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Japan posts worst October trade data in three decades


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A global economic depression means that all nations are being hit hard.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well it looks like we're almost out of steam...

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So, what can Japan do in the immediate future? Talking about structural reforms, this will take time. I think what japan needs is a political reform, it is hard to commit to any reforms when japan has revolving door governments. Where are the younger generation Japanese who can lead?

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Hey, with 30 years run, that's not bad, can't say for other that's been running on deficit.

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Everyone should get used to the idea that that cost of living will rise and the the standard of living will declines,there is no cure for this. Get prepared for hard times.

Steve -- if your theory is correct, then it leads to only one logical conclusion -- that possibly the worst place to be in such a scenario is a country like Japan that: already has incredibly hgh prices, has an aging/shrinking population, has very little natural resources, and only produces about 40% of its required food.

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A problem facing Japan,the US and some EU countries is demographic..The population growth has slowed to a point where we have the capacity,and are, producing far beyond demand..,enough so that demand for consumer products is less . As a population ages the need to buy ever more goods becomes much less.The booming populations during the 1950s and 1960s created the vast consumer driven markets of the 1970s -1990s..Those years of high consumer demand are long gone. people tend to consume far more in the early years of their lives,21-55 years of age, beyond those years the need for more houses cars,clothing,even nutrition,drops of greatly. The Economies of western societies are going through an financial adjustment just as the economies of countries have done all through out history..Empires fall and new ones take their place, Until , finally, the new Empires fall and the cycle reverses..he bubble has burst.. China,India and South America will be the most likely new economic power house in the near future as they have a growing consumer demand that has not reached pace with domestic out put and they have refrained from allowing the monetary inflation rates that western governments have allowed . Everyone should get used to the idea that that cost of living will rise and the the standard of living will declines,there is no cure for this. Get prepared for hard times.

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Can you point out one single election in Japanese history where the people voted in their own interests?

How would you define "their own interests"?

Maybe that reflects a somewhat culturally skewed perception.

The Japanese have a more ingrained sense of society, so even when they are voting to preserve the collective, they can be said to be voting in their own interest.

On the other hand, there simply hasn't been enough open discussion and debate about the issues to bring to the surface the ramifications for society of various policy decisions. That has started to change due to necessity, but the process is far from up to speed.

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@minello7Nov. 21, 2012 - 11:32AM

You seem to ask: „I'm starting to believe that the reason for around 17 political parties is to confuse the japanese voters.“

What on earth gives you the idea that the politicians and their parties need to worry about japanese voters at all, or confuse them? Can you point out one single election in Japanese history where the people voted in their own interests?

You write: “Those politicians must be laughing at the people they are supposed to serve…“ Now, tell me one reason why they should not?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Japan, there is too much wasteful spending. The farmland itself, not crops, is the most profitable output in Japanese agriculture. The farmers know the best way to foster J-goverment windfall offers by pressuring local politicians. Since most of the farmers are over 65 years old, the best scenario for Japanese farmers is, they keep the farmland, whether they are actually farming or not, in order to receive various agricultural subsidies, which amounted to many billions and they enjoy free ride by low tax rate. Since most are already old, many farmers often deny abandoning land in order to receive various incentives and to avoid higher land taxes, as the real estate tax law favors farmland. Japan can not continue this donation to the farmers.

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I'm afraid to say that a depression is coming and a recession has already been here for a while (pre-2008).

Nothing will change in time to evade this outcome until after it has occurred just like Lehman Brother's collapse.

Sorry to the 100s of millions of people globally the crumpling world economy will affect severely.

There was hope to shift important decisions back onto the public through movements such as "Occupy Wallstreet" etc but it never reached critical mass.

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time for structual change before TPP.

1) Eliminate wasteful spending by refoirming bureaucrats and politicians.

2) Implement national election reform.

3) Encourage immigration reform offsetting aging society

4) Evaluate and restructure old economic model

5) Ecnourage free trade/fair trade.

6) Keep BOJ as independent

1 ( +1 / -0 )

time for the TTP

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sfjp330Nov. 22, 2012 - 04:11AM JST

Yep, Japanese are still in denial. Hope they will wake up. China's objectives are to control Japan financially buying up J. bond, land, water right, voting rights, you name it. It is a very subtle move, but that's what they have in their mind. Look at what's going on with US Treasury. Without China, US will collapse. Look at Africa. China has been buying up natural resources as much they can grab. China knows Japanese QE does not work, it is a fail safe investment for them while Japan is heading to financial collapse. That's how Bank of England once failed.

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China should not buy this much J-goverment bonds. J-goverment should slow down the purchase of the bonds. China's bond purchase is drastically affecting the Japanese yen exchange rates by keeping it stronger, and continues to make it difficult for export products to be profitable. China became the largest creditor of Japan after increasing its holdings of J-government bonds over 70 percent by the end of 2011 from a year earlier.

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flowersNov. 22, 2012 - 02:21AM JST

One of the most effective way to boost the economy fast is to get into a war with someone. That is what J government is trying to do.

It is a myth with the Article 9 of J. Constitution. Japanese economy is not based on defense industry.

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One of the most effective way to boost the economy fast is to get into a war with someone. That is what J government is trying to do.

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My view has absolutely nothing to do with Korea. Just look at the facts such as the appearance on Japanese maps from the Edo period of the Chinese names for those islands, as well as the discussions among politicians in the Meiji period.

In fact, with respect to the ICJ, it is the opposite.

Korea has possession but Japan may have the stronger case in terms of international law, so Korea refuses to go to the ICJ.

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Can't run a trade surplus forever.. there is a reason its called "BALANCE" of trade


This reminds me a man with too much credit card debt and no new job offers.

He failed to see his job would never last forever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can't run a trade surplus forever.. there is a reason its called "BALANCE" of trade

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Yuri Otani speaket well, perhaps at 100 to 110 and going to court a la apple over any and all hi-tech infringements will help as well. You can thank Lord Kan for the fossil fuel problems and allied trade deficit.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yen needs to be at 135 or lower, tariffs need to be placed on Chinese and Korean goods that are being dumped on our market. Less fossil fuel needs to be imported.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Those rocks are japanese and its not thesubject. Its about trade plunge has many factors.

Oh the wonders of translation software. Whatever do you mean?

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Yen's fallen thanks to this much more than any amount of prudent easing could do. Hit 82yen/dollar by lunch, and will likely hit 82.5 by midnight. If it stabilizes around 85 Japan will see a good winter quarter.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What would Ishihara do? Oh yes, his answer to trade issues would be to build a nuclear bomb. Genius!

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I suppose the past does have something to do with Japans woes right now. Japan inc kept the big overseas multinational companies from entering the market place, protectionism, designed to protect the same companies that are now feeling the pain. It seems that has not worked. So I agree, that all the excuses that are used, are pretty weak. But those same overseas multinationals are part of the growth of the Chinese economy. I agree all the excuses that are being used , seem a little weak right now. As the saying goes "business is business"

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The Chinese position has always been based on compromise, with the premise of jointly developing the resources.

As far as international law is concerned, the Japanese position is indefensible, and that is why they don't want the case to be brought before the ICJ.

It's not that complicated.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@ ubikwit:

Compromise would mean both sides have to give a little.

Can`t see that yet.

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"The impact (of the China row) on exports is significant, especially on those of automobiles,"Yoshimasa Maruyama, senior economist at Itochu Corp., told Dow Jones Newswires.

It's a no brainer that the dispute over the Daiyo rocks is the primary cause of the data.

The nationalists do not serve the interest of the people, only the military industrial complex, as evident in Ishihara's call for a nuclear armed Japan today.

They are trying to gird the country for armed conflict over a groups of rocks that are, as one poster aptly put it yesterday, a legacy of "Imperial Japan".

Either agree to compromise with China over the rocks, or send the dispute to the ICJ, hypocrits.

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@ herefornow

Not sure where I went wrong. Maybe you wanna read my comment again.

Yes, I did criticize China, but I also criticized Japan. In fact, I fully agree with you.

What it has to do with Japans balance of payments? Well, from what I understand, Japan has imported more than exported (exports of cars plunging 82%). This is partly due to the Chinese boycotting Japanese products (beside the Europeans consuming less). And the Chinese consume less because of the row China has with Japan over these islands, which in turn wouldnt have to be so bad, had Japanese politicians, for instance, not gone to that "war heroes memorial site" every year, which has been inflaming China and South Korea again and again.

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Its the closed nukuler and also trade war over silly islands

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Excellent post and says it all. Sadly the Japanese populace are spaced out on trips to the Tree Tower, the latest electronic gadget to have and what food the talento is putting in their mouths to make any effort for real meaningful change.

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Rhino -- not sure how an article about Japan's balance of payments problems ceates a need for an anti-China rant, but, seems to follow the pattern of Japan blaming others for their probems. The yen is too strong, or Europe is in recession, or SK and China are "cut-throat competitors", but it is never a recognition that Japan has for three decades now just kicked the can down the road, and refused to implement the structural reforms needed to get its domestic economy healthy, so it would not have to rely so much on exports. Easier to intervene in the forex markets to keep the yen weak, or borrow more and more money to keep priming the pump. Japan Inc. is mortally wounded and it would take a miracle now for Japan not to enter another lost decade , if it has not already done so.

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@ minello7: Government officials are not only the representatives of a country, they also are a "representation" of the people they represent.

About this trade deficit, I guess one could see this coming. The world was so preoccupied with living it up and kicking the can down the road that nobody really cared about what situation we are getting ourselves into by shifting production to China and making ourselves entirely dependent on their consumption.

Apart from that, to quote Obamas famous priest, "the chicken seem to be coming home to roost". For years now Japan has ignored the feelings of those in South Korea and China about past wars. Out of a position of strength was born a sense of ignorance and arrogance, but life doesnt forgive this on the long run. Of course, this row about the Senkaku Islands is mainly about the resources that lie underneath, but the dialogue could be had in an entirely different manner, had the Japanese ever tried to make any amends regarding their past.

Of course, the fact that people in China have been brainwashed by the system to hate Japan doesn`t help either. China, in fact, is committing very similar crimes (as Japan) right now - against ITS OWN PEOPLE and against TIBET.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

And who do we point the finger at for this mess???? doesn't take a rocket scientist to work this one out. And with around 17 political parties its not going to get any better. I'm starting to believe that the reason for around 17 political parties is to confuse the japanese voters. That way no serious change is about to happen and therefore things will go on just as they always have. Those politicians must be laughing at the people they are supposed to serve, and in case they have forgotten ,they are called the japanese public , the payers of their bloated salaries.

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