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September 2021
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Washington Post (September 7)

2021/ 09/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Mr. Xi’s two predecessors allowed China’s people more personal freedom and provided a rising living standard,” but he “is reversing that by putting more of an ideological stamp on society.” Aside from widely publicized new limits on video games and screen time, on September 2, the television regulator “banned effeminate men on the screen” out of “official concern that Chinese pop stars, imitating the sleek look of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors, were failing to encourage China’s young men to be masculine enough.” Mr. Xi may know best “about everything, on behalf of everyone. But the more power concentrates in one man, the more brittle the system may become.”


Financial Times (September 5)

2021/ 09/ 07 by jd in Global News

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has “lacked distinctive policies of his own or an independent political base. Going forward, “Japan needs a different kind of leader.” The next leader “requires communication skills and a compelling programme.”


Wall Street Journal (August 23)

2021/ 08/ 23 by jd in Global News

The Government of Japan “is already on the hook to pay out nearly $10 trillion to its creditors.” This may appear *an impossibly large sum to rustle up” when annual tax collections amount to “less than $600 billion.” But today’s “economists talk more about the risk of issuing too little debt” and the U.S. may soon follow Japan’s lead. “Congress is debating trillions of dollars more in proposed spending that would push America’s borrowing toward levels policy makers in Tokyo have long embraced.”


The Economist (August 14)

2021/ 08/ 17 by jd in Global News

Japan’s “financial heft in South-East Asia” is vastly understated. It still ranks as the biggest “investor in the region’s infrastructure projects.” While “China’s financial reach overseas attracts enormous attention, when it comes to infrastructure in South-East Asia, Japan is still very much the leader…. In total, it has $259bn invested in unfinished projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam…compared with China’s $157bn.”


Bloomberg (August 13)

2021/ 08/ 15 by jd in Global News

“It seems like Japan’s big recovery is always a quarter away.” The economy may just barely manage growth in the second quarter, but the slow vaccination rollout and ongoing surges mean “the bounce in consumer spending that analysts had been forecasting will have to wait even longer.” Japan has earned “the dubious distinction of being the only G-7 economy to have its growth outlook for this year cut by the International Monetary Fund.”


Washington Post (August 8)

2021/ 08/ 09 by jd in Global News

“The flame that burned throughout one of history’s most controversial Games was extinguished Sunday as Japan brought the curtain down on the Tokyo Olympics with Closing Ceremonies that were as unusual as the event itself” because there were very few athletes present. “It was a fitting, bittersweet end to a complicated Games. While the ban on spectators meant the Games looked and felt nothing like the electric showcase of Japan that organizers had hoped for, the Olympics nonetheless provided a much-needed respite, a burst of joy and human wonder, for viewers around the world exhausted by the pandemic.”


Financial Times (August 7)

2021/ 08/ 08 by jd in Global News

“As Japan and the US square-off tonight for the gold medal match in Olympic baseball, the Yokohama air will be equal parts thick with history, humidity and the rich possibility of humiliation.” Drastically important, both countries will be competing in what is “a cherished national sport, a national obsession, a mirror to the national soul and a century-old metaphor for the swash and backwash of the two nations’ relationship. A Japanese win in Yokohama will settle and old, old score.”


Washington Post (July 9)

2021/ 07/ 11 by jd in Global News

“Tokyo’s newly rebuilt, 68,000-capacity National Stadium… will be empty throughout the Games, symbolizing the vast sums of money invested in these Olympics with little reward for the people of Japan or the country’s economy.” The spectator ban “highlights the government’s failure to get its vaccination program underway early enough to allow the Games to take place safely with fans.”


Reuters (July 6)

2021/ 07/ 07 by jd in Global News

The spectator ban on the opening ceremony is yet “another downgrade” for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, leaving its “pomp and public spectacle overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. Once promoted as an extravaganza to showcase Japan to the world, the Games appear in danger of taking place largely out of public view in a country closed to foreign tourists due to the pandemic.”


Financial Times (July 2)

2021/ 07/ 04 by jd in Global News

“The readings on the Tankan, widely regarded as Japan’s most reliable economic data series, suggest Asia’s only G7 economy is well-positioned for growth in the second half of the year.”


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