Tag Archives: japan

Japan Winning A Race Seoul Doesn’t Want It To Finish

28 May

Japan's First LapHere’s a neat metaphor – all allowances made for the limits of that rhetorical device – for understanding Abenomics: “Ultimately, the BoJ’s asset-purchase program is a bit like throwing giant quantities of damp wood on a fire and hoping that the fire can set the wood alight before the wood smothers the fire.” The Bank of Japan is divided about how to proceed.

Minutes released by the Bank of Japan highlighted a split among policy makers over achieving 2 percent inflation and mixed views on bond market turbulence after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda cited signs the economy is picking up.

“A few” policy makers said that it’s “highly uncertain whether changes in inflation expectations would lead to a rise in the actual rate of inflation,” according to a record of an April 26 meeting, released today in Tokyo. One member said the bond market may become unstable again, while another said rising rates may point to an economic upturn.

Divisions in the board add to communication challenges for Kuroda, 68, as volatility in the stock and bond markets threatens to undermine business and consumer confidence. Kuroda said yesterday that the economy has clearly started picking up and there are no signs investors have “excessively bullish” expectations. He also cited a report indicating interest rates could rise by between one and three percentage points in an improving economy without causing financial instability.
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Hashimoto Apologizes To US

28 May

Torun Hashimoto ApologizesIt was a very calibrated apology, “to the US forces and to the American people“, but then the mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto doubled down on his opinion about comfort women, effectively insulting those countries where comfort women were abducted – again.

On Monday, the former lawyer, until recently a rising star of Japanese politics , claimed his comments about US troops on Okinawa had been misreported.


“My real intention was to prevent a mere handful of US soldiers from committing crimes and strengthen the Japan-US alliance and the relations of trust between the two nations,” Hashimoto told a packed press conference in Tokyo.

He said he had suggested that troops use the “legally accepted adult entertainment industry” out of a “sense of crisis” over sexual assaults by US servicemen.

“I understand that my remark could be construed as an insult to the US forces and to the American people and was inappropriate. I retract this remark and express an apology.”

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The World’s First Leftovers

28 May

Older Than Grandma's StewIt’s tempting to speculate, that the world’s first soups looked and tasted something like this Japanese stew.

Flakes of charred material scraped from shards of ancient pots are the earliest direct evidence of pottery use for cooking, a new study suggests. Possibly the biggest surprise, scientists say, is that these prehistoric chefs weren’t part of an early agricultural community, and they weren’t cooking grain: They were hunter-gatherers who lived in Japan during the waning phases of the last ice age, and they were apparently boiling up a seafood stew.

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