Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda gave himself two years to do “whatever it takes” to end deflation and revive the world’s third-largest economy. He may have less than half that time to produce results.
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.
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.
Group of 20 finance chiefs sharpened their stance against governments trying to influence exchange rates as they sought to tame speculation of a global currency war without singling out Japan for criticism.
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.
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.