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The Economist (November 3)

2018/ 11/ 05 by jd in Global News

It’s “sunrise in Tokyo… After three decades out of fashion, the country’s companies are ready for a revival.” At last, “Japan’s stock market is poised for a comeback.” Japan has had and still has its detractors, but “for the first time in years, Japanese companies are playing a tune that investors are able to whistle.”

 

Bloomberg (March 26)

2018/ 03/ 27 by jd in Global News

“Tokyo bulls can’t buy a break. Just as the economy shows signs of life, they’re ensnared in a global equity meltdown that on Friday alone lopped $200 billion from the price of shares.” The threat of a trade war, a sell off by foreign investors and the surging yen are “all starting to dent sentiment for Japan, where bears had previously been hard to find.”

 

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?”

 

Financial Times (March 31)

2017/ 04/ 01 by jd in Global News

“On one hand, Premium Friday is a gimmicky, well-intended campaign to offset Japan’s overwork culture.” Even though less than 4% of Tokyo’s workers actually clocked out early on the inaugural Premium Friday, the campaign does represent “something fundamentally important to the next few years of Japanese investment: a defining theme of ‘working practice reform’ that will (for better or worse) penetrate all sectors of the economy.”

 

Nikkei Asian Review (December 9)

2016/ 12/ 10 by jd in Global News

“Overall, Japan’s preparations for 2020 are in chaos. But memories are short, and it is worth remembering that this is roughly the same thing that happened in the run-up to the previous Tokyo Olympic Games, held in 1964.” But history does not always repeat itself and “if the Olympic effort turns out to be as much of a travesty as the Toyosu venture, the second Tokyo Olympics will not turn out well.”

 

The Guardian (July 29)

2016/ 07/ 30 by jd in Global News

“It is a race to take charge of the world’s largest city—a metropolis with a population more than half the size of the United Kingdom and with a GDP greater than all but 10 countries.” But the Tokyo Governor’s race is probing new lows with “mud slinging and misogyny,” as well as “events that some say highlights the worst of Japan’s male-dominated politics.”

 

Bloomberg (May 10)

2016/ 05/ 11 by jd in Global News

Tsuyoshi Maruki, the founder of Tokyo-based Strategic Capital Inc., “stands out like a lone wolf in Japan, where societal intolerance for aggressive shareholder campaigns has spurred a breed of friendly activists.” When persuasion fails, Maruki “turns to techniques that include banding with other investors to oust management and filing lawsuits to overhaul corporate practices in order to boost returns for his 9.7 billion yen ($90 million) fund.” Committed to improving corporate governance in Japan, Maruki is convinced his aggressive stance works.

 

Bloomberg (April 11)

2016/ 04/ 12 by jd in Global News

“For global equity investors and Shinzo Abe, it’s splitsville.” For 13 straight weeks during 2016, “foreign traders have been pulling out of Tokyo’s stock market.” They’ve dumped “$46 billion of shares as economic reports deteriorated, stimulus from the Bank of Japan backfired and the yen’s surge pressured exporters. The benchmark Topix index is down 18 percent in 2016, the world’s steepest declines behind Italy.”

 

Popular Mechanics (February 1)

2016/ 02/ 03 by jd in Global News

“As both the capital of Japan and home to a quarter of its citizens, Tokyo is very much a big, fat target” for North Korea. Mainly done to reassure people living in Tokyo, “the deployment of the eight PAC-3 missiles does give real protection in case Pyongyang has something unexpected in mind.” While any launch would probably just be a missile test, “North Korea’s erratic nature means Japan can never quite rule anything out.”

 

Barron’s (January 12)

2016/ 01/ 14 by jd in Global News

“President Xi Jinping’s men thought they’d escaped 2015’s woes, only to see the floor fall out from under them in the first 10 days of this year. The root causes of instability that’s panicking global markets can be traced back to Jan. 1, 2015, when Xi opted for a muddle-through policy akin to Tokyo’s in the late 1990s.” Xi and crew can still conceivably avoid Japan’s fate by “acting assertively to restructure the economy and repair the bad-debt-heavy national balance sheet. Increasingly, though, Xi’s government is acting like Tokyo’s, circa 1998.”

 

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