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Friday, 2 January 2015


Remember, the YouTube clip and the blog here are identical, so you can listen and then read to check for understanding. If you want to check out the Vocab Voyage Facebook page and give it an いいね!click right here.

2015 is here, and is it the year for Japan under Abenomics? That is our second subject for January. Abenomics. The Abenomics Word list is here, while the YouTube clip is here. Check out the new style YouTube clip with example sentences spoken and subtitled.

Ok. Let's go.  Abenomics and it's three pronged attack. (I'm no economist I warn you). 

Monetary easing. This means the government is buying debt off the banks so there is more money in the economy.

Fiscal stimulus. This is the government spending money (and lots of it) on projects, hoping that the effects will trickle down and everyone will have more to spend, thus kick-starting the economy. 

Structural reform. This is changing the way things have been done for ever and ever. Women in the workplace, subsidies for farmers, protecting local industry.

So. There we have it. Abenomics and his three-pronged attack. How is it going so far?

The monetary easing that Abe started on last year worked well, to a point. The rich people and large corporations got even richer. There was little trickle down, so the regular people didn't benefit. The rich and large corporations just made more money and put it in the bank.
This is changing now apparently, and the normal folk are starting to get something. The problem is that no-one is giving anyone wage rises. It seems fairly basic to me. If people are paid more, they can buy more. If people buy more, companies have to make more. And it goes round and round. But this isn't happening, as the rich are just putting the money away and getting richer.

But the single mothers and women who in part time/temporary work are missing out big time. I cannot believe how little people in non-full time jobs get paid in Japan. If you have a nice permanent job then it's ok with your good salary and bonus at the end of the year. But if you are a part-time worker (who actually works full time but the contract says part time) you get 35% of what a full time worker gets. How can people spend money and have any sort of life with this going on. If you ask me, this is the main problem.

It seems that the international community are not sure either, with foreign investment in Japanese companies falling 94% since last year. International fund managers are avoiding Japanese stock as they have lost their leading edge. It's all very depressing. I love Japan and wish it could get back on top. I come back though, to having money in people's pockets. It will boost spending and hey, if people have a bit of cash they may even be more eager about having babies, maybe doing something for the low birthrate.

That's my take anyway. Remember, I said at the beginning I'm no economist. This is just a layman's view.