Japan’s Abe gets a new quiver of arrows

You can read the details in Asia Times’ news section, but the skinny is that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is going back to the archery range to take another crack at hitting Japan’s economic bull’s-eye.

After Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party re-elected Abe party president for three more years on Thursday, he proposed three new economic goals. They amount to a new, improved version of Abenomics which has so far failed to curb inflation or kick-start growth through government spending and monetary easing.

Abe’s three new economic policy goals or “arrows” include: promoting economic growth, child-rearing assistance to push up the low birth rate and social security measures to increase nursing facilities for the elderly.

Asia Unhedged wishes Abe the best of luck. We hope his latest round of projectiles don’t end up like the arrow in the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

“Today Abenomics is entering its second phase,” Abe told reporters at LDP headquarters after his re-election. He added that he wants to increase Japan’s nominal gross domestic product by about 20% to around 600 trillion yen.

Abe pledged to bolster the country’s welfare services to so that no one need leave their job to care for elderly parents, reported the Japan Times. This would include increasing the number of intensive-care nursing home facilities. The new facilities would take 150,000 people off current waiting lists.

Abe has his work cut out for him. According to Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications data, 100,000 people left their jobs to look after elderly family members between October 2011 and September 2012.

In fiscal 2013, about 520,000 people nationwide were on a waiting list for intensive care nursing homes, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, Japan

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