The new Japan: Money in Japan like Japan itself is stagnating – “kuso” (shit!)

Thought maybe it would be a good idea to break away from the sordid posts on Gregory Gumo and post something different related to Japan. Over the years living in Japan I started looking at land owners and landlords in Japan, which I have a particular loathing for; because they are largely responsible for the stagnation of money. Property “owners” and landlords who collect (extortion) money every month only to stash it in their bank accounts as “their money,” thus freezing up enormous amounts of money not being used properly or efficiently in the economy. The thinking sort of goes like this: “It’s mine, I want it all, so go screw yourselves.” Is it any wonder the LDP has been in power for seventy years?

The local landowner lives in this huge eight bedroom house on the corner newly built, including seven air conditioners to cool the house during the summer. It is surrounded by a tall ornate brick wall and at night, lit up like a castle, meanwhile, there are renters living all around the area in old gray and white painted Soviet-era apartment units. This landlord is sitting on millions and the money is simply stagnating. What is so difficult to understand about the meaning of currency? Currency like an electric current is supposed to keep flowing.

The Japanese are the worst offenders on real estate inflation. I would imagine they are also laundering enormous amounts of money through their banks which are some of the largest in the world. That sounds about right. And the degree of saving money is indeed problematic in Japan. Like in the postal banking system where it is estimated US$2 trillion is sitting there “rotting.” Money is supposed to flow, not stagnate: you get some in, you give some out; repeat cycle. Some simple yet profound changes to the monetary system can diminish those issues. What we have now is WAY too complicated and secretive in Japan. Time for a flood of sunshine. So like when are the Japanese going to get a little gumption here and start rattling the gates of the wealthy in Japan? Probably never.

One hopes the Japanese are still sensitive to shaming? We should really get some cultural cannons blasting in Japan, to inform and mobilize the public – oh, and boot the US Military and CIA mobs out of Japan.

This article appeared
at Global Research

Abe’s Japan – Fascist and Falling

How fast can a country deteriorate? How promptly can it lose its culture, its soul?

Japan was my home for many years. I was running there from countless war zones, to get some rest, to enjoy beautiful nature and its ancient, deep culture.

I learned all about its legends and fairy tales, I knew its creeks and peaks, villages lost in time.

I came here to think and to write, on board those marvelous high-speed trains, Shinkansens.

Long lines at the Japanese airport

But in just a few years, things have gone to the dogs: first slowly, gradually, and then more and more rapidly.

Several “care-free” generations, obsessed with pleasure, entertainment, individualism – generations fully influenced by the West – have finally broken the Japanese spirit, turning it into a bizarre hybrid.

The surface still remains intact, but there is hardly any depth underneath: A train conductor bows humbly to the passengers when leaving the car, but an old lady with heavy shopping bags will not get her seat from an aggressive-looking high school girl, yelling “kuso” (shit!) after every second word.

Japan of the right wing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is bellicose, racist, discriminative but also confused and full of complexes.

It is suddenly not such a great place to be, particularly if you are looking for harmony and social justice.

Only recently, Japan had the most equal distribution of wealth on earth, much better than Europe or Australia. It was easy to spot an MP eating in the same ramen noodle shop as a cleaning lady, if the ramen was good.

Please go to Global Research to read the entire article.


4 thoughts on “The new Japan: Money in Japan like Japan itself is stagnating – “kuso” (shit!)

  1. Landlords are not responsible for the stagnation of money. In fact, they are the victims in the current situation. They collect rents (which equal less that 3.5% of invested capital – lowest return in the world), they spend some of what they collect and they put the rest in the bank. The bank pays the landlord something less that 1% interest per annum and then tries very hard to make loans or invest the deposits in something with a return of more than 1%. But because there are so few people borrowing money these days, it is very difficult. The reason there are so few people borrowing money is because confidence in the future is very low. Most smart landlords would sell their properties if they could because the underlying value of the asset is in decline. They cannot because they have morgages that exceed the value of the propertiy. The population is declining. Something like 30% of the total available housing in Japan is vacant! The reason for stagnation of money flow, if you think it is stagnated, is due to an overall lack of consumer and investor confidence. A bad situation. But not as bad as what happened the US with the subprime loans and those criminals at Goldman Sachs. Poeple in Japan have places to live. Most of them pay reasonable rents or have reasonable morgages that they get paid off before they retire. Home prices and rents in NYC, London, Paris, SF, and many other large cities around the world are now higher than Tokyo. It is a very bad idea to think you will make money as a landlord through rents and asset appreciation or make money as a homeowner through asset appreciation. Houses are for living in. They should not be thought of or managed like a speculative investment. That kind of thinking creates homelessness. Be thankful we dont have speculative real estate sharks and landlords in Japan. If your landlord is rich, his wealth was probably created long ago, not by abusing his current tenants. Be thankful you are renting, not an owner and not saddled with underwater assets like many landlords. If you ever buy a house here, expect to live there for 25 years at least and at that point break even vs renting. But that is what a housing maket should be like if you want stable affordable housing for a large portion of the population. my tow cents.

    As for the article you posted, I think the guy is a nostalgic crank. Sure maybe Japan isn’t as kind and gentle as it used to be, but it is a hell of a like kinder and gentler that any other place I have been. And that is why I live here. I think you are the same, correct?

    • The landlord (land owner) has to be looked at individually, not across the board. The landlord (land owner) my son leases a small space from for ¥120,000 a month where he started up a motorcycle maintenance shop (a huge investment: tools, machinery, misc. costs were enormous) was an investment disproving fear of the future and lack of consumer confidence. For a few willing to take risks, like my son, and do something for themselves and their families instead of waiting for the Japanese government to tell them what to do, or worse penalize them, there are some good examples.

      The young Japanese man who rented a similar space next door to my son’s shop, opened a restaurant who also put out a huge outlay (risk) of money into his restaurant. They speak to each other when they aren’t busy and between them, their rent is ¥240,000 (that is not reasonable rent). My son works the first two weeks every month to pay the rent. That comes out to six months out of the year to pay the land owner and rental agency (money stagnation). All my son wants is a meager income to keep his family going.

      The building they are in has six rental apartment units above on the second floor all full in which rent is ¥70,000 for each unit. The building is more than 40 years old and has been paid off years ago. The owner is not a savvy investor, he isn’t concerned about his investments through the bank or what he earns on “his” money sitting (stagnating) in the bank. He is around 90 years old and is incredibly wealthy (that’s not his only building). For that building (never does maintenance) he is pulling in close to what I figured to be ¥840,000 (his “asset” is not losing value) every month. It’s a profit machine after he pays off property taxes and the rental agency. That’s not economics.

  2. There are always anecdotes that contradict a general trend or situation. I was speaking about the maket as a whole. Kudos to your son for taking a risk and setting up an honest business where he works hard using his hands and provides a real value to the community vs. the landlord who just sits back and collects the cash. When the landlord dies his kids will need to pay a huge inheritance tax, 30%? in order to take over the building. They might not be able to find the cash and they may need to sell. Maybe your son can buy his space at a big discount. This unusually high inheritance tax in Japan is designed to prevent the perpetuation of wealth and it seems to work pretty well. Japan still has a huge and reasonably stable, healthy and happy middle class. In the 20 some years I have been here the middle class in America has all but disappeared and all the wealth is now owned by 1% of the poeple. It is now like a 3rd world country where the infrastructure is falling apart, the average guy is scared and a little hungry, and the rich live in walled communities and drive SUVs with blacked out windows.

    Your son is in good shape strategically. His job cannot be offshored to China. And eventually the rent will come down or he will find cheaper options. The only potential cloud on the horizon is fewer and fewer bikes on the street. Maybe he should branch out into repair of those electric wheel chairs that I see more and more of these days.

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