Posts Tagged Noda

To get out of debt, buy more debt!

Well, it is Hallowe’en, so I’ve underlined the scary part to make sure you get the shivers.

Japanese Prime Minister Noda offers vague promise.

 Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda Japan on Friday offered vague promises that Japan will help Europe climb out of its debt hole, but left himself a week to decide how Japan might augment its already hefty contribution to the EU’s bailout fund.

Noda told the Diet that Japan stood ready to play its part in stabilizing the eurozone as it struggles to get a grip on a two-year crisis that has threatened to derail the global recovery.

Japan has so far purchased around 20% of the debt issued by the European Financial Stability Facility, the continent’s bailout fund, and has indicated its willingness to buy more.

Klaus Regling, head of the EFSF, was in China Friday amid speculation that Beijing would come to Europe’s rescue, although he insisted there had been “no deal.”

Looks like the Chinese said, “she-she but no she-she”:

The head of the European bail-out fund dampened hopes Friday that China Would come to a debt-stricken EU’s rescue, but left the door open for a deal with the world’s second-biggest economy.

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Prime Minister NODA’s BLOG

Mr. Noda has a blog and it’s being translated into English. I wonder how long it will last. Any bets? (Original Japanese is here.) Mouse-tip to VOA reporter Steve Herman for the link.

Hello to all the Japanese people. I am Yoshihiko Noda, appointed Prime Minister recently. Taking a lesson from some of the prime ministers who preceded me, I have decided to launch this blog in order to convey to you, the public, the job performance of the Noda Cabinet.

via Prime Minister NODA’s BLOG.

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2011/09/07 12:27 – OPINION: Noda Must Work To Regain Business Trust

Japanese companies, from carmakers to food processors, are scrambling to buy land for factories elsewhere in Asia. They are shifting production out of Japan to get around the yen’s extraordinary strength and power shortages at home.

Another problem is visible in the auto industry, the backbone of Japan’s industrial might. Carmakers are in a serious bind because of the steep rise of the yen.

“Japanese car exports may fall to zero in five years,” warned a senior executive at a major carmaker. If auto production in Japan were to fall by half, gross domestic product would shrink by about 3%, causing over 1 million job losses, according to estimates by Mizuho Corporate Bank. Such a sharp fall in domestic car production would also deliver a serious blow to steelmakers and others, harming Japan’s current account balance.

But instead of taking steps to reverse this trend, the past two Democratic Party of Japan administrations have raised the cost of doing business even more by tightening labor regulations, for example, and promising a sharp reduction in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

via 2011/09/07 12:27 – OPINION: Noda Must Work To Regain Business Trust.

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2011/09/03 02:57 – EDITORIAL: All Together Now

“All Together Now” seems to be the slogan of the day:

TOKYO Nikkei–Party unity is important for what it accomplishes. We hope Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government sets clear goals and, unlike the two before it, moves in lock step against the country’s problems.

via 2011/09/03 02:57 – EDITORIAL: All Together Now.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sAKRpjmZj0′]

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda aims to take a more focused approach than his predecessors in crafting economic policies, creating a national strategy council and bringing everyone on board. Noda’s vision is to pool the talents of politicians, bureaucrats, business executives and private-sector individuals at the council, a departure from the previous Democratic Party of Japan government’s efforts to minimize bureaucrats’ involvement in policy formulation.

via Noda Envisions More Streamlined Economic Policymaking | Nikkei.com Read the rest of this entry »

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Eloquent orator seen as safe choice – FT.com

Jiro Yamaguchi, a political scientist at Hokkaido University, says Mr Noda is likely to try to avoid further friction and to instead pursue a conventional foreign policy stressing stability in ties with the US.“I don’t think that he’s a die-hard conservative or nationalist,” Prof Yamaguchi says. “I don’t think he will visit Yasukuni … he’s very cautious and he wants to avoid hot issues.”

via Eloquent orator seen as safe choice – FT.com.

“Very cautious and wants to avoid hot issues.” That will make him stand out from the crowd, then.

There’s a phrase in Japanese “juu-rai doori” (or July dolly, as my colleague calls it). It means, according to precedent, or just carry on as usual. It’s a popular phrase in meetings, when no-one really wants to offer a novel idea, or no-one understands the issue well enough to comment. Then “July Dolly” makes everyone sound knowledgeable and cautious. Which of course they are.

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Anti-Ozawa votes put Noda over : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

From the Daily Yomiuri Online. (I like the “observers said” quote. I was an observer, too, and I said the same thing!)

The victory of Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda in a runoff election for the Democratic Party of Japan leadership Monday signified a refusal by a majority of party lawmakers to restore visible influence to former leader Ichiro Ozawa, observers said.

Noda won wide support, not only from the group led by former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara–who, like Noda, had backed the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan–but also the group led by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano and most of the “floaters” who belong to no particular intraparty group.

DPJ lawmakers grew concerned that Ozawa and his followers might gain a free hand over personnel appointments and policy decisions if Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda became party leader and prime minister, observers said. Kaieda got the most votes in the first round of voting, with the full support of the groups led by Ozawa and former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

But anti-Ozawa feeling was not the only reason lawmakers voted for Noda:

Some observers said support for Noda increased after Kaieda indicated he would cancel the agreement reached by the DPJ and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito to review the DPJ’s manifesto from the 2009 House of Representatives election.

This caused a number of DPJ lawmakers to fear that if Kaieda were elected party leader and prime minister, the new administration under him would be almost certainly become bogged down under a strong backlash from the opposition parties.

Noda clearly stated that he would review the manifesto, with no element of it being “sacred.” He thus indicated he would continue, in principle, the Kan administration’s stance of prioritizing cooperation with the opposition camp, rather than adherence to the manifesto.

via Anti-Ozawa votes put Noda over : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

And

Kaieda belongs to an intraparty group led by former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and received the backing of former DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the largest bloc in the party. Kaieda led the first round with 143 votes, while Noda won 102 in the five-man race.

Former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara won 74 votes.

However, Noda won the runoff thanks to the ballots of supporters of Maehara, as well as support from his own group and Kan’s. Noda also received votes in the runoff from lawmakers who voted for former Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Sumio Mabuchi or Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano in the first round.

The Maehara and Noda camps on Sunday agreed to cooperate in case of a runoff, if either Maehara or Noda took second place in the first round.

Voting took place at a general meeting of DPJ Diet members, which began at 11 a.m. at a Tokyo hotel. A total of 398 DPJ Diet members were eligible to vote as of Monday morning: 292 members of the House of Representatives and 106 members of the House of Councillors. The party memberships of nine members, including Ozawa, have been suspended.

The actual number of votes cast was 395 in both the first and second rounds. However, three ballots were deemed invalid in the second round.

via Noda elected DPJ president : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

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Japan’s Finance Minister Noda to be new PM – Yahoo! News

So this was a vote against Ozawa and his preferred candidate.  Great.

Instead of a deep debate over how to jolt Japan out of decades of stagnation, the party vote had turned into a battle between allies and critics of Ichiro Ozawa, a 69-year-old political mastermind who heads the party’s biggest group even as he faces trial on charges of misreporting political donations.

via Japan’s Finance Minister Noda to be new PM – Yahoo! News.

Read the article to find out more about Noda’s views. The only thing I found interesting in it was this: “Bond markets welcomed the choice of Noda, who among the candidates was the only one consistently calling for Japan to face painful reforms to curb its massive debt”

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Moody’s Downgrades Japan Debt Rating To Aa3: Nikkei

Moodys downgrades Japanese bonds to Aa3, due to huge and increasing amount of public debt and large budget deficits.

米格付け会社ムーディーズ・インベスターズ・サービスは24日、日本国債の格付けを「Aa2」から「Aa3」(ダブルAマイナスに相当)へ1段階引き下げたと発表した。同社による日本国債の格下げは約9年ぶり。今後の見通しは安定的とした。格下げの理由は「多額の財政赤字と、2009年の世界的な景気後退以降の政府債務の増加を受けたものだ」と指摘した。

via ムーディーズ、日本国債を格下げ 1段階低い「Aa3」  :日本経済新聞.

Moody’s said it was cutting Japan’s government bond rating to Aa3 from Aa2, citing “large budget deficits and the build-up in Japanese government debt since the 2009 global recession.” It said the outlook was stable. The action puts Moody’s rating on a par with other major ratings companies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, both of which rate Japan’s sovereign debt at AA- with a negative outlook.

The yen fell briefly on the news, with the dollar spiking to Y76.78

Like the U.S., Japan is facing increasing criticism over its financial condition, bringing action from the ratings companies. But its finances are in far worse shape with nearly half of the annual central government budget financed by bond issuance and the country’s gross debt now equal to more then 200% of annual GDP. That compares with a U.S. debt load at an estimated 75% of GDP.

via Moody’s Downgrades Japan Debt Rating To Aa3: Nikkei

Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda declined to comment on the Moody’s move, but he defended the creditworthiness of Japanese sovereign debt. “The smooth sales of Japanese government bonds at recent auctions show that confidence remains unshaken,” Noda told reporters after the downgrade.

Readers may wish to compare this completely unbiased and objective view with this one from economic analyst Mish regarding a bond auction in early August:

Please note that was not a failed auction. Indeed it was oversubscribed. However, nearly all of that demand is internal. Internal demand is a double-edged sword. Right now it is still sufficient. However, when (not if), Japan ever needs foreign buyers for its bond market, rates will not be 2.3% on 40-year bonds.

Related articles:

  1. 2011/08/23 17:32 – ‘Bond Vigilantes’ Sizing Up Prime Minister Hopefuls

  2. Japanese debt now 7,380,000 per person 「国の借金」最大の943兆円 6月末、1人あたり738万円  :日本経済新聞 
  3. Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Worst Demand on Record for Japanese 40-Year Bonds; Can Japan Service its Debt? How?

  4. Markets Hope For Follow-Through On Taxes, Yen From New Govt
  5. DPJ Contest To Be Fought Over Rebuilding, Tax Hikes

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