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DAILY REPORTS
Dec 27
Japan is increasingly depending on foreign workers to meet a shortfall in the domestic working population, but many of the jobs are menial or ones that nobody else wants. (Asahi)
Dec 24
Even after three years of trying, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn't seem able to get his economic program on the fast track. Just as one part of the economy looks better, another falls back into the decline that has dogged Japan for a quarter-century. (foreignpolicy.com)
Dec 24
JPMorgan Chase & Co is making two contrarian calls: First that the yen will strengthen toward 100 per US dollar and second that such a rally won't destroy the world's third-largest economy. (afr.com)
Dec 22
Japan's government expects the economy to grow 1.7 percent in real terms and 3.1 percent in nominal terms in the coming fiscal year ending March 2017. (NHK)
Dec 22
The Japanese government plans to increase its official development assistance for the first time since fiscal 1999, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pursues aggressive diplomacy to expand the nation's clout. (Nikkei)
Dec 20
The government is compiling a record-high budget of around 96.7 trillion yen ($798 billion) for next fiscal year amid swelling welfare costs due to Japan's graying population, sources close to the matter said Saturday. (Kyodo)
Dec 19
The markets were in for a rough ride on Friday. The Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced that it was tweaking its quantitative and qualitative easing program, and at first the change was widely interpreted as additional easing. BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda was quick to dismiss such talk, leaving investors scratching their heads. (Nikkei)
Dec 18
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved an extra budget Friday worth ¥3.5 trillion for this fiscal year through March to bolster the economy through enhanced welfare services and a more competitive farm sector. (Japan Times)
Dec 18
Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have decided to introduce supplementary measures in an effort to further boost the country's economy. (NHK)
Dec 17
Household financial assets in Japan totaled 1,684 trillion yen at the end of September, up 1.7 pct from a year earlier, the Bank of Japan said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Dec 15
The government and ruling parties plan to exempt delivery and takeout foods from the upcoming consumption tax hike, senior coalition members said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Dec 15
The average price of a new condominium in the Tokyo metropolitan area in November was the highest in over 24 years. (NHK)
Dec 15
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed a willingness Monday to work for an annual target of 30 million visitors to Japan from abroad as the current target of 20 million is close to being achieved. (the-japan-news.com)
Dec 15
Nowhere is the rapid aging of Japan more visible than in rural towns such as Kamikatsu, where 51 percent of local residents are over the age of 65. (usa.chinadaily.com.cn)
Dec 14
Japan's Nikkei share average tumbled to a six-week low on Monday as global oil prices extended their decline, adding to nervousness ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate hike this week. (Reuters)
Dec 14
Business sentiment among large manufacturers in Japan was flat in the Bank of Japan's "tankan" quarterly survey for December, released Monday. (Jiji Press)
Dec 12
Japan and India agreed several high-profile deals Saturday including on high-speed rail, defence technology and civil nuclear cooperation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in New Delhi. (AFP)
Dec 11
Lawmakers in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party are considering partially exempting processed food from a consumption tax hike. (NHK)
Dec 11
Business sentiment among major Japanese companies stayed positive for the second straight quarter in October-December, as a wide range of industry sectors benefited from massive spending by foreign travelers to Japan, a government survey showed Thursday. (the-japan-news.com)
Dec 10
In a year with no shortage of scary economic stories, Japan's recent woes may be the globe's most chilling cautionary tale. The world's third-largest economy shrank by 0.8% in the third quarter of 2015, sending the country into its fifth recession in seven years in November. (fortune.com)
Dec 10
Political negotiations between the nation's ruling coalition are approaching a showdown over the unpopular consumption tax, which is set to rise to 10 percent from 8 percent in April 2017. A sweetener being considered has drawn scathing criticism from many economists. (Japan Times)
Dec 09
Japan's newest bubble is in poverty. This may sound odd to anyone who's watched the Nikkei index go gangbusters for three years. But the stock market's rally to levels not seen since 1996 masks a not-so-unrelated surge in inequality. (Japan Times)
Dec 08
Japan's economy grew an annualized 1.0 percent in the July-September period in inflation-adjusted terms, a turnaround from a contraction in preliminary data, the government said Tuesday, quelling fears of a technical recession. (Kyodo)
Dec 08
Japan's top business leader has asked the government to accept more foreign workers to fill labor shortages as the nation's population ages and shrinks. (NHK)
Dec 05
Japan's infrastructure ministry has found that more than 500 of the country's bridges have poorly welded supports. The devices are supposed to keep the bridges from collapsing during major earthquakes. (NHK)
Dec 04
The average pay among workers in Japan in October grew 0.7 pct from a year before to 266,309 yen, up for the fourth consecutive month, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a preliminary report Friday. (Jiji Press)
Dec 04
The Japanese and Philippine governments signed a loan agreement worth up to 242 billion yen ($1.95 billion) for a railway development project on Nov. 27 in Manila. This is Japan's biggest single outlay of official development assistance. (Nikkei)
Dec 03
Aching from severe labor shortages, Japanese retail, food service and construction companies are actively hiring foreigners from other Asian countries as interns, with help from regulatory changes that took effect earlier this year. (Nikkei)
Dec 03
The Japanese government will halve the fixed asset tax for up to five years for farmers who lease farmland via so-called farmland banks, government officials said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Dec 01
The Nikkei surged to close above 20,000 for the first time in more than three months on Tuesday, backed by robust growth in domestic corporate capital spending. (Japan Times)
Dec 01
The International Monetary Fund on Monday officially decided to include the yuan in its Special Drawing Rights basket. (Nikkei)
Dec 01
The Abe administration and ruling camp plan to extend the safeguard import restriction system for beef and pork by one year until the end of March 2017. (Japan Times)
Nov 30
Real estate loans extended by banks are surging in Japan on the back of strong demand for redevelopment projects in Tokyo areas and asset management needs of individuals, sources have said. (The Japan News)
Nov 27
Japan on Friday published a string of mostly weak economic data, the first major figures since news that the world's No. 3 economy had slipped back into recession. (Japan Times)
Nov 27
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed his Cabinet ministers Friday to compile an extra budget for the current fiscal year, aiming to bolster the Japanese economy with enhanced welfare services and a competitive agricultural sector. (Kyodo)
Nov 27
The ruling parties have agreed to call for the use of invoices that state item-by-item tax rates from fiscal 2020, three years after a reduced tax rate system is introduced along with an increase in the consumption tax rate to 10 percent in April 2017. Companies that wish to begin using the invoice system before 2020 will be allowed to do so. (The Japan News)
Nov 26
The number of workers in Japan will fall 7.9 million or 12.4% to 55.61 million in 2030 from 2014 if the graying country fails to attain economic growth and bring more women and the elderly into the workforce, a government estimate showed Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Nov 26
Japan is running out of cash to pay for its public health insurance and pension programs. Although credited with underpinning the national success story, the systems are under increasing strain as the population grays. (Japan Times)
Nov 26
Japanese government officials say the nation's economy remains on a moderate recovery path, although weakness remains in some areas. (NHK)
Nov 26
The government adopted on Wednesday an outline of policy measures to help domestic industries cope with the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact. (The Japan News)
Nov 25
The Abe administration will raise the minimum wage by 3 percent each year starting next fiscal year as part of a package of policies aimed at strengthening consumer spending and stoking economic growth. (Japan Times)
Nov 25
The infrastructure ministry plans to use drones, automatically controlled construction machinery and other information technology to improve productivity in civil engineering ordered by the government. (Japan Times)
Nov 24
The Japanese government plans to raise the minimum wage and introduce other steps to revitalise the economy, but the draft of stimulus measures seen by Reuters on Monday appeared to break no new ground on reforms that analysts say are needed to end decades of stagnation. (Japan Today)
Nov 24
With just six months remaining until the Ise-Shima Group of Seven summit, the host region in central Japan has already begun to feel the impact on the local economy - an impact expected to far exceed the economic boost provided by the Toyako summit in Hokkaido in 2008. (Japan Times)
Nov 24
Japanese companies are pinning their hopes on further integration of Southeast Asia, which is enjoying high economic growth, following ASEAN's announcement that it will establish a new economic community on Dec. 31. (The Japan News)
Nov 21
Nearly 60 pct of vacant houses in Japan, excluding those intended for sale, are in very poor condition, with decay and other significant damage, the land ministry said Friday. (Jiji Press)
Nov 20
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Thursday he sees a limited economic impact at the moment from last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, noting no major financial market turmoil. (Jiji Press)
Nov 20
Japan came 101st out of 145 countries in global gender equality rankings for 2015, up three places from last year, the World Economic Forum said in a report Thursday. (The Japan News)
Nov 19
Money secretly saved by Japanese wives exceeds that of their husbands by about twofold, but is down significantly from a year earlier when they were saving three times as much, a survey by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. showed Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Nov 19
For the second time in a year, Japan's economy has slipped into recession, but consumers' taste for upmarket noodles and pricier chocolates suggests some pockets of resilience, and some hope for Abenomics, the reflationary policies championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Japan Today)
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