politics

Abe says he'll focus on bread-and-butter issues such as jobs

41 Comments

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Abe is finished. He realized that people do not agree to his opinion of changing the constitution. His image was irretrievably damaged by scandals. Now is the time things move to choose the next prime minister in the n ext year in the LDP election of choosing its top.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

No mention of his (failed) 'three arrows' of reform. No mention of child or aged care. No mention of equality in the workplace or getting women back into the workforce. However, he has promised to focus on jobs. Um, somebody should remind Abe that, unemployment is low and there is a major labor shortage. So, he has pledged to fix something that is not broken. Way to go Abe!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

More hot air and dancing around the root causes... nothing will change. TIJ.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

There is much left to do because you haven't done anything!?

20 ( +20 / -0 )

With 2.8 percent unemployment, "jobs" is not the issue. Salaries are. The only option is to punish corporations that refuse to give salaries and raises in line with their earnings growth.

Higher corporate taxes, rescinding procurement contracts and heavy fines may be the answer.

With Japanese corporate profits at record highs, we now know that healthy corporations does not mean a healthy economy.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Whatever he promises I expect nothing to happen. Why break the habit of the last four and a half years?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012, in all honesty Abe cabinet has prioritised and focused government policy on everything other than the economy, or enhancing family related support programmes, affordable child care, education and employment, etc, etc..

Endless promises and pledges followed by more qualitative and quantitative easing, which appears suspiciously like a form of blunt instrument debt monetization.

This reshuffle has the same hardcore career politicians that one could rightly question there competence, justifiably concluding they all haven't the faintest idea how to budget balance to a surplus by fiscal 2020.

There is no programme for restructuring or reform in any sector. The parrot is dead nailing it back up on the perch won't fool anyone.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Bread-and-butter issues ?

Pfffft ! He can't even handle the annual butter shortage.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Experts said they expect work on Abe's pet conservative causes, such as strengthening the role of the military, will continue behind the scenes.

I bet it will. This man will never change.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Bread and butter? The man has no idea, perhaps silver spoons and gold flaked natto is more his speed. If he was in anyway serious he could free up the farming sector...and that's not going to happen rather ride the aging farmers into the grave.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

hard to push right wing war mongering policies when your approval ratings sad. I get it

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Abe: "I sincerely pledge..."

"We will ... "...

Sounds more like a broken record.......

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The only option is to punish corporations that refuse to give salaries and raises in line with their earnings growth.

They tried this in Venezuela. It didn't work. For some odd reason, companies invest even less into your country when you begin to expropriate and redistribute their property through 'heavy fines' in order to reshape economic reality. 'Eat the rich' and radical socialism have never been viable longterm economic policies.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Mmmmm, butter!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Abe says he'll focus on bread-and-butter issues "

bet you if they asked him how much does "bread and butter" cost in a supermarket he would have no clue. Just like Aso....priviliged princelings born with a silver spoon.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Just realised its just "bread", production of butter is a year on hurdle to produce, might have to switch to cake.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

First time I've not seen his Nippon Kaigi blue badge missing!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"We will maintain the target but want to achieve economic growth, so that tax revenues will increase," Abe said. "It won't make sense if the economy falters ... as a result of spending cuts aimed at achieving the budget-balance target."

All very circular... he wants economic growth... but is worried that government spending cuts would cause the economy to falter... 

It's weird because government in Japan has racked up 1.05 quadrillion yen's worth of debt while the economy has been faltering, over the past quarter of a century.

It's obvious that government spending hasn't achieved economic growth, and won't suddenly do so any time soon.

Economic growth starts with the production of new things. 

Economic growth is not the production of the same things while prices spiral higher.

The government is terrible at making production decisions, as the butter debacle regularly illustrates. This is not to say that the central government is incompetent, only that central government is incompetent at running businesses across the entire nation.

Abe's biggest failure is that he shirked on the promise of the 3rd arrow of sweeping strutural reforms. Get the government out of decision making about production (what, and where), and focus on elminating bureaucracy and special privilege. If you have to spend public money, make sure it is spent on upgrading Japan's paper-based public systems to move into the digital 21st century, and for heaven's sake make procedures simple.

Higher corporate taxes, rescinding procurement contracts and heavy fines may be the answer.

If the goal is create an environment for higher salaries, such draconian measures against companies are hardly going to be the silver bullet.

What ought to be done is to thoroughly subject all businesses to competition, for everything. Make them compete, and the businesses that can afford to pay more, will be forced to do so by those competitive forces.

Overhauling the horrid labour system and leveling the playing field for both employees and employers is key. The BOJ recently released a paper that correctly identified issues that explain why economic textbook theories behind the BOJ's money printing haven't caused wage inflation in Japan.

With Japanese corporate profits at record highs, we now know that healthy corporations does not mean a healthy economy.

But show me a healthy economy without healthy corporations. When Zimbabwe's total stock market capitalization could purchase a basket of eggs their economy was not looking healthy at all.

One does not equal the other, but you do need the former to stand a chance of having the latter.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"I'll focus on 'bread and butter' issues while secretly modifying the constitution. How much is a loaf of bread, anyway?"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The journo should have ripped into Abe for talking such drivel.

'We will put the economy first' As opposed to? When did you realise economy was a priority?

"There's much left to do." ???!!!

The "we will focus on bread-and-butter issues such as jobs' has to be lost in translation, surely it's not what he meant? Is he that dumb, blasé and out of touch?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

if he sincerely wants to focus on jobs, he should quit and give it a younger smarter person.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No problem with jobs if everyone is serving the nation taps his forehead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How come third world countries growth can hit above 4% with so much commendation from IMF and UN while developed countries economy barely go above 1%.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Eh, Shin-chan, what happened to those "tres sagittae" you used to mention a lot back in 2012? Did they all hit their targets and we don't need to talk about them anymore?

PS. @Alistair Carnell: har,har, nice one!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How about better working conditions and more full-time monetarily paid opportunities for openers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"We will put the economy first"

Yeah, heard that before, 20 times as Abe vows. How's that third arrow coming, anyway?

"We will put the economy first"

Big business and your buddies at the front of the line, of course... then ask them to volunteer their money to the peons of society in some trickle-down scheme.

"We will put the economy first"

Until the election is over, then it's back to personal pet projects like changing the Constitution.

Abe is full of BS, and that's all there is to it. He honestly doesn't even know how to lie anymore.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

At the very least, people of Japan can be confident there will be far fewer butter shortages in the motherland

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ABENOMICS achievements so far

. MyNumber and your Bank account tied to it

. Nuclear Reboot

. Allowing Arms Industries

. Allowing Casinos,

. Fly a toy go to jail law

. Consumption Tax to be doubled

. Attempt to change a pacifist country into a militarist one thought rewrite of the constitution

. Secrecy Bill

I am still puzzled why Japanese are still voting for more of this....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Reshuffle for better or worse, a most problematic is first you Mr. Abe and the regained ministers who had public issues before, and to come again(!?), I recall Seiko Noda is one of them who had to resign once...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I see that there is still a butter shortage in Japan, well we have loads over here in the UK, does any only want to start a import business with me? I can ship, if can handle it in Japan, or will politics get in the way?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Stop the outsourcing of labor. Japanese society has a lot to lose with millions on temporary work contracts being renewed  indefinitely.  The ALT industry is a pathetic example.  Hire real teachers and give them real work.  Place us natives into multi-media rooms or Art/theatre programmes at Primary school. Cut out the middlemen gangsters who take a cut on everyone's monthly salary.  For foreign workers it is a straight slap in the face for those of us who hope to settle here.  English teachers should walk out (go home) and create a shortage.  Seriously, I am fed up waiting!  Imagine that supermarkets were to charge admission to enter and shop...you would turn your back laughing! It is a downward spiral for most foreigners- not to mention the Jap. nationals who have no other country to run back to.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

With all the focus and re-focus and re-re-focus on jobs & economy, we should've had a laser focus by now ...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Happy days are likely to come for Japanese economy as core issues of bread and butter are going to be addressed more intimately in coming months through all round development strategy . Blueprint for this is likely to be discussed and disclosed through multifarious projects to be taken up through joint efforts of Japan and India during PM Abe's coming visit to India in September where he will also inaugurate the laying down of the SHINKANSEN LINE work between Ahmedabad and Mumbai which will be completed on priority basis.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japanese companies won't give staff more money because there isn't any expansion i the economy nor is there any hope for it!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 I see that there is still a butter shortage in Japan.

Only during Xmas time.

One word....COSTCO

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, no further discussion of butter please.

Politics section of Japanese Major Media still continue "Sontaku" for Abe government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"There's much left to do."

Yes, like everything. He came into office making promises about the economy, spent years playing his war games and wallowing in corruption while the economy ground down, and now says it's time to focus on the economy? Is he aiming for a second career as a comedian?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Methinks this is too little, too late and that the electorate has already made up its mind and only a miracle is going to save 'Honest' Abe from its vindictive wrath. The last seven (?) years is one long litany of deception, a cynical exploitation of patience, trust, and forbearance, with empty platitudes and promises he never had any intention of honoring. If the hard done by masses are now getting ready to pay him and his flunkies back in spades, he has only himself and his party to blame. Hopefully, the voters won't be hoodwinked again by his desperate ploy to curry favor through 11th hour pie in the sky promises about bread and circuses that would be the first thing jettisoned should he miraculously dodge the bullet he so richly deserves.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If he really wants to salvage his reputation, he should go after companies that don't give pay raises. If he's lucky, he might not only salvage his reputation but the Japanese economy as well. More money in pockets of people hopefully will stoke more consumption. Just don't be stupid to raise sales tax too soon again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We've heard this all before 'Economy, jobs, women blah blah blah'. He says much but does little.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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