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  • My Vision for Japan's Economic Future: Sustainable Growth Through Structural Reform: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    islands are large both in area and in volume In these deep seas are rare metals and rare ores whose presence will give Japan an opportunity to shift away from resource poor countries Therefore as a maritime nation Japan has to pursue security and economic policies based on its national interest and standing and secure territorial land and sea strategically Senkaku Islands It s this context that gave rise to the government s decision under Mr Noda to purchase the Senkaku Islands No doubt the Senkaku Islands are inherently part of the territory of Japan in light of history and international law he said But after the aggressive conduct of Chinese vessels in the area and the August 2011 landing of activists from Hong Kong not to mention Governor Ishihara s announcement that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government intended to acquire ownership of the islands there really was no choice but to have the national government make the purchase It was not my hope that all that the Japan China relations deteriorated over the Senkakus Mr Noda declared The Japan China relationship is of such importance that even if there is disagreement on one single issue exchanges cannot or should not be blocked or communication between leaders should not be rejected We have come to the point where we have to consider seriously how to build a relationship with China by asserting what we ought to assert and incorporating what we ought to incorporate between Japan and China just like the U S and China in concrete issues such as the economy environment energy and international relations in the Asia Pacific going forward and the nuclear issues of North Korea If the bilateral relations become dysfunctional there is too much to lose for both sides The essence of what the Japanese government advocates is mutually beneficial relations based on common strategic interests Japan and Korea Starting with the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Korea in 1965 Japan has steadily built relations with its closest neighbor Mr Noda said The 1998 joint statement between the two was a truly meaningful agreement However over the last 10 years Japan Korea relations have witnessed a change Globalization has advanced in Korea and they have deepened their confidence on the economy In principle building up confidence is quite praiseworthy but it can be taken to extremes Former President Lee Myung bak s landing on Takashima in 2012 was contrary to the 1965 Basic Treaty and certainly erode d efforts to build the relations between the two countries Currently between Japan and Korea we should never forget that there are more commonalities than differences In order to cope with the nuclear issue of North Korea it is extremely important for Japan and Korea to closely cooperate with the United States he said Relationships in East Asia The History Issue What I would like to make clear is that the majority of the Japanese feel a deep sense of remorse about the tremendous damage and

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/my-vision-for-japans-economic-future-sustainable-growth-through-structural-reform (2016-02-14)
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  • Where Does the Future of Investments Lie? Ray Dalio on the Japanese & World Economies: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    while there is positive growth and not too much inflation Mr Dalio said Examples are the U S from 1933 to 1937 Japan from 1932 to 1936 the UK from 1947 to 1969 and the U S in this current period There are ugly deleveragings which have the effect of actually raising the debt to income ratios and making miserable economies he continued the Great Depression in the U S Japan in 1929 to 1931 the U S in 2008 to 2009 Spain and Italy in this current crisis and Japan from 1990 to the present The difference between them is in striking the right balance Restructuring debt and austerity are both deflationary whereas if we re monetizing debt that is inflationary and has a simulative effect If those things are working together in balance you won t have the ugly deleveraging problem How does a beautiful deleveraging happen The number one rule for that is to have income growth that is faster than debt growth he said If however you have say a nominal interest rate of 5 percent and a nominal GDP growth rate of 0 percent those fives are going to compound against those zeros and that s going to mean your debt is going to rise and become an increasing burden Spending Money and Credit GDP is going to be determined by spending and spending can either be money or credit he reminded the audience If there s negative credit growth therefore negative spending there has to be more money to have that same level of spending And it isn t inflationary if money is increased when debt is decreased because the only thing that s going to affect the cost of things is spending And whether it s spent by money or it s spent by credit doesn t make a difference other than when the time comes for paying back But it really is not more inflationary The popular belief that somehow spending a lot more money and creating money is somehow worse than creating credit is a mistaken concept Where We Are Today The world economy as a whole is kind of in the middle of a cycle Mr Dalio said The U S was able to decrease the impact of the bursting of the debt bubble in the 2008 2009 financial crisis through a sharp rise in money The production of money stimulated the response that caused the debt to income ratio to decline while there was positive growth in the economy In both core Europe and southern Europe debt as a percentage of GDP rose during the period but the increase in core Europe was more gradual than in peripheral Europe Now we have China China has become an important force in the world We have debt to income ratios rising lower than they are elsewhere But we have a serious debt bubble emerging in China The new government knows that and is dealing with a serious reallocation particularly because a

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/where-does-the-future-of-investments-lie-ray-dalio-on-the-japanese-world-economies (2016-02-14)
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  • Japan & the United Nations in a Turbulent World: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    policy dialogue group called the Post MDGs Contact Group and will be working with the UN Development Group to conduct a series of thematic and regional consultations with participants from civil society the private sector and women and youth We cannot achieve poverty eradication which is our ultimate goal in the post 2015 development agenda without ensuring sustainability he added Thus the Rio 20 conference in 2012 focused on green economy and sustainable development with Japan announcing its own Green Future Initiatives to explore sustainable growth The Fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development or TICAD V will be held in Yokohama starting June 1 TICAD I was organized in 1993 as the first high level policy dialogue framework between African leaders and development partners including the United Nations on issues facing Africa Since then it has evolved into a major framework for the promotion of development in Africa under the principles of ownership and partnership the ambassador noted Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Japan which serves on the UN s Human Rights Council for the 2013 2015 term believes that enduring peace and prosperity is not achievable if such a universal value as human rights is undermined he said Thus Japan has supported and co sponsored General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions on human rights in Syria has contributed 80 5 million in humanitarian aid for Syria and will continue to support diplomatic efforts by Mr Lakhdar Brahimi Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States Japan strongly hopes that the upcoming International Conference on Syria or the so called Geneva II Conference will be held successfully with a view to finding a political solution for this crisis Ambassador Nishida noted Japan s efforts over the course of many years towards an end to the all pervasive human rights problems in North Korea Japan has joined with the EU in introducing resolutions on the subject at the General Assembly and will cooperate in every way to achieve success for the Commission of Inquiry on DPRK human rights abuses established last year by the Human Rights Council UN Reform The different issues I have touched upon are in fact all inter connected and therefore a holistic and coordinated approach is required to resolve them Ambassador Nishida commented UN reform and in particular Security Council reform is long overdue and it is high time for all member states to start real negotiations with a sense of urgency and in a spirit of trust and flexibility Conclusion Before concluding Ambassador referred to the rule of law and human security concepts that are of great importance to today s world Japan believes that the rule of law is a core principle of governance essential in ensuring justice stability and predictability Ambassador Nishida said This deep conviction is reflected in Japan s support for the International Court of Justice the International Criminal Court and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Likewise Japan is devoted to

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/japan-and-the-united-nations-in-a-turbulent-world (2016-02-14)
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  • Japan's Sustainable Growth Strategy: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    that by developing these Japan EU U S economic partnerships in parallel we can bring about high standard global trade and investment rules as well as contribute to worldwide economic growth Transforming sensitive elements of Japan s agriculture sector into competitiveness through land accumulation and integration of farming processing and distributing In Shiga Prefecture near Kyoto the ambassador noted a group of farmers formed an agricultural corporation to run their small farms as a single enterprise They built a rice bread processing facility and an outlet store and now employ 12 women and 30 seniors over age 60 It s a small change but what would happen if that is done nationally The growth strategy will encourage such farmers and help them to become more competitive aiming for doubling farmers income within 10 years he said Encouraging more high skilled foreign workers foreign tourists and foreign college students to come to Japan and doubling foreign university teaching staff at eight national universities over a three year period Tripling overseas sales of Japanese TV and other programs within five years and tripling exports of systems and technologies in medical services aerospace disaster prevention and smart cities to 300 billion by 2020 Diversifying energy supplies among renewable energy nuclear LNG and coal while making best use of advanced efficient technologies This includes restarting nuclear plants once their safety is assured importing LNG from the U S and liberalizing the generation and sale of electric power Adding innovation and competition to Japan s medical sector including setting up Japanese versions of the U S National Institutes of Health the NIH One illustration is a walking assistance robot named HAL developed by a Japanese venture company led by Professor Sankai at the University of Tsukuba Ambassador Sasae said Somewhat like the Iron Man suit in the movie series the robot can sense bioelectrical signals when the user intends to move his legs Then the robot moves its joints in sync with the user s movements Miraculously the user can walk again Even more amazing people who cannot walk by themselves can even walk for a short period of time without even putting on this HAL because the muscles remember the movements and walk without neurological signals There are more than 300 HAL suits in use at over 150 facilities Another illustration is the work in the field of regenerative medicine by Dr Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine last year for his study of induced pluripotent stem cells The Prime Minister himself will announce a package of the growth strategy in more detail before this summer Ambassador Sasae concluded The Japanese people are a hard working and educated people a people who can pull together for a common goal when that goal is made clear to us Indeed growth is possible in Japan Japan again can become an engine of global prosperity as it once was And it is my hope and my belief that we

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/japans-sustainable-growth-strategy (2016-02-14)
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  • Lessons at the Zero Bound: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    2008 Immediately upon reaching the zero bound for interest rates we provided additional stimulus by expanding our balance sheet and deploying forward guidance with respect to the policy rate Mr Dudley said These actions in the context of a strong commitment to both our inflation and employment mandates succeeded in preventing deflation expectations from taking hold even though outcomes for the real economy were disappointing We also took steps to formalize that we had a 2 percent inflation objective The Fed concentrated its asset purchases in longer term Treasuries and agency MBS thus working primarily through the asset side of the central bank s balance sheet by transferring duration risk from the private sector to the central bank s balance sheet Risk premia and interest rates were pushed downwards prompting private sector investors to invest in riskier asset types As a result financial conditions become easier and this supports wealth and aggregate demand Mr Dudley noted that the fact that such purchases increase the amount of reserves in the banking system and the size of the monetary base is a byproduct of our actions but it s incidental It s not a goal of our quantitative easing programs Recapitalizing the banks was of great importance given the capital markets based nature of the U S financial system he added All that said though our policy approach was far from perfect with FOMC participants quarterly growth projections consistently too optimistic versus actual growth numbers in the period 2009 2012 As a result with the benefit of hindsight we did not provide enough stimulus Perhaps if we had paid more attention to the persistent divergence between the growth forecast and actual outturns in Japan in the 1990s we might have been more skeptical about the prospects for a strong economic recovery here in the U S even with a more aggressive monetary policy regime in place Also we could have done a better job in communicating our intentions and goals My opinion is that we put too much emphasis too early on exit At an earlier stage we should have put more emphasis on our commitment to use all our tools to the fullest extent possible for as long as needed to achieve our dual mandate objectives Convergence of Policies in Japan the U S Japan and the U S have converged in a number of important respects in their handling of monetary policy Mr Dudley said Both the Fed and the Bank of Japan place considerable emphasis on an explicit inflation objective Both commit the central bank to use all available tools to achieve its objectives and use forward guidance on interest rates and large scale purchases of long duration assets as the main tools to achieve these objectives Differences that remain are matters of legal framework and the current starting point for economic activity and inflation rather than reflecting fundamental differences in philosophy Implications for Future U S Monetary Policy Turning to future policy Mr Dudley said that in his

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/lessons-at-the-zero-bound (2016-02-14)
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  • Challenges to Building Stability on the Korean Peninsula: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    ignore its commitments to denuclearize and continues to engage in destabilizing provocations it will face only further international isolation Professor Armstrong started off the Q A What would be necessary to resume the Six Party talks and what would be the primary subject of discussion given that North Korea has now said repeatedly it will not give up its nuclear weapons which was after all the main objective of the talks when they began In this pressure phase Ambassador Davies said we re trying to sharpen North Korea s choices we re trying to close off avenues to them other than this peaceful diplomatic way forward And so even though sadly I m not engaged in Six Party talks which would be nice to get back to in the right context there s lots of work to do with our other four partners in the Six Party process and with the rest of the world which is increasingly interested in this issue So it s a tough moment diplomatically but we ve been in these moments before and I think if we stick together and take a principled approach and the U S Japan and Korea work tightly together and also with China and Russia we ll get there eventually The audience joined in In your view who is it who makes the decisions in the DPRK There s lots of speculation about this A lot of very experienced analysts are looking at it Nobody knows because it s a very opaque kind of closed system Ambassador Davies responded A year ago as Kim Jong Un came to power there were some outward signs that he was interested in being a bit different more accessible than his father Remember his father ruled for 17 years and I think there s only one sentence fragment in 17 years that was broadcast we think by mistake to the North Korean people so they heard their leader speak once a few words in 17 years Whereas this young man gives speeches he seems interested in the welfare at least of the elites of Pyongyang and has talked about how to improve his economy And so this debate emerged at the time well maybe this is collective leadership maybe there are others behind the scenes his famous uncle his aunt or the military or those in the party are calling the shots or helping him along That debate has largely evaporated It s increasingly clear that the logic of the North Korean system is at work and according to the logic of that system there must be one paramount leader who heads the Party the state the army who has all six of the titles that have now become traditional for a North Korean leader And I think for all intents and purposes however the mechanics might work in practice all roads all decision making goes to him and all decisions come from that mountain top down through the instrumentalities of the DPRK and

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/challenges-to-building-stability-on-the-korean-peninsula (2016-02-14)
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  • Investing in Japan: Promoting Innovation & Facilitating Changes: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    and more global GPs get interested in the Japanese market and decide to co invest with limited partners and general partners in Japan That will result in a risk money cycle and also at the end we can create an equity culture in our country In contrast to the typical private equity fund INCJ s focus is on the growth of the business rather than cost reduction or deleverage The firm aims for a holding period of five to seven years which is longer than the typical PE investment period The INCJ decision criteria include a value impact element unique to the firm which is conceived of as long term economic impact beyond the investment horizon Though INCJ s government ties are very effective when we try to change a CEO s decision investment decisions are made independently and are very much focused on value and economics he added The firm s major investments to date have been in the electronic devices and life sciences sectors with expansions planned into materials chemicals and IT business infrastructure INCJ invests both domestically and internationally though in the latter case we always tie up with a Japanese corporation Mr Asakura said Moderator Louis Forster of Cerberus Capital Management began the Q A Is the culture of risk aversion fostered by Japan s executive compensation structure Would adopting a system that more directly rewarded management based on results rather than seniority change the risk taking ability of senior management In the day to day negotiation with the CEOs they are more concerned about accord within their society rather than their personal motivation So that is why compensation is very important but compensation alone cannot change their minds Mr Asakura replied Audience members joined the discussion Do you mostly staff the portfolio investments with Japanese nationals or do you bring in outside foreign managers INCJ s staff includes a non Japanese member in the portfolio support section Mr Asakura said Within our portfolio there are several non Japanese CEOs and we very much actively recruit non Japanese people because one of the challenges of Japanese companies going forward is globalization Are you free to pursue investment policies that might contradict government policies The firm s investment board is very independent and assuming a target is viable from an investment perspective we can do some investment even if that particular transaction is not 100 percent following the government s industrial policy examples include investments in renewable energy With the level of innovation and creativity in Japan is that playing into delivering private equity into the startup space INCJ is looking at startups but it is very difficult to replicate Silicon Valley in Japan Mr Asakura said Just as Silicon Valley and other parts of the U S have different styles in promoting entrepreneurship we like to encourage entrepreneurship in general but more like a Japanese way of encouraging entrepreneurship There s no counterpart under Japanese law to the tax free spinoff in the U S which

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/investing-in-japan-promoting-innovation-facilitating-changes (2016-02-14)
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  • Nuclear Energy Power & Other Applications: Future Prospects: Articles: Multimedia: Japan Society
    many years It is essential that the Action Plan is implemented in full Last December the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety took place in Fukushima Prefecture The goal was to help strengthen nuclear safety worldwide In their concluding statement the Co Presidents stressed that strengthening nuclear safety is a continuous process and that there should be no complacency in safety matters I strongly agree They also emphasized the importance of strengthening the central role of the IAEA in promoting international cooperation in nuclear safety The Fukushima Daiichi accident was a wake up call for everyone involved in nuclear power It reminded us that safety can never be taken for granted even in advanced industrial countries with considerable experience of using nuclear energy The lasting legacy of the accident will be a much more intense focus on safety I am sure we can all agree that this is very much to be welcomed Ladies and Gentlemen Despite the accident nuclear power remains a growth area globally This is very different from the situation after the Chernobyl accident in 1986 when nuclear power virtually stopped in its tracks Growth is likely to be slower than we anticipated before the accident But our latest projections show a steady rise in the number of nuclear power plants in the world in the next 20 years Most of the new nuclear power reactors which are planned or under construction are in Asia Established users such as China India South Korea and Russia plan significant expansions of their nuclear power programmes The United Arab Emirates recently became the first new country in 27 years to start building a nuclear power plant Countries as diverse as Vietnam Bangladesh Poland Turkey and Belarus plan to follow suit Nuclear energy offers many benefits It can help to improve energy security It can reduce the impact of volatile fossil fuel prices and mitigate the effects of climate change For rapidly developing countries such as India which I visited last month it can make a vitally important contribution to growth I believe that other sources of energy such as renewables also have an important contribution to make But they are not in a position to provide the amounts of reliable base load electricity which a modern economy needs 24 hours a day 365 days a year Nuclear power can do that In June an International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century will take place in St Petersburg Russia It will provide a valuable opportunity to consider nuclear power s long term contribution to sustainable development In Japan itself the future of nuclear power remains uncertain Public confidence in the safety of nuclear power was deeply shaken by the Fukushima Daiichi accident Right after the accident foreign visitors to Japan were impressed by the absence of crime and looting in the regions devastated by the tsunami It is true that people were generally quiet and orderly But I also saw frustration People were angry at the nuclear industry

    Original URL path: http://japansociety.org/page/multimedia/articles/nuclear-energy-power--other-applications-future-prospects (2016-02-14)
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