Posts Tagged Japan

Life Insurers Make Little Headway In Shift To Foreign Bonds

The official line appears to be that JGB are (relatively) risk-free assets: foreign bonds are “riskiER”.

TOKYO (Nikkei)–The nation’s largest life insurers continue to invest most of their assets in Japanese government bonds despite efforts by the Bank of Japan to get them to buy riskier assets, such as stocks and foreign bonds.

via 2013/08/10 05:18 – Life Insurers Make Little Headway In Shift To Foreign Bonds.


Yahoo Japan, Govt Create Smartphone Disaster Alert App

TOKYO Nikkei–Yahoo Japan Corp. 4689 and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications have created a smartphone app that issues evacuation advisories during natural disasters.

The app receives alerts from local authorities when a disaster strikes, such as earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons and torrential rains. App users will receive these alerts based on their chosen location.

Any nationwide advisories will also be posted on Yahoo Japan’s front page.

via 2013/08/22 14:00 – Yahoo Japan, Govt Create Smartphone Disaster Alert App.


Yen Surges As Japanese GDP Misses By Most In A Year | Zero Hedge

If you are one of those who never believed in Abenomics, then the following will not come as a surprise. After reading the below, read this piece: Five Years Later, Fed Finds QE Has “At Best, Moderate Effects on Economic Growth”.

There goes the tax hike (and any expectation of fiscal balance). Japanese GDP grew at a miserly 0.6% QoQ, missing expectations of +0.9% (the biggest miss in a year) and slowing from an already revised lower 0.9% growth in Q1. So much for Abenomics breathing life back into a balance-sheet-recessed nation. Typically this kind of miss would be met with cheers as bad is good but in the case of Japan where they are so far down the rabbit hole, there is no moar left. The already collapsing JPY-carry trade is unwinding in a hurry as JPY surges to a 95 handle on the news; the USD is dropping, Nikkei futures are down 200 points, S&P futures are down a few handles, and gold is holding notable gains.

Read more at: Yen Surges As Japanese GDP Misses By Most In A Year | Zero Hedge.


China Go Boom (Along with Japan) in [Market Ticker]

If you’re invested in Japan’s stock market and reading this while drinking something, you might want to put it down first. Or just laugh it off as another “gloom and doom” merchant, and when have they ever been right. Right?

Overnight the Nikkei was down about 3%, which ought to be a loud warning as well. Abenomics has failed. Technically the market looks like a straight-up move with what could have been a “healthy” retrace that failed to break out, and from failed breakouts come fast and vast moves.

Technically, the first-level target for the Nikkei is at 11,459, with a second level target just over 10,000. That would be an almost 40% fall from late May’s levels.

China’s Shanghai market has an even-more ominous technical view.

via China Go Boom (Along with Japan) in [Market-Ticker]


Summer on Mt. Tateyama and Kiso-komagatake

Many people try and escape the summer heat by traveling in the mountains. This is true in Japan, China and India (but not in the UK because we don’t have any mountains). The best time to go, if you want to see the mountain flowers, is in June-early July. Due to my work I can rarely get time off in this period, so I have to make do with 2nd-best: photos and blogs. Feeling the heat? Click the link below and take a little digital trip to cool off, and learn something about Japan and its history at the same time.

Blossoming Alpine plants, snow gorges, and refreshingly cool air welcomed us at Murodo on Tateyama Mt.Tate in Toyama Prefecture when we got off the highland bus. It was the second time I had called in at the Murodo Plateau which is 2450 m above sea level and the first time for my husband. The temperature up there was 14℃ and it was 20℃ cooler than in town.

The first time I went there was when…

read more and see her stunning mountain photos at Through the Sapphire Sky: Tateyama mandala -summer at Murodo on Mt. Tate.

Also check out Stardust’s trip to the Japan Central Alps.

P1330188 stardust


Japan Food Prices Set To Soar As Government Hikes Wholesale Wheat Prices By 10% | Zero Hedge

Man, this sucks! I saw gasoline prices shoot up (I had filled up the day before!), but I did not know about the wheat. Come April, I will be cutting back on my bread-buying and switching from “udon” (wheat) noodles to “soba” (buckwheat, “grown in Japan”) noodles. The graphs are really scary. Visit Zero Hedge to see them.

Mouse-tip to Marketing Japan for the heads-up.

soaring energy costs – this is the bad news for all…

As all of this happens, Japanese exports – the sole purported reason for this whole reflationary experiment, as the only way the economy improves is if Japan exports soar and the country returns to a net trade surplus status, just hit a record deficit as of a few days ago.

But while the “no free lunch” reality has until now mostly been felt by those who need energy, as shown in “You Wanted Inflation, You Got It: Japanese Gasoline Price Rises To Eight Month High” the inflationary impact on Chinese imports is about to hit everyone like a sledgehammer right where it hurts the most: in the stomach, as the inevitable has finally happened, and the agriculture ministry announced that wholesale wheat prices are set to rise by a near-record 9.7% in April, which will shortly thereafter send regular food prices soaring.

via Japan Food Prices Set To Soar As Government Hikes Wholesale Wheat Prices By 10% | Zero Hedge.

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Tokyo School Principal: Don’t Report Bullying to the Police, Or Else! | RocketNews24

Just came across


Bringing you yesterday’s news from Japan and Asia, today.

where I found the following, which I hadn’t heard of:

A student from a private integrated junior high/ high school in Tokyo filed a complaint with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police as a victim of bullying. It was later learned that the 15 year-old high school student was allegedly advised by his principal not to go to the police on threat of not being able to enter high school.

The boy and his mother claim that he was sworn to silence as a condition of his graduating from middle school. However, as the bullying continued into high school he decided to go to the police.

via Tokyo School Principal: Don’t Report Bullying to the Police, Or Else! | RocketNews24.

Also check out this survey on when Japanese have their first kiss.


Japanese traditional means of keeping cool – wind and water

wind chimes 風鈴 (fuurin)

wind chimes 風鈴 (fuurin)

Feeling the heat? Then get out of the kitchen and check out these two great blog posts by my Nara Lady English bloggers:

  1. wind chime temple by Nara storyteller, and
  2. have a bit of coolness, by Sarah
akame 48 waterfalls, Nara, Japan

akame 48 waterfalls, Nara, Japan

Need still more cooling? Check out these Nara Lady English Bloggers:

  1. Heaven @ 2700 metres

    Norikura, Nagano, Japan. (Photo by Stardust)

  2. Alpine Meadow and Aquatic Fairy
    baika-mo = Aquatic fairy

    “baika-mo” Aquatic fairy (photo by Cosmos)


  3. a scorching hot day

    Kobe Harbour - photo by Chambered Nautilus

    Kobe Harbour – photo by Chambered Nautilus

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More bad news for Japan’s economy

Japan Services PMI™Markit reports Japan Composite data show sharpest decline in business activity since September 2011 Key points: Moderate declines in activity across both manufacturing and services Total new orders fall for first time in six months Service sector optimism the second-highest in 37 months

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.

But, not to worry. Japan has a secret weapon – a central bank – just like the U.S., the U.K., China and Europe. All they have to do is print more money. In fact, it’s a puzzle why they haven’t done this before, isn’t it, boys and girls. Or have the central bank buy the government debt directly.

The news from the rest of the world isn’t too good, either, but those places all have a central bank, so no worries, mate! And China is bouncing back! The worst is probably over, already.

Easy. What’s all the fuss about?

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Japan a bug that will not escape the windshield

Enjoying the good weather? Feelin’ groovy? Getting ready for summer? Like MarketingJapan, checking out great new places to eat? As Mike has clearly fumbled the ball on this one, I’ll have to pick it up (well somebody’s gotta!)

Summer may be cancelled. Japan is a bug in search of a windshield!!! Are you prepared? Are you preparing? Buying assets that will be of value in a recession? Got stocks of food and water? Got your cash under the mattress? No? Because you can always get your cash out from an ATM???

I quote from Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.  And don’t think Mike is always out to yakitori: check out his hard-hitting piece on the Tokyo concert to end nuke power.

If Japan’s current-account was negative, Japan would depend on foreign capital to make up the deficit. Will foreigners fund Japan at 0% interest rates?

I think not.

Bug In Search of Window

Japan has debt-to-GDP ratio of 220% and rising. As of July 9, the Yield on 10-year Japanese Bonds is .80%.

A mere rise of 2 percentage points would consume all Japanese revenues just to pay interest on the national debt.

Moreover, Japan’s demographics are such that pension plans are now for the first time last year net sellers of bonds, not net buyers. For details, please see World’s Largest Pension Fund Needs to Sell Japanese Bonds; Japan’s Demographic Time Bomb Officially Goes Off

As John Mauldin commented in his book Endgame: The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything, “Japan is like a bug in search of a window.” If you have not yet picked up a copy, please do so. It’s a good read.

Once Japan’s current account balance goes negative in a sustained way and I believe that will indeed happen, the bug will have found the window.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.

(I’ve changed Mish’s link to Mauldin’s book to direct you to the Amazon Japan product page; if you buy it from here, you’ll be buying me a drink. Cheers!)

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