Jan 20, 2003

The folly of inflation targets

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said recently the next governor of the Bank of Japan must take aggressive action to fight deflation, giving rise to expectations of inflation targeting among government and ruling coalition officials. I doubt, however, that inflation targeting will cure deflation. In ...

Sep 23, 2002

Reform delays discouraging

Junichiro Koizumi was Japan’s first prime minister to receive a mandate to push structural reforms by convincing the public that there would be no economic growth without painful reforms. It remains to be seen, however, whether Koizumi will succeed in his reforms. More than ...

May 27, 2002

Perils of undervalued yuan

I am concerned that China could repeat Japan’s mistakes in economic policy. In Japan’s high-growth years, the yen became increasingly undervalued, pegged at 360 to the dollar, while the nation’s productivity kept increasing. Exports were profitable and the manufacturing industries built up excess production ...

Apr 1, 2002

Risks in waiting on Koizumi

When he debuted as prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi pledged economic and political reforms, saying there will be “no economic recovery without structural reforms.” To implement the reforms, Koizumi said he was ready to overhaul the governing Liberal Democratic Party. I have supported Koizumi’s determination, ...

Dec 17, 2001

A reason to invest in Japan

What is the true nature of the current recession in Japan? Is it cyclical, a result of asset deflation, or has it been caused by the deteriorating competitiveness of this country as an industrial location? These questions must be answered to formulate an effective ...

Jul 30, 2001

Luring investment to Japan

Japan is a risk for the world economy. Although Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s reform plans are vague and offer no guarantee of results, Japan, and the world as well, depend on the success of the reforms for their prosperity. At the recent summit of ...

Feb 20, 2001

Corporate investment is key

Amid widespread economic uncertainty, some economists prefer a more expansionary monetary policy or inflation targeting. At a recent meeting of the government’s Economic and Fiscal Advisory Council, many members called on the Bank of Japan to relax credit restraints even further. Those experts fail ...

Aug 21, 2000

Japan's missing management

The failure of the department store operator Sogo Co. is a typical case of corporate governance gone awry. It has exposed some of the old problems in Japanese-style management, relations between main creditor banks and corporate clients, and bank regulation by the Finance Ministry. ...

Mar 20, 2000

Time to chase 'two hares'

Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, citing a popular proverb, says his administration will not “run after two hares”: It will first achieve economic recovery and then tackle fiscal reform. The official scenario is that the economy will pick up soon. The question is what will ...