Senior Correspondent, Japan Political and General News
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May 21, 2010

Thai economy to recover fast: finance minister

TOKYO (Reuters) – Thailand’s economy is likely to recover fairly quickly if stability reached over the past 24 hours is maintained but tourism will suffer a disastrous impact for the rest of the year, the country’s finance minister said.

Life in Bangkok inched back to normal on Friday as the authorities cleaned up the capital after riots and arson attacks by anti-government protesters whose movement was put down by troops after a two-month rally.

Apr 27, 2010

Japan PM woes mount over party kingpin, U.S. base row

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his party suffered a harsh blow ahead of a mid-year election when a judicial panel said on Tuesday that ruling party kingpin Ichiro Ozawa should be charged over a funding scandal.

Hatoyama’s ratings have already nosedived, eroded by the premier’s perceived mishandling of a feud over a U.S. Marine base in southern Japan as well as funding scandals, dimming the chances of a decisive Democratic Party victory in an upper house election expected in July.

Apr 5, 2010

Factbox: Key political risks to watch in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government, its support rate dropping ahead of a mid-year election, faces soaring public debt, leaving it with few options to tackle deepening deflation.

Standard and Poor’s in January threatened to cut Japan’s credit rating, prompting sovereign credit default swap spreads to widen to 90 basis points — the most in 10 months. They now trade around 67 basis points.

Apr 1, 2010

Key political risks to watch in Japan

TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) – Japan’s government, its support
rate dropping ahead of a mid-year election, faces soaring
public debt, leaving it with few options to tackle deepening
deflation.

Standard and Poor’s in January threatened to cut Japan’s
credit rating, prompting sovereign credit default swap
<JPGV5YUSAC=R> spreads to widen to 90 basis points — the most
in 10 months. They now trade around 67 basis points.
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Graphic on Japan’s fiscal woes: link.reuters.com/qeg59h
Graphic on Japan voter support: r.reuters.com/myv63g For
more stories on the Japanese politics, click [ID:nPOLJP] For
more stories on Japan’s economy, click [ID:nECONJP]
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Mar 26, 2010

Japan PM admits mistakes, asks voters for patience

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, his ratings sliding ahead of a key election, admitted on Friday his novice government had made mistakes but asked voters to be patient while he pursued his agenda of change.

Hatoyama gave few concrete clues, though, as to how his 6-month-old administration would resolve thorny policy problems, like keeping costly campaign pledges without inflating Japan’s massive public debt and settling a row with security ally Washington over a military base without upsetting residents.

Mar 17, 2010

Global FX reserve system needs reforms – ADB chief

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) – The current dollar-denominated
global reserve system needs to be reformed to better fit
economic reality and ensure global financial stability, the
head of Asian Development Bank said on Wednesday.

ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda also said robust growth in
developing Asia could prompt a surge in capital inflows to the
region, leaving Asia vulnerable to more volatile exchange rates
and exacerbating trade and other imbalances.

Mar 16, 2010

Support for Japan’s 6-month-old govt slips further

TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) – Support for Japan’s government
has more than halved since it took power six months ago, a poll
showed on Tuesday, a further sign Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama’s party may struggle to win a majority in an upper
house election.

Falling voter support adds to the Hatoyama’s woes as his
Democratic Party, which swept to power after a general election
win on a platform pledging to put more money in the hands of
consumers to spur growth and to cut waste, aims to win a
majority in the poll, expected in July, to avoid a policy
stalemate.

Feb 28, 2010

Tsunami waves hit Pacific regions after Chile quake

SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) – Tsunami waves of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) hit far-flung Pacific regions from the Russian far east and Japan to New Zealand’s Chatham Islands on Sunday after a powerful earthquake struck Chile, but there were no reports of injuries or serious damage.

Hundreds of thousands of residents in Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and Russia’s Kamchatka were told to evacuate after one of the world’s strongest quakes in a century hit Chile on Saturday, killing more than 300 people.

Feb 25, 2010

Toyota workers worry but back embattled boss

TOYOTA CITY, Japan, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Anxious Toyota
workers in the automaker’s hometown rallied behind their
president after he faced a grilling from U.S. lawmakers over
the company’s safety problems, but many fear the crisis is far
from over.

Thousands of miles away in Washington, Toyota Motor Corp’s
<7203.T> <TM.N> chief Akio Toyoda appeared before a sometimes
hostile congressional panel, where he apologised for any
accidents Toyota drivers have experienced. [ID:nN24146527]

Feb 3, 2010

Japan ruling party kingpin to avoid prosecution-media

TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Japanese prosecutors effectively
decided not to charge ruling party kingpin Ichiro Ozawa over a
funding scandal that has dented government support ahead of a
key election, public broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday.

The decision is unlikely to end the affair, which threatens
to scupper his Democratic Party’s chances of victory in an
upper house poll expected in July. NHK said prosecutors felt
they didn’t have enough evidence to make charges stick.

    • About Yoko

      "I am based in Tokyo, covering Japan's political and general news, ranging from politics, diplomacy/defence to cultural and social issues. Before moving to my current position, I specialised in Japan's economic policy and macroeconomic news for about 10 years, with a concentration in reporting daily policy developments at Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan and other economic agencies."
      Joined Reuters:
      1996
      Languages:
      English, Japanese
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