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October 2023
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South China Morning Post (September 26)

2023/ 09/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Foreign investors are returning to Japan’s property market in their droves, attracted by the weak yen and an economic recovery fuelled by the buoyant logistics and hospitality sectors, according to a new report.” Singapore investors are leading the charge with property investments totaling “nearly US$3 billion spent from January to September, eclipsing the around US$2.5 billion from the US, and some US$1 billion from Canada.” Japan’s “mild inflation and favourable financing costs” are also adding to the attraction.


Wall Street Journal (September 24)

2023/ 09/ 26 by jd in Global News

“America’s billionaires love Japanese stocks. Why don’t the Japanese?” Despite enthusiasm from overseas, “there are few signs its estimated 125 million residents share in the excitement. Burned by dismal returns since the bursting of Japan’s asset bubble in the late 1980s and early 1990s, generations of families here have stashed most of their money in low-yielding savings accounts rather than trying to increase their wealth through the stock market.”


Bloomberg (September 21)

2023/ 09/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The value of the yen has slumped to the lowest on record, as measured against a broad basket of its peers and adjusted for inflation,” the Bank for International Settlements found based on data from 1970 onward. This serves to “underscore the pressure on the Bank of Japan to normalize its ultra-easy monetary regime, which continues to weigh down the nation’s interest rates and weaken the currency. The drop in the so-called real effective exchange rate means Japanese have to pay more for imported goods and services at a time when wage growth is failing to compensate for inflation.”


Wall Street Journal (September 6)

2023/ 09/ 07 by jd in Global News

Vladimir Putin’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “underscores the global nature of the threat to U.S. interests.” Indeed, the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Kyiv this spring was partly “because America’s allies in Asia understand that Ukraine isn’t a distant squabble. Russia has its own Pacific ambitions, including militarizing the Kuril Islands, some of which Japan also claims. A Russia that prevails in Ukraine will provoke elsewhere. Mr. Putin is also the junior partner to the neighborhood’s No. 1 threat: The Chinese Communist Party.”


The Guardian (September 4)

2023/ 09/ 05 by jd in Global News

“With the population expected to decline dramatically in the coming decades–leaving a gaping hole in the workforce–Japan is quietly easing restrictions and accepting record numbers of migrants, mostly from Asian countries such as Vietnam, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.” Recent data shows “a jump in overseas-born residents, to an all-time high of around 3 million, almost 50% up on a decade ago.”


New Yorker (August 28)

2023/ 08/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Japan is the first nation to experience a demographic tipping point where more than twenty per cent of the population is over sixty-five years old.” This magnifies the effects of climate change. Hot summer weather in Tokyo now lasts “some fifty days longer in recent years as compared with the twentieth century.” The additional “heat has proven a silent killer of these older citizens. Thirteen hundred people die of heatstroke annually in the country, the majority of them elderly.”


South China Morning Post (August 3)

2023/ 08/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Plummeting scores in English-language tests among Japanese lower secondary school students have triggered concern that future generations will be unable to communicate in the world’s lingua franca. In nationwide tests conducted in April, just 12.4 per cent of 15-year-olds were able to reply correctly to five spoken questions in English.”


National Review (July 27)

2023/ 07/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Japan Is disappearing.” The nation’s “population declined by 800,000 in the last year,” marking “14 consecutive years during which deaths outnumbered births. The mathematics of population decline get really desperate from here on out…. This problem is far too large for immigration to solve.”


The Guardian (July 26)

2023/ 07/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Every one of Japan’s 47 prefectures posted a population drop in 2022, while the total number of Japanese people fell by nearly 800,000,” marking “two new unwelcome records for a nation sailing into uncharted demographic territory, but on a course many other countries are set to follow.”


Reuters (July 3)

2023/ 07/ 04 by jd in Global News

“Japanese business sentiment improved in the second quarter as raw material costs peaked and removal of pandemic curbs lifted consumption… a sign the economy was on course for a steady recovery.” The quarterly survey or “tankan” by the central bank offers “policymakers hope that conditions for phasing out their massive monetary stimulus may be gradually falling into place.”


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