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.
The first PM in more than a decade not to hail from a political dynasty, the populist Naoto Kan hopes to boost his party's standing ahead of July elections.
Yukio Hatoyama is Japan's fourth prime minister in a row to last for less than a year, and the 14th to hold the post in 21 years. Many PMs have risen as part of a political dynasty without having to hone leadership skills.
The hasty departure of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama after just eight months in office throw Japanese politics into chaos, analysts say.
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday he would resign after coming under fire for weak leadership and reneging on a promise to move a US military base off Okinawa island.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama backtracked from a campaign promise to close a controversial US Marine base on Okinawa. He said he was bowing to strategic reality, but the reversal is costing him support at home.
In Japan, labor reforms approved last Friday to protect temporary workers – now about one-third of the workforce – were met with criticism on both sides. Firms say they need a flexible workforce, while laborers say too many loopholes remain.
Japan may try again to relocate the Futenma US base in Okinawa to the fishing village of Henoko, ahead of a May deadline to resolve the issue. But both antibase activists and the US have voiced objections to that plan.
The Prius recall by Toyota is another wake-up call for the Japanese to shift their corporations, government, and society to a new economic strategy.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan vowed to shake up the country's powerful bureaucracy. Instead it's bogged down in a corruption probe against key strategist Ichiro Ozawa.