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Abe promises aggressive fiscal policies, strong diplomacy

By Linda Sieg and Leika Kihara

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fine, so going to Washington d.c. First or Beijing? New Delhi may be better for New PM to avoid controversy ?!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem." A great philosophy for the new government to follow.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When Abe visits the US, would expect them to agree on two things in particular. One, clear US commitment to the US Japan Security Treaty as it concerns the Senkaku and two, Japan's preparation to enter TPP talks. With that Abe will patiently await China to gradually tone down their provocative rhetoric and actions while shifting gears back to focus on strengthening economic relations. Meanwhile believe Abe is actually a pro-TPP at heart knowing him as someone who sought to reform the agriculture industry during his first premiership but failed in part due to the financial scandal of the Agriculture Minister he appointed which ended in his suicide.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The USA has a clear commitment to the security of Japan. However, it is time for Japan to take a stronger stance and stop hiding behind the provisions in the constitution.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Abe needs to grow up and scrap his "beautiful Japan" nonsense. Oh when will the right-wingers ever grow up...

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Worth repeating:

The USA has a clear commitment to the security of Japan. However, it is time for Japan to take a stronger stance and stop hiding behind the provisions in the constitution.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Abe has threatened to revise a law guaranteeing the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) independence if it refuses to set a 2% inflation target.

Interesting idea of independence.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm giving the government 2 weeks before a scandal breaks out with one of the ministers saying/doing something scandalous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He should just promise he won't do much and will be out in under a year. Stuff he's good at.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Taking away the BOJ's independence, rewriting wartime history, turning the country into a military power,...... I wonder what else the new administration is going to come up with in the coming months. I'm not looking forward to it!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Te whole idea that deflation is a big problem is ludicrous. When is being able to buy things for less a problem? Inflation will cause more poverty as it always has throughout the world. The economy needs a strong currency. With inflation there will be less jobs, no raises and everything will cost more. Politicians never make any sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe promises aggressive fiscal policies, strong diplomacy

It's probably closer if you swap the adjectives around: Abe promises strong fiscal policies, aggressive diplomacy

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


Please please please take an economics course. Deflation is always worse than (moderate) inflation. Deflation is the reason why Japan's lost decade turned into two decades.

Deflation is a spiral of death for most economies. Sure you might be able to buy something at a cheaper price but think beyond that for a second. When prices fall, companies receive less profits. This leads to reduced investment, pay cuts, an then mass layoffs. People without jobs have no money to spend so prices fall even further. Companies have to cut their prices (and employees) to survive and the real killer comes when people wake up to the idea that it is better to shop next month because they know prices will be even cheaper. This is what has been happening to the Japanese economy for the last 20 years.

Deflation also increases the debt burden of Japan. Every year that deflation continues, it because more difficult to pay back loans that the Japanese government took out. An as most of us know, Japan has the highest debt burden in the industrialized world.

Deflation also kills bank lending. Banks don't lend money in a deflationary environment because they'll lose money. No fresh lending = no new business investments, no growth.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Looking at Abe's cabinet of ministers, the ones who will get most of the work are the beaurocrats. The ministers seem to lack workability in the posts given to them by Abe. As former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara pointed out last night when asked to comment on Abe's cabinet: "The LDP ... nothing's changed."

Abe has said that if the Bank of Japan doesn't cooperate with him, he and the LDP will take over the bank and do things their way. Well, we see what happened when the LDP dipped into the Social Security funds ... they stripped them bare while throwing away money left and right. It also got a handful of pension funds. Now the LDP is looking for an even bigger jackpot: the Bank of Japan. Can you imagine what the LDP would do with the Bank of Japan's money? Their pockets would be overflowing with Japan's (our) money. Just hope somebody trustworthy is watching over Abe's and the LDP's and Komeito's maneuvering.

Just looking at a few of the ministers ... is Ichita Yamamoto really qualified to be state minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs? He is a noisy TV talent who just loves to badger the opposition. But that's just how I view him: a bag of wind.

Also, is Akihiro Ota qualified to be state minister for nuclear crisis management? He was the former head of New Komeito who got squashed in the last election. This time around his Soka Gakkai supporters rallied around him plus he had no competition from the LDP ... which fully supported him as he became victorious in the just-held election. What's his background on nuclear action? His is merely a political appointment to appease New Komeito & Soka Gakkai.

Although former prime minister Taro Aso took on the title of Finance Minister, Abe has said he wants Aso to help on the economic scene. Aso's title this time around is internal affairs and communications minister. If Aso is asked to help to pull Japan out of its economic decline he'll just pass off this work to the beaurocrats along with his other so-called jobs.

Well, no matter what, Abe is now at the helm of the government. He has free run in what he wants to do. If he fails once again, just hope the Japanese voters take matters into their own hands seriously next time around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Please please please take an economics course. Deflation is always worse than (moderate) inflation. Deflation is the reason why Japan's lost decade turned into two decades.

Do not get me started. Both of them are equally bad.

The reason of Japan's deflation is that a mechanism of equibullium kicked into the old economic model of Japan led by the LDP. Unless Japan is ready for a structural change, it will be just a quick fix. Hope you are ready for the TPP. You have not seen anything yet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't think there is a serious economist alive who thinks that the deflation that Japan is experiencing is equally bad as 2-5% inflation.

Nor are there many economists outside the BOJ itself who believe that Japan's deflationary spiral stems from structural reasons. Japan has had almost two decades of deflation because the BOJ allowed it to happen and never fought it seriously until today. There are a number of reason why the BOJ never fought deflation - one reason is that they are simply the most conservative central bankers in the world, by far. Their view that less than 1% inflation is consistent with price stability is laughable given the well known errors and upward bias of Japanese price index measurements.

I could go on about the BOJ but I don't want to go off topic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Upgrayedd, I just want you to know some global economists have been already aware of Japan's problems.

Japan needs a structural change. You are sitting on pile of cash not lending it as you are not willing to take a risk. At the same time, private sector is not doing enough for innovation for both domestic and global consumers (stagnation) while the grobal credit is all dried up. You cannot blame BOJ for this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe needs to grow up and scrap his "beautiful Japan" nonsense

He hasn't mentioned that once during his campaign. Neither has he mentioned it after he got elected.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@upgrey That is not true. Strong economies need a strong currency. With the logic you have presented it seems that 3rd world countries that are starving for food will do very well because their currency is worthless. Take a look at Germany when they had much inflation and the prices went up. Prices rise with inflation so that people can not afford to buy anything and thus with no consumer there are no profits and massive lay offs because the consumer will only buy what is necessary. When the value of money increases they can buy much more and thus the economy will grow. I believe you are using Kensyian economy which never works. When your currency is devalued you lose and jobs are not created on the contrary, companies lose money because everything is based on buying power. It seems your economics are flawed. Look at Europe, their money has been devalued and devalued again, unemployment is greater than the USA and people pay much higher prices for the necessities of life. To want inflation is to say, I want to go to the bank tomorrow and find less money in my account than I had when I went to sleep.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What we really need is that the governments of the world stop borrowing fake money from each other and stop spending money for all of the social programs and return the money to the people and let the people care for each other. People do care about each other much more than any government cares. Strong fiscal policy should not include new government spending that puts the burden on our children to pay for what we want now. The I want it now attitude is always a problem. Perhaps people and politicians need to grow up but I do not think that will happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Give Abe a chance! Seriously, how can you expect him to keep his spirits up and not quit if you ask him tough questions like - does diplomacy mean you can deny war crimes? Or, why would the same failed party with the same people and policies change?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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