Abe ‘arrows’ to fall short: professor

by Minoru Matsutani

Staff Writer

A Stanford University professor has criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic strategy, saying it will be impossible for the government to speedily execute all of the items in his “Abenomics” policy package.

“I counted and there are at least 170 items which Japan wants to reform. Considering (there are) a lot of barriers to reforms, such as resistance from those benefiting from the current system, it’s better to narrow them to a few focus areas,” Stanford University finance professor Takeo Hoshi on Friday told the KKE Vision 2013 symposium in Tokyo.

Hoshi said Abenomics, which covers everything from expanding women’s roles in the workplace to promoting green energy use and bold deregulation in many industries, lacks clear key performance indicators, and he questioned the government’s ability to implement the various measures.

Abenomics consists of three pillars, or “arrows” — drastic monetary easing, proactive fiscal spending and a growth strategy. Economists and experts believe the third arrow is the most important for sustainable economic growth.

“The first arrow is likely to hit the bull’s eye, while the second may be destined in (the) wrong direction because the government did not sufficiently show how to reduce mounting debts in the long term,” Hoshi said. “The third arrow has not been released. I don’t know where it’s aiming at.”

The event was organized by Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc. Its president, Shota Hattori, gave a speech on how the company is creating value by tapping technology from universities, research institutes and foreign businesses.