All things about the media, marketing, business, Japan and other musings by Mike in Tokyo Rogers.
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GAM Star Japan Equity manager Ben Williams says Japan’s fiscal situation is overstated and the country “has nothing to fear but fear itself”.The “unjustified fears” have crimped investment and consumer confidence and a change in mindset could be all that is needed for Japan to turn its situation around, he says.While it is true the debt continues to rise, counter-intuitively yields continue to fall, he says.Bond vigilantes – investors who sell sovereign bonds to protest fiscal irresponsibility by boosting yields – are scared to take on the authorities and therefore less powerful than some believe, he argues.The existence of the bond vigilante is “crucial” to the fiscal hawk argument that a heavily indebted country will have its yields boosted by market action, he says. “If they do exist why did they give up in Europe as deficits continue and debt piles up? If it is because they are unwilling to take on the authorities this is instructive in itself,” he explains.
Experts say “the flight from human intimacy” in Japan comes from having a highly developed economy and high gender inequality. (According to the World Economic Forum, Japan ranks 104 out of 140 countries regarding gender equality, slotted between Armenia and the Maldives).“Professional women are stuck in the middle of that contradiction,” Fisher writes. “It’s not just that day-care programs are scarce: Women who become pregnant or even just marry are so expected to quit work that they can come under enormous social pressure to do so and often find that career advancement becomes impossible. There’s a word for married working women: oniyome, or ‘devil wives.'”
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