Fresh & Hot from Japan, 1 to 5 August 2016

Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

1 Aug. New Governor of Tokyo, Ms Koike to set up a new organization to improve transparency of the governance, including a team to pursue abuse of public rights

In the first morning after the election of the governor of Tokyo, MS Yuriko Koike (64 ) held a press conference in her office in Toshima-ku, and revealed that she would create an organization whose mission is to improve the transparency of the governance of Tokyo, as she had promised in the campaign pledge. She went on to say that she would promote information disclosure of the business taken by Tokyoincluding the Tokyo Olympic and the Paralympic Games.

Comments: New policies must be implemented in the first six months after taking the throne, said a political philosopher of an ancient Rome.

2 Aug. Food self-sufficiency ratio in Japan, 39% for six years in a row

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the food self-sufficiency ratio (on calorie base) of 2015 was 39% for 6 years in a row. Though the Government aims at raising the rate to 45% by the summer 2025, the ratio still remains unchanged.

Comments: Despite years of huge investment by the Government to raise the food self-sufficiency ratio, we have not got significant results. Essential changes in the structure of agriculture is needed.

3 Aug. GDP to increase 0.6% p.a., average of forecasts by private think tanks 

Forecasts of gross domestic product (GDP) of the second-quarter by 14 private think tanks have been made available.  The average of the predicted real growth rate that excludes  influence of the price fluctuation is 0.2 % increase (0.6% increase when converted into an annual rate). This is a positive growth for two quarters in a row.

Comments: It is a good news, even though the growth appears to be still fragile.

4 Aug. Unifying wireless LAN between public facilities of Fukuoka-shi and public transportation of Nishitetsu

Fukuoka-shi and Nishitetsu announced that they will allow from 1 September mutual recognition of certification of public wireless LAN services between public facilities of Fukuoka -shi and bus services of Nishitetsu. Mayor Soichiro Takashima of Fukuoka-shi said at the press conference that such service will help visitors of the city to access to various information.

Comments: Public LAN (WiFi) has been made available in wider areas in the past few years, but the progress is still slow. Many other cities should follow the arrangement between Fukuoka-shi and Nishitetsu. 

5 Aug. Prime Minister to express the acceptance in response to a planned expression of the feeling by the Emperor

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started consensus building among those Government officials who are involved in order to express the acceptance in response to a planned expression of the feeling by the Emperor of his intention of abdication while being alive. Upon the expression of the feeling by the Emperor, the Government plans to examine what actions to take by spending ample time, widely collecting opinions from well-informed persons.

Comments: While the Government appears to have started taking a way to admit the abdication of the Emperor, why do they move so carefully and slowly? The Emperor is 86 years old, have worked much to perform roles as established by the Japanese Constitution, it’s time for him to peacefully retire.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. The articles are not an official translation by the Asahi Newspaper.

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