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No lunch in Ginza: Japan's scaled-back spending helps push economy to recession

35 Comments
By Chris Gallagher and Akiko Okamoto

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Japan is in a race to the bottom, and it gets worse day by day.

-10 ( +25 / -35 )

David BrentToday  05:03 pm JST

Japan is in a race to the bottom, and it gets worse day by day.

I have to agree, but it is also the customers who will argue for cheaper goods or cheaper food.

Even here, some people resent paying a taxi driver a decent fare, for a decent job, today because they think Uber must come along and make it cheaper for THEM. It's cheaper for the customer, at the expense of the taxi drivers' income, and all for the benefit of Uber and the shareholders. The race to the bottom usually affects the little guy.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

The financial food chain appears like this.

1 Company

2 Shareholders.

3 Customers.

4 The staff.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Recession or no recession, making and bringing your own lunch to work every day is always a smart way to save money. Call me a cheapskate, but for some of us it's what we've always done.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

Japan's scaled-back spending helps push economy to recession

And

Japan's Nikkei nears record high

The story told in two partial headlines.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Did nobody see this coming?

Are there any leaders in Japan?

It appears that only the few are being represented

4 ( +14 / -10 )

making and bringing your own lunch to work every day is always a smart way to save money. Call me a cheapskate, but for some of us it's what we've always done

I second that. And it is healthier, too.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

This is just doom reporting and regurgitating the NYT article. Tourism is booming, the stock market is soaring, unemployment is very low, exports fairly high. Walk around Tokyo and restaurants and bars are bustling, hotels are full.

I travel all over Asia and the US and those countries look much more bleak than what I see in Japan.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Unlike unionized workers at big manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp, the 32-year-old aesthetician isn't expecting a pay rise anytime soon. Rather, her salary has been cut, a reflection of the squeeze on the services sector, especially at the smaller companies that employ some 70% of Japan's workforce.

Off-shoring of jobs that could provide living wages and support families. Neo-liberal Reagan-ism, Thacherism, Abenomics,"New Capitalism" bringing in precariat, contract labor, corporate tax cuts and deregulation and ballooning inequality.

The same story across the G-7, with slight differences, the differences being strong unions and democratic socialist governments in some nations.

It could not be clearer.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The area I work charges a salad, something that is easy to make and doesn't require cooking, for something around 1,300 yen for the cheapest offer. These prices are absolutely ridiculous and is the reason I choose to work remotely as much as possible because I can make the same salad for less than 300 yen at home. My pay isn't increasing so I gotta find a way to cut back as much as possible.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

A reduction in income tax is coming, but this reduction (YEN40,000) will apply equally to any amount of income. Both In terms of economic impact and as a measure of social safety net, I think KIshida government is wasting its financial resources, which are extremely precious particularly due to huge public deficits.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Kishida couldn't run a bath -- how do these incompetent people get to the top? Did he stay later at the LDP headquarters than anyone else?

2 ( +13 / -11 )

It's the same in Europe, US and China etc. Japan's media just a bit more honest about HIGH Prices & Inflation and the lousy economy with falling real consumer spending.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Many suppliers and manufacturers raised their prices just to take advantage of the current drive to raise prices as the bank BOJ demanded but consumers aren't buying it and are fighting back and winning.

many got turned off and just completely closed their wallets, others are doing the minimum to just ride this wave and see what comes next, any way you look at it Consumers ALWAY win.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's tax revenue is highest ever.

Japanese major corporations' profit and internal reserve are also highest ever.

Number of wealth classes in Japan are 2nd in the world.

But GDP is 4th, GDP per person is 21st. 

LDP government is always positive to spend for political stakeholders such as large corporations or arms industries but dislike to spend for domestic general citizen. "ruling class" such as LDP regime or large corporations become more rich including illegal or injustice, general public become more poor, recent Japan is such country.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

This is too funny. The media trying to shift the whole thing as if it's about spending. Ranking doesn't matter anymore. Because it's already a miracle the GPD is even this high for a population which numbers has been dropping and aging. We went from 127million to 123million in a few years. How you expect the gdp to even still rise? Forget the gdp and instead focus to balance out the people daily lives. Is crazy that the people is still obsess with what number you are on that stupid ranking list. Look at those at the very top. USA has the highest, but does it reflect the population is doing excellent? The wealth gap there is horrifying and how many times were institutions on the brink of collapse?

In fact i am glad the gdp is dropping. Maybe this will finally stop the government from constantly wasting our tax money by donating it all over the world and finally instead learn how to live a bit more cost saving.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hotels and conference/ exhibition markets are very busy; high occupancy rates, with many overseas visitors going out to eat/ drink and take short tours. Maybe they are just not going to Ginza.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Clinton family declared economic war on Japan, he said now Japan was the target of the United States. They were not bluffing.

People are unaware Japan is Run by bureaucrats, IMF controls the Ministry of Economy (Zaimucho) and the disastrous cost-containment policies are made on purpose to undermine Japan's economy.

Big boss doesn't want a competitor.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

« the world's third largest economy » No Japan is not anymore the third, Germany is.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Those in parliament get 1,000,000 yen a month for travel expenses whether they travel or not. See the disparity between the public and these "public servants" in government? Everyone aside from the major corporations and the government is hurting.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In fact i am glad the gdp is dropping. Maybe this will finally stop the government from constantly wasting our tax money

On the contrary, they are only going to spend more. Print and spend, that’s all they know.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Boom! Called it. In fact, I thought Japan was already #4. It'll be 10th economy in the world, if that, by 2030. I think it'll even be 7th by 2025, and nothing will have improved for us here in the interim. The government will continue to express dismay and shock over people not spending more (even asking us to go do so), but if we see ANY increase in wages it'll be another ¥10/hr max for 95% of the workforce, and prices will continue to go up on everything 20% every quarter or so, as quantity/volume also decreases.

Stocks are up bigtime for Japan Inc., and profits have never been better for them, so there is no way the government will change anything. I also expect we'll see the yen closer to ¥200 / $1 USD by year's end, and it will never, ever recover beyond ¥140 if at all.

And, needless to say, the government will increase taxes and use the spending to fund increased military budgets as well as giving aid to other nations instead of using the money at home.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

quote: Japan is in a race to the bottom.

Well it will lose to the UK as we are heading there much faster and are already nearly there.

If you want to analyse the stats for a nation, remove the top 5% in terms of wealth first, as they distort the figures for the bulk of the people and allow governments to misrepresent the extent of their mismanagement.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

People in Japan used to "brag" about how much they spend on expensive items, now they "brag" about how much they spent on cheap items.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Recessions always happen..

Countries get in and out of recessions..

No drama here..

Japan will solve this in its own way..

GO JAPAN..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan is in a race to the bottom, and it gets worse day by day.

Japan has survived many things in history, a silly recession won't destroy Japan..

Instead of complaining nonsense things against Japan, try to be part of the solution and give the best from yourself..

Japan needs good and brave foreigners to help the country..

Not negative people who is part of the country problems..

What kind of foreigner you are??..

Be part of the good ones..

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

In the first place, this is a natural result if GDP is calculated on a dollar basis. Unfortunately, if Japan's yen appreciates, it will return to third place.

Germany is also not doing well, and its inflation rate is rising even more than Japan.

The German people might be happy if their GDP were to rise amid a booming economy, but it is difficult to say that the current level of living is very comfortable.

It is impossible to say whether Japan will gradually fall in the rankings, but I have to say that it would be a big problem if it were to be overtaken by Russia or Brazil.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

HopeSpringsEternal

It's the same in Europe, US and China etc. Japan's media just a bit more honest about HIGH Prices & Inflation and the lousy economy with falling real consumer spending.

Except in the US., where inflation is down to the low 3%'s, real wages have grown by 4.5% and they avoided a recession.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

US & Europe same as Japan, High Prices embedded everywhere. For example, US average 'rent' increased 6% in this week's CPI report or +100/month vs. prior year.

"Real" consumption adjusted for inflation, dropping everywhere, not just Japan. Why Kishida and Biden etc. so unpopular. For example, Trump beats Biden in NBC poll last week on inflation and economy by 30pts.

Markets are fine, Corp's are PRICE $Gouging, another reason consumers/voters SO MAD

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 10:28 am JST

US & Europe same as Japan, High Prices embedded everywhere. For example, US average 'rent' increased 6% in this week's CPI report or +100/month vs. prior year.

Rent isn't a typical manufactured good and polls are not a measure of the economy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Services inflation in US also picking up in recent US CPI report, including medical, insurance, etc. Point remains, HIGH PRICES embedded, only going HIGHER. Just had a hot PPI report last night = more price increases coming.

WHY market based interest rates heading back up, Treasuries across curve anticipate more inflation, even US 30-year treasury priced (lower) to provide almost 1% more return, just since Oct.

Above puts more pressure Yen and thus more inflation in Japan. People believe their lying eyes regarding prices and inflation, not useless Govt. statistics. WHY reason Biden and Kishida are SO UNPOPULAR.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Rising prices across the world but Japan is in a unique position.

Wages in the US,Australia,Switzerland,Europe etc are generally higher than in Japan.

More part time jobs than full time are being created in Japan with lack of confidence amongst the young.

Tourists from Taiwan,Thailand,China flock to Japan as it is ‘cheap’

So, higher prices and falling wages=stagflation.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Correct, real wages in Japan amongst worst globally these past few years, mainly due to Yen's collapse.

So many JT articles on crime in Japan now, clearly stress in society is building but it's same stress everywhere, HIGH PRICES & Reduced Living Standards = STRESS.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

No lunch in Ginza: Japan's scaled-back spending helps push economy to recession

Japan, a shadow of what it once was.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

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