soft power

met someone from JICA today, japan international cooperation agency. having been around a bit I know japan has tons of such altruistic agencies, i usually see them funding some conservation project somewhere (e.g. angkor) for example, and if you look at their foreign aid stats, they're number 1. by a long way. i wonder how much not having an army contributes to your desire to make friends by throwing what's supposed to be your defense budget around helping other countries. if you look at it it's actually quite effective, a lot of countries listen to japan.

i just felt a certain feeling of respect at someone from MITI who can tell me a lot about the japanese economic story. they worked hard at it.

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