As Japan girds for a wallop to spending from a looming sales-tax increase, discussion in the nation’s parliament turns to history -- not to 1997, when the last bump in the levy helped trigger a recession, but to 1937.
The world’s biggest retirement fund should put half its $1.2 trillion of assets in stocks and increase its yearly return goal to 5 percent, said the head of a panel that advised lawmakers on overhauling public pensions.
Putting the final touches to his latest book in October, retired Yale University professor Koichi Hamada received a phone call at his Connecticut home. It was Shinzo Abe, whom he’d known for more than a decade and was running for a second shot at being Japan’s prime minister.
The world’s largest manager of retirement savings should reduce holdings of domestic bonds and create a board of directors to replace the current governance structure, an expert panel told Japan’s ruling party.
Failure to increase Japan’s sales tax as planned could lead overseas investors to unload their Japanese assets and “blow away” the market benefits of Abenomics, a lawmaker ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
None of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan ’s four predecessors lasted more than a year in office. He may be set to avoid a similar fate as the country’s strongest earthquake and a nuclear crisis rule out the likelihood of an early election.
The Federal Reserve’s decision to set a 2 percent inflation target last month had a ripple effect a continent away: Japanese lawmakers are invoking it as evidence that their own central bank comes up short.
Japanese ruling party lawmaker Kozo Yamamoto said a race to devalue currencies would spark global growth, dismissing German criticism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans for monetary easing which have weakened the yen.