China is playing down its new economic status now that it has overtaken Japan as the 2nd largest economy in the world, saying it is still a developing country.
Some are pointing fingers at Iran, which has threatened to close off the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions, for denting a Japanese oil tanker this week. Some 40 percent of the world's oil shipments pass through the strait.
George Steinbrenner won no fans in Japan with his disparaging comments toward beloved baseball players Hideki Irabu and Hideki Matsui. Japan actually has its own version of the iron-fisted team owner.
Unless China shifts its policies toward more democracy and tends to the interests of the rising urban middle class, it risks ending up in the same cul-de-sac as Japan.