japan

Japan’s tax hikes – Graphic of the day

Japan’s economy unexpectedly slipped into recession in Q3 after the rise in the national sales tax in April, setting the stage for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to delay an unpopular sales hike planned for next year. Today’s graphic looks at wages, spending and GDP in the months before & after the tax hike.

japan tax

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The reconstruction financing loop – Graphic of the day

Thirty billion dollars in funding for new homes in tsunami-ravaged areas is stuck in banks, leaving tens of thousands of evacuees facing a fourth winter in temporary dwellings. Japanese government funds budgeted for reconstruction and transferred to local governments are stuck in banks across the tsunami-ravaged northeast, a Reuters review of budget and bank deposit data and interviews with bank officials reveals.

tsunami financing

Read the full special report.

Japan’s power grid – Graphic of the day

The structural problems of Japan’s power grid were highlighted by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear shutdown, which left some regions with power shortages despite ample supplies elsewhere. It is the only country in the world with two electricity frequencies and needs transformers to switch power between east and west. Today’s graphic diagrams Japan’s electricity transmission and distribution system.

japan power

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Japanese economy – Graphic of the day

Cooling growth in China and an economic trouble in Europe are adding to pressure on the Bank of Japan and the government to step up policy support as the economy struggles to recover from the pain of an April sales tax hike. Today’s graphic contains seven charts on key economic indicators of the Japanese economy.

japan economy

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Japan’s Studio Ghibli – Graphic of the day

Japan’s premier animation house is considering dismantling an expensive production system, possibly laying off full-time artists and animators in Japan and outsourcing to Southeast Asia. Today’s graphic is a timeline of Studio Ghibli’s feature film releases and their respective earnings.

Studio Ghibli

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Japan’s mercury trade – Graphic of the day

Japan is the only major Western-oriented economy that has not banned exports of mercury, which is used in gold mining operations in Indonesia and other countries, causing damage to health and the environment. The country has yet to ratify the Minamata treaty that was agreed last October. Today’s graphic looks at the countries that import/export the most mercury.

mercury

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Hot and humid summers in Japan – graphic of the day

Warm, moist air currents from the Pacific produce high temperatures and humidity throughout most of Japan in summer. Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, scheduled to be held from July 24th to August 9th. Today’s graphic is a comparison of historical daily temperature and humidity ranges in Tokyo for the period of the Olympics. It also shows the humidity and temperature ranges for past Olympic Games.

japan

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Japan’s economy – graphic of the day

Japan suffered its biggest economic contraction since the devastating March 2011 earthquake in the April-June quarter, as a sales tax hike took a heavy toll on household spending. Today’s graphic charts seven key indicators for the Japanese economy.

japan economy

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Thomson Reuters Newsmaker with Japan Economics Minister

Japan's Economics Minister Amari

Japan’s Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Akira Amari spoke openly about cuts in corporate income tax, trade sensitivities, prolonged deflation and bold reforms at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event held at our Tokyo office last week.

Amari addressed a full house of Thomson Reuters guests and Japanese and international media before being interviewed by Reuters Japan Bureau Chief Kevin Krolicki, and participating in a Q&A session. He warned that it would be premature for the Bank of Japan to consider an exit strategy from its massive stimulus program, voicing hope instead for further monetary easing if achievement of its inflation goal falls behind schedule. Amari also said that while Japan appears to be emerging from years of persistent price declines, it was too early to formally declare a sustained end to deflation with the economic recovery still vulnerable to external shocks.

“The BOJ has expressed strong determination that it won’t hesitate to take further action if (the timing for meeting the inflation target) is not on schedule. If the BOJ judges that it’s not on schedule, I think the central bank will decide on its own (to act),” he said. (Read the full story here.)

Amari also revealed that corporate income tax rates are likely to be cut by around six percentage points over the next few years (video) and said that ‘Abenomics’ is succeeding where conventional policies failed in pulling Japan from its deflationary slump (video).

Video Highlights: (more…)

Abenomics scorecard – graphic of the day

The Bank of Japan is expected to stand pat on monetary policy and maintain an upbeat view of the economy at its policy meeting next week. The nine charts below look at how the Japanese economy performed under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

abenomics

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