Japan is poised to join the world's "currency wars" as it battles a triple crisis of crashing exports, recession and a suffocatingly-strong yen.
The country's exports plunged 10.3 percent in September from a year ago, dimming hopes of rapid recovery in the Far East. Exports to Europe crashed 21 percent. Shipments to China fell 14 percent as the Diaoyu-Senkaku islands dispute led to a slump in car sales.
Honda, Mazda, and Nissan all saw sales plunge near 30 percent as Chinese consumers boycotted Japanese brands.
The yen has risen 30 percent against China's yuan, 65 percent against the euro, and 80 percent against Sterling since 2008. Tokyo is itching to fight back.
Yen strength is Japan's curse. It rises on safe-haven flows during global downturns, choking the economy. This stems from Japan's bitter-sweet role as top creditor with $3 trillion of net assets.
Pressure is growing for quantitative easing on a much greater scale to break out of the deflationary trap.
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)