Is the party over for the Bank of Japan?

Can you imagine a party thrown by the Bank of Japan at which its officials encourage guests to become roaring drunk? That was the clever metaphor used by reporter Patti Domm of CNBC to explain a hugely important issue with is hidden behind a horrible, jargonistic name: Quantitative & Qualitative Easing (QQE). Party time In […]

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Why don’t Japanese want more pay?

In most countries, people clamour for a pay rise. For example in Germany this week, eighty manufacturing companies have been hit by strikes as unions demand a six percent increase in pay and a cut in people’s working hours.   But in Japan, it seems, there is not such a big demand for more money […]

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Investment Boss is Betting on Japan Boom

One of the most influential women in international finance has announced that Japan will be at the forefront of her investment strategy this year. Sonja Laud, who is the head of equity investment at Fidelity International, says that Japan stands out as “a very attractive opportunity.” She says the main attraction is Japan’s recent return […]

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Britain pledges more defence support for Japan

Britain is offering unprecedented levels of military support to Japan in the wake of the growing threat from North Korea and tensions with China. The United Kingdom will send two warships, HMS Argyll and HMS Sutherland, to the Asia Pacific region in 2018 and will deploy British personnel to join military training on the Japanese […]

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Abe Craves Olympic Glory

“Don’t expect Shinzo Abe to try to change the constitution before the Olympic Games,” a senior Japanese government official told me privately this week. He explained that the Prime Minister’s long-cherished plan of removing the clause in the constitution which commits Japan to a form of pacifism would be put on hold until after the […]

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Abe pledges resolute response to North Korea

Japan and South Korea are pressing the United States to step up the diplomatic effort to prevent war with North Korea. South Korea’s ambassador-at-large for international security affairs, Chung-in Moon, has said that President Trump should send an envoy such as the former national security advisor Steve Hadley to try to dissuade the North from […]

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Do lazy students let down Japan’s colleges?

This week I’ve been considering the claim: “Most Japanese universities are not very stimulating or rewarding places intellectually.” It is not a new allegation. It was made by an American writer named Robert C. Christopher in the book The Japanese Mind: The Goliath Explained, which was first published in 1983. Low ranking Given the enormous […]

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Japan cannot defend itself, warns US colonel

Japan is unable to defend itself, according a scathing article about its military published in the Washington Post this week. The journalist John Pomfret claims that the Self Defence Force is weak, disorganised and under-funded. He suggests this causes dismay to Japan’s principal ally, the United States. Pomfret bases his article on an interview with […]

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Trump’s Tokyo burger sent a USA first message to Japan

When President Trump went to lunch with the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo last week, he rejected sushi made by the finest chefs in favour of a juicy hamburger. Fortunately, his hosts had researched what he likes to eat, so they’d already put mustard and ketchup on the table. It was a potent […]

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How can foreigners find work in Japan?

A record number of foreigners are working in Japan and many companies are actively recruiting globally for new staff. Japan’s low unemployment rate has created opportunities for foreigners, although many people find the complex recruitment process baffling. This week I gained insights into the opportunities and challenges at a conference on employment, hosted at the […]

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