Feb 12 (Reuters) – A government which sees its role as
driving stock market rallies is one suffering sad confusion
about the difference between appearance and reality.
Japan’s economy minister, Akira Amari, said on Saturday the
government will increase economic efforts in order to drive
Tokyo’s Nikkei index up another 17 percent by the end of March.
“It will be important to show our mettle and see the Nikkei
reach the 13,000 mark by the end of the fiscal year,” he was
quoted by Japan Times as saying in a speech. Japan’s fiscal year
ends March 31. “We want to continue taking steps to help stock
The Nikkei has already skyrocketed 28 percent in the past
three months, pushed along by an effective devaluation in the
yen which itself was brought on by new policies advocated by the
newly installed Liberal Democratic Party government, including a
doubling in the Bank of Japan’s inflation target to 2 percent.
The theory, and it is correct as far as it goes, is that
higher stock prices may lend animal spirits to the economy,
encouraging consumers to spend and businesses to invest.