Tag - japanese-perspectives



Jan 28, 2013
Inflation targeting easy to promote, but difficult to achieve without tools
T he government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan agreed last week to set a 2 percent inflation target to be achieved "as soon as possible." All sorts of issues have been raised, from the dangers of intervening in monetary policy to the waning independence of the central bank, but there...
Dec 24, 2012
Rip van Winkle returns to government with trade war on his mind
Japan is about to get a new government and it's just like old times. Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe, who is set to become prime minister, again sounds as if he has been spending his time out of office back in the 1960s.
Dec 17, 2012
Deflation only natural when politicians refuse to fix oversupplied Japan
Needless to say, the biggest challenge for the government to be formed after Sunday's general election is to put the Japanese economy on a growth path.
Nov 19, 2012
Elusive 'wealth of nations' in a global economy
We live in the global age. We have been living in it for quite some time now. It is some 20 years, give or take, since the word "global" began to establish itself in the economic lexicon. A friend one has known for that length of time ought to be someone we know a lot about. Yet globalization still continues...
Nov 5, 2012
Excess supply, not lack of demand, weighing on the global economy
The demand and supply balance is adjusted through price fluctuations under a market economy. However, price changes often go too far, occasionally leading to creation of a bubble boom and its subsequent collapse. When Japan's bubble boom went bust in the early 1990s, Japanese companies were burdened...
Oct 22, 2012
No nation can afford to act like an island in Asia's globalized age
Japan is having trouble keeping up a cordial relationship with its next door neighbors. Long dormant territorial disputes have suddenly come to the fore. Who owns what from when and why? Who can claim legal ownership? Who is in actual control? Arcane issues have suddenly become hot topics of the moment...
Sep 24, 2012
Toll of double tax hikes on the economy will be even worse than in '97
The number of people in Japan aged 65 or older has reached 30.74 million, or 24.1 percent of the population, according to a government estimate released on the Respect for the Aged Day last Monday. The numbers are record highs and warn of snowballing health and welfare costs the country will soon have...
Jun 4, 2012
The risks of democracy: When markets resolve what politics cannot
The European sovereign debt problem that began with Greece has entered a new phase. In addition to the ruling party's defeat in polls Greece held May 6, Nicholas Sarkozy, who helped champion fiscal austerity as the cure for the crisis, was replaced as French president by Francois Hollande, a Socialist...
May 14, 2012
Atomic exit deserves warm welcome in land of nuclear apprentices
As of May 6, Japan became a nuclear power-free zone. All of the nuclear plants throughout the country are offline, either as a result of last year's Fukushima disaster or routine maintenance. The government and electric power companies are hoping to see them back in action soon, but public sentiment...
Apr 23, 2012
Consumption tax fiasco magnified by absence of financial fundamentals
To paraphrase Winston Churchill's all too famous words at the time of the Battle of Britain: "Never in the field of economic policy has so little been achieved by so many hours wasted by so many lawmakers." The outcome of the debate over Japan's consumption tax would surely extract a quote to surpass...
Apr 16, 2012
Trade deficit a reminder Japan needs to brace for economy's fifth stage
Japan's ¥2.49 trillion trade deficit in 2011 — its first in 31 years — tells you where the economy's development stands in relation to the balance of trade. Let's review how the trade balance has fluctuated in each stage of the nation's postwar development and look at some of the challenges...
Mar 26, 2012
Diversity, inclusiveness should be the key words for Japan after March 11
March will forever be a month to remember in Japan. Already a year has gone by since that awful 11th of March when the world erupted in all sorts of ways around us. Given all the terrible things that happened then and continue to haunt us now, what are the values that we need to hold most dear? What...
Feb 27, 2012
Fiscally hobbled Japan nears multiple-currency era: Is yen's demise nigh?
For a single-currency area to be sustainable, one of two conditions needs to be met. One, sufficient economic convergence throughout the area in question. Two, a transfer mechanism to offset whatever economic divergences exist in the area. The eurozone currently meets neither of these conditions. Thus...
Feb 20, 2012
Lost in inflation: the trap of focusing solely on the consumer price index
Japan's wholesale price index has consistently been on the rise since December 2009 due chiefly to rising oil and food prices. But the consumer price index has fallen year on year for three years in a row. One reason behind the decline in the CPI is the rising influx of cheaper, high-quality products...
Dec 26, 2011
Brace for the year of the dragon, when all shall be revealed
In the Sino-Japanese cycle of annual zodiac signs, the year 2012 will be the year of the dragon. 2011 was the year of the hare. How quickly it is jumping away.
Dec 19, 2011
Lawmaker attitudes, Tohoku both in dire need of transformation
The extraordinary Diet session closed Dec. 9 after the Upper House endorsed the opposition-submitted censure motion against Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and consumer affairs chief Kenji Yamaoka. Was anything else accomplished? The legislature passed the third extra budget of the year for disaster...
Nov 28, 2011
'Japanization' needn't be an economic curse word
Everybody walks in fear of Japanization these days. Everybody wants to avoid their version of the lost decade. They don't want to see their economies become locked into a never-ending spiral of deflation, Japanese-style.
Oct 31, 2011
Deciphering eurozone: financial stability quest a study in surrealism
EFSF stands for European Financial Stability Facility. Or so they say. I can only see it as standing for European Financial Science Fiction. How can it be anything else given the nature of the arrangement?
Oct 24, 2011
Going back to the past won't help Japan Inc. protect supply chain
The joint declaration adopted Oct. 15 by the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers expressed a willingness to take resolute action to deal with the serious downside risks being faced by the global economy. But Japan, beset by the damage caused by the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear...
Sep 26, 2011
Prime Minister Noda the no-sider can have no one on his side
So yet another Japanese prime minister comes out of the woodwork. One gets so tired of talking about revolving doors, merry-go-rounds, musical chairs and passing the parcel.


Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan