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Leika Kihara
For Leika Kihara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 3, 2022
BOJ discussed inflation risks in subtle shift in board debate
One board member went as far as saying the Bank of Japan must eventually communicate an exit strategy from ultraeasy policy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 3, 2022
Japan's business mood worsens as cost hikes bite, BOJ survey says
Adding to the gloom, fears of a global economic slowdown cloud the outlook for the export-reliant economy, which is still just emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Sep 28, 2022
Weak yen pulls Japan away from BOJ governor's radicalism
Government intervention to prop up the yen shortly after Haruhiko Kuroda made comments that led to a weakening of the currency highlights the uneasy relationship between the two.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 12, 2022
BOJ set to end COVID-relief plan, but no change to loose policy
The winding up of the plan would reflect easing funding strains among small, service-sector firms that were hardest hit by the pandemic.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Aug 10, 2022
Japan's wholesale inflation moderates on easing global commodity pressure
July's increase in the corporate goods price index marked the 17th straight month of gains but slowed from a revised 9.4% rise in June.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
Jul 11, 2022
Death of Abenomics father may give Japan scope to curb stimulus
The death of Shinzo Abe could eventually allow Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to phase out Abe's government spending and monetary stimulus.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Jul 1, 2022
As U.S. recession fears mount, Japan widens forex watch to include risk of yen spike
The stance suggests that currency-market intervention is less likely than some investors are expecting.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jul 1, 2022
Mood at Japan's manufacturers worsens for second quarter amid rising costs
Confidence among big nonmanufacturers improved, a central bank survey showed, suggesting service-sector firms are shaking off the drag from the pandemic.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / FOCUS
Jun 30, 2022
BOJ's public relations crisis forces rethink on inflation message
Public anger has been particularly strident, with tabloids and television programs criticizing 77-year-old BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda as someone earning a fat salary and being out of touch.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 24, 2022
Japan's inflation tops BOJ target for second month, testing monetary stance
The data challenges the Bank of Japan's view that the recent rise in prices is temporary and does not warrant withdrawing monetary stimulus.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 22, 2022
BOJ debated weak yen and harm from excess moves at April meeting
The yen has plunged to a new 24-year low of u00a5136.71 per dollar, as investors are focusing on the contrast between the BOJ's ultraloose policy and the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate hikes.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets / FOCUS
Jun 19, 2022
Once feted for pandemic heroics, world's central banks face an uneasy crowd
Faith has begun to erode that policymakers will hit their typical 2% inflation targets any time soon — a worrisome development that's begun shaping central banks' own reactions.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Jun 13, 2022
Mr. Exit or Mr. BOJ? Race for Japan's top central bank job to intensify
Hiroshi Nakaso and Masayoshi Amamiya both have deep expertise in central bank affairs, but the two could differ on how soon the Bank of Japan should roll back its monetary policies.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 10, 2022
Japan closer to intervention on yen after government and central bank joint statement
'We have seen sharp yen declines and are concerned about recent currency market moves,' the Finance Ministry, BOJ and the Financial Services Agency said in a joint statement.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 10, 2022
Weak yen pushes up Japan's wholesale import costs at record pace
Beverage and food prices rose 4.6% last month year-on-year, accelerating from the previous month's 4.1% gain, data shows.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 20, 2022
Japan, guarding against weaker yen, urges G7 to reaffirm forex agreement
The yen's recent declines to two-decade lows have been a source of concern for Japanese policymakers, as they inflate the already rising cost of fuel and raw material imports.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
May 19, 2022
BOJ's dovish isolation draws public heat ahead of leadership change
Opposition lawmakers are grilling the BOJ regularly for allowing the currency to weaken and push up living costs, putting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a tight spot.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 16, 2022
Front-runner to be next BOJ chief calls for faster green growth strategy
An increase in Japan's potential growth would encourage firms to raise wages on prospects of stronger profits, and give households more purchasing power, Hiroshi Nakaso said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 13, 2022
Bank of Japan chief rules out near-term chance of tweaking dovish guidance
As central banks across the globe eye interest rate hikes, markets have been rife with speculation that the BOJ may also change its guidance.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
May 9, 2022
BOJ policymakers unwavering on easy policy stance, meeting minutes show
Many board members warned of heightening risks to Japan's economy from the Ukraine crisis that would keep inflationary pressure subdued.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on