Joi Ito shows in his blog this chart that compares how much percentage represented each country to the world’s GDP in 2004 (the bar on the top) compared with how it’s expected to be in 2050 (the second bar). In 2004, the USA is 38.3% of world’s economy, and Japan it’s 15.4%. But, by 2050 it is expected that China will be the world’s number one economy with 24.1%, the United States will be second with 20.3%, India gets the bronze medal with 15.8% and Japan drops to the fourth position with only the 4% of world’s GDP.
Joi Ito’s important conclusion is that Japan should stop to think they are the second biggest economy in the world. Japan should start to think more humble and concentrate in becoming a better country to live, being kinder with people/society and forget a little bit about companies. They should stop depending so much on the manufacture industry, promote more tourism and give incentives to increase immigration so they can “stop” the huge problem with the aging population. In 1992, Japan was 18% of world’s total GDP, you could say that Japan was a country with influence. But in 15~30 years all predictions give Japan around 4 and 6% of world’s GDP. That’s very low, Japanese won’t be able to show off any more. But, the best countries (happier people and no stress life), are not the biggest or the most powerful. Japan should look at those countries and learn.