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Akio Makabe

For Akio Makabe's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Jul 25, 2002

U.S. bubble hangover looks set to continue

Recent U.S. economic data do not seem bad enough to push down share prices this much, but the fall seems unstoppable. One reason is that repeated corporate accounting scandals have hurt investor trust. People feel they can't rely on U.S. firms' earnings reports. During the information ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Jun 27, 2002

Upturn no excuse to ignore global realities

Japan's gross domestic product in the January-March quarter grew at an annualized 5.7 percent from the previous quarter. Inventory adjustments by manufacturers in 2001 appear to have run their course. Exports also rose, aided by recoveries in the U.S. and Asia, and Japan's economy may thus ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE May 30, 2002

Global economic prospects remain shaky

The government declared earlier this month that the economy has bottomed out. Then came reports that for- eign investors have increased Japan's weighting in their global equity holdings. Another report showed Japanese export shipments turned markedly higher last month. The reported pickup in exports to other parts ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Apr 26, 2002

Market subdued amid conflicting signals

With stocks locked in a crosscurrent between rosy expectations and bearish sentiment, activity has been subdued on the Tokyo stock market in recent weeks. Investors are relieved that the government and the Bank of Japan have begun sounding optimistic about economic prospects and are elated ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Mar 29, 2002

Brace for realities of the new fiscal year

The recent developments on the Tokyo stock market have been perplexing. Market participants are turning sanguine, leaving the much-talked-about specter of a March financial crisis behind. The trigger for the bull run was the antideflation package unveiled late last month. Tightened controls on short selling -- ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Feb 27, 2002

Light at end of tunnel -- but how far off?

Although there is little dispute that a ray of hope is flickering at the end of the tunnel, the steps needed to get the economy back on track remain anybody's guess. Worries remain over structural problems -- bad loans held by banks and threatened bankruptcies ...

Business Dec 14, 2001

Bad loans not only drag

I have often been asked of late whether the disposal of banks' bad loans will be followed by an economic pickup. This is a sticky question, but it is all too clear that an economic recovery will still be far off. In the process of writeoffs, ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Nov 14, 2001

Prospects gloomy for world's economies

The unemployment rate hit a record high 5.3 percent in October, clouding prospects for yearend bonus payments and household spending. Many companies are now resigned to further profit falls. Slackening demand for industrial equipment and machinery is forcing manufacturers to balance their production capacity. Although the Diet ...

Business | ON THE FRONT LINE Oct 17, 2001

Too soon to say rally's in sight

There were widespread fears a month ago that the terrorist attacks in the United States would throw the world's financial markets into turmoil. Although there has been no sign of serious disorder caused by the attacks, it's still too early to conclude that better days ...

Business Sep 13, 2001

Koizumi faces tough choice

Last week's worse-than-expected U.S. jobless figures stoked worries about the economic slowdown in the U.S., sending stock markets reeling around the world. The U.S. slowdown has been paced by a slump in the IT sector, previously a major driving force of the economy. If the ...