What is the average person in Japan to make of the term “Abenomics,” or more importantly, how will it make any difference in their lives as consumers?

Will the three envisioned arrows of Abenomics have any effect on the high prices and the rigidity of business enterprises and consumer giants like SoftBank with their monthly charges, their exorbitant fees and penalties for cancellation, the double billing and no refund for a month, the international roaming charges, and the lack of transparency and accountability in regards to charges to the customers?

I think most people would agree that none of the prime minister’s economic policies will have any substantive effect on the lives of most consumers other than the next proposed rise in the consumption tax.

In April it was announced that the government was asking mobile phone carriers to reduce their fees for older people, and to my knowledge absolutely no changes have been made. How can government officials expect consumer spending to increase on the part of Japanese residents (not Chinese tourists) when so much of the hard-earned income of Japanese and foreign residents is being appropriated by these near-monopoly businesses such as SoftBank, whose prices consumers have little choice but to accept with few alternatives?

The recent article on low-cost carriers Aeon and Rakuten Inc., and the reaction of SoftBank and KDDI (“Big mobile carriers tackle low-cost rivals” in the Aug. 17 edition), was a welcome sign, because any economy that lacks competition and choice is neither a healthy one nor a fair system for its consumers.

J. Larson

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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