Bystander’s View on Japan #9, July 31, 2012

I am sorry to be late in updating Bystander’s View. Completely forgot. From KL, today!



Heat Waves. 

1.    WeatherYesterday, Japanese archipelago experienced very hot weather. 74 points of 927 weather-stations spread out throughout Japan recorded higher than 35 degree Celsius.More than 1300 people were hospitalized because of “heat collapse.” This heat wave will continue another week.If you talk about heat wave of weather, Japan is not the exception. U.S. and Australia are experiencing similar heat wave which brings draught. This time, we have to pay attention to Commodities as Jim Rogers is always crying wolf. 

2.    PoliticsAnti-nuclear-power-plant movement has risen in Japan. Yesterday, a massive demonstration was held surrounding parliament house. Number of participants was estimated to be 20,000Although there were no violence involved, anti-nuke sentiment will be easily developed into anti-government and anti-big businesses.

We have to watch this citizen-based-movement will further lead to “Spring of Japan.”



                     July 27      %Change

    NIKKEI     8566.64      -1.19

    TOPIX       726.44       -1.00 

TSE has been having very thin trade volume for several weeks. Hot summer has come, but market is cooling. Many Japanese blue-chips records historically low stock prices.

One example is Oji Paper (3861). The company is expected to record double digit profit increase. But still, PER is 9. PBR is 0.6 and Dividend yield is 4%. The stock price is 248 which is historically low. There is some political risk emerged on Oji in China, which needs to be paid attention, but the level of stock price is very very low.

Fuji Film, JFE, Asahi Glass and TDK are in the similar situation. When everybody is Risk-off, this may be a great opportunity to skillful fund managers.


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, the ruling DPJ was split because a group led by Mr. Ozawa said SAYONARA to PM Noda. Ozawa decides his party name, Kokumin no kurashiga ichiban. It literally means “People’s Livelihoods First,” which is regarded as joke by many Japanese voters.

Political situation becomes very fluid. Japan does not have time to waste in playing musical chairs. Only solution will be a general election to decide undecided issues.  

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.


WSJを真面目に読む July 31, 2012 (番外編)

また出張でクアラルンプールです。入手できたInternational Herald TribuneでWSJに代替します。字が小さくてとても読みにくい。大きくするだけで読者が増えるとおもいますがどうでしょうか。




Uruguay considers marijuana monopoly


Legalizing and regulating not just drug use, but also drug transport-perhaps with large customs fees for bulk shipments?


Bold strategy for growth in Japan leaves blanks to fill: Plan calls for $1 trillion in new industry but skirts socially sensitive issues

 日経で一面に取り上げられなかった「日本再生戦略」。International Herald Tribuneでは一面で取り上げてくれました。ありがとう。IHT! 記事の中では新味はないとバッサリ。

Rallying cry in Syria is increasingly religious: Fighters are adopting Islamist agenda that attracts foreign financing



【見出し】Business Asiaの見出しから

A West Bank future bypassing checkpoint: Israel serves as a model, and as a consumer, for growing technology hub. A sector that has no borders. You just need electricity and a telephone line.


Cheap Chinese knockoffs threaten Venice’s artisan culture: A Senegalese venderin Venice selling copies of designer handbags that were made in China. It is estimated that a typical vendor might make from $125 to $185 a day.

  Knockoff: 偽物、模造品


Congenial guide for Time in digital era: A sagging empire’s chief moves to tap into its vast trove of customer data. Laura Lang in her 34th-floor corner office in New York Times Inc’s first female chief executive has homed in on the transition to mobile devices and the customizing of ads for marketers. In an industry, full of egos, Time Inc. needed a boss who could mix well with big personalities.

  Congenial: 愛想が良い、しっくりいく、ウマがあう、

 伝統あるNY Timesを変えようと奮闘する初の女性社長についての長文記事。何事もうるさい人たちを上手く押さえこみ同意を得ながら変化を進めるにはcongenialなやり方が必要という内容。