Erica Yokoyama
For Erica Yokoyama's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 2.3% in November from the prior year in Tokyo.
BUSINESS / Economy
Dec 5, 2023
Tokyo inflation cools to slowest pace in over a year
The development supports the Bank of Japan’s view that it should continue to be cautious about a tightening of policy.
Strong shipments of cars, especially to the U.S., helped push up Japan’s industrial production more than expected in October.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 30, 2023
Japan's factory output beat expectations in October
Improvement in supply chains bolstered automakers while inventory adjustments underpinned the electronics parts industry.
Japan's economy shrank 2.1% in the July-September period from the previous quarter on an annualized basis, suggesting that its economic recovery remains patchy.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 15, 2023
Japan’s economy shrinks, backing BOJ and government's stimulus case
Gross domestic product contracted at an annualized pace of 2.1% in the third quarter, deeper than economists’ estimate of a 0.4% shrinkage.
Economists estimate Japan's real gross domestic product shrank at an annualized 0.4% in the three months through September.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 14, 2023
Japan’s economy likely shrank in summer as recovery sputters
Economists estimate that real gross domestic product shrank at an annualized pace of 0.4% in the three months through September.
A monitor in Tokyo shows the yen weakening below ¥151 to the dollar on Wednesday.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 1, 2023
Japan ramps up yen intervention warning after BOJ-fueled sell-off
The broad decline toward ¥152 to the dollar has the currency around the threshold that a year ago drove Japanese authorities to swoop in to prop it up.
Japan's industrial output increased a smaller-than-expected 0.2% in September.
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 31, 2023
Japan's September industrial production growth misses consensus
Factory output increased 0.2% from a month earlier, missing economist expectations of a 2.5% gain.
Japan's exports rose more than expected in September, led by shipments of cars and medical supplies.
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 19, 2023
Japan exports rise more than expected in support for recovery
The value of exports gained 4.3% from a year earlier, led by shipments of cars and medical supplies in the first overall rise in three months.
Japan's real wages in August declined for a 17th straight month, as persistent price hikes continued to outpace salaries.
Oct 6, 2023
Japan's slower-than-forecast wage growth supports BOJ caution
Nominal cash earnings for workers rose 1.1% from the previous year, matching the revised figure from the previous month.
Core inflation in Tokyo slowed in September for the third straight month, mainly on falling fuel costs, but there are concerns the weak yen may push up import costs and the price of basic goods.
Sep 29, 2023
Tokyo inflation slows on subsidies, supporting BOJ policy stance
BOJ Gov. Kazuo Ueda re-emphasized this week that the goal of achieving 2% inflation accompanied by wage gains had not yet come into sight.
Japan's economy grew less than initially estimated in the second quarter as capital expenditure slid, suggesting heightening overseas uncertainties are weighing on business confidence.
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 8, 2023
Japan economic growth revised down as firms and consumers cut back
Gross domestic product grew at an annualized 4.8% from the previous three months, revised figures from the Cabinet Office showed Friday.
Japanese companies raised spending on plants and equipment in the April-June quarter but the pace of annual gains slowed to the lowest in five quarters, reflecting global recession worries amid China's slowing growth.
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 1, 2023
Japan firms cut capital spending over global growth concerns
The latest figures feed into a picture of Japan’s growth being overly reliant on overseas demand.
Manufacturing machinery and electronic components were among the biggest drags on Japan's industrial output in July.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 31, 2023
Japan output drops in July as global slowdown reverberates
Factory output declined 2% from June, the industry ministry said Thursday.
Japan’s unemployment rate rose for the first time in four months in July.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 29, 2023
Rising jobless rate dims outlook for labor market and inflation
The job market must tighten to spur wage gains, which in turn would contribute to a virtuous cycle of inflation and salaries.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at the Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday.
Aug 23, 2023
Kishida under pressure to spend even as debt costs rise
The prime minister pivoted away from his previous stance Tuesday by scrapping September-end plans to stop subsidies that cap gasoline prices.
Japan's core consumer inflation slowed in July but remained above the Bank of Japan's price target for the 16th straight month.
Aug 18, 2023
Japan’s 'sticky' inflation trend may keep BOJ on edge over prices
Prices excluding energy and fresh food increased 4.3% from the previous year, matching the record set in May, which was the fastest since 1981.
Containers in a shipping terminal at the Honmoku pier in Yokohama in June
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 17, 2023
Japan logs first export decline in over two years
The value of exports fell in July from a year earlier, retreating for the first time since February 2021.
Japan’s economy has expanded at a much faster pace than forecast, despite weak domestic consumption.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 15, 2023
Japan’s GDP grows at 6% on strong exports as consumption falters
Capital spending by businesses was flat, versus forecasts of a 0.4% increase, while private consumption unexpectedly declined by 0.5%.
Nominal cash earnings for workers in June rose 2.3% from the previous year, decelerating from a revised 2.9% clip in the previous month.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 8, 2023
Wage growth slowed in June, boosting case for BOJ to hold firm
The unexpected slowdown suggests the labor market may be losing some steam, and clouds prospects for the Bank of Japan’s sustainable inflation goal.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. Some economists see the central bank’s loosening of restraints on 10-year bond yields as a message to the government that it now will have to do financial management responsibly, because the BOJ won’t control yields as firmly as it used to.
Aug 4, 2023
Japan’s fiscal plight draws scrutiny after BOJ policy tweak
Tokyo seeking to expand spending on defense and child care, even as the national debt has grown to almost 260% of gross domestic product.
The government may sell stakes in some major firms, including NTT, to fund its growing defense spending.
Aug 3, 2023
Raising the stakes: Japan may sell shares to fund defense spending
Selling government stakes in some of Japan's biggest firms won't be straightforward, given the need for consensus and changes to laws.


Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago