Regarding the editorial titled “Another back-to-back GDP drop” in the Nov. 21 issue, had there been any doubt left even in the staunchest right-winger’s grasp of Japan’s financial status, the latest reconfirmation of its demise must surely dispel it.

Whatever Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vaingloriously dubbed his smoke-and-mirrors brand of money management, it is and always has been “Zombienomics.”

With terror the average Japanese is now facing a “Night of the Walking Debt” as consumption tax rises like “Thriller” from the grave to spook any hope in recovery that might have survived.

Even from before the start of his second stint as prime minister (the first ending abruptly in 2007 for “health reasons”), he exerted undue influence on the Bank of Japan’s supposed independence. By manipulating money markets (a serious felony for mere mortals, but one that he granted himself an amnesty to pursue), he milked export channels and Chinese tourist binge buyers for all they were worth.

Now the ephemerality of his approach has become all too clear. True, many captains of industry have stuffed their coffers with the resulting windfalls. But like George W. Bush’s trashy trickle-down approach to ordinary Americans, the buck stopped there, deep inside the already bulging pockets of those who had too much to begin with.

Meanwhile the prime minister is still talking the talk abroad by claiming that his monetary policies are an elixir of life for imminent global recession. Simultaneously, however, he is porking the pork more than ever by slinging incomprehensible sums at those who already have more than the average Japanese citizen could calculate on a Mount Fuji-sized soroban (abacus).

As the cost of coping with Japan’s aging spirals out of control due to an endemically opaque and self-serving system, the government seems more concerned with gearing up for conflicts overseas, expanding its sales of death via the export of weapons for war.

David John

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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