"Free Trade" in Japan? That will be the day......
"Drive Your Dreams" yeah that's a good one because half the time you are in a car in Japan you are sitting in a massive traffic jam and there is plenty of time to daydream about how much you sincerely hate yourself!
For all of you Weeaboos connoisseurs who just love Yoshinoya "beef yakiniku bowls" guess what? That's Australian meat mates! Yeah, no worries.
Now that ALL of the food in Kanto is irradiated, there is an open window for yet even more food imports. But let's face it folks, the party is over. The ship is sinking faster now than ever before. Japan's debt went to four quadrillion yen!!! That's a thousand trillion dollars! If you were to count to that number and use one second for each number you count, it would take you 81 million years to finish the count. And today Japan spends 50 percent on debt service. Their rates cost them another 25 percent of revenue. And they want to inflate? Oh Oh Oh please! Mori put down the sake. Just a 2 percent rise in the long rates and THAT'S ALL FOLKS! （⌒▽⌒） 5.3 Laughing
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If there is any kind of military conflict between China and Japan, it would be very brief as the US Navy would quickly encircle China's sea lanes and intercept all inbound and outbound Chinese freighters. It would not be a attack and destroy type of war, but, instead, an economic strangulation of the PRC. Which would, most likely, end up in civil uprisings and, finally, an overthrow of the communist government. They Chicoms know that, so unless they get really crazy, they will not attack. Offshore control is the answer: http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2012-12/offshore-control-answer
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Thank you Wurthington. Yeah, the idea of arms sales may actually work and gradually improve Japan's economy. But if the JGov actually approves it, there will be many negative political repercussions in Japan and throughout the world. And let us not forget how President Eisenhower warned us of the dangers of building up a military-industrial complex back in the '60s. That is exactly what happened in the US and nothing good has come out of it. It's like a snowball rolling down a hill. As it goes down, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it becomes an out-of-control landslide. And for that to happen in Japan, well, let's just say for now that China, Korea and other Asian nations would not be very happy at all.
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@oginome You make some very good points and I really hope that you are right. But I have many doubts as the world just cannot endure another Eurozone collapse. If so, game over.
And yes the unemployment rate has been steady in Japan, but what does that rate really mean? Just like in the US and other nations nowadays that percentage is mostly a measure of those who have had their unemployment benefits expire. Of course, some highly qualified folks quickly get new jobs. But for so many others, that rate does not measure underemployment or those who have just given up. And there is no way to tell exactly how many of those unfortunate souls are currently in that trap.
And you're right on as most of Japan's debt is internal. That's good and bad in a way. But don't forget the Japanese National Pension System went from net buyer to net seller about a year ago or so. So that means that the need for more JGB buyers has been considerably increased and the model of a self-sustaining internal debt machine is starting to crack. As I'm sure you know, that kind a system only works as long as there are new participants or buyers coming into the matix. So with that very significant change of the JNP coupled with the drastically low birth rate, the number of incoming participants is rapidly decreasing. Therefore, at some point in time, they will have no other option but to offer the JGB to the world market. And, of course, the world sovereign debt market is also extremely competitive. So I really just don't know of any real long-term solution for Japan at this time. Perhaps you do?
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@Equality A very good idea. But don't forget that 50% of JT is owned by the Japanese government. So if they raise taxes on smokes then more people will quit. And, of course, that would mean even less tax revenue for the JGov. And that will mean even more debt just to keep JT afloat. Raising taxes on alcohol might work for a while as the lifeblood of Japan is alcohol so that may happen soon.
And there is another possibility which apparently is now being discussed in the Diet and that is arms manufacturing and world wide arms sales. This includes all kinds of weapons and even nuclear weapons. That would increase employment and tax revenue, however the word "nuclear" is not a very popular term these days. So that may limit the plan somewhat.
Also the worldwide arms sales market is extremely competitive. And with Japan getting into it all only now would be a very difficult task. Then to realize real revenue and profit would take some considerable time. Furthermore, even if it does pass through both houses, how would they get it all started and keep it running for the first 10-15 years or so? With more debt from all of the subsidies that will have to be furnished by the JGov. So this too may not a viable solution. It's just an idea at this time.
So, as far as I see it, there are not many other real revenue generating ideas being discussed. Well, perhaps faster and cheaper production and sales of more stable electric cars, but that too is unsure at this time and time is running out. So, so.....(?_?)
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I am somewhat optimistic and think (hope) that things will get better in time. But at this point there are many very dangerous economies on the brink. And if just one of those goes pop..... :/
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@oginome-san. Almost forgot, but now, right now, the entire nation of Japan is running on just four nuke reactors. And most likely, they too will have to be shut down sometime in the near future. In the mid - long time, they will ALL have to be shut down as more and more earthquakes continue to erupt.
Therefore, the dependency on fossil fuel will increase imports even more. And as the current oil wars/conflicts, sanctions and trade wars increase - the more it will all cost. Result = more debt for the whole world not just Japan.
@tokyokawasaki Thank you for your post. You are right on the mark. Also, the creation of the US Federal Reserve in 1913 just made everything even worse. Now the central banks are just trying to stabilize and delay the imminent economic global collapse. It's no longer a question of "if" only "when."
And then what?
God help us all.
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Japan's economy is not as in desperate situation as so many think. It's much stronger than US and UK.
You need to put that sake down oginome-san. The purchase of Eurozone debt was just a political move and a delay game tactic. Nothing more. And in case you missed it, you should read this latest round of really bad news for Japan:
"UPDATE 3-Japan's first trade deficit since 1980 raises debt doubts"
And as we all know, Japan's entire economic model is based on exports. Up until 2007, that was working pretty well. But then came the 2008 collapse and the Lehman crash and that changed everything. And don't forget the aging depopulation problem that doesn't have any real solution in sight. This will become much more significant very soon as the health care payouts and pension payments increase even more. More debt.
Major manufacturers are now moving production out to other countries. That equals even more unemployment/underemployment (permanent) and more welfare payments and even more debt.
The trifecta disaster up North equals even more debt.
70% of the 11 trillion dollars of household assets in Japan are held by people 71 and over. Of course, when they pass on the gooberment will realize a mid-term windfall from the inheritance tax revenue. But it won't even be close to enough to bring down the debt. So, in time, consumption taxes will have to be raised from 20% to 25% and then 30%. Once raised, no taxes ever come back down.
But even that won't be enough as more than half of ALL of the JGov tax revenues will have to be used just for interest payments on the ever increasing debt. Right now it's already at 50% and climbing.
Thus, the only way out of this vortex is for Japan to offer JGBs to foreign markets. But in order to make the JGB competitive on the world market, the BOJ will have to raise the interest rate and that will result in even more debt. Then they'll have to raise it again. Even more debt. And then again as the rest of the world recovers and offers better interest payments on their sovereign debt. And if Japan's long rates go too high - BOOM! Deflation will turns into hyperinflation overnight.
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At some point of time in the future, things will improve. And Japan will repatriate its offshore production and the export industry will rebound. I think with the slow recovery of the US economy things may soon start to pick up again in all of the developed nations. However, many are now concerned with China's recent economic drop. Their housing market is starting to decline and many Chinese folks are very upset. Let's hope that it doesn't pop too soon. [praying hands]
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The reason for this is because Japan is the world's superpower in WTF, NSFW and Forever Alone!
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Oh Look! Here is another one:
Tokyo Police Arrest Ex-Ceo For Stock Market Manipulation; Yakuza Links
And the mass extermination finally begins!
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if the yakuza-corporate connection is even more extensive than that revealed through this investigation, as in the case of more connected companies tepco, for example
@ubikwit I can assure you 100% that the yaks tentacles extend much, much further into corporate Japan. They are involved in ALL industries and, especially, the finance industry. I have a high level financial analyst friend based in Tokyo and he has told me that and also that the Yaks were partially responsible for the Lehman collapse of 2008. And not only Lehman, the list goes on and on and on...
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Nowadays Japanese 71 and over hold 70% of $11 trillion or $7.7 trillion in household financial assets. This is very significant as the next younger generation will soon inherit this wealth. But Japan has an inheritance tax that ranges from 10% to 50% and the J-government will realize a very big tax windfall in the coming years. Also since a great amount of this wealth is in JGB's, this combined with the additional 5% sales tax rate, may be the key to significantly reducing the nation's debt!
But this could all be a very short-lived scenario. Now more than ever, so many domestic and international firms are reducing their Japan presence or just leaving altogether. Also with with the shockingly low birth rate showing no end in sight, without some major policy changes, there simply will not be enough future tax revenue for sustainability. The 3-11 trifecta of disasters could not have come at a worse time. RIP Japan.
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And of course she got it from a foreigner in Roppongi...
The sentence is so wrong. She and many, many others around the globe need help, not condemnation, imprisonment and death. Drugs are a medical problem, not a legal one.
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There will be many more similar hotspots discovered as they continue looking for them. In addition to the rain carrying the radiation all over East Japan, flying insects from the Fukushima area are eaten by birds. Then the birds fly all over Japan and release irradiated droppings all over Japan and probably other nearby countries as well. There is no escape within the country. The only way to avoid getting contaminated is by leaving and moving far away. RIP Japan.
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And as the article states the detection of seismotraveling ionospheric disturbances has now been confirmed by Taiwan and Japan. Now that is at least three and maybe five nations that have detected high levels of activity above Japan. So where did it come from?
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Thank you all. Well, Arto Lauri may not be a scientist, and his theory may not be 100% correct, but it may hold some validity. Especially the part where he talks about the ionization of the atmosphere above Japan prior to the quake. In addition to the Chinese and Russians, NASA also detected increased ionization above Japan prior 3-11.
Also I believe he is talking about "Methane clathrate": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate
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This may be true and, hopefully, it will detect tsunamis in the future. However, a few days prior to the quake there was a high level of ionospheric activity discovered. Finish nuclear scientist, Arto Lauri, explains his theory based on the research he has done on the Fukushima accident:
In 2008 the production of uranium turned to be negative in terms of energy efficiency. In 2007 Putin announced that Russia will stop producing uranium, as it is unprofitable. At the end of 2008 Russia cut off the supply of uranium, thus 70% of the global supply was lost. Europe hadn’t prepared for this, so there was a need to fill the gap in production. Areva announced that they had excess uranium from the exploded facilities of Sellafield (UK) and Superphenix (Japan). The uranium however contained 3,5% of uranium-235 and 6% of lethal plutonium. Anne Lauvergeon stated that this uranium was fine and it was approved by IEA. Then a massive cargo of this plutonium was exported to Japan. During the first year everything was fine, until in 2010-2011 they started doing revisions to the reactors. When the reactors were opened they found out that there was three times more afterheat and steam than normal. It couldn’t fit in the drivers of “vetvel space” where it is supposed to normally vanish. So they opened the reactors and started blowing the air to the atmosphere. This continued, they opened more reactors are [sic] started releasing the air, this caused Ionization levels over Japan to skyrocket. Then NATO and IEA which monitor the ionization levels were alarmed about the rising levels over Japan. First they tried to push the ionization down with chemtrails so that the nitrogensphere wouldn’t explode. It didn’t help.
Then they started pushing the ionization cloud down with HAARP for 2.5 days according to Russian and Chinese sources. With this 1000 megawatt device they pushed massive amounts of energy to the atmosphere. They didn’t understand was that the ionization cloud acts as a iron nail grounding all the energy to the soil. This energy then reached the rock foundation and plezoactive quartz crystals in the ground started vibrating. These vibrations caused the rock bed to become unstable. So this tectonic boundary under Japan started moving. This caused the tectonic boundary to release its energy leading to earthquake leading to tsunami.
When the tsunami came it cut off the electricity. This prevented the after heat from the reactors to be pumped to the sea. They had to push it straight to the ether. When the hot steam was pushed upwards it started “breathing”. It took in oxygen which led to hydrogen explosion. First the reactor 1 exploded. After few days the reactor 3 exploded. At this point, as the rock foundation was tectonically active, the energy from the explosions went to the rock bed. Under Japan, about 2 kilometers deep there is methane-gas-clutter which is methane in a form of ice. It is based on the sensitive balance of pressure, the temperature has to be about 2 degrees celcius. The impact hit there. Under the reactors the leakage of neutron had drilled deep holes or pipes into the rock formation. The methane-clutter under reactor 4 increased 168-times in volume. This is the theory of Nils Axel Mo”rner. And it exploded in a second coming up trough [sic] the pipe with huge speed. It hit the reactor 4, which was stopped and contained no uranium, thus everyone wondered why it even exploded. Pictures were never shown anywhere and the public wasn’t told about this. I’ve seen a picture where a 14-meter-thick concrete wall had exploded because of the massive impact. The methane-clutter came at a cosmic speed creating a blue one kilometer high flame trogh [sic] the reactor. It made a lane of half a kilometer in diameter under the reactors.
15 minutes after the reactor 3 had exploded the reactor 2 suffered damage exploding. The whole chain of reactors exploded like this. Everywhere on the Earth, starting in 600 meters there is a layer of methane-clutter which is about 1 kilometer thick. Germany that realized this, gave an panic-alarm to shut down the inextinguishable reactors, 9 reactors were shut down immediately. They realized that these reactors couldn’t be used in any circumstances because of the methane-clutter causing the reactors to explode. In America they have lost about 10 reactors, also in France they have2 reactors releasing smoke at the moment. This is happening all over the world.
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This round of QE and intervention may hopefully help weaken the yen some and bring back recovery. But they have to be very careful about this because such a move could spike the JGB long rates and very quickly turn deflation into hyperinflation. This would then mean an economic depression for Japan, and then the same or deep recession for the whole world. Nonetheless, the BOJ has to do something to bring down the yen. I totally agree with you Globalwatcher and a huge coordinated effort by the G7 and/or the G20 is the safest way to do this. Nowadays since everything is globalized, one country cannot go it alone anymore. Pray for Japan.
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"Print billions of yen pay for reconstruction in the north, reduce the value of the yen, make exporters profitable again, rescue your economy, get people back into jobs - it then becomes win win win win win win."
It's not that simple. Quantitative easing and yen intervention by the BOJ might work in the short term, but if JGB long rates were to suddenly rise because of that, then the Japanese economy would go from persistent deflation to skyrocketing inflation which would create a very, very dire situation. Pray for Japan.
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This is like closing the gate after the horse has bolted. It's too late for a "new" nuclear regulator because they won't ever be able to contain Fukushima. Also, Japan has been discovering radiation all over the Island and the other day TEPCO announced that the worse is yet to come – just as Arnie Gundersen has said before. Most likely, in just a year from now, we will start seeing a cancer epidemic open up in Northeast Japan. Later on the epidemic will start appearing in several other places as well.
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I agree, there has to be immediate intervention from the UN. And now, they must consider going to the nuclear device solution: one fission bomb (atomic bomb) set into each of the four reactors and simultaneously detonated. I know that this sounds nuts, but its clear that the reactor cores are still melting down. And the only way to stop the meltdowns is through the use of large nuclear devices. Nothing else will stop them.
Also I just read that reactor #3 is now emitting so much radiation that they cannot send in the engineers anymore. As this continues to go on and on, the radiation levels around the world will exponentially increase. And now the North American grain belt is at stake, and, that is the worlds food supply.
They have to vaporize those reactors through nuclear detonations. And they have to do it right now.
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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?
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
This TEPCO disaster, the BP oil spill, the US financial crisis, China's housing bubble, wars in the middle east and many other man-made disasters are all the direct result of neoliberal capitalism. And when it completely fails, as it is now, then we can change the world for the better.
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Hi Globalwatcher, well things are relatively "OK" for now, at least. But my financial analyst friend told me that since Japan's debt level is so high compared to its GDP, that the day will come (not next month, not next year, but soon enough) when the Japanese government will be reduced to two basic functions: paying pensions to retirees and paying interest on the debt. So, no, they will not default on any pension payments anytime soon.
However, the situation could spiral down to the point where the government would have to increase the debt level in order to pay pensions. Then of course, the amount of interest payments would be increased and then, finally, the inability to pay the interest payments would occur and then we would have default.
But my friend also said that before the above scenario happens, the government still has some viable options available, including, privatization of the pension fund which they would do in a crisis situation. He also told me that if the government could somehow deregulate Japan's major industries and increase foreign immigration, then that would significantly improve the long-term situation. But, we know all too well how that works. :(
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@globalwatcher - Well, I was just talking to a friend of mine about this and he said that if Japan's long-term bond rates go up, the consequences for Japan would be very dire.
If you can, get out now! Just walk away from this madness and head down under to Australia. That's what I'll be doing. Good luck.
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Don't forget that there was a revolution in China in March, 1959 when during the three days of fighting between the Tibetans and the Chinese army, 2000 people died, the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, escaped to India. And some 80,000 Tibetans fled to Nepal, India, Bhutan and Europe.
In the event of a revolt, Chinese refugees could flee to Japan. However, these days, looking behind the headlines, things do not bode well for both China and Japan.
In the recent article: "World's Largest Pension Fund Needs to Sell Japanese Bonds; Japan's Demographic Time Bomb Officially Goes Off"
"Will growth be sufficient to make a long-term dent in Japan's debt? I scoff at the notion. Moreover, rising energy prices will take a big bite out of Japan's trade surplus."
"By the way, in case you missed it, Japan's trade surplus went negative last month. Supposedly it's a one-time thing."
"Japan is counting on increased sales to China when China is clearly overheating and will have to cut back. How do you think that fantasy is going to work out?"
"So, it's back to tax hikes. To do it all with tax hikes, Japan would need to hike the VAT by 200%, from 5% to 15%. Is that going to fly with the voters?"
"Nonetheless, let's assume Japan does hike taxes. Those tax hikes would strengthen the yen, which in turn would hurt Japan's export growth and corporate profits."
And as Edward Hugh recently wrote:
"Once Japan has a trade deficit it will all be over pretty quickly, since then of course they will have to attract funds to finance the deficit, and this is where things will start to get pretty tricky."
Indeed, all of the above does not bode well at all.
God help us all.
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Well, the times, they are a changin', indeed. Can China do anything about the current unrest in the Middle East? No way. It is not a global leader and never will be. The truth is that China is nothing but a large paper tiger/real estate bubble that could implode any day now. Also, Beijing is terrified of its own upcoming authoritarian transition in 2012. And, already, there is a very high rate of underemployment going on and there are millions of young Chinese students who are graduating in June 2011. And each year the country graduates a huge surplus of candidates who all cannot be absorbed by the labor market. The CCP is an oudated oligarchy that is trying to block all the current news of the unrest, but with the recent 'Jasmine Revolution' it is now quite clear that the Chinese people are very unhappy over many issues. Indeed, the Chinese public is starting to perceive the CCP for what it really is and as the current unrest in the Middle East grows, so will Chinese discontent with its communist regime. So much can quickly go wrong in China. And if the growing public discontent becomes an internal crisis in the CCP, no one in Washington or Tokyo or anywhere will know who to trust and then....
God help us all.
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