Martin Jacques: East is east – get used to it

From the Guardian:

Not so long ago, Japan was the height of fashion. Then came the post-bubble recession and it rapidly faded into the background, condemned as yesterday’s story…No doubt the same fate will befall China in due course, though perhaps a little less dramatically because of its sheer size and import.

These vagaries tell us nothing about east Asia, but describe the fickleness of western attitudes towards the region’s transformation. A combination of curiosity and a fear of the unknown fuel a swelling interest, and then, when it appears that it was a false alarm, old attitudes of western-centric hubris reassert themselves: the Asian tigers were victims of a crony culture and Japan was simply too Japanese.

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