Mayumi Otsuma

For Mayumi Otsuma's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Tax-free gifts unlocking retiree savings

Business / Economy Nov 28, 2013

Tax-free gifts unlocking retiree savings

Shoko Iwasaki looked for years for a tax-free way to pass down a lifetime of savings to her grandson. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered the 71-year-old an answer with a program now helping unlock pensioners' hoarded wealth. "I'm so grateful for this tax measure, ...

Business / Economy Jul 12, 2013

'Abenomics' dark side: hinterland pay cuts

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cuts to local-government subsidies are like trying to "wring water from an old rag that's been squeezed dry," says Kazuya Yoshida, a 27-year municipal employee in Shijonawate, Osaka Prefecture. Abe pared payments to regional authorities by ¥392 billion, or 2.3 percent, ...

Aso takes reins of shrinking economy with fiscal gusto

Business Dec 28, 2012

Aso takes reins of shrinking economy with fiscal gusto

Taro Aso, son of a cement magnate and a champion of pork-barrel spending when prime minister, is Japan's sixth finance chief in three years, auguring expanded fiscal stimulus in the world's third-largest economy. Aso, 72, will also serve as deputy prime minister and financial services ...

BOJ has done too little, says contender

Business Dec 8, 2012

BOJ has done too little, says contender

The Bank of Japan has failed to end more than a decade of deflation by being too cautious, according to Takatoshi Ito, a former Finance Ministry official who is a contender to become the central bank's next governor. The BOJ Policy Board under Gov. Masaaki ...

Business Nov 17, 2012

Election may curtail stimulus even as recession looms

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's decision to call an election in December may inhibit the government's ability to stimulate the economy even as it slides toward its third recession in four years. Compiling an extra budget soon will be "difficult" as lawmakers can't debate spending with ...

BOJ chief sees only bubbles on horizon

Business May 16, 2011

BOJ chief sees only bubbles on horizon

With his nation's economy contracting under disaster damage of as much as ¥25 trillion ($310 billion), Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa is signaling that his biggest worry is inflation. At stake for the student of Milton Friedman is protecting the bank's independence from financing ...

Business Apr 15, 2011

Nuke plant escalation fails to dent rebound expectations

An escalation in Japan's nuclear crisis has failed to dissuade analysts from forecasting an economic rebound starting next quarter, an outlook that hinges on a recovery in business and household confidence. Gross domestic product may shrink 3 percent in April-to-June, the most since the aftermath ...

Kaieda: foreign cash buys 'effective'

Business Oct 27, 2010

Kaieda: foreign cash buys 'effective'

The Bank of Japan may want to consider buying foreign currency assets to help ease the yen's appreciation, economic and fiscal policy minister Banri Kaieda said. "Such purchases can be an option for the central bank over the medium to long term," Kaieda said in ...

Business Oct 1, 2010

Yen's impact may spur more BOJ support

Evidence in the Bank of Japan's "tankan" survey that companies are growing more pessimistic may prompt the central bank to expand support as soon as next week for businesses grappling with the yen's advance. The BOJ is likely to increase its ¥30 trillion credit program ...

Business Mar 13, 2010

BOJ looks to expand balance sheet

The Bank of Japan may seek next week to counter a contraction of its balance sheet caused by the monthend expiration of an emergency-credit program and persistent deflation. The BOJ's options include expanding a ¥10 trillion fund providing loans to banks, according to two central ...