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Shoppers' appetite for spending is being restrained by a feeling that it is inappropriate when nearly 28,000 are dead or missing and more than 180,000 survivors huddle in shelters. What effect do you

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Here in the US we have had the recession. Many people would not spend because of it. We found that many stores closed, and many opened. Some much better than the ones that closed. Life goes on. Money continues to flow. No, there will be no problem.

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I call it personal.

While I understand the feeling of not spending, at the same time the economy needs people to spend to keep the money flowing and the wheels turning.

Stagnant money is the worst for any economy. I think a reasonable level of spending(ie not going overboard) is needed and should be encouraged.

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If everybody's like this, the economy will tank.

How to make people spend? Plenty of electricity would be a start to power restaurants, shops and pachinko parlors. When you don't have the basics, you're not thinking of buying a new car, go to a spa or buy unnecessary stuff.

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Grocery shopping certainly isn't restrained in my area (Chiba), people are still keeping the shelves clear or nearly so.

People who want to buy clothes, jewelry, whatever will continue to do so. Those who claim to feeling restrained are the occasional shoppers who can and will wait. People will start spending when work hours aren't shortened or gone because of the blackouts. My friend who works for a luxury hotel has to take a month off. One month! When we no longer have blackouts or radiation related fears, shopping and partying will follow.

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I will be going to Japan in a couple months from now. So I'll be helping Japan out by spending my money there. =)

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This disaster is quickly becoming the final nail in the coffin for Japan. It is, indeed, a crushing deathblow. Prior to the quake/tsunami Japan's trade surplus had already turned into a deficit. In February, the world's biggest pension fund, Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, announced that it would soon become a net seller on the bond market, but who is going to buy? And with the sky high yen, anything "Made in Japan" has already become way too expensive, both abroad and in Japan. Any attempt to finance a massive reconstruction program by issuing yet even more debt will be blocked as Standard & Poor’s already cut Japan's rating in January. Moody’s changed their outlook from stable to negative at the end of February. Thus, there is no way that the BOJ/JGov can produce a “Green New Deal" like economic recovery by any reconstruction and/or quantitative easing. And as more and more Japanese food exports are turned away, the bigger the trade export deficit will become. So where the hell will they get the estimated 300 billion to rebuild?

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@meluvulongtimes: Reading your comments over the last few days, I have to ask, are you actually in Japan?

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If you are talking about encouraging Japanese people, all you have to do is ask them to buy something FOR those in the north. I've seen people dropping off diapers etc. at collection sites for just such a purpose.

Give people a few months, and a more solid restoration of electricity, and they will quickly compartmentalize the quake as something that happened elsewhere... they will resume spending on luxury items. Maybe the owners of the "Radium" Hot Springs will have to shut down for the time being, but things will return to normal very quickly.

The Japanese people are quite resilient. The country didn't collapse after the Great Hanshin Quake, and they didn't give up after the Niigata quake either. They won't just roll over and die just because this Great Tohoku Quake and Tsunami have caused so many problems.

I'm more likely inclined to see a great resurgence of national pride and effort. That effort will include shopping as well if it is seen as a way to help out. Of course, right now no one would want to buy irradiated products or take vacations near the shore... that's too be expected. But its far from the END OF JAPAN.

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well said USAkuma.

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12 months from now Japan will be a different country. The radiation scare will be passed towns in the north will start re-building, exports and spending will have resumed. Sure the disaster is a big blow for the people of Japan but the country has the ability to pick itself up and stand on it's own two feet again, mark my words it will happen.

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@imjdmyo

Same here.

I'll be travelling in Kansai and Kyushu next month, possibly in Kanto and other regions as well. My family made plans to visit relatives and do some touring back in January. When the earthquake/tsunami happened, I asked myself whether we should put things off. Then I realized that a lot people would be doing just that and it would hurt a lot of people in areas that were not directly affected.

So, here we come. And we will spend what we can afford (and probably more)

When Tohoku gets better, we'll be going up there too.

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If I can get what I need, I have been spending. Very frustrating at times with SoftBank and Apple. iPHone needs a new battery, but was told none available, so I said I will take a new iPhone, and was told none available, and yes, I requested an iPad and none available. Get the goods out and a lot of us will start spending. Japan will come out stronger from this. Go Japan!

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"restrained by a feeling that it is inappropriate"

lol, says who? Was there a poll taken or something? Where is the data? Recently it seems like the news will take something one person has said and ran with it.

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They can stop putting up posters in the parks saying "Please refrain from having a Hanami party" for a start. Leave it up to the individual. All this canceling of events will stagnate Japan just when that's the last thing they need. I think the best way to keep the tragedy in our minds why attending events is to add a charity aspect to events. E.g. a hanami party with a charity bucket to go to the Red Cross.

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Eh? Shopper's appetite being restrained? Really? Has the person responsible for this gaff actually been into a supermarket in the last fortnight? I only see empty shelves, which doesn't show any restraint at all.

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I only see empty shelves, which doesn't show any restraint at all.

The shelves are empty because the stuff isn't coming in, not because people are in a buying frenzy. When it does come in, it's one-per-customer.

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cleo; Maybe where you live but that is a small part of Japan. Things almost as normal since the disaster here in West Japan.

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Cleo, there are no such limitations where I am and people are still hoarding water and rice. Yeah, most of the shelves have returned to some normality but there still plenty of empty shelves. I have not seen any signs of restraint in eastern Tokyo/Chiba.

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I live far from ground zero and I see shortages of quite a lot of products. I suspect it is because either:

a) trucks can't get here - not true, we have the products, just reduced quantities or

b) they're sending the products to Tohoku for disaster relief or Tokyo for price gouging.

Maybe it's c) the factories that make the products are rationing their limited supplies.

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"what is the best way to encourage people to start spending again?"

Rescind salary cuts. Better yet, increase salaries!

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Everything is expensive in ajapan. Im going somewhere else for Golden Week.

Cheers !!!!! Please open the movie theaters.

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Japan will make it out of this, but the nuclear crisis will have a severe impact on Japanese exports both near and long term.

The world must continue to aid Japan in her time of need.

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borscht -

Also

d) some of the factories that make the products are/were in Tohoku and are not functioning

e) the rolling power cuts are shutting down production lines for far longer than just three hours a day and really messing up production schedules (though there haven't been any cuts for the past few days)

stevecpf -

Every part of Japan is a small part. :-) Things here are much closer to normal than they were in the week or so immediately after 11 March, but there are still empty shelves in the supermarkets, most notably dairy (milk and yoghurt), bread and bottled water. It's true that people who normally don't buy bottled water are buying in stocks, but also true that a lot is being diverted up north where people need it more. Spinach and cauliflower are not to be had, and the only broccoli on sale is tired-looking amerika-san, because the local stuff has been banned.

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Supply and demand basically Gotta always have people with money in order to have a good economy! Best scenario is this have those of high wealth, middle class and maintain a low poverty! Spending is very important But also learn to save! There has to be a balance Always save for a rainy day!

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How about considering an alternative to all-out consumerism...less trinkets and vanity time, more substance and quality times.

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No spending which means people are not wealthy which means well guess what then you will have nothing but a poor country? Certainly don`t want that! Yeah like Hello GDP per capita, want that to drop like a rock man you guys lost your mind!

If people dont spend much thats exactly what will occur. A dead as a doornail economy is exactly what will happen! Substance and quality times are great, but a good standard of living, high excellent quality of life, people with wealth, low unemployment rates and low poverty level are absolutely important!

You want a poor country then thanks to the society for dragging it down the toilet then!

You realize spending is a major part of the GDP and the economy!

China, Russia, Europe, India,and U.S for example have the most billionaires so far! Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, England, Germany, U.S, Canada, Netherlands, France are examples of affluent nations!

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Bottom line it`s spending power!

Chinese definitely have that now more than youll ever know! So the rest of you want to be poor with little or no money? I dont think so!

Turn the likes of 5th Avenue, Streets of Hollywood, Paris, and Ginza into Walmarts, 99 cent stores, second hand shops, pawn shops, Kohls, Targets, Kmarts... What a bunch of Bull people! No wonder Chinas kicking all your economic butts! I laugh at you! Its a competitive world, either win or lose buddy!

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Simple money equals power people!

Chinese sure make that very clear lately! Dubai smells like money yeah cause thanks to oil LOL!

Which is why China is majorly kicking you alls economic butt down hard! They now have the wealth! They can afford the Ferrari's and now you cant!

That`s how it goes economically speaking Winner or loser! Rich or poor!?

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Shoppers' appetite for spending is being restrained by a feeling that it is inappropriate when nearly 28,000 are dead or missing and more than 180,000 survivors huddle in shelters.

This assumption is weird. What makes consumer’s choice appropriate or not in relation to the earthquake? No doubt this devastating quake will have a significant impact on regional/national economy, and hence influence consumers’ choice in spending. But does it discourage ordinary Japanese from going to the shopping malls for spending? I doubt it. Consumers make their own choices based on their capital indicating their purchasing power and their standard for each individual lifestyle. If the people feel a pang of conscience toward those afflicted with the quake and nuclear crisis, I think it’s more on consumption behavior than the spending in general.

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Sell geiger counters and those nuclear umbrellas they sold back when the USA was wrecking havoc with mega bombs.

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lesgrande,

How about considering an alternative to all-out consumerism...less trinkets and vanity time, more substance and quality times.

Don't be daft, man, this is home of Hello Kitty. We gotta buybuybuy.

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Jeepers, people are freaking depressed, so they are not out there casually shopping. Plus stores closing early, and just a general sense of ennui. Things will improve later when it feels better. And, yes, everyone should make their own decision on ohanami. Even a quiet one under the trees would be a pleasure to see.

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