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Leika Kihara
For Leika Kihara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
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.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets
Apr 21, 2022
IMF says yen falls driven by fundamentals, urges BOJ to keep easy policy
The remarks highlight the difficulty Tokyo may face if it seeks international consent to intervene in the currency market to stem further yen falls.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / ANALYSIS
Apr 1, 2022
Bank of Japan to keep rates low as strong yen still Haruhiko Kuroda's enemy No. 1
The BOJ's dovish signals may give markets a chance to drive down the yen further, as prospects of steady policy tightening by the Federal Reserve widen the Japan-U.S. interest rate gap.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 1, 2022
Japan's business mood sours as Ukraine war and inflation take toll
Big companies expect conditions to worsen further three months ahead, the Bank of Japan's tankan survey showed.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 25, 2022
LDP's junior partner Komeito to propose economic relief package
Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi also urged the Bank of Japan to maintain its massive stimulus program 'for a bit longer' to ensure a solid recovery in the economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 23, 2022
Kishida eyes fresh spending package to cushion blow of rising costs
The war in Ukraine has triggered a rise in energy and raw material costs which have pushed up the cost of imported goods in a blow to Japan's fragile economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 11, 2022
Despite household spending boost, business mood drops as Ukraine risks grow
The news adds pressure on policymakers to ramp up fiscal stimulus to support Japan's economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets
Feb 11, 2022
BOJ steps in with pledge to buy unlimited 10-year JGBs at 0.25% to curb rising yields
Inflation in the West and hawkishness from other major central banks had spurred some bets the BOJ would need to taper its monetary policy soon, pushing yields to multiyear highs.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 26, 2022
Bank of Japan debated chance of inflation pickup toward 2% as price hikes broaden
Many board members, however, stressed the need to maintain ultraloose monetary policy to support a fragile economy facing fresh risks.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 22, 2021
BOJ discussing phasing out pandemic support as economy reopens, sources say
Ending a pandemic-relief loan program could raise eyebrows among politicians when the government continues to focus on dealing with the hit from the health crisis.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 14, 2021
From beef bowls to coffee, cost surge squeezes Japan's salaryman staples
Economists and policymakers expect to see the recent price rises reflected in official data in the coming months.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 12, 2021
Japan confronts rising inequality after Abenomics
Rather than curing societies financial ills, the former prime minister's economic plan has left a divide in its wake.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 24, 2021
Japan's ruling party race puts legacy of Abenomics in focus
Share prices and corporate profits boomed under Abenomics, but a government survey indicates that households barely benefited.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / FOCUS
Sep 13, 2021
After the 'bazooka', Bank of Japan dismantles the work of its radical chief
After years of shock-and-awe stimulus, the Bank of Japan is quietly rolling back radical policies.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Sep 1, 2021
Suga to dissolve Diet mid-September and delay LDP race, report says
The PM decided to shunt back the LDP race as he has struggled to solidify support in the party and opponents were likely to gather votes in the coming weeks, the Mainichi reports.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 30, 2021
What inflation? Pandemic leaves emerging Asia's consumer recovery behind.
Slow vaccinations and a new wave of coronavirus infections have delayed economic recoveries in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Jun 25, 2021
Japan insurers struggle to pinpoint climate change cost estimates
Japan's second-largest nonlife insurer, MS&AD, foresees the potential rise in claim payments in 2050 from current levels to be anywhere between 5% and 50%.

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