What does 2009 hold in store for Japan?

by Louisa Chan

Takeshi Kitamura
Designer, 64
I’ve heard that many Australian tourists visit Japan each year, but I think this will change. The yen is strong and people won’t be able to travel as much anymore.

Reiko Suzuki
Data entry operator
I think there will be more tainted food issues. The government needs to have strict inspections of both local and imported products to ensure they are safe for consumption.

Andrew Chadbourne
Teacher, 45 (American)
Japan and other countries will take serious steps toward abating climate change. With Obama in the White House, there’ll be more push and pull in world economic matters.

Yoji Kaneda
Librarian, 34
We’re expecting an election after summer, maybe even sooner. I think the people will vote the opposition into power. I believe this will be good for Japan.

Yuko Kosaka
Office worker, 49
Many people will lose their jobs. The number of homeless will increase. The government must build more shelters to accommodate those that need help.

Suguru Kenjo
Accountant, 35
The cost of everyday items increased a lot last year. As the economy worsens, stores won’t be able to sell their goods, so they’ll need to lower their prices in 2009.