Geoffrey Walker comments

Posted in: Estranged Australian husband freed after trespassing to find his children See in context

The fundamental problem with the family law system in Japan is that the court has no capability of enforcing any decisions or agreements made between the parents. If one parent chooses to ignore the ruling or agreement there is no way to resolve the issue. The end result for most cases is that the mother takes the children and denies access to the father. The father then stops paying support. The end result is a lot of hatred and damaged children. If the Family Law Court was better resourced this problem could be addressed in a more humane way.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Convenience store operators urged to tackle labor shortages See in context

Seko is a muppet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Renault names new leaders to replace Ghosn See in context

This photo is deliberately created to make Saikawa appear to be the "Judge" in this case. He will certainly live to regret this sneak attack...remember 7 December, 1941?

Ghosn's resignation from Renault is just the end of the beginning.

He is no longer a hostage in the underlying battle between Saikawa/Nissan and Ranault/French Government.

This move may provide the prosecutor a "face-saving" from this mess. If Ghosn signs some generic apology for being a successful foreign CEO in Japan and for earning more than other Japanese CEO's, he will be more likely get bail.

Ghosn will not go quietly into the night and this is the nub of the problem for Japan Inc.

He certainly could have not done all he is accused of without the knowledge and compliance of senior execs and the board of Nissan. For that reason he is being denied the ability to defend himself.

If you look at other serious malfeasance and incompetence cases in Japan (and there are many), the common thread is that the accused apologise and disappear forever. This protects the company from complete transparency and accountability.

To expect this case to go the same way is pure folly.

The longer term effects on Japan are profound.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe adviser says benefits of BOJ's negative rates 'very big' See in context

Nishimura is quite simply, an idiot

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: HQ invariably gets it wrong about Japan See in context

Shimazaki-san has hit the nail on the head with the "insider" comment.

Change in Japan is like turning a very large ship...it requires patience, perseverance and persistence.

Like most countries, vested interests will always hinder change.

If you want things to work in Japan you have to have the 3 P's to garner the respect required. Flying in arrogant and unqualified HR people from Singapore is the quickest way to destroy and chance of success you ever had.

The number of truly successful (ie, bat at or above their global presence in the Japanese domestic market) on the fingers of two hands.

There is a very good reason why you will find that most Japanese (in business) who dislike foreigners have actually worked for a foreign company in Japan.

Pip Pip

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hankyu Hanshin Hotels president to resign over menu scandal See in context

Usual disgruntled employee issue. Japanese customers expect 5 star menus for 1 star prices...no wonder this happens.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Australian PM Rudd hires Obama strategists to help him get re-elected See in context

Gillard hired Blair bagman...Rudd hires Obama bagmen..not an original thought between the two of them!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Is Japan set to lead after 20 years of torpor? See in context

Abe is like a doctor standing at the bedside of a terminal patient saying that an hour of jogging a day is what is required to return you to good health. I give Abe at most 12 months.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Oi No. 3 reactor restarts, but Japan's energy policy in flux See in context

Nuclear waste disposal and de-commissioning costs are the elephant in the room. As alluded to these costs will consume the balance sheet of all Japanese utilities and much more....and then guess who gets stuck with the bill....again?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan economy 'faces same risks as Europe' See in context

The day of reckoning isreached when the total amount of government debt comes within earshot of the sum of all the private sector financial assets. Foreign investors have already shied away from the JGB market, as 95% of JGBs are held domestically. When all of the domestic private sector financial assets become Japanese government debts, it is the absolute dead end.

If the dead end is close enough to be visible, even Japanese investors will try avoiding accumulating more JGBs.

As the Japanese economy has been stagnating, household income has not risen for more than a decade. With rapid ageing in Japan, households in aggregate will start spending down financial assets rather than further accumulating them.

The total household financial assets peaked at 1,566 trillion yen in March 2007, and have already declined to 1,476 trillion yen by March 2011. (Net financial assets, after deducting mortgages and other liabilities, are about 1,110 trillion yen.) If this pace of decline continues, household financial assets will be about 1,340 trillion by 2016.

The outstanding amount of Japanese government bonds (JGB) in March 2011 was 943 trillion yen, up from 674 trillion yen in 2007. If the pace of increase continues in the future, the JGB outstanding will be 1,350 trillion yen, for the first time exceeding the household assets, in 2016.

So, according to this simple calculation, Japan would be insolvent as a nation in 2016.

Of course, this is too simplistic a calculation. Other factors can absorb debt: The public sector of Japan owns financial assets, including JGBs, so that the net liabilities, rather than gross JGBs should be considered in such a calculation.

The four years from 2008 to 2011 have been exceptional in running large fiscal deficits in response to the global financial crisis, so that the debt may not increase so rapidly in the future.

On the other hand, there are factors that may move Japan to the saturation point even faster. In addition to JGBs, there are other public sector liabilities, such as the bonds issued by local governments as well as future liabilities in the national pension, healthcare and long-term care systems. Reconstruction after the earthquake/tsunami disaster of March 2011 will cost the government. The decreasing working-age population may continue to depress the economic growth. The increasing retired population will raise the social security benefit payments.

If borrowing from abroad for already high government liabilities is unlikely (without paying a prohibitively high interest rate), the amount of private sector financial assets will represent the end game.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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