Latest Commentary: -
Latest Blog: -
  • Michael Rosen Michael Rosen
  • Investment Insights are written by Angeles' CIO Michael Rosen

    Michael has more than 30 years experience as an institutional portfolio manager, investment strategist, trader and academic.


Published: 08-05-2015

Japan grew from the (literal) ashes of the Second World War to become the second largest economy in the world by creating products we all wanted. Some were revolutionary, like the Sony Walkman, some just a better version of an existing product, like the Toyota automobile. And some were wildly popular for inexplicable reasons, such as Hello Kitty or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Japanese economy was an amazing success story. But two decades of no growth, deflation and a shrinking population combine with public comments from politicians and CEOs that are often platitudinous, mysterious and contrary to reality, leaving many investors confused and frustrated.  In that confusion and frustration, it has become common to hear that Japan is just different, not like the rest of the world, where traditional metrics just don’t apply.

I am certainly no Japan expert, and there may be some truth to this characterization of Japan exceptionalism. But in recent years, I’ve come to believe two things about Japan: that the policies that led to stagnation and deflation over the past 25 years may not have been as irrational as outsiders believe, and secondly, to some degree, Japan’s current challenges are a preview of what lay ahead for the rest of the world.

I may come back to a fuller discussion of why and how I came to these conclusions, but here, I wanted to share some demographic data. As the great French philosopher, Auguste Comte, father of positivism, noted, demographics is destiny.

It was widely reported two years ago that adult diapers are poised to outsell baby diapers in Japan. Certainly, the growth trajectories have been diverging (see below). The Nikkei newspaper reported that the crossover in sales will come in five years, but Unicharm, Japan’s largest manufacturer of diapers, believes that tipping point has already occurred.


In more recent news, the elderly are now committing more crimes in Japan than teenagers do (see below). This is the first time in history a society has more elderly criminals than teenage hooligans.


jap prison

Let’s remember that Japan has a crime rate one-tenth that of the rest of the world, so the image of diaper-wearing old folks running rampant through the streets of Tokyo causing mischief and unrest is not quite accurate. Still, I can’t help but think that criminals in diapers is another trend that Japan will soon be exporting to the rest of us.

友情链: im电竞APP(电竞体育手机版入口)|im电竞app官网 | im电竞在线登录(电竞游戏竞猜软件手机版)|im电竞下载地址 | im电竞APP网址(电竞直播竞猜平台下载)|im电竞app官网入口 | im电竞app官方网站(正规的电竞竞猜app)|im电竞app最新版 | im电竞app注册(电竞体育彩票竞猜网站下载)|im电竞平台app下载 | im电竞app下载(体育电竞盘app)|亚博IM电竞App | im电竞平台app(最新电竞竞猜app)|im电竞客户端官网app |