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No.45
Economy, No.45  Mar. 23, 2018

A Strategy for Accepting Foreign Workers for A Sustainable Society

It is important to take a long-term perspective instead of merely accepting foreigners to compensate for the shortage of human resources. How should foreigners be accepted to sustain the declining population? In addition, even if the doors are open, excellent foreigners might not come. It is important to create an attractive environment.   Recently, we often see that many foreigners are working in the manufacturing, service and retail industries. According to the registrations for the employment of foreigners by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, there were 1.08 million foreign workers at the end of October 2016, exceeding one million for the first time. In addition, according to the statistics on foreign residents in Japan published by the Ministry of Justice at the end of December 2016, there were 2.38 million foreign residents in Japan, showing a tendency to increase. Expectations for foreign ... ... [Read more]

No.44
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]

No.44
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]

No.44
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]

No.43
Economy, No.43  Feb. 28, 2018

20th Anniversary: Countries Affected by the Asian Financial Crisis Are Confronted with Common Issues Accompanied by Growth ― Japan Must Be a Successful Example of Tackling the Income Gap and Aging Population

  Key Points Criticism of East Asia’s unsuccessful development model misses the point. Economic growth requires robust initiatives in both the private and public sectors. Leapfrogging may be possible for latecomer countries in the field of information technology. The Asian financial crisis started in July 1997, wreaking havoc on economies in the region throughout the following year. It had a devastating impact on countries like Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia, which had previously enjoyed strong economic growth, causing significant currency devaluation and a collapse in domestic demand. The debacle could be characterized as a new type of crisis caused by the massive short-term capital flows into countries where international capital transactions had become liberalized. What was the impact of the financial turmoil in the Asian region which has had a long history of economic development? Following the crisis, significant social changes occurred in the ... ... [Read more]

No.43
Economy, No.43  Feb. 22, 2018

Is the Bank of Japan Technically Insolvent? Dangers Involved in Long-Term Deterioration of BoJ Financial Position

Increasing interest is focusing on the Bank of Japan’s exit strategy, or its strategy for ending its ongoing ultra-easy monetary policy. On April 19 [2017], the Liberal Democratic Party Administrative Reform Promotion Headquarters ([formerly] chaired by House of Councilors member Kono Taro) advised the government to study the risks associated with the Bank of Japan’s exit strategy. World central banks in charge of monetary policy are steadily moving to normalize monetary policy. On June 14 [2017], the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the United States unveiled a new exit strategy. The Fed will gradually reduce reinvestment of bond principal payments on securities holdings acquired in the course of its conduct of monetary policy with a view to reducing its total assets. It will begin reductions within the year if all goes well. Following its Governing Council meeting of June 8 ... ... [Read more]

No.43
Economy, No.43  Feb. 22, 2018

ASEAN’s Problem of Declining Birthrates and Population Aging ― How to Cope with Widening Domestic Gaps

  ASEAN countries are facing more rapidly declining birthrates and population aging than Japan. At the same time, the widening income gaps are leading to increased social unease, and this situation is aggravated by the digital society. As regional issues shift from the economy to politics and society, how should Japan relate to ASEAN countries?   Depopulation, declining birthrates and population aging are common issues not only for Japan, but for the entire Asian region. The global population will continue to increase this century, whereas Asia, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will see populations decrease by the middle of this century. That is, Asia will become a depopulation region half a century earlier than the rest of the world. This is because declining birthrates have been progressing throughout Asia. The total fertility rate (equal to the number of children that women ... ... [Read more]

No.43
Economy, No.43  Feb. 8, 2018

Future of the Automotive Industry: Preparing for structural changes in the supply chain networks

Although a gasoline-fueled car is usually said to contain approximately 30,000 parts and components, a closer look reveals that depending on the way of counting, it can be as large as 100,000 with some 10,000 parts used to make just an engine. In the case of an electric vehicle (EV), which runs on a battery-powered motor instead of a fuel-powered engine, there is no need for fuel system parts such as a fuel tank, ignition system components such as a spark plug, exhaustion and emission control system parts such as a muffler, air intake system parts such as a throttle, lubrication system parts such as a fuel pump, cooling system components such as a radiator, and transmission system components such as an automatic transmission (AT) (according to the EVsmart Blog). As such, the number of parts and components used to make an EV is ... ... [Read more]

No.43
Economy, No.43  Feb. 8, 2018

Future of the Automotive Industry Strategies with a View to the Future of EVs and Beyond: Exploring the Application of Technologies to Other Fields

Key Points The elimination of either FCV or EV  by market competition is unavoidable Competition will intensify as obstacles to market participation are lowered by the widespread popularization of EV Current revenues cannot be maintained with a changeover to EV Both the British and French governments have announced policies to ban the sale of conventional combustion engine-powered vehicles by the year 2040. This, together with the toughening of environmental regulations by other countries such as China and the United States, indicates that the global movement shifting away from engine-powered cars is accelerating. Amidst all of this, the greatest issue for Japan is that the road that lies ahead, after this shift away from engine-powered cars remains unclear. Does it lead to electric vehicles (EV), or to fuel cell vehicles (FCV)? The major reason for this uncertainty is that manufacturers have divided into two camps. ... ... [Read more]

No.42
Economy, No.42  Dec. 20, 2017

EV Revolution to Bring Drastic Change to Auto Industry

Toyota’s EV concept car (TOYOTA Concept-i) Executive Vice President Didier Leroy of Toyota Motor said, “We have no doubt that EVs will be one of the key solutions in the near future. That is why we have created a new company with Mazda and Denso to develop EV architecture with a view to mass production” at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TOYOTA MOTOR   Electric vehicles (EVs) without engines appear to be gaining momentum as a driving force behind a drastic turning point in the 100-year history of internal combustion engine vehicles, and are beginning to cause a major paradigm shift in business for auto manufacturers around the world. This new trend in automobile technology has been given further momentum by significant developments in government policies, social values and the technological environment that were seen during the course of 2017. In ... ... [Read more]