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No.17
Economy, No.17  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. Republic of Korea’s Semco on the rise, yet Japanese makers maintain their presence in ultra-small products 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 ... ... [Read more]

No.17
Economy, No.17  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, such as carbon fiber. Among Japanese products, robot suits, which assist people who have difficulty walking, are drawing attention. A rapid paradigm shift seems to be taking ... ... [Read more]

No.17
Economy, No.17  Nov. 25, 2013

Abenomics and Takahashi Policy — Aiming to revitalize the Japanese economy

MATSUMOTO Takashi, Vice Minister of the Cabinet Office

It has been eight months since the Abe administration was inaugurated. Its catchphrase “Japan is back” is steadily being embodied, which is confirmed by the fact that the term “hollowing-out” has disappeared from media such as television and newspapers. I would like to discuss the current conditions and future challenges for Abenomics while attempting to present a retrospective assessment of Takahashi Korekiyo’s fiscal policies, which could be referred to as the Abenomics of the prewar period. As a first step to reviving Japan, the Abe administration aims to bail the nation out of a deflationary economy by undertaking drastic monetary easing by the Bank of Japan (BOJ). Before it was launched, Abenomics faced rising skepticism pointing out that monetary easing would not be effective in controlling the economy’s deflationary trends. Moreover, critics argued that no matter how sweeping the easing was, it would not ... ... [Read more]

No.17
Economy, No.17  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 reconstruction. Structural reform for continued economic development is referred to ... ... [Read more]

No.16
Economy, No.16  Oct. 4, 2013

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

IMAI Ken-ichi, Senior Fellow Emeritus, StanfordUniversity

< Key Points > * The distribution of energy, water, and food will become priority issues * Now is a good time to move away from finance capitalism based on oil resources * Pipelines will serve as a means of readjusting national interests among states 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.”... [Read more]

No.16
Economy, No.16  Oct. 4, 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
Economy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 6, 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
Economy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 6, 2013

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

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
Economy, Nos.13-15  Mar. 6, 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
Economy, KUDO_Yasushi, Nos.13-15  Mar. 3, 2013

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

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]