Monetary policy in Japan: Win some, lose some
News On Japan via The Economist -- Jan 25
LESS than a month after taking office as Japan's new prime minister, Shinzo Abe has been lionised by some prominent Keynesians. His talk of curbing the independence of the Bank of Japan (BoJ) in order to strong-arm Japan out of deflation has won praise from those who think central banks may eventually need to sacrifice their autonomy and monetise government deficits in order to reflate their economies.
Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate and columnist for the New York Times, describes this as a "looking-glass realm" in which virtue is vice and prudence is folly. "Japan, of all places, seems to be the first government to figure that out," he wrote on January 18th.
On January 22nd, however, the BoJ showed that there are limits to Mr Abe's power. True, the central bank for the first time set a 2% inflation target and agreed to open-ended asset purchases, which marks a big capitulation; Mr Abe gushed about a "regime change" in economic policy. Yet on close inspection, the BoJ fought back as hard as it dared, reminding the markets how hard it is to launch an economic revolution in Japan's consensual society.
|| Fewer than 40 pct of Tokyo residents, commuters prepared for quake |
| || Fewer than 40 pct of residents and commuters in Tokyo take specific measures to prepare for a possible huge earthquake beneath the Japanese capital, despite high awareness on disaster prevention, a Metropolitan Police Department survey showed Friday. (Jiji Press ) |
|| Kashiwa murder suspect says he wanted to fly hijacked plane into Skytree |
| || The man under arrest for fatally stabbing one man and wounding three others during a 10-minute rampage in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night, told police on Thursday that he wanted to hijack a plane at Haneda airport and fly it into Tokyo Skytree to take revenge on society. (Japan Today ) |
|| Kashiwa stabbing suspect's identity: 'celeb NEET' |
| || The 24-year-old suspect in the murder of a man on a street in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday is believed to have posted a profile online in which he identified himself as a "celeb NEET," meaning a celebrity without a job, according to local online news site J-Cast News. (Japan Times ) |
|| 24-year-old man arrested over knife attacks in Kashiwa |
| || Police in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday night arrested a 24-year-old unemployed man over four knife attacks within 10 minutes that left one man dead and three others injured on a street. (Japan Today ) |