Bystander’s View on Japan #10, August 6th 2012


THINKING OF IMMIGRATION BY LOOKING AT OLYMPICSJapanese women finished 16th, 19th and 76th in Women’s Marathon in London Olympics.Remembering Japanese woman won gold medal in Sydney and Athens, this drop is disappointing. They are behind today’s high speed race led by Kenyans and Ethiopians. 

The winner of yesterdays race was Ms. Gelana, an Ethiopian.One thing I was surprised to know about her is that she was trained by Japanese company-sponsored team for a while in Japan.Actually, the gold medalist at Men’s Marathon in Peking Olympics, Mr. Wanjiru, a Kenyan, was traind in Japan from high school to a company-sponsored team. He can command good Japanese, and popular in Japan. He seems to be liking to live in Japan. 

In the London Olympics, we can see many Africans and Chinese who moved his/her nationality to other countries to compete in the games. Japanese team is organized by only pure Japanese now. If Wanjiru and Gelana were in Japanese team, Japan could have won two more gold medals.Japan’s population is decreasing, and that is said to be the major reason of declining Japan’s power in the world.We should relax immigration policy drastically, and should accept immigrants who are willing to live in Japan.  Japan should give green cards to the students from overseas who wish to stay and work in Japan. 

Having said this, I now come to the point that Japan is not open even accepting short term visitors. Japan should relax in its visa policy. Japan should abandon requiring visas from tourists from ASEAN countries as a first step.


                     August 3      %Change

    NIKKEI     8555.11        -0.13

    TOPIX       723.94        -0.34


TSE has been having very thin trade volume for several weeks. Hot summer has come, but market is cooling. Some large companies have announced fiscal results worse than market expectation. Sharp, SONY, Mitsubishi Chemical, Sumitomo Corp. Shiseido, Komatsu and Honda are such examples. Few companies have announced better results than expectation. TDK, Panasonic and Softbank are such examples. 


Generally speaking, sentiment is better on Japanese economy. Thanks to hot weather, summer sale has been good. People may spend more during summer holidays. Although China slowdown may be the risk factor, Japanese economic performance must be better than other developed economies. Comparing to Taiwan and Korea, Japan will less vulnerable to the European and American recessionary situation.


Now, political scene becomes very serious. Opponent LDP is threatening governing DPJ by showing the possibility that they will submit no-co9nfidence motion on PM Noda. This will likely to be approved if all opponents to DPJ get united.

Popularity of DPJ dropped to 18%, while PM Noda’s approval ratio dropped to 28%. Many political analysts are saying the general election is inevitable in September 2012.