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Japan is not immune. Confidence has fallen off a cliff.

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Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a stock analyst at Shinko Securities in Tokyo. He says Japan is suddenly feeling a lot more vulnerable to the global turmoil, following the bankruptcy of insurer Yamato Life Insurance. (New York Times)

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Amari da!

After ten years of recession, Japan just about crawls out of it to be plunged back into the dark ages by a lot of bad debt in the USA.

Americans leverage till they are blue in the face. What has that got to do with Japan? Exports as a percentage of GDP in Japan is small, smaller than in most other countries (e.g. Germany) but for some reason there is this myth that if US is in a bad way then Japapn is in a bad way too. I still have confidence in Japan.

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GDP includes infrasture work in progress all the work that is going towards exports but not costed as exports just because exports only show as a small percentage of GDP is meaningless. Where Japan has dudded its self is in sending work off shore for cheap labour and letting its local economies die. What to look at is how many jobs will be hit by reccession directly and indirectly through loosing export markets and the effect that has on consumer confidence. Japan is now lucky that its population growth is low and the older generation has stuffed lots of money into their bank accounts at low interest rates making the banks rich. Japan is like all the other counries that embraced globalization, the government lost control of their economy through exchanging a strong local economy for quick profits through cheap labour.

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Yamato Life deserved to go bankrupt. Not indicative of the general condition of Japan's good companies. TOPIX is less than 1x PBR.

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