It is often referred to as the “lost 30 years”. The negative expressions give the impression that the last 30 years have been a terrible time, but when you think about it more closely, you’re not sure if it really was that bad.
Have the Japanese people been forced to sit on the fence for the past 30 years and have suffered a lot? No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t sit on the edge of a needle for 30 years, and if it was so painful that I was covered in muddy water and burned on charcoal, I would have desperately struggled and tried to make a change, grasping at every straw.
However, the reality was different. To put it in an extreme, Japanese society has hardly changed over the past 30 years. It didn’t evolve, but it didn’t degenerate either. Japanese people’s consciousness and lifestyle have hardly changed.
I spent 30 years traveling around BankoFueki on the ground, and I think I felt more comfortable there. BankoFueki is a Japanese word that means never changing.
It is more natural to think that because there was some kind of comfort, we stayed where we were, despite being called the “lost 20 years” and “lost 30 years.”
What was so good about the “lost 30 years” for the Japanese people? If we dig deeper into this issue, we will be able to find a way out of the current situation and find a way to avoid the ”lost 40 years”.
Personally, I think “stability” was a big factor. Although the end result was low stability, stability is an extremely attractive phenomenon for Japanese people. Even young people who are supposed to be competitive tend to value stability over dreams and hopes. If you can maintain stability, you can overcome some pain with your natural patience. I think that has been the reality for the past 30 years. However, that stability is about to reach its limit. If things continue as they are, they will reach the bottom and will not be able to maintain stability at a low level.
Change for the sake of stability, and what we should emphasize even more, change for the sake of stability at the top. If we raise such a slogan, Japan and the Japanese people might be able to put their minds to work. (Kei Kitajima)