| Apr 19, 2014

Team Abe's alternate-reality Kool-Aid

by Jeff Kingston

Japan’s relations with China and South Korea are in tatters, there has been no progress on dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, strains with Washington persist, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are at an impasse, whaling got harpooned and hopes for a deal ...

G-20 lauds 'Abenomics,' tax hike but not reforms: Aso

Apr 12, 2014

G-20 lauds 'Abenomics,' tax hike but not reforms: Aso

Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday that Japan’s efforts to boost the economy and restore its precarious fiscal health were welcomed at a two-day meeting of the Group of 20 finance chiefs in Washington. Aso said he explained to his G-20 counterparts that Japan ...

Kuroda eyes yen-weakening action

| Apr 9, 2014

Kuroda eyes yen-weakening action

by Masaki Kondo and Yumi Ikeda

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has shown that a single unprecedented expansion of monetary policy has more impact than a series of smaller steps, and economists say he’s preparing to prove it again. The yen has tumbled almost 9 percent since Kuroda doubled ...

Apr 9, 2014

IMF trims GDP projections for Japan in 2014

The International Monetary Fund cut its annual growth forecast for Japan on Tuesday, singling out the country as the only major advanced economy to have its growth projections cut. Fallout from the April 1 consumption tax hike was cited as the reason for the ...

Apr 8, 2014

BOJ stays policy course, aware of sales tax hike hit

by Atsushi Kodera

The Bank of Japan on Tuesday left its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, while acknowledging the consumption tax hike introduced this month will have a negative impact on the economy. During a two-day meeting that ended Tuesday, the nine-member Policy Board unanimously decided to maintain ...

Abe may reduce tax benefits for women

Apr 4, 2014

Abe may reduce tax benefits for women

by Chikako Mogi and Kyoko Shimodoi

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflation campaign last year helped draw the most women to work since 1991. He now plans to add a stick to that carrot, scaling back tax benefits for spouses with limited earnings. The administration is reviewing rules that let about ...

Apr 3, 2014

Cash-rich firms spurn banks' offers

by Keiko Ujikane

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 ...

Sentiment up but outlook turns sour

Apr 1, 2014

Sentiment up but outlook turns sour

Business confidence among large manufacturers rose in March from three months earlier for the fifth straight quarterly improvement, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday in its “tankan” report, but many companies were wary about prospects amid fear of weakening demand after the consumption tax ...

Apr 1, 2014

Banks see economy withstanding sales tax increase

The economy will probably withstand the consumption tax increase that took effect Tuesday as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares stimulus measures and companies raise wages, the new head of the bank lobby said. Abe remains on track to achieve his goal of ending deflation ...