Posts Tagged ‘Shinzo Abe’

Japan Officially Back In Recession

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

Tokyo’s release of data for Q3 indicated an economic contraction of 1.6 percent. This was unexpected;  after the previous quarter revealed a massive contraction of 7 percent, economists predicted a rebound back into positive GDP growth of at least 2 percent. Instead, Japan’s economy has incurred two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, thus meeting the technical definition of an economic recession.

Japan’s Prime Minster, Shinzo Abe, was supposed to have engineered a recovery from Japan’s two decades of stagnation and recessions through his economic policies, dubbed Abenomics.  Yet, after massive monetary intervention by the Bank of Japan, significant deficit spending and the trashing of Japan’s currency, the Yen, the end result is another recession.

Japan’s recession has led to the calling of new elections in Japan. The repercussions of the recession are not only political. Abenomics was supposed to put Japan back on the path to economic growth, allowing Tokyo to raise sale tax rates so as to begin coping with the nation’s massive structural deficit. With Japan now in recession, any policy measures designed to tackle the nation’s acute fiscal challenges have likely been placed on the back burner indefinitely.



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Japan, World’s Third Largest Economy, Contracts

September 14th, 2014 Comments off

In the third quarter of 2014 the Japanese economy lost 1.8 percent of its GDP. This exceeds the growth of 1.5 percent in Q1 of 2014. In other words, for the first half of 2014, on a net basis the overall Japanese economy lost  about half a percent of its annual GDP.

Some commentators have blamed the decline on specific public policy measures,  such  as a large increase in the national sales tax in April, which was implemented to cope with Tokyo’s staggering fiscal deficit and public sector debt. However, it seems more likely that the tax increase sparked the growth in GDP in Q1 as shoppers sought to beat the tax increase, rather than depressing consumer demand in Q2.

On balance, the worse than expected Japanese economic data confirms that Japan remains mired in economic stagnation, despite a multiplicity of stimulus measures enacted by various Japanese governments, and most recently by current Prime Minister  Shinzo Abe, in addition to loose monetary policies adopted by the Bank of Japan. In the meantime, tensions are rising between Japan and its major trading partner, China. That will only worsen the plight of  the Japanese economy.


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Hillary Clinton Nude

Japan’s Priorities Post-Election: Economic Crisis or Nationalism?

December 17th, 2012 Comments off

Three years ago, Japan’s Democratic Part came to power, unseating the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party on a promise of political reform. Now, the Democratic  Party has been unceremoniously kicked out of power by the same Japanese electorate, and the LDP has come back to power in a landslide. LDP leader Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister, won the election with a promise of being tough with China on a territorial dispute involving several desolate islands. Abe also claims that the economy will be his number one priority.

But Shinzo Abe can’t have it both ways. Japan, still stuck in a two decades old “L” shaped recession, certainly realizes how important China is for the faltering Japanese economy. China is the number one buyer of Japanese exports, and the trade between the second and third largest economies in the world in the largest two-way export and import relationship in the world. Heightened nationalism in Japan targeting China will inevitably drive a reciprocal response from China’s equally bellicose territorial nationalists. The result would be a sharp deterioration in the trading relation that would hurt both China and Japan, the latter far more heavily, given the character of its long-enduring economic crisis.

Japan’s Abe will either have to backtrack quickly on his tough talk regarding Sino-Japanese relations, or accept that such a dangerous  course will only make matters worse for the ailing Japanese economy.






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