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 06
Evacuees from a series of earthquakes in Japan's southwestern prefecture of Kumamoto will start moving into public housing on Friday, around 3 weeks after the first quake hit. (NHK)
May 06
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British counterpart David Cameron agreed Thursday in London on the need to promote increased government spending and other economic measures to bolster the flagging global economy, while vowing to work together in fighting terrorism. (Kyodo)
May 06
An 18-year-old girl was killed after the car she was riding in was hit by a falling boulder on a mountain road in Onan, Shimane Prefecture. (Japan Today)
May 06
About 1,000 people participated in a jogging event held at Tokyo DisneySea in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, on Thursday to mark Children's Day. (Japan Times)
May 06
Manifesting an unstoppable decline in births, the number of children aged 14 or under in Japan fell for the 35th straight year to a record-low 16.05 million as of April 1, government estimates showed Wednesday. (Japan Today)
May 06
East Japan Railway Co. said Thursday it has resolved a computer malfunction that caused all electronic signboards for shinkansen bullet trains to shut down the previous day, causing confusion for travelers during the Golden Week holiday period. (Japan Times)
May 06
A glider crashed into a mountainous area in Fukushima Prefecture Thursday, killing the pilot, police and firefighters said. (Japan Today)
May 06
The popular black bear character Kumamon resumed activities as the official mascot of Kumamoto on Thursday, three weeks after the southwestern Japanese prefecture was devastated by the first of two major earthquakes. (Japan Today)
May 03
Seven people were injured after a car jumped the curb and hit pedestrians in Kobe on Tuesday morning. (Japan Today)
May 03
A man was found dead after being run over by a car on a road in Mooka, Tochigi Prefecture, but police said Tuesday that he may have already been dead after being hit by another car earlier. (Japan Today)
May 03
Police said Monday they are looking for a man who stole 1 million yen from a Pizza Hut store in Tokyo, and injured two employees in the process. (Japan Today)
May 02
NHK has learned that at least one-quarter of the people who died as a result of the earthquakes that hit Japan's southwest had gone home from temporary shelters before the second major tremor. (NHK)
May 01
Police in Chofu, Tokyo, have arrested a 47-year-old part-time worker on suspicion of assaulting a 13-year-old girl as she walked home in February. (Japan Today)
May 01
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 01
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)