Minister seeks to abolish core Constitutional provisions and set Japan on a new course. Peter Dale Scott revisits the McCarthy era in the US to explore its consequences for the international banking system and big oil with a spotlight on the activities of the powerful Dulles Brothers.

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Sven Steinmo, Ismail Emre Bayram and Andrew DeWit
The Bumble Bee and the Chrysanthemum:
Comparing Sweden and Japan's Responses to Financial Crisis

The early 1990s financial crises in Sweden and Japan illustrate how and why interventions vary across advanced economies. The two crises had similar causes, including financial deregulation, credit expansion and massive asset bubbles. They also had similar fallouts, with sharp declines in asset prices and massive increases in non-performing loans leading to a full-blown solvency crisis.  


The authors find that, especially in the realm of effective intervention,  the Japanese and the Swedes diverged sharply in their crisis management: The Swedes quickly realized they were confronting a solvency crisis in major financial institutions and acted accordingly. In contrast, Japan's policymakers chose to deal with their crisis as one of liquidity. This article shows why the two countries responded so differently when faced with what appear to be quite similar financial crises and explains the profoundly different consequences. 

Sven Steinmo is Research Professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy and a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University.  

Ismail Emre Bayram is a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (Cologne, Germany). 


Andrew DeWit is Professor in Rikkyo University's School of Policy Studies and a coordinator of The Asia-Pacific Journal.  


Peter Dale Scott
The Dulles Brothers, Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, and the Fate of the Private Pre-War International Banking System
It has long been known that President Richard Nixon, in his interrogation of US government officials Harry Dexter White and Alger Hiss, was being fed information by FBI agents acting with the approval of J. Edgar Hoover. In this essay, the author argues that Nixon also received assistance from the Dulles brothers, especially in a key meeting between the three men on August 11, 1948, five days before White's untimely and disputed death. The claims against White and Hiss continued for years to feed the phobic hysteria we remember as McCarthyism. And unfortunately they continue to the present. Scott further documents the consequences of the rise of the Dulles brothers for big oil and the international banking system.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War

Alexis Dudden 
The Nomination of Article 9 of Japan's Constitution for a Nobel Peace Prize

On April 9, 2014 the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that the "Japanese people who conserve Article 9" had succeeded in registering themselves as contenders for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The group is a loosely organized, broad-based cross section of Japanese society committed to saving the Japanese constitution's famous clause outlawing war. With mounting conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region, and with the Abe administration prioritizing constitutional revision, the nomination poses important questions for the future.

Alexis Dudden is Professor of History, University of Connecticut and a Japan Focus Associate. She is the author of Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States and Japan's Colonization of Korea: Discourse and Power and an associate of the Reischauer Institute's Constitutional Revision Research Project. 

April 24, 2014.