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The Japanese Economy in 2017: Cause for OptimismTakumori Akiyoshi

What does this year hold in store for the Japanese economy? Takumori Akiyoshi, chief economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, explains why government and private-sector economic forecasters believe that a long-awaited upswing is finally at hand.
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Japan’s Ordinary Diet Session to Open on January 20: Abe (News)

Ise, Mie Pref., Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)—The Diet, Japan's parliament, will convene in an ordinary session on January 20, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said Wednesday. Abe unveiled the schedule during a press conference held after his New Year's visit to Ise Jingū, a major Shinto shrine in Ise in the central prefecture of Mie. He said, "The economy will remain my top policy priority this year." "T…
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Assessing Abenomics as Formerly Japan-Specific Issues Spread to Other Developed EconomiesAkinari Horii

While acknowledging the partial success of Abenomics, former Bank of Japan Assistant Governor Akinari Horii warns of the possible dangers of BOJ debt monetization. Financial uncertainty in Japan could also have wider global ramifications.
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Is the Unconventional Effective?Namikawa Osamu

Three years have passed since the Bank of Japan instituted monetary easing of a “different dimension” and six months since it adopted a negative interest rate. The BOJ has yet to achieve its inflation target, raising questions about the effectiveness of its monetary policies. The author argues that a negative interest rate is disrupting the real economy and that a comprehensive review of monetary policies is needed.
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Party Leaders Debate Ahead of July 2016 House of Councillors Election

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and other Japanese party leaders took part in a debate on June 21, 2016. The Constitution, the economy, and other key issues are likely to dominate discussion during campaigning for the July 10 House of Councillors election.
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Fiscal Concerns Grow as Abe Again Postpones Consumption Tax Hike

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō announced on June 1 that he would postpone raising the consumption tax from 8% to 10% until October 2019. The decision marks the second time for Abe to delay the hike, putting it a full four years later than planned. It was initially slated to take effect in October 2015 but was pushed back to April 2017 over recessionary concerns. During the press conference announcin…
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Reading Between the Lines of Abenomics 2.0Hayakawa Hideo

Prime Minister Abe’s announcement of three new arrows to guide stage two of Abenomics took the nation by surprise. It signals a recognition that the first three arrows are not working, writes former BOJ Executive Director Hayakawa Hideo, and forebodes a major shift in monetary policy.
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Chinese Economy Veers Off CourseKe Long

The Chinese government has intervened to devalue the yuan as concerns heighten over the slowing of the economy. The dilatory pace of serious structural reforms in the state sector is dimming the outlook for China.
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Japan’s Economy at a Turning PointItoh Motoshige

Japan is struggling to recover from economic stagnation that has lasted for more than 20 years. This period of persistent deflation has been a new experience for Japan in its postwar history. As suggested by the phrase “deflationary trap,” it is not easy to defeat deflation once it overtakes the economy due to the difficulty of achieving recoveries in consumption and investment once individual cit…
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Work-Centered Welfare for the Twenty-First CenturyMiyamoto Tarō

Poverty and economic inequities are mounting in Japan, even as social security outlays balloon. Miyamoto Tarō calls for a new model social security centered on employment to address the needs of Japan’s working-age population in an era of labor mobility.
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