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March 2018
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Reuters (March 16)

2018/ 03/ 18 by jd in Global News

“Simmering fears of a global trade war. An embarrassing political scandal in Japan. Rapid job-turnover inside the White House and the threat of faster interest rate hikes in the United States….” Yet somehow “markets have brushed aside risks and recurring bad news on geopolitics to stay focused on positive macro-economic cues.”


Chicago Tribune (December 23)

2017/ 12/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Japanese leaders are now under international pressure to pass a sweeping smoking ban in restaurants and many other public places before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics.” While many politicians are reluctant, “Japanese restaurateurs and entrepreneurs who seek to attract the widest possible international clientele during the Olympics—and after—will ban smoking. Wouldn’t it be terrific if the Tokyo Olympics sparked a Great Japanese Smokeout?”


Bloomberg (December 20)

2017/ 12/ 21 by jd in Global News

“Japan has gained a tremendous amount of manufacturing competitiveness. A 2016 study by consulting firm Deloitte ranked Japan the fourth-most competitive country for manufacturing, a huge leap from the No. 10 position it held three years earlier.”


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.”


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