Can this commentary given by Prime Minister Abe about how Japan will “be on the global stage in 2016” be interpreted as good PR for Japan leading up to Japan hosting the 2020 Olympics? My impression is that this is exactly what Abe is projecting. “Global stage?” How exactly is Japan going to take a “leading role” with low unemployment and high labor force participation, when Japan has essentially no idle resources? The scope for boosting the Japanese economy with fiscal stimulus or easy money (QED started in Japan) is almost nil. But Japan continues to run an enormous budget deficit every year. This is staggering: Japan’s government debt currently exceeds 200% of the country’s GDP. In 2014, the Japanese government had a “deficit of 7.7 percent of gross domestic product”, with a primary deficit – which excludes interest payments – of just under 6 percent.
Okay, Japan, lead the way. Can we expect better in 2016? Abe said “2016 will be the year to begin realizing his government’s new goals, including the expansion of Japan’s nominal gross domestic product to ¥600 trillion ($5 trillion) from ¥490 trillion by around 2020” and “raising the fertility rate (negative growth in 2014) from 1.4 to 1.8 by around 2025 to tackle the country’s declining birthrate and graying population.” A “graying population” who all need pensions and care. And who are the real beneficiaries of these bold plans Abe has stated? The Japanese people or Japan’s biggest banks and corporations? And what is really significant here in regard to Shinzo Abe’s comments on Japan’s goals for 2016, is that his wife, Akie Abe, visited Yasukuni War Shrine on December 29, 2015. Coordinating their “big plans” alright. Getting ready to crank out some serious military hardware. Probably visited the shrine for some Zen luck. The fastest way to increase GDP is to clear the way for military manufacturing. And just like Japan to pay off all those pesky complaints about “comfort women” in Korea with US$1 billion (basically, I think “comfort women” is a lot of historical bullshit; probably gangs setting up prostitution businesses in Korea more than anything else) before Abe’s “big plans” to kick off for 2016. Can’t have any impediments now can we?
Abe says Japan will play leading global role in ‘challenging’ 2016
January 1, 2016
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his resolve Friday for Japan to play a leading role globally in the “challenging” year of 2016, as the country plans to host a Group of Seven summit in May, a trilateral summit with China and South Korea and return to the U.N. Security Council as a nonpermanent member.
“This year will be one in which Japan will shine on the global stage and demonstrate its leadership,” Abe said in a New Year’s address.
A Japanese-led Africa development conference called the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, or TICAD, is also set to be held in 2016.
Abe said 2016 will be the year to begin realizing his government’s new goals, including the expansion of Japan’s nominal gross domestic product to ¥600 trillion ($5 trillion) from ¥490 trillion by around 2020 and raising the fertility rate from 1.4 to 1.8 by around 2025 to tackle the country’s declining birthrate and graying population.
“We will face whatever challenges occur. We will make this year a year to face the future boldly,” he said.
On controversial security legislation enacted in September, Abe said the laws will allow “thorough preparations for any situation and prevent wars” and that they “have built the foundation of a peaceful Japan that the generations of our children and grandchildren can inherit.”
In a major shift in Japan’s postwar security policy, the legislation, aiming to expand the scope of the Self-Defense Forces’ activities abroad, was enacted amid strong public opposition.
The new laws will also, in a limited way, allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense — or coming to the aid of the United States and other friendly nations under armed attack, even if Japan itself is not attacked.
Please go to The Japan Times to read the complete article.