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Keiko Ujikane

For Keiko Ujikane's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Apr 3, 2014

Cash-rich firms spurn banks' offers

Banks are the most keen to lend companies money in 17 years. Corporate treasurers don’t need the cash. The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” business confidence index released Tuesday showed that the prevalence of midsize companies saying banks are willing to lend to them rose ...

Abe funds matchmaking to ease welfare bill

Mar 20, 2014

Abe funds matchmaking to ease welfare bill

Over coffee and cake in a rural cafe in Kochi Prefecture, Hideyuki Tanaka, 40, plucked up the courage to speak with Eri, 14 years his junior. A pianist provided the ambience for the afternoon gathering of 18 singles, arranged by local government cupids, which ...

Tax-free gifts unlocking retiree savings

Nov 28, 2013

Tax-free gifts unlocking retiree savings

Shoko Iwasaki looked for years for a tax-free way to pass down a lifetime of savings to her grandson. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered the 71-year-old an answer with a program now helping unlock pensioners’ hoarded wealth. “I’m so grateful for this tax ...

Thatcher-esque disparities a reality under Abe

Oct 21, 2013

Thatcher-esque disparities a reality under Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe evokes the late Margaret Thatcher as he repeats "there is no alternative" to his platform of economic change. One of the byproducts: prospects for a Thatcher-type division of wealth.

Sep 12, 2012

Corporate cost-cutting leaves wages near crisis low

Corporate cost-cutting is dragging on wages, resulting in weaker consumer demand and a stronger case for monetary easing to counter deflation. Overall pay fell to ¥243.5 trillion in the second quarter, according to a government report Monday. The figure, which is seasonally adjusted, was ...

Mar 31, 2012

Output fall clouds recovery

Industrial production unexpectedly dropped in February, undercutting signs of an economic rebound in the first quarter as policymakers assess whether to apply further stimulus. Factory output slid 1.2 percent from the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday, after a ...

Aug 5, 2011

Finance Ministry intervenes to stem gains in currency

Japan followed Switzerland in seeking to stem appreciating exchange rates that threatened to damage export competitiveness, selling the yen and pledging to inject ¥10 trillion ($126 billion) in funds into the economy. Japan acted alone in the market, while officials were in touch with ...

Further BOJ easing needed: IMF's Shinohara

Apr 15, 2011

Further BOJ easing needed: IMF's Shinohara

The Bank of Japan may need to provide further monetary stimulus if power shortages, supply chain disruptions and the nuclear crisis after the quake are prolonged, the International Monetary Fund’s No. 3 official said. “The risks to the economic outlook are firmly to the ...

Disaster agency eyed to oversee recovery

Mar 24, 2011

Disaster agency eyed to oversee recovery

A reconstruction agency may be created to oversee disaster repairs, while data showed the central bank pumped record liquidity into lenders as the nation grappled with its worst disaster since World War II. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters the government will weigh ...