Tag Archives: Shinzō Abe

China territorial deadlocks hurt regional trade

Tensions between China and several East Asian countries have heated up over the last year. Is it simply another round of disputes that have occurred multiple times since 2007, or something new? The historical wounds in East Asia never heal. Neighboring countries can live in peace and do business together as long as no one brings […]

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Abenomics moves ‘all in’ with April’s tax hike

While March’s wage hike by Japan came as a bright spot amidst growing concern over Abenomics, will April’s 3 percentage point tax hike rain on Abe’s parade? Since sweeping back into office in December 2012’s Lower House election, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pursued an aggressive plan—dubbed Abenomics—to create a “virtuous economic cycle” of increased […]

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Yoichi Masuzoe, new governor of Tokyo (Source: savedelete.com)

Masuzoe elected Tokyo governor, defeating anti-nuclear opposition

Despite efforts to make Tokyo’s gubernatorial election a referendum on nuclear energy, Yoichi Masuzoe won by focusing on more basic economic issues. This reflects a desire to see “Abenomics” restore lost prosperity and highlights the challenge in restarting the nuclear reactors. With the backing of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Yoichi Masuzoe decisively won Tokyo’s […]

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Japanese coast guard off Senkaku Islands

Escalating tensions over Senkaku-Diaoyu islands underestimated

The political risks of the Senkaku/Diaoyu island dispute are heavily mispriced in global markets. Conflict is still on the table. For more than a year now Japan and China have quarreled over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, and the tension sharpened significantly following China’s move to create a new “air defence identification zone” over the islands in […]

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Abe’s Yasakuni trip was a successful political gamble

The visit of Japanese prime minister Abe to the Yasakuni Shrine fueled tensions between Japan and its neighbors, drawing harsh rebuke for the glorification of militarism and a lack of concern for past atrocities. Yet, the controversial trip was domestic political ploy from Abe, and the limited international response shows that the gamble might have […]

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Tokyo is passing its first TPP test with agricultural reform

The recent break by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from the traditional partner, the agricultural lobby, and following announcements of a new agricultural policy heighten hope for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and for Japan. On December 10, it was announced that an accord on creating a new free trade zone in the Asia-Pacific, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), […]

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One year in, is the honeymoon over for Abenomics?

Shinzo Abe celebrated his first year as Japanese Prime Minister in December, which also marked one year with Abenomics. For many, this will be a dismal anniversary, as the latest figures are not particularly encouraging. However, the game is not over yet. On December 26th, Shinzo Abe celebrated his first anniversary as Japanese Prime Minister. […]

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Japan’s electricity sector reform passed in wake of Fukushima

Shinzo Abe has overcome his first obstacle in liberalizing Japan’s electricity sector by securing passage of a key piece of legislation. Yet, whether this reform can reach its goals is still unclear. The Fukushima nuclear crisis certainly had profound implications for Japan. In November 2013, Japan’s lower house and upper house successively passed legislation to […]

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Fukushima amplifies Japanese energy import dependence

When Typhoon Wipha flooded Japan with heavy rains last week, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant ordered precautionary measures to prevent leakage of contaminated water. Ever since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a reactor meltdown at the plant, Fukushima has become a symbol of a Japanese nuclear strategy and energy supply in […]

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Shinzo Abe (photo credit: The Times)

Will Abe finally lead Japan towards labour reform?

During an interview with the Financial Times last week, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that labour reforms in Japan might be delayed due to fears of strong opposition to his reform program, as well as the need to have a more carefully explained and regulated reform plan to the public. As part of […]

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