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Category Archives: Economy

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.

Formosa Plastics and Environmental Racism in Louisiana

Plans by Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics to build a US$9.2 billion plastics complex in the St. James Parish of Louisiana should once again call attention to Formosa’s blatant disregard for the environment and human life in other countries.

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.

Japan-Backed Power Plant in Indonesia Caught Avoiding Taxes and Violating Rights

The Indonesian coal mining conglomerate Adaro Energy, which is allied with the Japanese companies J-Power, Itochu, as well as a number of public and private Japanese banks, has been avoiding local taxes for more than a decade, depriving the Indonesian government of about US$125 million in income from 2009 to 2017, and has even been accused of provoking human rights abuses in the country.