Jul 17, 2014

Silver lining to labor shortage

Labor shortages in Japan are becoming increasingly problematic amid the current economic recovery, particularly for those sectors where rising wage costs result in lost sales and even bankruptcy — despite rising consumer demand.

Jul 7, 2014

Getting multiple tax rates to fly

The ruling coalition parties are trying to decide whether to introduce a reduced consumption tax on some daily necessities when the current 8 percent rate rises to 10 percent in October 2015.

Jul 3, 2014

Mixed picture for the economy

Although large manufacturers appear more optimistic about the course of the Japanese economy in the months ahead, the latest Tankan survey and other economic data show signs that growth could be hampered.

Jun 16, 2014

Work-hour 'reform' ripe for abuse

The Abe administration is pushing to exempt certain kinds of workers from labor standards as part of his economic growth strategy without soliciting the views of labor organizations concerned about the fate of overtime pay.

May 15, 2014

Restructure or suffer, Fed official warns Japan

by Mie Sakamoto

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said Thursday structural reforms are needed if Japan is to solve long-term problems, including its aging society and shrinking workforce, calling monetary policy “a limited tool.” The potential of the Japanese economy and how fast ...

Apr 20, 2014

Exports that defy reason

Why would a country that suffered disastrous accidents at a nuclear power plant three years ago choose to push the export of its nuclear power technology around the world? Yet, the Abe administration sees this as a pillar of its economic strategy.

Mar 14, 2014

Will pay hikes become a trend?

The pay raises offered by leading Japanese firms this week are an encouraging sign that some companies, at least, are translating better corporate earnings posted the past year into higher wages for workers — thanks partly to unusual government pressures put on management.

Mar 3, 2014

Taxing adjustments ahead

With the consumption tax hike set to rise in less than a month, the government must make sure the hike doesn't lead to unfair transaction practices between large firms and their subcontractors and suppliers.

Jan 29, 2014

Wage hikes can help end deflation

This year's wage negotiations have started, and for the first time in five years, Japan's largest labor organization will demand across-the-board raises in wage bases. The Japan Business Federation concurs but in more evasive language.