Japan

  • Abenomics may only be part of the snap election's decision

    Did Abenomics Fail Shinzo Abe?

    The decision by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, to call a snap election barely two years into a four-year term demonstrates a degree of political flexibility other world leaders can only envy.

    Abe did not need to go to the polls until 2016. Instead, he announced on November 18 he would dissolve the lower house of the Japanese Diet a few days later and hold a general election on December 14 2014. There are several reasons behind the decision, including the failure of Abenomics to revive the Japanese economy.

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  • Abe has made many advancements for his country during his tenure

    Will Abe's Momentum Carry Over to the Next Japanese Leader

    On 17 December 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued Japan’s first National Security Strategy (NSS). The document declares that Japan will make a more ‘proactive contribution to peace’ based on the principle of international cooperation. It also outlines three basic goals for Japan’s national security — ensuring the nation’s territorial sovereignty, improving the security environment in the Asia Pacific region by cooperating with the United States and other regional partners, and active participation in global efforts to maintain international order.

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  • Japanese investment activity was furious and international pre-BOJ QQE surprise

    Japanese Investment Activity Pre-BOJ Surprise QQE

    The Bank of Japan surprised the markets on October 31, and probably surprised itself just as much.  The BOJ meeting was initially to update macro forecasts, but it soon became clear to Governor Kuroda that inflation expectations were being slashed.  This reportedly pushed Kuroda into action.  

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  • Kuroda surprised the financial markets with more quantitative easing

    Under Governor Kuroda, 'Abenomics' is Facing More Scrutiny

    The Bank of Japan sent a new shock-wave through financial markets last week when Governor Haruhiko Kuroda announced another massive round of monetary expansion (Quantitative Easing or QE). The additional boost to the Japanese money supply was accompanied by a sharp lift of 4 percent in the Nikkei stock market index and the yen falling to a seven-year low against the dollar. Some now fear that the impact of Japan’s monetary expansion will lead to the outbreak of a serious currency war.

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  • How well is Abenomics Doing?

    An 'Abenomics' Scorecard

    The December 2012 election gave Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party control of both houses of the Diet as the electorate sought positive, decisive, energetic leadership out of the malaise of the past two decades. Shinzo Abe offered himself as that leader, with Abenomics as his program. Mid-2016 brings the next elections. If things go well for Japan and Abenomics, Abe likely will continue as prime minister until those elections, and probably until late 2018 when his final LDP presidency term ends.

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  • Renewable Energy is a Beneficiary of Japan's Feed-In-Tariff

    Japan Impresses with its FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)

    The effects of Japan’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewable energy have been impressive. Since 2011, Japan has seen a massive expansion of solar photovoltaics (PV). The size of the domestic market increased from 1GW in 2010 to almost 7GW in 2013. This solar expansion is expected to continue with the 2020 target for PV installations raised from 14GW to 28GW. But the success of renewable energy should not be taken for granted.

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  • Japan's Leader's 'Abenomics' policies may be losing momentum

    Japan's Abenomics May Be Losing Steam in its Second Year

    As the second year of Abenomics progresses, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s program of coordinated monetary and fiscal stimulus and structural reform has lost some of its lustre. Not only have Abe’s approval ratings fallen below 50 per cent for the first time since he took office in December 2012, but a recent poll in the right-wing Sankei Shimbun found that, for the first time, disapproval of Abe’s economic policies had exceeded its approval ratings, with 47 per cent opposed and 39 per cent in favour.

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  • 'Womenomics' is a cornerstone of Abe's economic policy

    Japan PM Shinzo Abe's Economic Strategy Includes "Womenomics"

    ‘Womenomics’ is a key pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic growth strategy. In 2013, just 64 per cent of Japanese women aged 15–64 were participating in the labour force — a low rate by OECD standards. As Japan’s labour force is already in decline, it is wasteful that women, and particularly those who have a higher education, have been underutilised. To address this, Abe has set a target to increase the ratio of female managers to over 30 per cent by 2020. In response, several large firms have set similar numerical targets.

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  • Can Japan's security policy coexist with Northeast Asian stability?

    Northeast Asian Stability and Japan's Security Policy

    On 1 July 2014, the Abe government made a cabinet decision to reinterpret the Article 9 peace clause of Japan’s constitution to recognise the exercise of collective self-defence under limited circumstances. While the scope of the proposed changes are an evolution rather than a revolution in Japanese security policy, especially due to the tough negotiations with Abe’s coalition partner New Komeito, furor and misconception have surrounded the move.

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