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
May 29
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering postponing the consumption tax hike to 10 pct from 8 pct planned for April 2017 by two and a half years to October 2019, government sources said Saturday. (Jiji Press)
May 29
Experts investigating a jet that caught fire at Tokyo's Haneda Airport say some engine turbines were severely damaged. (NHK)
May 28
Following is a statement by U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Hiroshima, western Japan, on Friday: (Jiji Press)
May 27
Atomic bomb survivors hailed U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks in Hiroshima on Friday, saying he expressed his unchanged intention to create a world without nuclear weapons. (Jiji Press)
May 27
US President Barack Obama has spoken with atomic bomb survivors during his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (NHK)
May 27
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested two organized crime members for operating a grow house for marijuana in Soka City, reports TV Asahi. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
Hanako, Japan's oldest elephant who made headlines for spending most of her life alone in a concrete enclosure, died at 69 in Tokyo on Tuesday, NHK (May 26) reported. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
A utility knife sitting on the floor near an intoxicated man's bag caused quite a stir in a Tokyo subway station, NHK reported on Thursday (May 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
A Japanese man was arrested Wednesday in Thailand on suspicion of raping and sexually harassing a number boys aged between 13 and 15 in the country's northern province of Chiang Mai, investigators said. (Japan Times)
May 26
The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday handed an American male an 18-month prison sentence in the death of a woman in Miura City last July, reports NHK. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 25
A panel of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department came up with a report on Wednesday calling for legal regulations on the so-called JK business, in which high school girls offer such services as massage and dating. (Jiji Press)
May 25
A 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after taking a woman hostage and barricading an apartment in the western Japan prefecture of Ehime for over 16 hours, police said. (Japan Today)
May 25
A 1-year-old boy fell to his death from the 6th floor of his family apartment in Kyoto's Tsurumai city in an apparent accident, police said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
May 25
You know something has become a cultural phenomenon when it gets its own slang! (rocketnews24.com)
May 25
Osaka Prefectural Police have accused a chain of members-only restaurants of illegally serving the innards of a poisonous blowfish to customers, reports NHK. (Tokyo Reporter)