Video: Japan and the Free Market

This week’s Think Tech broadcast features a “double header.” In the first half, Dr. Akina speaks with Japanese economists Dr. Hiroshi Yoshida and Yuta Steve Nakano about the state of the Japanese economy. Those who understand the ties between Hawaii’s economy and those of Asia and the Pacific Rim will be glad to hear that the Japanese economy is rebounding. However, the Japanese consumption tax (a tax very similar to our General Excise Tax) has proven to be a drain on their economic growth. Unconsciously echoing President Reagan, Dr. Yoshida bemoans the tendency to rely on government to solve problems when, in fact the government (especially its unchecked growth and spending) is one of the causes of the problem. In the second half of the program, the conversation turns towards education as Dr. Akina interviews Professor Ken Schoolland and Sean Matsumoto of Japan’s Happy Science Academy regarding their International Studies program in Hawaii. Intriguingly, Mr. Matsumoto discusses his efforts to connect religious philosophy with the free market and the defense of liberty in the face of a Japanese education system that leans toward Marxist and left-wing ideology.

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