The Resurrection of Your Hopes (Part 2): The Japanese Economy Will Stand Firm
In the latter half of the lecture, Master Okawa’s focused on economic issues.
What are the prospects for the Japanese economy? On July 25th, 2012, Master Ryuho Okawa, founder and CEO of Happy Science gave us his take on the Japanese economy.
How is the Japanese economy different from other countries such as Greece, Spain, and Italy? Master Okawa declared that Japan has been one of the strongest creditor nations in the world, and he implied how the austerity measures in 2012, which included tax hikes, could not contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy. He concluded, “Japan must establish a goal for prosperity as a nation… (prosperity) will serve as the power to defend Japan and the power to extend justice to the world as well.”
Below is the latter half of the lecture titled “The Resurrection of Your Hopes”.
As a Nation Set a Goal of Prosperity
Japan is a wonderful country. Compared to Aung San Suu Kyi’s nation, for example, Japan is truly wonderful. Not only is Japan an affluent country, Japanese people also have the freedom to vote.
If the Japanese are able to establish and spread pure faith, and if this faith includes the ideal of prosperity, then my teachings can surely save the world. We can save many other countries around the world – Asian, African, North American, South American and European countries.
There is no doubt that we can save countries in poverty, but we can even save the developed nations. Europe is going through both economic and political crises at the moment.
Currently, Japan has no voice in the global society, but that is because there are no Japanese people expressing their opinions. If there were opinion leaders capable of presenting principles and ideas to the world, it would be possible to save Europe from this crisis. There is still room for discussion with America as well.
Japan is now required to have the power to lead the world. That is why Japan as a country must not go into decline. I truly believe that Japan undoubtedly has the power to overcome natural disasters and international conflicts.
The Japanese Economy Will Not Collapse
If our future economic growth is more than twice what it is now, then our nation’s deficit will completely disappear through an increase in revenue from tax.
Even though the Japanese government has a fiscal deficit, Japan is one of the strongest creditor nations in the world and as a nation its economy is in surplus. Therefore, the Japanese economy will not collapse. The economic structure of our country is fundamentally different from that of Greece, Spain or Italy. Japan is a country in surplus, so it will stay strong.
The Ministry of Finance, of course, wishes to raise taxes to reduce the government deficit. They want to change the tax structure to increase tax revenue. This is, of course, a natural course of thought. Anyone would think of this solution.
If we take a private company for example, any executive would want to increase revenue rather than expenditure. The Japanese government is taking a similar approach. However, only amateurs would come up with this sort of solution.
It is true that the consumption tax rate in Japan of five percent is quite low compared to other developed countries such as Europe, so it may seem completely natural to increase it to eight or ten percent.
Nevertheless, little do Westerners know that there are many hidden taxes in Japan. Japan has annual pensions and various medical fees, but these fees are actually hidden taxes. Many foreigners do not know about these taxes, so they simply look at our consumption tax and say that it is still low, but they are mistaken.
If Japan’s consumption tax were low in the truest sense, then I think that more Japanese department stores would make announcements in English, not just in Chinese. The fact that there is little need for English announcements proves that American and European investors do not live in Japan.
Why is this so? It is because Japan’s taxes are high and therefore a bigger burden compared to Western nations. All taxes, including corporate, income and inheritance taxes, are very high, so foreign investors tend to stay out of Japan. I must say that if Japan cannot attract the wealthy, then it will not be able to achieve further prosperity.
Aim for Further Prosperity, Not Just Restoration
The citizens of Japan have already experienced a great loss. During the Koizumi Administration the Nikkei Stock Average was around 16,000 or 17,000 yen, but at one point it dropped to less than 8,500 yen. This means that the assets of companies and individual stockowners have decreased by half. The Japanese government is reducing the assets of its citizens.
What is worse, before there was a rise in consumption tax, there was a hike in charges for electricity. This happened because they started burning more fossil fuels for electricity after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plants last year, which led to the termination of all nuclear power plants across Japan. As a result, fuel prices for burning fossil fuels increased, causing the electric companies to go into the red. This is the reason our electricity rates have increased considerably this year.
Japanese citizens are angered when you point out that nobody has died directly from the effects of the radiation. Meanwhile, as a result of complying with the energy conservation policy, hundreds of people were carried to the hospital every day with heatstroke. There were some who died from it, but the citizens forget this in just a day. Japanese people are like that. It is very disappointing to see how they cannot differentiate between major problems and trivial matters.
What Japan needs to aim for now is further prosperity. Japan must set up a goal of prosperity as a nation. This prosperity will bring more wealth to the people of Japan and will also serve as the power to defend Japan and the power to extend justice to the world. They must engrave this deeply into their hearts.
Japanese people must not look to the past and merely restore what they used to have. Rather, they must progress further in the future. This is the very reason that Happy Science was created in Japan and I strongly believe this is how Japan can become the power to save the world. Let us do our best.