Dec 7, 2009

Agriculture must be rebuilt ahead of oil's 'noble' limits

Crude oil prices started plummeting only two months after hitting a record high in July 2008, due to the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Speculators suddenly shifted their strategies from “buying” to “selling” in anticipation of weaker demand amid the ...

Nov 8, 2009

Don't bank on 'adverse impact' from Hatoyama's carbon cuts

I would like to commend Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama wholeheartedly for his determination to work toward a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. It is utterly absurd to question the feasibility of attaining this goal. Rather, the entire nation ...

Oct 12, 2009

CO2 emission cuts doable

On Sept. 7 — shortly before taking over the premiership — Yukio Hatoyama met strong resistance from business circles and from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry when he said at the Asahi Global Environment Forum (sponsored by Asahi Shimbun) that his government ...

Sep 7, 2009

Duel of market ideologies past due in Japan's polls

The world has undergone drastic change in the first decade of the 21st century. There appears to be no end to terrorist activities and international disputes in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide attacks on the United States. In retaliation for the ...

Aug 10, 2009

Hitting the recovery road with eco-friendly products

On July 16 the State Statistics Bureau of China announced that GDP for the April-June quarter grew 7.9 percent in real terms from a year before, surpassing the 6.1 percent rate of the January-March quarter. After the Lehman Brothers shock last September, China’s annual ...

Jul 13, 2009

Playing with goal numbers

Salient points of the government’s 2020 target for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, announced June 10 by Prime Minister Taro Aso, are as follows: (1) 2005 is taken as the “base year” from which reductions will be measured. (2) Heat-trapping emissions in 2020 will be targeted ...

Jun 8, 2009

Feasible anti-emission goal

In July 2008 the Japanese government adopted a target for 2050 of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 to 80 percent from 2005 levels. At the same time, a special panel was created to deliberate midterm reduction goals (through 2020). Views among panel members, however, ...

May 13, 2009

Going back to Mr. Keynes

James M. Buchanan, a renowned anti-Keynesian economist, has attributed the fall of the legendary city of Camelot associated with King Arthur to gross intellectual errors. Camelot is an ideal city that appears in a chivalric tale. But legend has it that it collapsed because ...

Apr 14, 2009

Beyond the gasoline era

Mitsubishi Motors will start selling its new battery-powered car dubbed “iMiEV” in Japan this coming July while Nissan Motor plans to follow suit next year. Toyota Motor, meanwhile, says it will launch a plug-in hybrid vehicle sometime in the “early 2010s.” I agree with ...

Mar 9, 2009

Mainstream ebb and flow

It is a well-known fact that a number of schools of thinking exist in economics, the major ones being neoclassical economics, Keynesian economics, institutional school and monetarism. Generally speaking, Keynesian economists and institutional school members profess to be liberals, while neoclassical economists and monetarists ...