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Leika Kihara
For Leika Kihara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Oct 24, 2020
Japan prefers piecemeal approach over big bailout for carrier ANA
The approach marks a stark contrast to the bold moves other countries have made to protect flagship carriers.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 13, 2020
Japan must revise BOJ law to speed up digital currency, senior LDP official says
Japan has been cautious about moving too quickly on digital currencies given the social disruptions it could cause.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
Oct 8, 2020
Nagasaki bank merger may expose flaws in Suga’s regional rescue plan
Some in Nagasaki fret the merged bank, which would belong to a financial group based in Fukuoka Prefecture, may shift its focus away from local borrowers.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 6, 2020
Japan eyes stress test on major banks to gauge impact of COVID-19
The Bank of Japan is moving toward stress testing many banks simultaneously based on standardized risk scenarios, bringing it in line with overseas counterparts.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 12, 2020
Death knell sounds for Japanese department stores
The shops, which have struggled to modernize and adapt to new shopping styles, have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Aug 7, 2020
Pandemic derails Abe's strategy to revive regional Japan with tourism
The plight of Kyoto and other cities in the western Kansai region has exposed a vulnerability of the prime minister's 'Abenomics' stimulus policy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Aug 7, 2020
Japanese lawmaker wants sales tax ditched as coronavirus weighs heavily on economy
Hiroshi Ando said the raising of the sales tax rate to 10 percent last October was a mistake because the economy was already in a downturn.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Jul 23, 2020
BOJ taps big data for tips on guiding economy through pandemic pain
The conservative central bank now has a 180-member statistics team trolling through new types of data to gain new insights into the virus-hindered economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Jun 25, 2020
Japan's izakaya, a staple of after-work socializing, crippled by pandemic
Even though virus controls were lifted in May, more people working from home and social-distancing rules have forced most outlets to halve their seating.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Jun 8, 2020
Economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura warns against deepening negative rates
The minister said Japan's priority should be on protecting jobs and businesses, not stimulating consumption and travel.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
May 8, 2020
Pandemic sets Japan on course for recession as spending and service activity plunge
Overtime pay, a barometer of strength in corporate activity, also fell at a record pace in March, data showed.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 3, 2020
Coronavirus threatens revival of Japan's deflationary nemesis
Years after Japan made a cautious recovery from its long deflationary spell, the world's third-largest economy may be headed back into a cycle of falling prices as the coronavirus threatens a deep downturn and policymakers struggle for options.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 13, 2020
Japan's economic policymakers now factoring in Olympics cancellation, sources say
Even as Japan has stressed that the Olympics will proceed as planned, government and central bank officials are more seriously weighing the risk of cancellation when making projections for this year's economic outlook, sources said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 5, 2020
Follow the Fed? Why central banks won't be rushed on COVID-19 response
Will the world's big central banks leave U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hanging? They're certainly going to try.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Dec 27, 2019
Deepening negative rates would do more harm than good, says Bank of Japan ex-deputy
The Bank of Japan has nearly exhausted its policy ammunition for boosting the economy, as deepening negative interest rates — seen as the most likely step if it were to expand stimulus — will do more harm than good, former BOJ Deputy Gov. Toshiro Mutoh has said.
BUSINESS
Oct 31, 2019
Bank of Japan keeps policy steady but sends clearer signal of future rate cut
The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday as expected but offered a stronger signal it may cut interest rates in the future, underscoring its concern that overseas risks could derail the country's fragile economic recovery.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 20, 2019
BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda says central bank can 'certainly' cut short-term rates if further easing is needed
If it needs to ease monetary policy, the Bank of Japan will u2018certainly' reduce short- to medium-term interest rates, Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda says.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 21, 2019
How Japan turned against 'bazooka'-wielding central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda
In late January 2016, the lights were on well past midnight on the seventh floor of the Bank of Japan's headquarters. Inside, a handful of bureaucrats were working on a shock plan.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
May 19, 2019
Regional bank in Japan battles ultralow interest rates with wine bar and sea urchins
As years of near-zero interest rates in Japan make traditional lending barely profitable, one regional bank is seeking to drum up business through less conventional enterprises, from opening wine bars to helping fishermen farm sea urchins.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Dec 23, 2018
Heard on the grapevine: How the Pacific trade pact primes New Zealand wine for Japanese market
From sleepy New Zealand hillsides to sleek Tokyo dining scenes, a bottle of Hawke's Bay wine shipped to Japan traces an arc that exporters like Nigel Avery see as an avenue for multimillion dollar growth built on a free trade pact.

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