Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Andrew Marshall:

Political risk in Asia: What to watch this week

JAPAN-POLITICS/

My regular roundup of key Asian political risk themes to watch in the week ahead, with links to the news stories and analysis produced by Reuters correspondents across the region.

JAPAN GETS A NEW PRIME MINISTER (AGAIN)

Japan has its fifth prime minister in three years -- Naoto Kan, 63, a fiscal conservative with a reformist image.

But while the politicians in charge may change, the key problems facing the country remain the same -- a vast and growing debt burden, years of stagnation and deflation, and a worsening demographic burden with an increasingly elderly population having to be supported by a shrinking workforce.

Many analysts have written off Japan as a worthwhile long-term investment prospect, saying its economic and strategic decline is a virtual certainty. Japan's recent political history has done nothing to dispel that pessimism. It is now up to Kan to show whether he has what it takes to make a difference.

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