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Category Archives: Economy

Forced Labor in the Taiwanese Fishing Fleet

Activists have long called attention to the abusive working conditions that fishermen from Southeast Asia are subjected to aboard Taiwanese-owned fishing boats. Their campaign to improve life for the migrant workers has been boosted by recent moves by the United States to classify fish from Taiwan as a product of forced labor.

Japan’s Covid-19 Subsidy and Relief Programs for SMEs

Covid-19 has thrown the global economy into disarray. People have been forced to stay home, and businesses to stay closed, with little idea of when normal activity will resume. The government of Japan, in order to mitigate the virus’ impact on the economy, has proposed multiple measures to help workers and small and medium enterprises.

Advocating a Four Day Work Week for Japan

Libby Sander, assistant professor of Bond University in Queensland, Australia, advocates a four day work week for Japan. Her expertise on the future of work helps expose the pitfalls of long and often unproductive working hours in this country.

Abe Government Attempts to Smash Labor Union in Kansai

Largely ignored by the mainstream media, the Abe government has been engaged for several years in one of the most aggressive and unconstitutional efforts to smash a small industrial labor union in Japan’s Kansai region, including mass arrests of union members.

Economic and Environmental Risks in Abe’s Energy Investments in Russia

In 2019, Japan’s involvement in the Russian energy sector increased significantly, most notably with the purchase by a Japanese consortium of a 10% stake in Russia’s Arctic LNG-2 project. The Abe administration evidently hopes that these new investments will bring benefits, both in terms of energy economics, and as a means of furthering Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambition to settle Japan’s territorial dispute with Russia. In both respects, the Japanese leadership risks disappointment.

Osaka Reemerging as Japan’s Second Metropolis

Eclipsed for many decades by its much larger Tokyo rival, Osaka is reclaiming its former status as Japan’s second metropolis. The recent G20 Summit held in Osaka which briefly put the city’s name on the lips of a global audience was indicative of its rising prominence, and is not likely to be the last time in the coming years that it will become the focus of the world’s attention.