Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turning Japanese

I arrived in Toyko this morning. I have worked with agents in South Korea and China before, but this is my first time in Japan. This is an incredible country. The tradition and courtesy is completely different to any other Asian country I have visited and the gadgets are something else! There's a selection of buttons to press for even the most basic of our daily routines it seems. Where ever I travel I am always interested in understanding more about the political system and the economy - but even more so with Japan - which is why I thought my visit was worth a blogspot.

For thirty years the Japanese economy was booming. As the 1990s dawned though stock slumped and real estate prices plummeted, marking an abrupt end to the Japanese asset price bubble. But the situation was exacerbated by domestic policies which had been intended to remove speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets and the slump just went on and on and on. Interest rates were rock bottom, but nothing was really moving. Sound familiar?

The Spectator had this excellent article a couple of months ago, drawing comparisons between the UK recession and the early stages of the Japanese recession - it's a stark warning on how we could very well end up in the same long term trouble if our economy is left mismanaged and in the wrong hands:

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