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No.16
No.16 ,Economy  Oct 04, 2013

A Compass for the Japanese Economy — Readjusting the Economy by Focusing on Technological Innovation

IMAI Ken-ichi, Senior Fellow Emeritus, StanfordUniversity

John Maynard Keynes once wrote, “We are suffering, not from the rheumatics of old age, but from the growing-pains of over-rapid changes, from the painfulness of readjustment between one economic period and another.” Most Japanese industries and companies are being forced to engage in a tough struggle as industrial organizations undergo huge changes worldwide. Organizational rigidity due to the aging of corporate employees is certainly one factor behind this trend. However, its direct cause is the pain associated with excessively rapid changes in finance and foreign exchange which have arisen from economic globalization in complex ways. An essential question here for Japan concerns what it means to readjust to another kind of economy. To answer this question in my own... [Read more]

No.16
No.16 ,Economy  Oct 04, 2013

How Management Can Make the Most of Diverse Human Resources – Increasing Women’s Participation Will Change Corporate Management and the Japanese Economy

KOMINE Takao, Professor of Hosei University

How to take advantage of women’s abilities is an important issue for both the Japanese economy in general and corporations in particular. This feature story will examine why it is important to utilize women’s power, what kind of positive effects the full employment of women will bring about economically, and how the employment of women should be promoted.... [Read more]

No.15
Nos.13-15 ,Economy  Mar 06, 2013

(JAPAN POLITICS CHANGED?) Economic Growth and Fiscal Reform Certainly Compatible

Photo : Amari Akira

What Is “Abenomics”? The top policy priority for the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to revitalize the Japanese economy by bailing the nation out of its prolonged deflation at an early stage and stemming the yen’s excessive appreciation. The Abe Cabinet formulated the “Urgent Economic Countermeasures for the Revival of the Japanese Economy” on Jan. 11 and decided on a supplementary budget to finance the package on Jan. 15. On Jan. 22, the government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) issued a joint statement announcing they will deepen cooperation to overcome deflation at an early date and achieve sustainable growth.... [Read more]

No.15
Nos.13-15 ,Economy  Mar 06, 2013

(JAPAN POLITICS CHANGED?) Japan to End Deflation through Creation of Growth

Photo : Aso Taro

Japan, reeling from years of sluggish growth and deflation, can learn from its experience in the 1930s, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso said in an interview. The aggressive monetary easing policy adopted by then Finance Minister Korekiyo Takahashi (1854-1936) boosted demand, making Japan the first country among “Western” nations to emerge from the Great Depression. He said the key to success is simultaneous implementation of three policy steps – massive monetary stimulus by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), fiscal stimulus and measures to push the private sector toward capital investment. (The interview was conducted by FACTA monthly magazine on Dec. 20, 2012, prior to his appointment as financial chief in Prime... [Read more]

No.15
Nos.13-15 ,Economy  Mar 06, 2013

(JAPAN POLITICS CHANGED?) 2% Inflation Target Is Correct Choice to Seek Economic Growth Led by Domestic Demand

Photo : Iwata Kazumasa

The 2 percent inflation target set by the government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is an appropriate level. The BOJ’s major shift in its monetary policy is a great step toward overcoming deflation. The new government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked the BOJ to adopt an inflation target of 2 percent and the bank has accepted it, underscoring a significant change in its policy as it had previously held to a goal of “1 percent for the time being.” I have estimated that the most appropriate level of inflation is 1 percent to 2 percent, based on the following grounds.... [Read more]

No.15
Nos.13-15 ,Economy ,KUDO_Yasushi  Mar 03, 2013

(NO CONFLICTS DESIRED) Japan and China Can Ill Afford to Be at Loggerheads

Photo : Tugami Toshiya, Marukawa Tomoo

As China is gradually recovering its confidence as a major power, Japan has come to feel threatened by it both economically and militarily. While this is taking place in the context of China’s rapid economic growth, one wonders if the general assessment of the Chinese economy is an overestimation? In a recent discussion, Mr. Toshiya Tsugami and Mr. Tomoo Marukawa, both experts on the Chinese economy, were divided over the economy’s potential for growth. Meanwhile, they shared the view that both Japan and China are faced with various inherent problems in their respective economies and that they cannot afford to be wasting time in being at odds with each other over the issue of the Senkaku Islands.... [Read more]

No.11
No.11 ,Economy  May 26, 2012

CONSUMPTION TAX – NO SENSE OF CRISIS AMOUNTS TO A TRUE FINANCIAL CRISIS

Photo : Kojima Akira

The financial crisis in the euro zone has evolved into an actual economic crisis as a result of the credit contraction it incited. The European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to a certain extent delayed the inevitable with their emergency assistance, but this crisis will not be resolved unless the European Union fundamentally reforms the economic and financial structures at their core. For Japan, the crisis in the euro zone is not just fire on the opposite riverbank. This is because Japan’s government debts, including those of central and local governments, have surpassed those owed by Greece’s governments at the epicenter of the euro zone crisis. Japan’s government debts currently total around 200% of the country’s domestic product (GDP). Moreover, social security and related expenses are likely to continue rising in Japan... [Read more]

No.11
No.11 ,Economy  May 24, 2012

THE BANK OF JAPAN’S EFFORTS TOWARD OVERCOMING DEFLATION

Photo : Shirakawa Masaaki

Introduction It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to speak to you today at the prestigious Japan National Press Club. This is my third time speaking here, having initially done so in May 2008 — my first public speech after becoming Governor of the Bank of Japan — and then again in May 2010, around the time when the European debt problem triggered by the crisis in Greece started to overshadow the global financial markets. Given that today happens to be just a few days after the Bank implemented measures to further enhance monetary easing, this is my first opportunity to provide a thorough explanation of this latest policy decision.... [Read more]

No.11
No.11 ,Economy  May 22, 2012

JAPAN ACQUIRES A STRUCTURAL TRADE DEFICIT AND LOOKS SET TO HAVE A CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT IN 2015

Photo : Kanno Masaaki

In 2011, Japan posted its first trade deficit since 1980. Was the deficit a temporary phenomenon? And will it move back into surplus from 2012? It is true that a decline in exports caused by the disruption to supply chains associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake and the flooding in Thailand, combined with an increase in imports of alternative energy, were significant factors for the trade deficit in 2011. In 2012, the trade balance will improve as supply chains return to normal, although it is questionable whether nuclear reactors will resume operation.... [Read more]

No.11
No.11 ,Economy  May 21, 2012

TOP MANAGERS DEBATE THE CONSUMPTION TAX ISSUE — No TIME FOR DELAY? OR ARE THERE THINGS TO DO BEFORE TAXES ARE INCREASED?

The Noda administration has released a plan titled “Comprehensive Reform of Social Security and Tax”, which includes measures such as increasing the rate of consumption tax. They appear to be determined not to concede an inch, but their approach has come in for much criticism. Japan’s budget deficit is clearly in crisis. Looking at opinion polls on the question of raising taxes, the public are expressing a certain degree of understanding with regards to the issue itself, but are opposed to the way politicians are going about it. In a time of crisis, the attitude that leaders adopt is crucial. With this in mind, last year I interviewed two of Japan’s top business leaders. Two men who are well-known as two of the most capable managers in Japan, whose companies have overcome adversity under their strong leadership. They come from completely... [Read more]

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