1999: Global Economic Crisis: Current Conditions and Future Prospects.

  1. Historical feature of a global economic crisis, focusing on financial aspects, Masaru Yoshitomi (Dean, the Asian Development Bank Institute)
  2. Structural change of the international currency system, Eiji Yamamoto (Konan University)
  3. Financial and currency crisis in developing countries and development strategies, Ken-ichi Ono (The Asian Development Bank Institute)

The Aim of These Subjects

The financial and currency crisis of Asia, which began in the summer of 1997, spread throughout the world over the course of 1998. As in Asia, Latin American countries and Russia, which have developed based on the supply of abundant global capital, once again showed the weaknesses in their development base. As the interdependence of the world economy intensifies, it generates a chain of growth, and causes some difficulties which are simultaneously spread out globally.
Until this crisis occurred, a contrastive process continued over a long period. Export oriented industrialization in Asia, which started in the 1970s and developed fully in the 1980s, promoted a move toward the opening of many developing countries, and gave impetus to the market economy in the old socialist countries. Consequently, the world experienced the process of this growth chain and has benefited overall from this process.

By the way, the actions within and between each country in terms of the financial institutions and countries which got into difficulties, in the crisis which spread globally from Asia, were implemented very early on. For the moment, the system of international cooperation, which has continued progressing over the extended postwar period, has succeeded in protecting against critical situations in advance.
In the case of this process, it is the United States that has played the important role as a country, which is continuing positive economic expansion. However, Japan suffered from the bursting of the bubble economy, and has not fully succeeded in implementing reform of its traditional economic system. The success or otherwise of Japan in this effort will have an important impact on the present development process.
As mentioned previously, the present global economic crisis does not represent a mere reappearance of the Great Depression of the 1930s, but comes with special features of a new period. The crisis in the interwar period divided the world and drove it into a blocked economy. Now, the information and communications revolution fully developing towards the 21st century strengthens the interdependence between each country in all fields, and while it led to the chain of development of the crisis, it also facilitated cross-border countermeasures at the same time.

We would like to examine the current conditions and future prospects of the Global Economic Crisis comprehensively, with historical comparisons in mind, on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of International Economics, which last met in the 1900s. Through this examination, we will clarify whether the present crisis will generate a vicious circle or create a new economic system for the 21st century.
Concretely speaking, I would like to take up the following common subjects. The first subject involves clarifying the nature of the present global crisis in both real and financial economic aspects including a historical comparison. The second subject focuses on the many problems in the field of finance and currency and makes them clear. In the third and final subject, we would like to examine the role of Japan which will surely have a significant influence on the development of this process.