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DAILY REPORTS
May 24
The Japanese government says it will increase funds for infrastructure exports over the next 5 years to 200 billion dollars. (NHK)
May 24
Japan's exports fell sharply in April and manufacturing activity suffered the fastest contraction since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept to power in late 2012, providing further evidence that the Abenomics stimulus policy is struggling for traction. (the-japan-news.com)
May 23
Economic damage from the recent strong earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and nearby areas in southwestern Japan stands between some 2.4 trillion yen and 4.6 trillion yen, an estimate by the Cabinet Office said Monday. (Jiji Press)
May 20
The Japanese government on Thursday compiled a draft of its new growth strategy featuring the promotion a fourth industrial revolution aimed at boosting productivity through the use of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. (Jiji Press)
May 20
Top finance officials from the Group of Seven major industrial nations will meet in Japan this week amid diminishing expectations for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Abenomics growth policy. (Jiji Press)
May 19
Japanese consumers can't get enough of cup noodles, with spending on them surging by more than a quarter over the past year. That sounds like good news, but for a country still struggling to escape deflation it's a worrying signal. (Japan Today)
May 19
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had his first debate with opposition leaders in the current Diet session. They focused on whether to raise the consumption tax next April as scheduled. (NHK)
May 18
Japan's Cabinet Office says the GDP figures for the three months between January and March were up by 0.4 percent in real terms from the previous quarter. (NHK)
May 17
Japan's population is ageing and shrinking. The population of Japan peaked in 2008 at 128 million. With the fertility rate - or births per woman - falling below 1.5 at the beginning of the 1990s and falling as low as 1.29 in 2004, the population is shrinking rapidly. (nationalinterest.org)
May 17
Three months have passed since the Bank of Japan introduced a negative interest rate policy to spur inflation. But the measure has yet to fully achieve its intended goal of stimulating investment and consumption. (NHK)
May 14
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday the bank has "ample space" for additional monetary easing, reminding the market that further stimulus is possible despite the central bank's decision to stand pat last month. (Japan Times)
May 13
The Japanese government at a cabinet meeting on Friday adopted a 778-billion-yen fiscal 2016 supplementary budget to finance programs to rebuild the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto and nearby areas damaged by a series of strong earthquakes since mid-April. (Jiji Press)
May 12
The efforts by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revive Japan's economy through various initiatives, referred to collectively as Abenomics, have certainly had their ups and downs. But up to now, little criticism has been heard about the negative impact such efforts have had on Japan's environment. (Japan Today)
May 11
Are we about to enter a new and more vicious stage in the global currency wars as Japan embarks on a dangerous experiment with "helicopter money"? (afr.com)
May 11
Japan liberalized its retail electricity market last month, creating one of the largest deregulated electricity markets in history. While companies and consumers have just begun to switch electricity providers, and questions remain about the plan to unbundle electricity transmission from generation, competition has already brought down rates. (wsj.com)
May 10
Some Bank of Japan policymakers voiced concerns about adverse effects of the central bank's negative interest rate policy at a policy-setting meeting held March 14-15, minutes of the meeting showed Monday. (the-japan-news.com)
May 09
Real wages rose at the fastest pace in more than five years in March, creating hopes for greater consumer spending, government data showed Monday. (Japan Times)
May 06
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British counterpart David Cameron agreed Thursday in London on the need to promote increased government spending and other economic measures to bolster the flagging global economy, while vowing to work together in fighting terrorism. (Kyodo)
May 06
A growing number of people in Southeast Asia are migrating within the region in search of jobs and better living conditions. In stark contrast, Japan's labor market remains closed to the outside world as it pursues a policy of isolation, at least in the eyes of many people in the rest of Asia. (Nikkei)
May 06
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that "drastic fluctuations" in the yen's value risked having a major impact on the trade prospects of Japanese companies. (Japan Today)
May 04
The finance ministers and central bank heads of Japan, China and South Korea on Tuesday agreed to enhance monitoring of capital outflows from emerging economies that suffer from economic deceleration. (Jiji Press)
May 03
Japan's foreign minister announced a $7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia's Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows. (Japan Today)
May 03
The Bank of Japan has developed a new index that tracks private consumption monthly, saying a gauge that eschews household surveys will be more accurate. (Nikkei)
May 02
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso expressed strong concerns on Saturday over the recent surge in the Japanese yen against the dollar. He warned against one-sided, speculative movements in the foreign exchange market. (NHK)
Apr 30
Japan and China were among five economies put on a new U.S. government list used to monitor what it calls possible "unfair" practices in foreign exchange policy, according to a Treasury Department report released Friday. (Kyodo)
Apr 29
Though Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda played up the positive at Thursday's news conference, economic indicators point to a foundering economy that calls his strategy and his unshakable confidence into question. (Nikkei)
Apr 28
The Bank of Japan says it will maintain its monetary easing program, including the negative interest rate policy. (NHK)
Apr 26
Wages for part-time workers in Japan have been rising as a result of labor shortages in a range of positions in offices, restaurants, and factories - a bright spot in an economy that needs price gains. (Japan Times)
Apr 26
As the government tells it, Japanese have it pretty good.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is adamant that, whatever critics may say, economic disparity is not growing. (Japan Times)

Apr 26
The Bank of Japan has reported that companies charged more for goods and services last month. The Services Producer Price Index in March was up 0.2 percent from a year earlier, marking the 33rd straight month of increase. (NHK)
Apr 25
Agriculture ministers of the Group of 7 nations have agreed to make it easier for women and young people to enter the farming industry. (NHK)
Apr 25
For a place synonymous with deflation, Japan sure can be intolerant to savvy responses to it. (Japan Times)
Apr 22
Regional lenders in the Kyushu southwestern region are expected to suffer an increase in costs as disaster relief donations pour in from the rest of Japan, because of the Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy. (Jiji Press)
Apr 20
Japanese megabank alumni have long been a fixture on the policy board at the Bank of Japan. That seems about to change, potentially widening the central bank's disconnect with lenders over its negative interest rate policy. (Nikkei)
Apr 17
Two powerful earthquakes and a series of aftershocks in the Kumamoto region on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan have cut air, road and rail services, causing wider disruption to the country's already sluggish economy. (Nikkei)
Apr 17
Finance leaders from 20 major economies have agreed to encourage countries and regions to take part in an international framework aimed at preventing tax evasion. (NHK)
Apr 15
Japan's two-month experiment with negative interest rates is producing some unexpected results. (wsj.com)
Apr 15
Japan came fourth among the countries that provided official development assistance in 2015, up from fifth in the previous year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Apr 14
The head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has suggested to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan should raise its consumption tax to 10 percent next April as scheduled. (NHK)
Apr 13
The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday Japan is forecast to incur an economic contraction of 0.1 pct in 2017, the only major nation in the world seen suffering negative growth that year. (Jiji Press)
Apr 13
The ruling coalition is considering pushing back a plan to ratify a Pacific Rim free trade deal and enact related bills during the current Diet session ending June 1 due to stalled debate with opposition parties, sources close to the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Apr 13
The International Monetary Fund has cut its growth forecast for Japan, citing the global economic slowdown. (NHK)
Apr 12
For global equity investors and Shinzo Abe, it's splitsville. Starting in the first days of 2016, foreign traders have been pulling out of Tokyo's stock market for 13 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1998. (Japan Times)
Apr 12
Demand for the yen showed little signs of abating on Monday, with the currency reaching a fresh 17-month high, prompting the government to warn that it could take steps to weaken the exchange rate. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 09
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday ratcheted up the warning against a rapid rise in the yen, saying the government would take steps as needed to counter "one-sided" moves in the currency market. (Japan Today)
Apr 08
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other relevant government executives met with French economist Jean Tirole in Tokyo Thursday to discuss global economic issues with the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in economics. (Jiji Press)
Apr 08
The Bank of Japan is running out of government bonds to buy. The central bank's would-be counterparties have become increasingly unwilling to sell the debt that monetary policymakers have pledged to buy, and the most recently issued 30-year Japanese bond didn't record a single trade during a session last week as existing owners opted to hoard their holdings. (afr.com)
Apr 06
The bank of Japan is set to print an additional 180 million of its highest denomination banknotes as the population hides them away from a rainy day. (insidejapantours.com)
Apr 05
Japan's government hopes to give its flagging economy a shot in the arm through such steps as distributing child care vouchers and shopping coupons to encourage consumer spending. (Nikkei)
Apr 05
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started discussions Monday about welfare and stimulus measures aimed at promoting economic growth ahead of the upcoming Group of Seven summit scheduled to be held in Japan in May. (Kyodo)
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