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ECONOMY

DAILY REPORTS
Mar 09
Major electronics manufacturers, including Hitachi, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp., are in the final stage of their adjustments for the proposal of a monthly basic pay hike of at least ¥1,500 in response to labor unions' demands for ¥3,000 in this year's shunto spring wage hike negotiations. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 08
The number of foreign technical intern trainees who fled from workplaces last year reached the highest level ever at 5,803, greatly surpassing the previous year's figure, according to a Justice Ministry survey. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 08
The Bank of Japan's policy of quantitative and qualitative monetary easing (QQE) with a negative interest rate is aimed at benefiting households and firms and ultimately helping the country to fully overcome deflation, central bank Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday. (the-japan-news.com)
Mar 07
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday that the impact of a sales tax increase scheduled for April 2017 would be much less than that which resulted from the hike in 2014 - sending Japan into a recession. (Japan Times)
Mar 06
Japan's ruling party kicks off a debate this month on whether to expand the pool of foreign workers to cope with a graying, shrinking population, challenging a longstanding "taboo" on immigration. (Japan Today)
Mar 06
Labor unions at major financial institutions in Japan are giving up the idea of requesting pay hikes in this year's shunto spring wage negotiations, hit partly by the Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy. (Japan Times)
Mar 05
The Chinese economy's woes are rippling toward Japan and the rest of the world, triggering a wave of bankruptcies among companies dependent on the Asian giant. (Nikkei)
Mar 04
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday the central bank is not considering cutting rates again. It introduced a negative rate in February. (Japan Times)
Feb 28
Top finance officials of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies agreed at their two-day talks in Shanghai through Saturday that they "will use all policy tools," including fiscal measures, to achieve the world economic growth and stabilize global financial markets. (Jiji Press)
Feb 27
The financial ministers and central bank governors of 20 industrialized and emerging nations have agreed to study ways to prevent excessive fluctuations in financial markets. (NHK)
Feb 24
Prices of corporate services in Japan rose in January for the 31st month in a row. (NHK)
Feb 23
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda on Monday blamed investors' "excessive" risk aversion for persistent market volatility, and defended the central bank's decision to adopt a negative interest rate policy in the face of questions about its effectiveness. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 23
Shipments of home appliances continued to rise in January, marking the 9th straight month of year-on-year increase. It has rebounded after a sharp fall following a consumption tax hike in April, 2014. (NHK)
Feb 20
Interest on bank deposits should not go below zero -- meaning that depositors pay interest -- even when Japan's long-term interest rates fall into negative territory, and the same should apply to loans and corporate bonds, a team of experts on financial law said Friday. (Nikkei)
Feb 19
The average monthly pay for full-time employees in Japan in 2015 climbed 1.5 pct from the previous year to 304,000 yen, the highest level since 2001, a survey by the labor ministry showed Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Feb 19
Interest rates for housing and car loans are declining with the adoption of the negative interest rate policy, spurring hope in the real estate and auto industries for a recovery in their stagnant markets. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 19
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Thursday that it has lowered its estimate for Japan's real gross domestic product growth in 2016 to 0.8 pct, down 0.2 percentage point from the previous forecast in November. (Jiji Press)
Feb 18
Japan posted a goods trade deficit of 645.94 billion yen ($5.7 billion) in January, the government said Thursday, reflecting weakness in exports to China and elsewhere in Asia amid an economic slowdown, though falling oil prices pushed down imports. (Kyodo)
Feb 17
The Bank of Japan's shock decision to adopt a negative interest rate policy in late January has not had the immediate impact on markets that many policymakers had hoped for. (businessinsider.com.au)
Feb 17
The price of health care is changing. On Feb. 10, a government medical council approved a long list of revisions for the fees hospitals and pharmacies can charge under the nation’s public health insurance program. (Japan Times)
Feb 17
The number of permanent employees in Japan grew for the first time in eight years in 2015, signaling a change in companies' long-standing preference for part-timers, though expected gains in wages and consumption remain elusive. (Nikkei)
Feb 16
The Bank of Japan launched an unprecedented negative interest rate policy on Tuesday, with a renewed determination to achieve its 2 pct inflation goal. (Jiji Press)
Feb 15
Japan has spent the equivalent of between $8 billion and $117 billion in the past four episodes to check undue strength in the yen. The currency has jumped about 9 percent in the past 90 days, which is at the high end of previous moves over the same time period that preceded action. (Bloomberg)
Feb 15
Stocks soared in Tokyo, with the Topix index headed for its biggest gain in more than seven years, as investors weighed signs shares are oversold and a report showing Japan's economy shrank more than expected last quarter boosted the outlook for central bank stimulus. (smh.com.au)
Feb 15
Economic Revitalization Minister Nobuteru Ishihara says the economy is solid even following the release of the latest negative GDP figures. (NHK)
Feb 15
Japan's real Gross Domestic Product in the October to December quarter contracted by 0.4 percent from the previous 3 months. That works out to an annualized negative growth of 1.4 percent. (NHK)
Feb 13
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has held a meeting with his top financial diplomat, as well as the Bank of Japan's governor, amid a report the "architect of Abenomics" had called for a Group of 20-wide response to the market rout. (cnbc.com)
Feb 12
Stocks lost further ground Friday following the yen's sharp ascent and overnight plunges in stock markets overseas, with the benchmark Nikkei average closing below 15,000 for the first time in nearly 16 months. (Japan Times)
Feb 12
The balance of the government's debts amounted to ¥1.04 quadrillion at the end of 2015, down by ¥9.83 trillion from three months before, the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 11
At its core, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic-revitalization plan was a bet that a committed central bank could jolt Japan out of decades of decline. But the failure of the bank to generate a sustained upswing, even after its most radical step yet in cutting interest rates to negative territory, suggests the "Abenomics" program has reached an impasse. (wsj.com)
Feb 09
The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond turned negative for the first time ever Tuesday afternoon amid global financial turmoil, with Japan becoming the second country after Switzerland with a negative benchmark long-term interest rate. (Kyodo)
Feb 09
Japanese government data show that the average monthly salary in 2015 grew from a year earlier, but real wages adjusted for inflation actually fell for a 4th straight year. (NHK)
Feb 09
Just after the Bank of Japan reduced overnight rates one step further, going below zero (joining the ECB), would anybody expect the yen to rise in the coming period? (seekingalpha.com)
Feb 08
Japan's current account surplus grew more than six-fold in 2015 from the previous year to 16.64 trillion yen ($142 billion), boosted by a plunge in crude oil imports and a travel surplus amid the yen's depreciation, government data showed Monday. (Kyodo)
Feb 06
Japan and Iran signed a bilateral investment pact Friday in a move aimed at helping Japanese firms do business in the resource-rich country amid intensifying foreign competition for its market access. (Kyodo)
Feb 05
A push by the world's largest pension fund for permission to bypass asset managers when doing business in Japan's stock market has reportedly hit a wall. (bloomberg.com)
Feb 04
Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries including the United States gathered Thursday in New Zealand for the ceremonial signing of a free-trade deal they say will significantly boost trade. (Asahi)
Feb 03
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday called a negative interest rate a "powerful weapon" for monetary easing, saying the bank will cut it again if needed to conquer deflation. (Japan Times)
Feb 03
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) took the financial world by surprise last Friday when, in a 5-4 decision, they announced they would begin imposing a negative 0.1 percent interest rate on any new excess reserves beginning on February 16. (thediplomat.com)
Feb 02
Japan's monetary base renewed its record high for a second straight month in January. (NHK)
Feb 02
Central banks across the world may be running low on ammunition, but the Bank of Japan has shown that they may still have a few bullets left in their belts. (Nikkei)
Feb 02
Shockwaves from the Bank of Japan's surprising decision to introduce a negative interest rate policy continued in the Japanese government bond market on Monday, with the benchmark 10-year JGB yield hitting a fresh record low of 0.050 pct. (Jiji Press)
Feb 02
Japan's new economic revitalization minister has pledged to do his best to establish a positive economic cycle. Nobuteru Ishihara succeeded Akira Amari, who resigned last week over a funding scandal. (NHK)
Feb 01
The biggest cause of the financial and capital market turbulence that has swept the world this year is China's economic slowdown. One of its biggest victims could be Abenomics, the vaunted economic policy agenda being promoted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Nikkei)
Feb 01
According to conventional economic theory, the monetisation of government debt is a recipe for fiscal profligacy and hyperinflation. It should be the last thing any credible central bank turns its hand to. But this is precisely what the Bank of Japan has been doing for the past three years. (afr.com)
Jan 31
The number of foreign workers in Japan came in at 907,896 as of the end of October, hitting its highest level since it became mandatory for employers to submit reports on foreign employees to the government in 2007, the labor ministry said Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 31
The Bank of Japan's surprise move to introduce a negative interest rate will likely help to calm financial markets, which have been swinging wildly since the start of this year. (Nikkei)
Jan 30
The population in Tokyo and surrounding areas increased further in 2015, government data show. (Japan Times)
Jan 29
The Bank of Japan decided to adopt negative interest rates at its policy meeting on Friday, voting 5-4 to apply an interest rate of -0.1 percent on current accounts held at the central bank. At the same time, the BOJ revised its inflation forecast for fiscal 2016 down to 0.8% from a previous level of 1.4%. (Nikkei)
Jan 29
The resignation of Akira Amari as economic revitalization minister over a money scandal is expected to deal a serious blow to the implementation of the Abenomics economic policy of the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Jiji Press)
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