From the Wall Street Journal
TOKYO—One of the world's greatest export engines is running out of steam.
For decades, Japan used the combination of manufacturing might and an export-oriented trade policy to shower markets around the world with its cars and consumer electronics and semiconductors.
The Japanese government is expected to announce Wednesday that the country recorded its first annual trade deficit since 1980. If the yen remains strong and global demand weak, economists warn that Japan could run trade deficits for years to come.
This must read article goes to point out that:
- More Japanese companies are moving production offshore. (this has been happening in the anime world for years)
- The country is being impacted by economic forces beyond its control. IN particular China and Brazil are pushing up the costs of raw materials on top of the costs associated with a strengthening currency.
- In the first 11 months of 2011 Japan posted a $30 billion USD trade deficit. A stark comparison to the roughly $90 Billion USD trade surplus in 2010. Even worse the former head of the Bank of Japan, Hiromichi Shirakawa, has stated that as long as Japan Yen remains strong in relation to the U.S. Dollar, Japan will run consistent trade deficits.
- Japan debt burden is already larger than Italy's.
Why is this important to anime you ask? Well it is the economy of Japan that ultimately decides what type of anime gets made.
They called the 1980's the "Golden Age of Anime" for a reason.