An earthquake with at least 6.0 magnitude has hit the southwestern part of Japan causing nine deaths and injuring more than 800. Though no Tsunami warning has been served, but more than 100 aftershocks have created panic among the residents of the most hit town Mashiki. Japanese Prime Minister has vowed to do everything in life-saving and rescue operations.
Japanese economy has been witnessed to go through sluggish growth rate. To boost up the economic growth, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been planning for announcing a stimulus package of new spending measures. Meanwhile, a Nikkei Inc./ TV Tokyo conducted poll shows that support for Abe’s economic reforms has been witnessed to rise by 8% to 55%.
The strengthening of Yen is eroding the value of Japan's exports to the US. Its overall exports volume was flat, while the value declined over four percent owing to rising Yen.
Through a surprise move, Bank of Japan has adopted negative interest rate aiming to force the banks in investment. Meanwhile, the negative economic outlook has compelled the commercial banks to squeeze their investment portfolios while diminishing the BOJ move. Analysts have forecast for unchanged monetary policy in Tuesday’s meeting while predicting for a major change in April.
Japan's regional banks are enhancing unsecured retail lending as it offers high profit margins. Loans on mortgage and small firm borrowing are declining. Japan banks are suffering from ultra-low interest rate regime to increase revenues.
The Bank of Japan is reportedly anticipated to reduce its price and economic outlooks for the next fiscal years at a quarterly appraisal that is scheduled in April. The bank is trimming its growth outlook citing the failure of its previous stimulus pack.
The Bank of Japan is anticipated to reduce its interest rates into a negative territory further at or before the bank's meeting in July. The bank is anticipated to trim its interest rate to minus 0.2% due to low domestic spending and slump in the energy market.
The Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan reported an investment profit of ¥4.73 trillion in the third quarter of 2015, compared to an investment loss of ¥7.9 trillion in the previous quarter.
The Japan Finance Ministry is organizing a seminar for women covering the topics on the country’s fiscal policy. Women’s fashion magazine editor-in-chief Hiromi Sogo will serve as one of the six female speakers encouraging women to take a more active role in the country’s economy.
Japan’s auto workers unions had agreed on slimmer pay raise of 3,000 yen, only half the amount they demanded last year. That would hinder Prime Minister Abe’s determination to put an end to the country’s economy stagnation by boosting domestic growth and reviving exports.
The economy of Japan shrank during the fourth quarter of 2015 as a result of weak export and demand. The shrinking population also added to the economic slowdown.
As part of reducing costs, the Japanese government is seeking lower drug prices by moving towards more generics. The ageing population and rising debt are taking a toll on the Shinzo Abe's government. The Japanese government is aiming to reduce prices of branded drugs.
Japan's Prime Minister's focus on improving the nation's day care facilities to help women population work. This, he believes, plays a pivotal role in improving the sluggish economy as well as their ageing population.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has alerted Japan Inc to gear up for the surge in Yen against the US dollar. JPMorgan Chase forecast Yen will reach 100 yen against a US dollar. However, it says the rally in currency may not sabotage the Japan industry.
Despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "womenomics" plan to encourage more Japanese women in the workforce, the country doesn't seem to want to follow it. Japan's gender equality bureau has reduced its goal of hiring women in senior positions from 30% to 7% and leadership positions in the private sector to 15% by 2020.