break-neck growth worries many, not least Japan's rich people. For,
China is poised to overtake Japan as the country with the second
largest number of rich people, according to this Financial Times story.
The paper cites a study by the United Nations University which
reveals that the countries with the greatest number of rich people —
defined as the top 10% by wealth — are the US, Japan and Germany,
respectively. However, because of its size, its rapid development and
its relatively even distribution of wealth, China it is the country
that will experience the greatest shift in wealth distribution, with
millions joining the rich category.
China already has a large middle class and their assets are rising
quickly in value, which means that, almost without trying, many of
today's affluent middle class will find themselves rich tomorrow.
More on China's affluent classes and what it means for western business in this earlier EngagingChina story.
The sun definitely seems to be setting on Japan's traditional
pre-eminence in Asia. Not only are its rich people facing tough
competition from China's nouveau riche, but Japan has now
been overtaken by China in the global league table of research and
development spending, at least according to the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development — see this earlier story.