Rumours that the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare is targetted for breakup in an upcoming policy paper from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party broke cover in the Nikkei today.
The proposal is said to be part of a wider review of the structure of central government since it was reorganised two decades ago into 13 agencies and ministries. That reform included the amalgamation of the Ministry of Labor with the Ministry of Health & Welfare, a marriage which may now be dissolved.
In the intervening years the nw Ministry’s remit has expanded significantly so that it now covers job-based pension funds of all types.
As soon as the two were departments were conjoined the assets of many zaikei (savings accumulation) schemes, which had rested with the Ministry of Labour, were passed to SERAMA (The Smaller Enterprise Retirement Allowance Mutual Aid) in whose oversight the new Ministry plays a significant role.
The MoHLW then took over from the Ministry of Finance responsibility for the regulation of approximately 65,000 so-called tax-qualified plans (TQPS), re-establishing the 13,000+ of them which met its criteria into covenant (or “contract”) schemes and folding the rest into one of SERAMA’s many arms or dissolving them.
Next it assumed responsibility for the several giant civil service schemes as their benefits structure was reorganised and they agreed to follow the same asset allocation as the Government Pension Investment Fund — the world’s largest institutional investor — which is also under the MoHLW.
Small wonder that it is now said to be overburdened but the repeated scandals in which it has been involved since 2007 — when it could not match about 50 million pension records to their owners — mean that it attracts little pubic sympathy.
The future of the Pension Fund Association may also be up for review. Despite its name, the …continue reading
Source: East Asia Forum
Author: Editorial Board, ANU
If the goal of Japan’s G20 presidency in 2019 is merely to get through the summit in June with a business-as-usual approach, at best it would be a lost opportunity. At worst, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese officials could find the global economic order collapsing around them on their watch or end up throwing a hospital pass to the next G20 hosts, Saudi Arabia.
World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo meets with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 8 November 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Issei Kato).
Tensions between China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies, are disrupting the global economy. Even if the two reach some kind of bilateral settlement, there’s likely to be systemic damage — most likely they’ll do a deal outside of the established rules that undermines the multilateral trading system. Managing the rise of China is difficult enough for the global community but with the multilateral order under threat from President Donald Trump’s America First agenda, it is worse.
Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and one of America’s most important allies. It shares one of the world’s largest bilateral economic relationships with its neighbour China. That puts Japan in a unique if excruciatingly difficult position to navigate the defining challenges the global community faces today.
Simply getting through the Osaka G20 Summit is …continue reading
The following is a selection of apartments that were reported to have sold in central Tokyo during the month of January 2019: