1H2017 Review: Japan

1H2017 Review: JapanFor Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 2017 has been the year that his political credibility came into doubt. A poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper on June 17 and 18 showed that Abe’s approval rating fell 10 points to 36%, and the rate of disapproval reached 44% - his first net negative rating since…

New Mystery For Controversial Japanese Group

New Mystery For Controversial Japanese GroupThe Japanese conglomerate J Trust Group, which has come under the spotlight for a series of financial inconsistencies in Indonesia, Thailand and Cyprus, has added another. On April 14, an apparently frustrated J Trust put out a press release accusing the South Korean Financial Services Commission of refusing to act on a J Trust request…

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?The year 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for commercial airplane makers. Boeing and Airbus, makers of the “big jets,” will introduce new models this year, as will the two big makers of “regional” airliners Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier. Into this busy mix come two Asian aircraft manufacturers, one in China…

Economic Outlook 2017: Japan

Economic Outlook 2017: JapanFueled by fiscal stimulus measures and a depreciating yen following the U.S. presidential election, the Japanese economy is expected to grow moderately in 2017, albeit with downside pressure persisting in public debt and wage growth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned in November 2016 that faster economic growth was essential to help Japan…

Asia: Japan in 2016

Asia: Japan in 2016A series of earthquakes struck Kumamoto in Japan’s southwest in April, triggering fears of a repeat of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011. Kumamoto city is located 115 kilometres (72 miles) from the Sendai nuclear power station, the only nuclear plant in operation at the time of the earthquake. The most recent…

TPP: Who Needs Uncle Sam?

TPP: Who Needs Uncle Sam?Can the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) survive without the United States?  That is what Asia is pondering with the election of Donald Trump, who has proclaimed he will pull out of the 12-member pact during his first days in office. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already said that the trade deal “has no meaning” without…

Negative Interest Rates: Insidious Killers

Negative Interest Rates: Insidious KillersPlagued by a persistent lack of demand for loans in economies that refuse to respond to more conventional stimulus attempts, several of Europe’s central bankers have cut key interest rates below zero for more than a year. Japan now has caught the disease in an economy that has not responded to any of Abe’s arrows,…

Japan: Business Cycle Disappears

Japan: Business Cycle DisappearsJapan's politicians and the Bank of Japan appear unable or unwilling to get a grip on their economic problems despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s vaunted quiver of economic arrows, the most potent of which – restructuring – remains sheathed. In effect, the country has broken its Economic Clock®, with crazy investment implications. A broken clock…

Bonn Climate Protesters Take After Japan

Bonn Climate Protesters Take After JapanThe fourth day of negotiations on climate talks in Bonn, Germany, have got underway with protesters chanting "Sekitan, Yamato, stop coal finance," criticizing Japan as the world's largest provider of coal finance. The Bonn talks are the prelude to negotiate the final details of an agreement before the major United Nations-sponsored climate conference in Paris…

Some Japanese Manufacturers Exit China

Some Japanese Manufacturers Exit ChinaIn early 2015, Panasonic and Toshiba announced that they would stop producing television sets in China. As Japan continues to decrease its investment in China, the two multinational corporations’ partial exit seemed to underscore an overall trend of Japanese firms withdrawing from China. On Feb. 23, Nikkei News reported that Citizen Watch Company had suddenly closed…
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