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Financial Times (November 23)

2017/ 11/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Mitsubishi Materials has admitted its subsidiaries falsified data about products used in crucial parts of aircraft and cars, dragging another of Japan’s largest manufacturers into the data falsification scandal at Kobe Steel…. The disclosure will raise the pressure on Japan’s manufacturing sector, which has been struck in the past two months by certification scandals at carmakers Nissan and Subaru, as well as Kobe Steel, Japan’s third-largest steelmaker.”

 

Houston Chronicle (November 7)

2017/ 11/ 08 by jd in Global News

“With due respect to the faith and beliefs of every person, especially the grieving residents of Sutherland Springs, the rote statements of politicians were almost blasphemous in their repetition and meaninglessness. From Japan, President Trump’s ‘thoughts and prayers’ riff was so stale and scripted that it conveyed all the sincerity of a robocall offering an extended warranty on a kitchen appliance. The irony no doubt escaped the president that he was speaking to tortured souls in small-town Texas from a nation with strict and sensible gun laws. A nation where gun violence is almost unheard of.”

 

The Economist (November 2)

2017/ 11/ 03 by jd in Global News

“On some measures, Japan’s labour market is as tight as it has been since the 1970s. America’s jobless rate, at 4.2%, is the lowest for over 16 years. Inflation has nevertheless been surprisingly weak. In other words, the trade-off between unemployment and inflation, known as the Phillips curve, has become less steep.”

 

Institutional Investor (October Issue)

2017/ 10/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s back, baby! No, you’re not hallucinating…. The world’s third-largest economy may finally have put its deflationary past behind…. Gross domestic product expanded for six straight quarters through June, momentum not seen in more than a decade, and private consumption, which accounts for two thirds of GDP, rose nearly 1 percent in the second quarter.”

 

The Economist (October 28)

2017/ 10/ 29 by jd in Global News

Unlike Theresa May’s losing gamble, Shinzo Abe’s snap election “paid off handsomely.” The result of the gutsy move was hardly certain. “Rarely has such an unpopular leader won a free and fair election so lopsidedly. Only about one-third of Japanese people approve of Shinzo Abe” while “a whopping 51% disapprove. Yet on October 22nd his Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner kept its two-thirds majority in the lower house.” For this unusual outcome, he owes the opposition, which “imploded,” a debt of gratitude.

 

Newsweek (October 25)

2017/ 10/ 27 by jd in Global News

“The power of a U.S. passport has plummeted under President Donald Trump. American passports have now fallen behind those of 18 countries in terms of global mobility—a staggering collapse…. In 2015, the United States tied for first place with the United Kingdom on the list; last year, it slipped to fourth place. Americans now trails 18 countries, including Belgium, Japan, Sweden and first-place Singapore.” Japan tied for fourth place behind Singapore, Germany, Sweden and South Korea.

 

Wall Street Journal (October 22)

2017/ 10/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won his third consecutive landslide victory on Sunday. That doesn’t mean voters are enamored of the man who is on track to become Japan’s longest-serving leader. Local commentators attribute his victory to TINA, short for ‘there is no alternative,’ and they have a point.”

 

Bloomberg (October 10)

2017/ 10/ 11 by jd in Global News

“Kobe Steel Ltd. unleashed an industrial scandal that reverberated across Asia’s second-largest economy after saying it falsified data related to strength and durability of some aluminum and copper products used in aircraft, cars and maybe even a space rocket.” Following on the heels of the Takata scandal and Nissan Motor’s unauthorized vehicle inspections, “Kobe Steel’s admission raises fresh concern about the integrity of Japanese manufacturers.”

 

The Guardian (October 5)

2017/ 10/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Japan has again been forced to confront its work culture after labour inspectors ruled that the death of a 31-year-old journalist at the country’s public broadcaster, NHK, had been caused by overwork.” NHK’s delayed reporting of employee Miwa Sado’s death from overwork in 2013, “piles pressure on authorities to address large number of deaths linked to labour practices.”

 

Korea Times (October 1)

2017/ 10/ 02 by jd in Global News

A combination of Japan’s Obon holidays and a harvest festival, Korea’s Chuseok break has begun and “a record number of travelers flocked to Incheon International Airport on the first day.” On Sunday, 114,746 passengers used the airport to depart, but the new record is expected to be broken again during the remainder of the 10-day Chuseok holiday season. Flights to Japan are especially popular with Korean Air reporting that “99 percent of its tickets to Japan have been booked,” while flights on low-cost carriers were snapped up long ago.

 

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