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No.17
No.17 ,Economy  Nov 25, 2013

Global Companies from Japan

In August 2013, the world’s first medical treatment robot took its first step. The robot is the Robot Suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb), which was developed by CYBERDYNE Inc., a robot venture from the University of Tsukuba. Its smart design with the basic theme of white is captivating. It conforms to the body and supports and enhances physical functions and helps users regain lost functions. HAL was recently granted a CE Mark, a medical device certification. This represents the birth of the world’s first robot capable of treating people. HAL works in the following way. When people try to move their bodies, very weak biosignals escape to the surface of the skin, reflecting that intention to move. HAL captures these signals through its sensors and operates its motors in real time to support the movement of the users’ joints.Professor Sankai Yoshiyuki of the University ... [Read more]

No.17
No.17 ,Economy  Nov 25, 2013

Wearable Devices Are On Their Way — What will be the fate of Japanese electronic parts?

Editorial staff of Weekly Toyo Keizai

Over half of a smartphone’s internal parts are made in Japan. With Chinese and ROKn smartphone makers expanding their share, will Japanese parts maintain their strength?Open it up, and it’s made in Japan – this is something we often find. While Japanese smartphone manufacturers have a very low presence, the ratio of that which is made in Japan rises when it comes to parts. Capable of Internet access, calling and multiple other functions, all in a handheld size, smartphones consist of numerous Japanese electronic parts and materials that are small and provide high-performance quality.The small parts field is one where Japanese manufacturers excel. Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) are parts that store electricity and are indispensable to a great many electronic products. They assist power supply and sustain normal operation... [Read more]

No.17
No.17 ,Economy  Nov 25, 2013

Manufacturers Are Avoiding Price Competition and Achieving Growth by Creating Value

KOJIMA Akira, Member, Board of Trustees, and Adjunct Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Trustee, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER)

Japanese manufacturers are currently at a big turning point. In the television industry, known to be their forte, Japanese manufacturers used to have global brands, superior competitiveness, and technological capabilities. However, Sony, Sharp, and Panasonic, all of which had displayed strong competitiveness in this industry with their high-resolution digital TVs, have undergone serious financial crises. All three manufacturers had to remove their top managers. They were also forced to make significant cuts to their workforce. These developments gave rise to the pessimistic view that Japan’s manufacturing-based national development was beginning to decline.However, Japanese manufacturers are maintaining their competitive advantage in global markets and securing high profits in sectors including machine tools and high-quality components and materials... [Read more]

No.17
No.17 ,Economy  Nov 25, 2013

Abenomics and Takahashi Policy — Aiming to revitalize the Japanese economy

MATSUMOTO Takashi, Vice Minister of the Cabinet Office

The Japanese cabinet headed by Abe Shinzo is attracting worldwide attention for its anti-deflationary and economic revitalization package, which is known as “Abenomics.” Behind this attention, there is concern that failure of the package, which includes an unprecedented level of monetary easing, would not only send the Japanese economy into a crisis situation but also affect the growth and stability of the entire global economy. For the time being, it has given people hope through the rise of share prices and the reversal of the excessive appreciation of the yen. An increase in capital investment in the corporate sector suggests a resurgence of entrepreneurship. However, continuation of economic growth beyond this short-term economic recovery will depend on whether or not the government manages to carry out the painful structural reform needed for economic... [Read more]

No.17
No.17 ,Economy  Nov 25, 2013

The Opportunity and Risk of “Abenomics” That Has Begun to Push the Japanese Economy Out of Stagnation and Deflation

KOJIMA Akira, Member, Board of Trustees, and Adjunct Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Trustee, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER)

The Japanese cabinet headed by Abe Shinzo is attracting worldwide attention for its anti-deflationary and economic revitalization package, which is known as “Abenomics.” Behind this attention, there is concern that failure of the package, which includes an unprecedented level of monetary easing, would not only send the Japanese economy into a crisis situation but also affect the growth and stability of the entire global economy. For the time being, it has given people hope through the rise of share prices and the reversal of the excessive appreciation of the yen. An increase in capital investment in the corporate sector suggests a resurgence of entrepreneurship. However, continuation of economic growth beyond this short-term economic recovery will depend on whether or not the government manages to carry out the painful structural reform needed for economic ... [Read more]

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]

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