Japan becoming the land of the setting sun
MarketWatch -- Jun 22
The frenetic activity of the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has prompted optimism that Japan can reverse its economic drift. But activity shouldn't be mistaken for achievement.

Under Abe's second go as prime minister, Japan has initiated an ambitious "three arrows" economic recovery plan, christened "Abenomics." (Recent growth figures are cited as proof of the success of these new policies, despite the fact that they were not in place during the relevant period.)

The first arrow is a 10.3 trillion yen (US$100 billion) fiscal stimulus program to increase public spending. The second arrow is a further easing of monetary policy to increase demand, investment and inflation (to 2%). The third arrow mandates structural reforms to increase incomes and improve Japan's industrial competitiveness and productivity. Japan's total factor productivity in the manufacturing, non-manufacturing and agricultural sectors is the same as in 1991.

The policies have all been tried before, with limited success.

The government's spending program follows 15 stimulus packages between 1990 and 2008. Based on previous experience, it may provide a short-lived jump to economic activity but will not create a sustainable recovery in demand.

Source: MarketWatch
Feb 12
A lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who announced plans to take paternity leave has resigned over revelations that he engaged in an extra-marital affair while his wife was pregnant, reports TBS News (Feb. 12). (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 12
The balance of the government's debts amounted to ¥1.04 quadrillion at the end of 2015, down by ¥9.83 trillion from three months before, the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 12
Plum trees are reaching full bloom one month earlier than usual at a renowned garden in Osaka. (NHK)
Feb 12
People across Japan held events and rallies on Thursday to support or oppose a national holiday honoring the country's founding. (NHK)
Feb 11
The Yokohama District Court sentenced a 19-year-old youth on Wednesday to nine to 13 years in prison for murdering a 13-year-old boy in Kawasaki in February last year. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 12
Los Angeles alternative rock outfit Red Hot Chili Peppers and Icelandic post-rock trio Sigur Ros were among acts named Friday to perform at the 20th anniversary of Fuji Rock Festival in July. (Japan Times)
Feb 12
Police in Uto, Kumamoto Prefecture, have arrested an 83-year-old man for stabbing his neighbor after he was warned not to let his dogs run loose. (Japan Today)
Feb 12
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Friday announced the bust of a marijuana grow house in Nakano Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 12). (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 12
Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested three organized crime members as a part of a drug bust in Kagoshima City, reports Nippon News Network (Feb. 12). (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 12
A Japanese woman who regularly visited Trinidad for Carnival and played in a steel band has been found strangled, the coroner's office said on Thursday. (Japan Today)
Feb 12
Nishi-Hongwanji temple here, a World Heritage site, will allow ordinary folk to hold their wedding ceremonies in its Amidado hall for the first time. (Asahi)
Feb 10
Police in Tosu, Saga Prefecture, have arrested the manager of a yakitori restaurant on suspicion of attempting to rob the establishment on Jan 15. (Japan Today)
Feb 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted of a bar in the 2-chome gay quarter of Shinjuku Ward for licensing violations, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 10) . (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 10
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe was diagnosed with an early-stage stomach cancer, his agent said Tuesday, adding the actor, who starred in a Broadway musical in 2015, has already undergone endoscopic surgery to remove it. (Kyodo)
Feb 10
The Japanese government decided at a cabinet meeting Tuesday to withdraw its recommendation of Christianity-related historic facilities and sites in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures for addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Jiji Press)