Japan: Through A Shoji Screen, Darkly: Part XXXVII
As I write this, Japan is once again in a funk. The yen has come ever so close to its post-WW2 high of JPY79.70/US$ seen in 1995, the Nikkei has touched 16-month lows, and now, the governing Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has become embroiled in an internal power struggle between Prime Minister Naoto Kan and long-time ‘shadow shogun’ Ichiro Ozawa. Ozawa, 68, is making what must surely be his last bid to become prime minister. Even if he fails, he could end up crippling Kan, and even tear the party apart, potentially leading to a fresh election, many more years of unstable governments, and policy confusion. All this at a time when Japan, more than most countries, needs strong and stable leadership to solve its economic woes.
I have almost run out of things to say about Japan’s political weaknesses and economic funk, so I will leave you with a selection of what I hope are some of the more informative articles on the country published on this blog.
Why Naoto Kan’t Save Japan (4 June 2010)
Japan’s Debt: Some Unpleasant Questions (10 December 2009)
On The Ground In Greater Tokyo (30 November 2009)
Japan’s Debt: Argentina Times One Hundred! (22 September 2009)
Japan: An Existential Election Victory (1 September 2009)
In Defence Of Economic Stagnation (25 June 2009)
Now Or Never For Japan’s Opposition (15 May 2009)
Japan: Through A Shoji Screen, Darkly (17 February 2009)
Japan: The Strong Yen And The Tourism Impact (26 January 2009)
Japan: The Lost Eternity (30 October 2008)
Japan: The Doors Revolve, But Where Is Superman? (8 September 2008)
The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (15 August 2008)
Japan Aims To Boost Imports… Of People (3 July 2008)