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April 2021
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The Guardian (April 12)

2021/ 04/ 13 by jd in Global News

“Japan does not especially want to deliver the prestige of the first major global sporting event since the pandemic started to China.” Cancelling the Olympics would also place “billions of dollars at stake.” But “set against that are the lives that could be lost…. Undoubtedly, the cancellation of the Games would lead to disappointment and financial losses. However, these factors must be weighed against any risk that the Olympics could make the pandemic worse.”


NBC News (April 1)

2021/ 04/ 02 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s famous cherry blossoms reached their peak earlier than ever before this year, with experts suggesting the record-setting date is the result of climate change.” Kyoto hit peak bloom on March 26, which was “10 days ahead of the 30-year average” and “the earliest peak bloom in more than 1,200 years.”


Financial Times (March 18)

2021/ 03/ 19 by jd in Global News

“A long-awaited showdown between Toshiba and its two largest investors has ended in embarrassment for the conglomerate and an unprecedented show of shareholder strength in Japan. The landmark vote in favour of a probe into Toshiba’s conduct follows five years of increasingly confident shareholder activism against the conservative bastion of corporate Japan.”


Forbes (March 12)

2021/ 03/ 12 by jd in Global News

“If the economics world handed out gold medals for unintended consequences, Japan’s Yoshiro Mori would be a shoo-in.” While “Japan has had more sexist-rant scandals,” none of those “occurred on the IOC’s watch—or during the social-media age.” The $25 billion being spent on the Olympics could, oddly, “be money well spent if the sexism scandal that felled Mori gets Japan to finally get serious about gender parity,” expanding the annual economy by the $750 billion that womenomics is expected to unleash.


Bloomberg (January 24)

2021/ 01/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The world economy is facing a tougher start to 2021 than expected as coronavirus infections surge and it takes time to roll out vaccinations…. Double-dip recessions are now expected in Japan, the euro area and U.K. as restrictions to curb the virus’s spread are enforced.” Advanced economies are “beginning on a weak note and emerging economies diverging.”


Financial Times (November 24)

2020/ 11/ 24 by jd in Global News

“The coronavirus outbreak has exposed Japan’s tardiness on digitization, which posed hurdles as the country tried to adopt online medicine and other digital tools to curb the outbreak.” However, Taro Kono’s “assault on the seal reveals new premier Yoshide Suga’s determination to reform the hidebound state. Hanko seals are universal in Japanese culture…. But they clash with Mr Suga’s move to a digital agency with more government services online.”


Bloomberg (October 2)

2020/ 10/ 03 by jd in Global News

For an entire trading day, a “piece of hardware took down Japan’s $6-trillion stock market,” marking the longest shutdown “since the exchange switched to a fully electronic trading system in 1999.” Besides drawing criticism, the malfunction “shone a spotlight on a lesser-discussed vulnerability in the world’s financial plumbing — not software or security risks but the danger when one of hundreds of pieces of hardware that make up a trading system decides to give up the ghost.”


Washington Post (September 30)

2020/ 10/ 02 by jd in Global News

Few nations “have been upended like Japan” by the coronavirus. “Working from home was almost unthinkable before the pandemic but now appears to be gathering some momentum.” Pasona is even moving its headquarters from Tokyo to Awaji Island. “It’s a revolutionary idea in Japan’s rigid corporate culture—and a sign of how the coronavirus pandemic is reimagining where and how people work worldwide.”


The Economist (September 26)

2020/ 09/ 28 by jd in Global News

“The pandemic could lead governments to prolong the life of many undeserving firms. Keeping the growth of the undead in check will be vital to the long-term economic recovery…. Marginally profitable firms were central to Japan’s “lost decade” in the 1990s…. Zombie-infested industries suffered from inert labour markets and lower productivity growth. Since then, the rich world as a whole has begun to look more zombified.”


Seeking Alpha (September 21)

2020/ 09/ 23 by jd in Global News

“More and more countries/regions have succumbed to Japanification” with “the process of rapid debt accumulation, followed by monetary easing, which shields the government from the normal consequences of overspending.” And now, “the United States is following lockstep down the economic trail blazed by Japan.”


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