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Japan: The foreign investment magnet that isn't

Its business community could help by losing its closed-mindedness

| Japan
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Men are seen through an automatic glass door in Tokyo, Japan April 2017.   © Reuters

While the pro-globalization camp is exhaling in relief at the outcome of France's presidential election, it is not claiming victory. Nor should it. The fact that a candidate like Marine Le Pen could come as close as she did to winning the top spot in an EU cornerstone like France speaks volumes about the decline of the global-trade consensus -- as did Brexit and Trump.

Do these unsettling signs portend a world veering toward autarky? Not exactly. While global foreign direct investment remains lower than pre-Great Recession levels (teetering around $1.5 trillion after reaching a record high of $2 trillion in 2007), the appetite for this kind of investment is showing impressive resilience.

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