It’s difficult to make people care about Japan. But that can change rather quickly. Japan could take an interest in you.

Eight years ago, I didn’t know “Konnichiwa”. Now I’m spending most of 2024 living in Japan with my Japanese wife and kids.

I suspect you might have a similar experience over the next eight years. Purely in a financial sense, I mean.

Japan could go from being a slightly odd place that’s far away and difficult to invest in… to the center of the global economic news cycle.

Here’s how.

It’s not just the risk of a major economic and financial breakdown in one of the world’s most important economies. The idea that Western economies are “turning Japanese” has been a long-running theme.

Japan faces many of our challenges, only in more severe ways. That makes it a useful experiment to observe. You can learn hard lessons from what happens. Or make predictions about what will happen closer to home.

What does demographic decline look like?

What happens when government debt levels get completely out of control?

What happens when central bank monetary policy goes beyond Andrew Bailey’s wildest dreams?

Japan, that’s what.

And those who pay attention to the country can learn a lot about our own future.

That’s why my friend Jasmine Birtles invited me onto her Tin Hat Podcast programme to untangle what we can learn from Japan.

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Nick Hubble
Editor, Fortune & Freedom