Author and 'Financial Times' Asia Editor Questions Japan's Sustainability, Sees Potential for Change

Bending Adversity: Japan & the Art of Survival

Monday, March 17, 2014, 6:00 pm, at Japan Society


New York, NY -- Over the past half century, the tremendous growth followed by the apparent stagnation of the Japanese economy has drawn analysis from observers around the world. Recently, much of this commentary has focused on a Japan grappling with low birth rates, an aging society and the aftermath of the March 11, 2011 disasters; prior to the advent of “Abenomics,” much was made of the supposed “Lost Decades” of economic immobility.

In the talk Bending Adversity: Japan & the Art of Survival, David Pilling, Asia Editor of the Financial Times and author of the titular forthcoming book, draws from his extensive research and interviews with a wide range of contemporary Japanese voices to call into question the narrative of an aging, stagnant Japan. Publishers Weekly calls Bending Adversity a "probing and insightful portrait of contemporary Japan", and Kirkus Reviews notes that it “portrays [Japan's] complexities and potential for change." The talk takes place Monday, March 17, and is moderated by Sankei Shimbun senior columnist Hajime Matsuura.

Agenda: 6:00 pm, registration; 6:30, lecture and Q&A; 7:30-8:00, reception and book signing.

Admission: $15. Japan Society Corporate Members are entitled to a designated number of FREE admissions based on their company's membership level. Discounted rates are available for additional Japan Society Corporate Members, certain individual members, government officials and academics. To register or for more information, please email, visit, or call 212-715-1208.

David Pilling is the Asia editor of the Financial Times, overseeing the FT’s coverage of the region from Afghanistan to Australia, including China, India and Japan. In addition to directing the work of FT correspondents in Asia and overseeing editing and commissioning teams in Hong Kong, David is also an Assistant Editor at the FT. He writes editorial leaders from Asia and an award-winning weekly column on Asian business, investment, politics, and economics. He regularly contributes longer features, and frequently interviews leading business, political and cultural figures throughout the region. David has worked for the FT for more than 20 years as a foreign correspondent, senior editor, and columnist. In 2002, he moved to Japan for a six-year stint as Tokyo Bureau Chief covering the Koizumi years and the beginning of the historic downfall of the Liberal Democratic Party. He has won several reporting prizes, most recently for coverage of Japan and China, both individually and as part of FT teams. In both 2011 and 2012, he was named Best Commentator by the Society of Publishers in Asia for his columns on China, Japan, India and Pakistan. He was also named Best Foreign Commentator for 2011 in the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards for coverage of China, Japan and Pakistan. His book Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival was published by Penguin in Janaury 2014.

Hajime Matsuura is Advisor to the Board of Directors/Senior Columnist of The Sankei Shimbun, news and publication arm of Japan's largest media conglomerate FujiSankei Group. Hajime started his career as an investigative journalist at The Nihon Keizai Shimbun where he won numerous prizes for uprooting the causes of Japanese economy's two decade long malady. Known for his strong advocacy role to bring about improvements in corporate governance, Hajime coauthored two books on financial disclosure fraud, "Olympus Syndrome" and "Seibu Railways." Hajime earned an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, LL.M. from Columbia Law School and an M.S. from Columbia Journalism School where he was Knight Bagehot Fellow. He serves on the Board of Governors at New York Financial Writers' Association.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a  multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and M at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.) For further information call 212-832-1155 or visit

This event is presented with support from Citi, Deloitte, United Airlines, Mizuho Financial Group, Toyota Motor North America, and WL Ross & Co. LLC.

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Media Contacts:
Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205,
Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249,

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