COVID-19 cuts jobs, boosts stocks, widening economic gap in Japan


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Money was "created" through stimulus programs.

Yeah, everyone got a little (100,000 yen last summer), but that doesn't account for the trillions of other yen spent.

Simply put, some people/companies got a huge windfall, others got nothing.

For example:

The man lost his job at a restaurant where he had worked for years.

So this guy lost his job, but the restaurant owner gets 40,000 per day just to close a few hours early. The owner also got the GoTo Eat deal, as well as last year's national 100 - 200,000+ yen support to "affected" businesses, as well as other financial support haphazardly given by the Tokyo government.

It was people like the restaurant owner who went shopping at Isetan, while his staff (literally) was on the bread line.

29 ( +29 / -0 )

You dont have to be wealthy to buy securities. The average Japanese household has tons of cash savings and insurance products, and the amount is rising during the pandemic. Middle-class Japanese have chosen not to buy stocks and bonds. That's based on personal choices, not on any force of social inequality.

-13 ( +12 / -25 )

People who usually go away for their holidays can no longer do it. If their income are not affected by the pandamic, they are likely to spend their holiday money on other things. That is one of the reason why some retailers are having a bumper year.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

wealthy households -- which hold net financial assets of more than 100 million yen -- totaled 1.33 million as of 2019

Thats 1% of the population that have money. TIJ!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Thats 1% of the population that have money. TIJ!

A "household" is more than one person. People with money are typically not single, regardless of their personality or looks.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

a #UBI, universal basic income would lift everyone up

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Slow clap for the 'balanced' reaction to COVID-19...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Seems like this is happening all over the world, and for here, I have been saying since damn near the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns, that using the stock market to judge the "health" of the Japanese consumer is BS.

If the economy was doing so well, there would be no need for people to be searching for help and assistance!

That 100,000 yen, for far too many is LONG gone, and the government has no plans, nor will, to do anything else, but, continue to dump money into the hands of those who already have more than enough.

Oh, that, and the Olympics!

23 ( +23 / -0 )

This is what politicians all around the world mean when they're talking about saving 'the economy'.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

There is nothing "balanced" about the Japanese response to COVID.

It has been pure neo-liberal rentier capitalism, benefitting holders of capital in investments , land, businesses with subsidies benefitting them even in a depression and regressively leveling all the hardship and austerity on the working populace.

The LDP was late to the game in adopting neo-liberal policies but since then have adopted them enthusiastically with selfish glee.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

The government decided that the working class should be unemployed because they believed “the science”. They didn’t give the people the choice of poverty or a steady income based on an informed decision with reasonable precautions such as wearing masks and improving sanitation. The government then decided to give away money willy-nilly whether people needed it or not. Incompetence is a bureaucrats special power.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I had a "regular" position which I held for many years, but because of the first "Stay Home/lockdown" and its aftereffects there was a sharp reduction in customers(service industry, but not hotel/restaurant) which slowly began to return but not even near a typical low-level which occurred seasonally. As a result, the upper management eliminated not only the entire group of newer hires(2 years or less), but also "retired" nearly all of the long-term employees (15 years or more) although everyone had already lost ~30% of their pre-crisis incomes.

The fact is that regular, full-time contracted workers have also lost their long-term jobs that were nearly unaffected by the Lehman crisis.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Give money to companies and it does not trickle down but give money to citizens and it comes back to the companies. But Suga prefers to give money where his voters base is. All the small restaurant and bar holders never saw 1,2 to 1,8 million a month plus the revenue they manage to hold on to. Several opened up, small to medium just to get this money.

my companies get next to nothing. That would be fine with me if we did not get hit with ever more tax, the only area where Japan is creative.

Huge none performing companies get billions to continue to not perform. People die because we wait for Japanese made needles and Japanese under license produced vaccines. In Europe dentists and vets help with vaccinations. Correct decision, they handle needles daily.

I can take care of myself and my people if only Japanese government would stop making things worse

17 ( +17 / -0 )


i totally hear your point and agree with you that the rules were highly illogical,especially the money for closing your restaurant being the same irrelevant if size or yearly turnover BUT you can’t blame the restaurant owner for the rules are you such a saint that you’d say no to the money if put in our position? And no we didn’t go shopping for luxury items.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jefflee I think you have missed the point of the article.

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are you such a saint that you’d say no to the money

@Kobe White Bar Owner

Are you such a saint to share your support money with your staff?


Are ALL restaurant owners such a saint to be so sharing with their staff?

-Surely not. Just ask the guy on the bread line.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What usually distinguishes a rich from a poor in Japan is with kid(s) or no kid, and regular/non-regular.

No bankster to confirm that ?

Money indeed does not go where it should, obviously.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Covid didn't cause this

The government's response did

The virus didn't say "Close businesses!" did it now?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Main customers were the store's wealthy regulars and the so-called "new rich," including young managers of information technology firms and YouTubers who increased their earnings by taking advantage of the pandemic.

This is not a prediction but a cautionary note. What the article appears to show is a bubble economy. All bubble economies have one thing in common. They pop.

If the worst happens, there will be a lot of "previously owned" jewels and luxury cars on sale.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's not covid19 causing this it's...


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Nomura Research Institute estimates wealthy households -- which hold net financial assets of more than 100 million yen -- totaled 1.33 million as of 2019.

We are in this group, but we cannot be called rich by any means. We do not even own a car.

If consumer spending becomes sluggish as nonregular workers cut expenditures on fears of being laid off in recessions, "The recovery of the Japanese economy will continue to be lackluster," Kono warned.

I fear it is sluggish in general right now.

At Isetan department store in Tokyo's Shinjuku district, which posts the highest sales of all department stores in Japan, a jewelry buyer calls strong sales last summer "mysterious."

In particular, I find it quite intriguing that department stores are surviving right now. So many of them seem so empty and lacking life.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As if you all are asked for your It’s their country and they can do whatever they like to do. If they prefer only to even more pamper the riches and make them more rich and hit the poor economically almost dead , then it’s their choice, not yours. You are only involved after that choice, getting similar increases or decreases as the native citizens, according to their decisions, election results, political and economic options chosen. And you get it in a similar , parallel relation, a very few of you get richer and the rest suffers to the limits.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The folly of direct stimulus. The Government’s 1st draft was means tested - got massive pushback - then got revised to unnecessary parachute money to everyone who didn’t need it.

We now have the biggest economic bubble in history - despite economies and companies struggling for earnings. When that bubble bursts late 2021 or 2022 due to inflation and governments stopping “stimulus” from printing and borrowing we are in deep deep trouble. 1989, 2000, 2008 all over again. Governments know this and are powerless to stop it.

The government should have bought more hospital beds with the money, not closed down the economy and bailed out businesses. We are in for the mother of all recessions when this unravels next year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's not covid19 causing this it's...


Whether intentional or not, it is government that created the conditions that impoverished the working class and enriched large corporations and their investors and wealthy executives. I tend to believe that it was intentional given the close ties that large corporations have with government.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For example :

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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