April-June machinery orders plunge at fastest pace in five years

Business / Economy Aug 14, 2014

April-June machinery orders plunge at fastest pace in five years

Core private-sector machinery orders fell at the fastest pace in more than five years in the April-June quarter, the government said Thursday, underscoring corporate reluctance to boost investment after the April 1 consumption tax hike. The orders, which exclude those for ships and from utilities ...

Megabanks' $800 billion cash pile shows Abe must free up credit

Business / Economy Aug 14, 2014

Megabanks' $800 billion cash pile shows Abe must free up credit

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has succeeded in wrestling down the yen and snapping a 15-year deflationary spiral. The challenge of spurring lending by the country's cash-hoarding megabanks remains. The nation's three largest lenders increased their cash and deposits with other financial institutions 5.7 percent in ...

Commentary / Japan Jul 8, 2014

Japan's innovation challenge

by Shinji Fukukawa

The Abe administration's capacity for deciding how to raise the birthrate, improve child-care facilities, realize an appropriae work-life balance and promote other "innovations" that enable Japan to solve its many problems is now being tested.

Commentary / Japan Jul 1, 2014

Abe's economic bull's-eye

by Koichi Hamada

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unveiled the so-called third arrow of what has come to be known as Abenomics. It involves the removal of obstacles to growth for business, particularly the easing of regulatory barriers. Expect some officials to resist this initiative.

Editorials Jun 24, 2014

Funding the corporate tax cut

The Abe administration's decision to cut corporate taxes as a key feature of its economic growth strategy doesn't indicate how a fiscally weak government will make up the lost tax revenue even as households face another consumption tax hike next year.

Editorials May 22, 2014

Risks for the economy

Japan's gross domestic product for January-March increases by a higher-than-expected 1.5 percent from the previous quarter, driven partly by last-minute purchases by consumers ahead of the three-percentage-point hike in the consumption tax April 1.

Editorials May 20, 2014

Shrinking current account surplus

Japan's current account surplus for fiscal 2013 falls sharply from the peak reached just six years ago, indicating that the old export-driven model of economic growth may be over.

Editorials May 1, 2014

Beyond the OECD challenge

As Japan celebrates 50 years of membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which has seen Japan rise to one of the world's largest economies, the nation needs to respond to some tough challenges of its own.

Commentary / World Feb 28, 2014

Problems with 'Abenomics'

by Gregory Clark

The economic recovery we see in Japan now is almost entirely due to the massive 30 percent depreciation of the yen. We are back to the "structural reform" vicious circle of the Koizumi years.