Where does the formidable Japanese resistance to unemployment come from? How can their persistence be explained when Japan, like all developed countries, is faced with robotization, technological revolutions and, more recently, competition in the form of young populations in neighboring countries? This should give France pause for thought: as starkly contrasted as these two cultures may seem, France and Japan are sister countries. Thus reflected in the mirror of Japan, France can discover that its decline need not be fatal, and that it is up to France to break with a decrepit conservatism and embrace growth. Christian Sautter is the director of studies at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS).