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Revolutionary Japan is suddenly the centre of world affairs

• Daily Telegraph

Takahasi was the first of his era to tear up rule book completely. He took Japan off gold in December 1931. He ran "Keynesian" budget deficits deliberately, launching a New Deal blitz before Franklin Roosevelt took office.

He compelled the Bank of Japan to monetise debt until the economy was back on its feet. The bonds were later sold to banks to drain liquidity.

He devalued the yen by 60pc against the dollar, and 40pc on a trade-weighted basis. Japan's textile, machinery, and chemical exports swept Asia, ultimately causing the British Empire and India to retaliate with Imperial Preference and all that was to follow -- and there lies the rub, you might say.

Takahasi was assassinated by army officers in 1936 when he tried to tighten by cutting military costs. Policy degenerated. Japan later lurched into hyperinflation.

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