Land price rise highlights the reform initiative – Japan

One gets the sense that Abe is causing a lot of angst in Japan. The positive side is that he is appealing to all interests, whether its nationalists, conservatives, and even liberals. He is causing a lot of controversy and derision for his policies as a result; but might in the process he win favour for simply ‘doing something’ big. Its early days, but Abe is doing a number of important things:
1. Constitutional change – We are hearing ‘noises’ from liberals (mostly lawyers), but aren’t indolent Japanese citizens destined to simply trust him to take them on the right path. We might wonder if the provisions sought are the end of the story, or a precursor for more power. From a collectivist government, that cannot be a good thing, even if the threat posed is not Abe, but a latter leader. But then maybe those constitutional protections were never what we wanted or expected. NZ seeks no less protected than any other nation ‘with a constitution’.
2. Tax increases – Not something to celebrate but at least the government is addressing the fiscal imbalance. Does a reform program need more spending or less? I would argue more private spending and less government spending, but that is not going to occur until the private sector sees real progress, so he could be forgiven for spending.
3. Immigration – Recently we have seen the Abe administration open the nation to Asian tourists, as well as the adoption of a new class of visa. i.e. Gaijin (‘foreigners’) under the proposal, if they have good jobs, stable incomes, needed skills, are destined to be offered permanent residency in Japan. This is surely a measure to improve population demographics. i.e. Aging population, rural depopulation.
4. Child protection – After decades of inaction, there are signs that Japan is finally entering the fold for the protection of children caught up in international marriages.
5. Stimulus – This is perhaps the less impressive move, though it was a brazen some compared to the historic legacy. I would argue that it did not achieve anything, however you could argue that it did boost economic activity in a period of transformation. But its not really happened yet. Perhaps it was only meant to ‘encourage people’, so the real action would be favourably received.
6. Higher land prices – Land prices had bottomed in 2006, however they have been lacklustre of late, but more recently still, they show signs of improvement. Signs of inflation are not enough though, the government will need to do more to post real wages as well. It has encouraged businesses to do so, but to no avail yet. Consider however some reforms.
7. Trade reform: Japan has been an enthusiastic supporter of tariff reductions. Until recently, it was reluctant to cut tariffs on rice, however concessions have been made, and policies have been adopted to reform agriculture in the nation.In my book ‘Japan Foreclosed Property‘, I discuss how in the last few hundred years that Japan has been moved by both external and internal events to undergo enormous transformation that raised the nation to prosperity. i.e. After Admiral Perry’s entry and during the Meiji Period. The latter are just some of the measures. More important than the ‘number’, is the nature of them. They are pretty drastic steps for Japan. Westerners benefiting from these reforms, particularly the opportunity to live in Japan, would do well to consider how they might benefit from their ‘distinctive cultural differences’ in a nation which is pretty homogeneous in its thinking. After all, this is why Abe is trying to break Japan out of its comfort zone. Its happened before, and it seems to be happening again. We have patiently been waiting for it!Asian property markets outperforming Japan Foreclosed Guide Philippines Property Guide
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