Aug 15, 2014

64% of small firms to issue pay hikes this year: METI

A Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry survey revealed Friday that 64.5 percent of the nation’s small companies have decided to raise pay this fiscal year, up from 56.8 percent the previous year. “The virtuous cycle of the economy is having a wider impact,” ...

Aug 15, 2014

Worrying economic signs

The government must determine whether the slump in consumer spending during the April-June quarter is temporarily the result of the reaction to the three-percentage-point rise in the consumption tax, or reflects the Abe administration's policy failure.

April-June machinery orders plunge at fastest pace in five years

Aug 14, 2014

April-June machinery orders plunge at fastest pace in five years

Core private-sector machinery orders fell at the fastest pace in more than five years in the April-June quarter, the government said Thursday, underscoring corporate reluctance to boost investment after the April 1 consumption tax hike. The orders, which exclude those for ships and from ...

Megabanks' $800 billion cash pile shows Abe must free up credit

Aug 14, 2014

Megabanks' $800 billion cash pile shows Abe must free up credit

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has succeeded in wrestling down the yen and snapping a 15-year deflationary spiral. The challenge of spurring lending by the country’s cash-hoarding megabanks remains. The nation’s three largest lenders increased their cash and deposits with other financial institutions 5.7 percent ...

Aug 5, 2014

Tax deductions for 'hometown donations' to be simplified

The Abe administration plans to simplify procedures for income and residential tax deductions for donations to municipalities of the taxpayer’s choice, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. “We (want to) simplify the procedures as we hear people say the procedures are difficult,” Suga said ...

Aug 2, 2014

Think tanks forecast 7.4% drop in April-June GDP

Eleven private-sector think tanks suspect the economy shrank by an annualized rate of 7.4 percent on average from April to June, in price-adjusted real terms. Japan’s real GDP is expected to drop sharply after surging 6.7 percent from January to March as consumers rushed ...

Jul 30, 2014

IMF examines risks that could lead to sharp cut in Japan's growth

The International Monetary Fund has presented a worst-case combination of risks that could shave Japan’s real gross domestic product growth by as much as 4 percentage points. The economy would contract if the country simultaneously faces sluggish wage growth, a firmer yen, stock price ...

Jul 8, 2014

Japan's innovation challenge

by Shinji Fukukawa

The Abe administration's capacity for deciding how to raise the birthrate, improve child-care facilities, realize an appropriae work-life balance and promote other "innovations" that enable Japan to solve its many problems is now being tested.

Jul 1, 2014

Abe's economic bull's-eye

by Koichi Hamada

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled the so-called third arrow of what has come to be known as Abenomics. It involves the removal of obstacles to growth for business, particularly the easing of regulatory barriers. Expect some officials to resist this initiative.

Jun 24, 2014

Funding the corporate tax cut

The Abe administration's decision to cut corporate taxes as a key feature of its economic growth strategy doesn't indicate how a fiscally weak government will make up the lost tax revenue even as households face another consumption tax hike next year.