It’s pity to learn our own country is viewed as a bad example for other countries not to follow. I found the word “Japan-lite problems” in the article of Time magazine (August 25 issue) titled “Six lessons Japan can teach the West”. It goes as follows:
“We have consistently taken the view that the Western world was suffering from ‘Japan-lite' problems: weak money supply growth, high levels of debt, lots of deleveraging, structurally weak growth and a rapidly deteriorating fiscal position. Given recent economic developments, perhaps ‘lite' should be replaced with ‘heavy'…The West is increasingly looking like a bad version of Japan. And, like Japan, our political leaders are offering few answers.”
I understand “-lite” is used as a suffix. But I don’t understand what “Japan-lite”really means.
COD (10th Ed.) defines “-lite” as “suffix forming names of rocks, minerals and fossils. From this, I hazard to guess “Japan-lite problems” implies petrified economic status of the country i.e., the quagmire Japan has been bogged in for a score of years without finding the exit, but I’m not sure.
The author says “’Japan-lite’ should be replaced with ‘Japan-heavy.’” It could be banter. But beside “Japan-light (heavy)”, are there such word as “Greece-lite (heavy),” “Italy-lite (heavy)” or even “America-lite (heavy)”, “German-lite (heavy)” and “China-lite (heavy)”?