No.44 - Discuss Japan

Archives : No.44

Mar 2018

Economy, No.44  Mar. 23, 2018

The Founder’s Dreams and Engineering Spirit that Sent the HondaJet Soaring

Flying smoothly, the HondaJet manufactured by Honda Aircraft Company, a US subsidiary of Honda, is putting the dreams of Honda Soichiro (1906–1991), the founder of Honda, into the air. Mass production began after obtaining type certification for safety from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in December 2015. Orders for in excess of one hundred aircraft have already been logged with forty-three units delivered worldwide in 2017, overtaking the Citation M2, the principal aircraft made by Cessna, to become the international top-seller in the small jet category (weighing less than 5.7 tons). Orders remain steady at the start of 2018 and the speed of production continues to accelerate. The aircraft is popular for its unprecedented and unique design, which features an over-the-wing engine mount that reduces air resistance and increases fuel efficiency by as much as twenty percent compared to the competition. It is also ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.44
Mar. 22, 2018

The North Korea Crisis Enters a New Stage Can the International Community Align its Strategy?

A string of missile test launches and a sixth nuclear test suggest North Korea is on the verge of becoming a true nuclear power. With differing views on how to deal with a nation insistent on maintaining its domestic regime, the international community is at an impasse. How should we look for a breakthrough?   On September 3, 2017, North Korea went ahead with its sixth nuclear test. The test was immediately followed up by state-run media reporting that the country had “conducted a fully-successful test of a hydrogen bomb designed to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).” It is fair to say that North Korea went ahead with the nuclear test after determining that the United States would be unable to launch any military action against it. The test also succeeded in reminding the international community that North Korea was making ... ... [Read more]

Society, No.44
Mar. 21, 2018

Prevent Japan from bankruptcy due to the shortage of workers Hold discussions on coexistence with foreigners Shortage of workers equal to the period of the bubble economy

  The effective opening-to-application ratio in March 2017 was 1.45, a high value for the first time in 26 years and 4 months since November 1990. If the present situation continues, Japan may fall into bankruptcy due to the shortage of workers. The time has come when we should seriously consider the role of foreigners as people who support Japanese economic society and local communities.   The Kinosaki Hot Spring is located close to the spot where the Maruyama River flows into the Sea of Japan in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture. The hot spring resort, which is known for the novel Kinosaki ni te by Shiga Naoya, features lines of wooden hot spring inns along the Otani River, which has willow trees lining its banks. The area exudes a unique atmosphere. In the last few years there has been an increase in the number ... ... [Read more]

Economy, No.44
Mar. 19, 2018

The Economic Bloc for Animation Is in Turmoil Who is Making Profits after All? The Other Side of the Party

The fourth boom is currently sweeping across the animation industry. The market for animation is finally approaching 2 trillion yen. Money is flowing in from overseas. Meanwhile, people at production job sites are suffering from cheap labor costs. Similar structural problems face the industry. Weekly Toyo Keizai investigates the economic bloc for animation, entering a new dimension. “Have you seen either?” There must be many people who have had a conversation like this at work or home since last year. Two animated movies, Kiminona-wa (Your Name), released in August 2016, and Kono sekai-no katasumi-ni (In This Corner of the World), released in November of the same year, triggered a social phenomenon that caused a broad range of ages to visit movie theaters. The former achieved the second largest box-office proceeds for an animated movie in Japan after Sen-to Chihiro-no kamikakushi (Spirited Away), directed by ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.44
Mar. 18, 2018

The Current Situation of International Health Diplomacy and the Role of Japan

The ability to solve and contribute to issues related to health is evaluated as a diplomatic capability of a country. International health diplomacy, which was set in the agenda of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit 2016, will finally start on a global scale. What issues exist and how should Japan contribute?   Globalization is the rapid and massive cross-border transfer of people, things, money, information and technologies. It connects societies, economies and communities beyond national borders and is the engine of global development. As a result, the world has become rich and health standards have also improved. On the other hand, in the 21st century, many infectious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Ebola virus and Zika virus, have spread globally at a never-before-seen pace and scale, which has sent shockwaves around the world. In addition, the revitalization of social, economic and cultural ... ... [Read more]

Diplomacy, No.44
Mar. 8, 2018

The range of a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy

The Indo-Pacific strategy is a regional concept that emerged from the history of the long-term development of the global economy, and has never been a simple geopolitical concept for countering China. Japan is expected to conduct strong multilateral diplomacy in the wide region composed of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.   Japanese diplomacy in 2018 is facing the major challenges of the imminent issue of North Korea and the long-term systemic issue of maintaining a liberal world order. The difficult issue of how to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles development and make it move toward denuclearization while maintaining Northeast Asian peace is the most pressing issue for Japan’s diplomacy now. In addition, Japanese diplomacy is facing another major challenge of striving to steer the future world order in a more sound and liberal direction at a time when the US Trump ... ... [Read more]

Economy, No.44
Mar. 8, 2018

Declining Birthrate and Aging Population in Asia― Educational Support to Low-Income Households Improves Quality of Labor Force and Productivity

< Keypoints > Birthrates and average life expectancy in Asia now on a par with developed countries Estimates suggest that consumption tax needs to rise by 8% or more in Thailand Policies providing subsidy on child-rearing such as child allowances is not recommended. Policies providing subsidy on children’s educational cost, which can sustain the long-term development, should be the priority in developing countries. Population aging has become a global concern. With a rapidly increasing proportion of old people in the population, governments are forced to increase expenditure on social security, thus causing pressure on public finances. The shrinking of working-age population indicates less labor force and fewer taxpayers to share the fiscal burden.  Add to that the low birthrate,  which has been lower than the replacement rate required to maintain the size of the population as it is now in developed countries, further increases ... ... [Read more]

Politics, No.44
Mar. 7, 2018

Politicians Need to Present Hard-hitting Reforms―We have had enough of unjustifiable, policy-free elections

At the beginning of the extraordinary session of the Diet at the end of September, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo decided on a dissolution of the lower house, saying that it was a “dissolution to break through national difficulties”; giving as his reasons a change in the use of tax income, and the worsening North Korea situation. Mainly due to the Moritomo/Kake Gakuen issue, Abe’s support rate has been in the doldrums since last spring, and in July the LDP suffered a heavy loss in the Tokyo Assembly elections. So, from the perspective of the opposition, this dissolution was a surprise attack. The previous dissolution in 2014 was also a surprise attack, and the opposition lost heavily, being unable to react effectively. But this time was different. Interestingly, the opposition fought back with their own surprise attack. The Tokyo governor Koike Yuriko set up a ... ... [Read more]