Slate blogs Joi Ito

Wired editor Chris Anderson is blogging his Davos experience at Slate. He sat next to Nobuyuki Idei of Sony at the Japan dinner at Davos. Today he covers Joi Ito’s performance as MC of the Japan dinner. I wish I could have been there!
Wired – Dispatches From Davos By Chris Anderson

Finally it was time for the Ito Show. Out came the acid candor, no less shocking coming in this ultra-establishment setting than it had been last year. He had been warned, he said: “Don’t talk about complicated issues, the foreigners won’t understand.” Nevertheless, he railed. Reform plans read like “Zen riddles,” and nothing ever comes of them. The bureaucracy is defined by its resistance to change; a system that “rewards people for their obedience” and leaves critics fearing retaliation. (“In fact,” he half-joked, “fear of retaliation is what I’m feeling right now.”) Japan had, if anything, fallen further since last year; Ito called again for revolution.

Now while I agree that Japan should do more to export it’s youth culture, it will take a lot more work to turn what is essentially at it’s core a manufacturing economy into an intellectual property economy. It will take another 30 Sanrios and Nintendos etc. Plus, who’s to say that another youth culture won’t become popular in the next decade (Chinese for instance) and supplant the IP from Japan?
Additional relevant articles blogged here.