Japan poised for era of sustainable inflation, Nomura say
News On Japan via Bloomberg -- Apr 18

Japan is poised to exit more than a decade of deflation as a strengthening yuan bolsters China's buying power, fueling Japanese production and buoying prices, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) Demand from China will propel continuous gains in Japanese consumer prices next year as companies ramp up production with factories now running at about three quarters of capacity, Takahide Kiuchi, Nomura's chief economist, said in an interview on April 13.

The yuan has gained 5.2 percent against the yen this year, making Japanese products more affordable in China, which became Japan's biggest overseas market in 2009. Enlarge image Deflation End Near for Japan on China Buying Power Deflation End Near for Japan on China Buying Power Deflation End Near for Japan on China Buying Power

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Pedestrians and shoppers walk past commercial buildings in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Consumer prices excluding fresh food unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent in February from a year earlier, the first gain in five months, the statistics bureau said on March 30.

Pedestrians and shoppers walk past commercial buildings in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Consumer prices excluding fresh food unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent in February from a year earlier, the first gain in five months, the statistics bureau said on March 30. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Premier Wen Jiabao last month said China will adopt policies to encourage domestic consumption and wean the country from its dependence on exports. The shift may help Japan absorb a glut of unused factory capacity and unwind a cycle of declining prices that has weighed on economic growth. Deflation has driven wages down 16 percent since a 1997 peak and caused tax revenues to fall by about 20 percent in the same period, according to government data compiled by Bloomberg.

"Even mild deflation is a bad thing," Kiuchi said. "When people expect deflation, wages tend to decline more rapidly. That means real wages decline and that undermines consumption."

Japanese companies are using about 73 percent of their factory capacity, according to trade ministry data released yesterday. An increase in capacity utilization to about 85 percent in August 2007 preceded Japan's last period of inflation, a 15-month stretch of price gains between October 2007 and December 2008.

Source: Bloomberg



Apr 21 Daughter arrested for killing 83-year-old mother with kettle
Police in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, said Monday they have arrested a 55-year-old woman for fatally beating her 83-year-old mother with a kettle at their home. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Justin Bieber 'in a happy place,' hits Tokyo with mom Pattie Mallette
Justin Bieber flies to Tokyo, Japan, with mom Pattie Mallette, leaving his legal woes, Drake Bell drama and the debate on the deportation petition behind. (inquisitr.com )
Apr 21 Man stabs ex-girlfriend, her parents in their home in Aichi
Police in Fuso, Aichi Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an unemployed 38-year-old man for attempted murder after he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her and her parents. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Man jumps to death after fatally stabbing father
Police in Tokyo said that a 46-year-old man apparently jumped to his death after fatally stabbing his father at their condominium in Tokyo's Koto Ward on Sunday morning. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Matsushima gull feeding ban to protect pine trees
Feeding black-tailed gulls has been a popular activity on the sightseeing boats that cruise around the Matsushima islets, considered to be one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan, but local authorities banned the practice this month in a bid to protect the islets' famous pine trees from withering as a result of nitrogen in the droppings of the gulls, who have bred in large numbers in the area. (The Japan News )
Apr 20 Serial burglar suspected of over 100 thefts
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 41-year-old construction worker on suspicion of stealing over 10 million yen in cash and precious jewels. (Japan Today )
Apr 19 Japan opens Imperial Palace to public
Japan opened the Imperial Palace to the public on Saturday, starting a string of special palace openings to celebrate the longevity of Emperor Akihito who turned 80 last December. (Jiji Press )
Apr 19 Male cross-dresser arrested for assaulting 3 elementary school students
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested an unemployed 42-year-old man on assault charges for allegedly attacked a 10-year-old elementary school boy and two others as they were playing in Yokosuka City in February of this year. (Japan Today )
Apr 19 Murakami's new book hits shelves amid fan frenzy; more ordered
Haruki Murakami's first collection of short stories in nine years hit store shelves in Japan on Friday with excited fans lining up for the midnight launch. (Japan Times )
Apr 19 Japan virtual star Hatsune Miku to join Lady Gaga tour
Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga's tour of North America next month, the U.S. songstress has announced on Twitter. (Japan Today )