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Leika Kihara
For Leika Kihara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
Apr 22, 2018
Japan may soften trade stance as U.S. keeps up pressure
Despite calls to resist protectionism and for the United States to rejoin a multilateral trans-Pacific trade pact, Japan is gradually shifting gear to adjust to a trade environment shaken up by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 31, 2018
Japan may be forced to do bilateral trade deal with U.S.: ex-diplomat
Japan will have little choice but to enter into a bilateral trade deal with the United States similar to one President Donald Trump clinched with South Korea, a former top currency diplomat from Japan said.
BUSINESS
Feb 22, 2018
Abe adviser says BOJ should consider buying foreign bonds to reflate economy
The Bank of Japan should consider buying foreign bonds as part of efforts to reflate the economy during Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda's second term at the central bank helm, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 26, 2017
Abe's post-election policy targets wages but delays fiscal reform
The prime minister's economic agenda is shaping up after his election win with a focus on steering firms to hike wages, and with moves to shift fiscal prudence targets.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 29, 2017
Japan's strong inflation, factory output point to robust recovery
A flurry of positive Japanese economic indicators bolsters optimism about the world's No. 3 economy.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Sep 11, 2017
Japan's regional bank consolidation 'inevitable' as BOJ's prolonged ultraeasy policy hurts profits: FSA
Further consolidation among Japan's regional banks is inevitable given the rapidly aging population and ultralow interest rates, according to an adviser to the Financial Services Agency.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / FOCUS
Apr 16, 2017
Frugal households offer no respite for BOJ, retailers
Naruhito Nogami, a 37-year-old systems engineer in Tokyo, drives to discount stores on weekends to buy cheap groceries in bulk, even though he earns enough to make ends meet and the prospects for Japan's economic recovery are brighter.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 16, 2017
U.S. may find tough negotiator in fiery minister Aso
In his presidential campaign last year, U.S. President Donald Trump promised to scrap trade deals that gave unfair advantages to other nations and replace them with new ones that would revitalize the U.S. economy and bring jobs back home.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets
Feb 16, 2017
Souring relations with market puts BOJ's bold experiment to test
Japan's attempts to revive anemic consumer spending through unconventional monetary policy have created new problems for the central bank in its daily dealings with financial markets, as rising global yields muddle its efforts to manage local rates.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Dec 15, 2016
Bank of Japan tries financial education where a mound of money failed
Having spent more than three years and trillions of dollars in a losing battle against deflation, the Bank of Japan is hoping that a little financial education will convince a nation of inveterate savers to put their cash to better use.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 25, 2016
As Abenomics loses shine, Japan's shoppers seek bargains
Three years of Abenomics, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bold stimulus program, has failed to dislodge a deflationary mindset among businesses and consumers.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 16, 2016
BOJ makes contingency plans for Brexit, sees dollar squeeze a risk
Policymakers are in frequent contact with their European counterparts on how to soothe markets if Britain votes to leave the European Union, with the first line of defense aimed at preventing a shortage of dollar liquidity.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Markets
Mar 13, 2016
BOJ to debate exempting $90 billion in short-term funds from negative rates
The Bank of Japan's policy board is set to discuss this week whether to exempt $90 billion in short-term funds from its newly imposed negative interest rate, people familiar with the matter said, after the securities industry warned that investment money would be driven into bank deposits.
BUSINESS
Nov 19, 2015
Kuroda's call for firms to do more to fight deflation seen indicating BOJ's out of QQE ammo
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda J is urging companies to do more to tackle deflation, a tacit admission that his massive money-printing exercise has failed and policymakers are losing faith in the point of delivering more of the same.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 23, 2015
BOJ to snip GDP, inflation forecasts for 2015, 2016
The Bank of Japan will cut its growth and inflation outlook for this fiscal year at a rate review next week, but only slightly tweak its projections for next year, sources said, possibly tempering expectations that the central bank will soon ease monetary policy further.
BUSINESS
Sep 13, 2015
Bank of Japan to stand pat even as goals depart from reality, sources say
Bank of Japan policymakers are in no mood to expand monetary stimulus this week, sources familiar with their thinking say, even as poor data challenges their presumption that economic recovery will boost inflation to its 2 percent target next year.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Aug 20, 2015
Worries over Chinese yuan put BOJ in a bind
China's devaluation of the yuan exposes an undefended flank in the Bank of Japan's efforts to jolt its flagging economy out of decades of deflation, which rely heavily on a solid pick-up in overseas demand.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Jul 5, 2015
Japan using robots as fix for labor, growth woes
Factory worker Satomi Iwata has new coworkers, a troupe of humanoid automata that are helping to address two of Japan's most pressing concerns — a shortage of labor and a need for growth.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy / ANALYSIS
May 29, 2015
Spending slump casts doubt on Bank of Japan optimism
Household spending slumped unexpectedly in April and consumer inflation came in roughly flat, casting doubt on the central bank's view that a steady economic recovery will help move inflation toward its ambitious 2 percent target.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 22, 2015
Abe-Kuroda 'honeymoon' risks being soured by fiscal friction
The rift between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his hand-picked central banker is becoming hard to conceal, leaving “Abenomics” and its money-printing program under a dark cloud.

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