Larry Summers: ‘An isolated Japan will fall further behind’ (huh?)

In an interview with the Financial Times, “Larry Summers:’An isolated Japan will fall further behind’, Larry Summers stated, “I worry that an isolated Japan is going to be a Japan that falls further behind.”

 

Fall further behind whom?
I used OECD statistics to compare Japan’s GDP per capita percentage with those of other large countries and the EU as a whole to not surprisingly find that for the past 15 years Japan’s growth has essentially matched other richer countries.

 

                           2000               2014         
France               93%                  96%          Japan  slightly “catching”
Germany           87%                  81%          Japan falling behind
US                       70%                  69%         Japan staying even
UK                       97%                  93%         Japan slightly “falling behind”
EU                       95%                  97%         Japan staying even

 

I think this erroneous but common belief has been entrenched for years because Japan’s “lost decade” is famous in policy and business circles, while it has been pretty rare to hear of America and Europe’s lost decades.
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