• Mr. Kuroda is attempting to defeat deflation fears in Japan

    Will Kuroda's 'can do' approach succeed for Japan's economy?

    Under the leadership of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) in March-April 2013 did a 180-degree turnaround: it declared that it had the monetary policy wherewithal to end Japan’s chronic, mild deflation and secure a rate of inflation of around 2 per cent and announced bold monetary action to that end. For BOJ-watchers this was revolutionary stuff — and it was coming from establishment Japan.

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  • Japan's Leader's 'Abenomics' policies can work, but are not a quick fix

    More about 'Abenomics' in Japan and it's Potential

    After two decades of stagnant growth and the Fukushima triple disaster, Japan appears more confident both domestically and internationally. The economy has been inflated, much-needed social change is being discussed with some progress being made, and international diplomacy is once again active.

    Slower growth is to be expected with an ultra-modern economy that has a shrinking population. And Japan has continued to contribute to the peace and stability of the region, underpinned by the US-Japan alliance and the Article 9 peace clause of its constitution.

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  • Will Japan's 'Abenomics' provide lessons for other economies?

    Lessons from Japan's 'Abenomics'

    One of the striking things about the past few decades of Japan’s economic history has been the fact that textbook macroeconomics could have predicted most of it. Back in the late 1990s, this was a controversial point of view. Many people spoke about the ‘specialness’ of the Japanese economy, just as they have about the ‘specialness’ of recent monetary policy. This over-complication seems unnecessary. In the political economy of reform, as in macroeconomics, we can learn a lot from the Japanese experience.

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  • Overcoming the language barrier is key for Japan to attract foreign workers

    Attracting Foreign Talent Means Overcoming the Japanese Language Barrier

    In May 2014, the Japanese government announced its plan to attract ‘foreign talent’ as part of a campaign to further economic growth. The plan consists of three key points.

    First is a review of the Technical Intern Training System. This will be done by strengthening management and supervision of the system, widening the job categories covered by the system, extending the training period from the current period of three years to a maximum of five years and expanding the admission quota.

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  • A Current Look at Uridashi Bond Issuance

    The Latest on Uridashi Bond Issuance

    Weekly MOF data shows that Japanese investors have remained net buyers of foreign bonds in recent months.  After a weak start to the year that saw Japan investors shed nearly $58 bln of foreign bonds in the 16 weeks through mid-April, the flows have largely reversed.

    In the 23 weeks since then, there have only been 6 weeks of foreign bond sales.  Total net foreign bond purchases in those 23 weeks stand at $75 bln through the week ended September 26, and have more than fully offset the bond sales seen through mid-April. 

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  • Japanese School Children Gather in an Optimistic Pose

    Surprisingly Optimistic Japanese Youth Face a Bleak Future

    The youth of Japan appear to face a bleak future — a catastrophic budget deficit, ageing population and collapsing social security system. Despite this, according to data released last year, Japan’s youth are astonishingly positive in their outlook. In the government-run Public Opinion Survey Concerning People’s Lifestyles, levels of youth life satisfaction reached 78.4 per cent — the highest they had been since 1967 and higher than during Japan’s booming ‘bubble economy’ period.

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  • Mt. Fuji

    How long can Japan sustain its Mount Fuji of debt?

    The Japanese economy continues to defy gravity despite a Mount Fuji of debt that has no parallel in Western countries, and the worst problem of demographics among all the world’s rich nations. Japan’s net debt-to-GDP ratio is about 135%, even higher than the Southern European nations when they plunged into crisis. Meanwhile, the World Bank’s figures show one of the world’s lowest fertility rates of 1.39 births per woman, leading to rapid population decline.

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  • Will Japanese Politics Undermine The Reform Agenda?

    Will Japanese Politics Undermine The Reform Agenda?

     Abe's reform plan, now in its critical phase, will be derailed if tensions persist, both at home and abroad.

    After two "lost decades", Japan began its bold but risky reforms a year ago. The new governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda, pledged to do "whatever it takes" to achieve the 2 percent inflation target, seeking to double the monetary base by the end of this year.

    That was the first tenet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic reform agenda. It was followed by a major fiscal stimulus focused mainly on infrastructure spending.

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  • Can The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Solve Japan’s Debt Problem?

    Can The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Solve Japan’s Debt Problem?

    Abenomics’ first and second arrows have put the Japanese economy firmly on the path to recovery. The country is now awaiting the release of the third arrow. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics complement the Abenomics strategy by presenting a golden opportunity to solve Japan’s debt sustainability problem.

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  • Will Migration Cure Japan’s Demographic Dilemma?

    Will Migration Cure Japan’s Demographic Dilemma?

    At the core of the Japan problem is the need to lift potential, efficiency and productivity in an economy that has a shrinking population and workforce. Migration is seen as central to overall reform efforts because it offers a way towards socioeconomic rejuvenation and effective participation in the global economy.

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