First things first - this post is not about me offering my well wishes and thoughts to the people of Japan. Or how much I wish they would all come out of it soon. I do feel against all these tragedies, but I'm against forwarding/tweeting/blogging about them. And lets be real, my writing 50 words about something happening over a thousand miles away won't help even an ant living there. So, lets stop uselessly caring and pretending, and unless we really want to do something, lets move on with our life. (I was inundated with all the #prayforjapan tagged messages on my twitter time line, and I'm sure more than half of those guys haven't ever helped a living soul on this planet).
Japan has always been a miracle, and am sure it would come out of this crisis pretty soon. I have always wondered about such a small country, which was devastated post the World War, with so little natural resources, small land size and even population, could become world's second largest economy. Japan has never been the most stable region - geographically, and suffers earth quakes every now and then. And yet, its perhaps the most advanced region in the world, with amongst the highest per capita GDP. Everyone with dreams goes to USA or UK, but in my view, the Japanese miracle exceeds both of them. For the past couple of decades, Japanese economy has been stagnant, and its stock market Index (Nikkei) has dropped by almost 75% of its peak levels. The future looks bleak for the country, and it has had two decades of zero to negative growth. However, its still one of the most prosperous country on the planet. And I have a feeling that some of the recent events might actually work in its favor. Like the post-war economy provided plenty of opportunities of growth, similarly, the post earthquake economy may see replacement demand from industries and household. Lets see how this pans out.
I plan to visit the country some time this year. I have heard lot of good things about the place - from almost everyone who has visited it. The people are really wonderful, and one always wants to come back to this place. Also, I have seen some of the snaps, and they are awesome. So hopefully I will be able to plan something around middle of the year, and see the miracle first hand.