A recent Kyodo News poll of 111 major Japanese companies has found that 45 firms expect to see a moderate economic expansion in the coming six months, far surpassing the number of pessimistic firms.
Those projecting a moderate or faster recession were limited to 12 companies. None expects any smooth expansion, while 50 companies forecast no change.
As major reasons for expecting a moderate expansion, U.S. economic improvements were cited by 21 of the 45 bullish firms, a Chinese economic recovery by 20, and correction to the yen’s appreciation by 16.
Among policies they want the government to implement, fiscal consolidation was picked by 40 firms, regulatory reforms by 22 and structural reforms by 21.
Sixty firms selected “other” policies, including the materialization of an economic growth strategy, the promotion of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations and the preparation of energy policy.
Respondent companies predominantly urged the government to aim to take part in the planned TPP free-trade agreement to secure their international competitiveness.
Sixty-two companies called for Japan’s participation in the TPP agreement and 25 firms for its participation depending on certain conditions. None raised opposition to Japan’s participation in the pact.
Of the 87 TPP supporters, 23 firms selected the deregulation of enterprises’ participation in farming to help prevent the agriculture sector from being affected by the TPP. Twenty firms recommended that farms be expanded to enhance their competitiveness.
None of the polled firms plans to withdraw from or cut operations in China even after anti-Japan protests seriously affected their Chinese operations following Japan’s effective nationalization of the China-claimed Senkaku Islands in September.