Featured Articles

  • Abe's co-op reforms should help Japan's agricultural sector competitiveness.

    Japan's Government Accelerates Market-Oriented Agricultural Reforms

    In 2015, the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spearheaded a series of unprecedented amendments to the 1947 Agricultural Cooperative Law. These changes will loosen the stifling controls of the national and prefectural organisations of Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) over local co-ops and farmers.

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  • Japan's economic growth plan is still stuck in neutral.

    Japan's GDP Disappoints

    The US dollar closed the pre-weekend session well off its lows that were seen in response to the disappointing retail sales report.  It has been unable to sustain the upside momentum, and as North American dealers prepare to return to their posts, it is trading lower against most of the major currencies. The notable exceptions are the Scandi-bloc, which are consolidating last week's gains, and sterling, which remains pinned near $1.29.

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  • Japan PM Abe delivers a needed, but unimpressive fiscal policy.

    Abe Delivers Unimpressive, but Needed, Fiscal Policy

    The Japanese government is delivering the other half of its fiscal policy today.  Earlier, Abe decided to postpone the sales tax hike for the second time.  Today, the cabinet approved a JPY28 trillion (5.6%) of GDP package.

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  • Japan has closed the gender gap in some areas, but others still need work.

    Japan Gender Gap Scorecard

    Women in Japan voted and stood for office for the first time on 10 April 1946. It was the country’s first postwar election and the first election after the Japanese government amended the Electoral Law to include women. Of the 79 female candidates, 39 were elected to Japan’s national parliament, the Diet.

    Seventy years on, what is the state of gender relations in Japan? What issues now stimulate feminist campaigns and activism?

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  • Japan's Abe has a majority, but constitutional change has consequences.

    You Say You Want a Constitution (Change)

    Following the 10 July upper house elections the Abe government now has the two-thirds majority in both houses of the Diet necessary to pass constitutional amendments. So what are the likely consequences?

    Four years ago, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) published a set of proposals for changing the nation’s postwar constitution. Like its earlier draft changes of 2005, they failed to muster enough support to be turned into legislation, let alone come to a vote.

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