The United States should look to Japan for guidance on how to deal with its recession, said a high-ranking Japanese diplomat who spoke at Fordham.

Takashi Nakano, deputy consul general for the Consulate General of Japan in New York.
Photo by Gina Vergel

Takashi Nakano, director of the economic division at the Consulate General of Japan in New York, compared Japan’s economic woes in the 1990s to today’s U.S. downturn.

“Japan struggled to avoid financial breakdown, and this required extraordinary actions,” Nakano said on Feb. 12.

Japan’s recession is similar to the U.S. recession in that both were caused by irresponsible real estate lending that led to turmoil in the financial markets. That the turmoil spilled over into the economy is another similarity.

Nakano advised U.S. firms to report losses accurately and promptly, and that toxic assets be removed from balance sheets.

“If a firm leaves those assets on their balance sheets, additional losses on those assets could be incurred later,” he said.

Nakano also said the injection of public funds into undercapitalized financial firms may be necessary.

“You must put out the fire,” he said. “In Japan, the government injected $138 billion into 37 banks, in which $102 billion is already repaid.”

Pointing out some differences between the two crises, Nakano said that Japan’s recession was contained within its borders, while that of the United States has spread globally.

He also said that Japan’s risks were localized in the commercial banking sector. But the U.S. crisis features risk scattered throughout the markets due to the repackaging and selling of assets.

Nakano was among several guest speakers who graced the Rose Hill campus from Feb. 9 to 12 as part of the College of Business Administration’s annual International Business Week.

Students attended presentations as well as events, including a global etiquette dinner, a panel on international work/study abroad opportunities and other small workshops.

On Feb. 10, they heard from David Lampton, Ph.D., author of The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Mind (University of California Press, 2008).

Fordham junior Santi Wong said Lampton, dean of faculty and the George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies at John Hopkins University, was one of the highlights.

“He discussed how the Chinese define power, what they want to aspire to be like and how their mission has changed over the course of three decades,” Wong said.

Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of CBA, said the week was a success as it was insightful for students.

“We had more students and faculty participate at a greater variety of events that in the past,” she said. “Dr. David Lamptons’s discussion of the The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Mindwas really an extraordinary lecture and the students insightful questions made me very proud.”


Gina Vergel is Senior Director of Communications. She oversees the digital news coverage, public relations, and social media for the university. Before joining Fordham in 2007, Gina worked as a reporter for the Home News Tribune, and The Ridgewood News, where she won Society of Professional Journalist (New Jersey chapter) awards for breaking news and feature writing, respectively. She can be reached at [email protected] or (646) 579-9957.