9/16/21 Japan Galaxy News: BOJ Is Optimistic About Japanese Companies; Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Begins Nationwide Exercises

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1. Bank of Japan Optimistic About Japanese Companies

Reuters reported on Sept 15, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday robust profits will help companies ramp up capital expenditure despite the hit to output from supply chain disruptions caused by factory shutdowns in Southeast Asia. “As further progress is made in vaccination, Japan’s economy will recover as the impact of CCP virus wanes,” Kuroda said in an online seminar.  He said that as consumption recovers from the pandemic’s scars, the economy’s virtuous cycle would strengthen. Although inflationary pressures in Japan are weaker than in the U.S. and Europe, companies have not used price cuts as extensively to attract demand as they did in Japan during the 20-year deflationary period of the late 1990s. Nonetheless, consumer inflation in 2023 will remain well below 2%, at around “1% or slightly above”, partly due to temporary factors such as cuts in cell phone costs. He added, “If necessary, we will further ease monetary policy, such as cutting interest rates. ”

2.Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Begins Nationwide Drills

Kyodo News reported on Sep 16, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Wednesday began the first nationwide exercise involving all units in about 30 years to improve deterrence and strengthen its capability. GDSF exercises, which include transporting essential supplies and testing communications systems, will be conducted nationwide through the end of November to strengthen the ability to defend remote islands. The last time the Ground Self-Defense Force conducted an exercise of this scale was in 1993, after the Cold War. About 100,000 personnel, 20,000 vehicles, and 120 aircraft will participate in the exercise, Japan’s Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces and a U.S. Army landing ship.

3. North Korea’s Missiles Pose a Growing Threat to Japan

Sankei Shimbun reported on Sep 15, The Japanese government was forced to respond to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on September 15. Initially, the government announced that the two ballistic missiles landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but when it was discovered that they were a “new type” of missile with an irregular trajectory, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi revised his statement, saying, “Presumably, the missiles landed within Japan’s EEZ.” This is the first time in two years that a North Korean ballistic missile has landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Mr. Kishi said, The missile has a range of about 750 kilometers and a maximum altitude of about 50 kilometers, stressing, “We will work closely with the United States, South Korea and other countries concerned to resolutely protect the lives and peaceful lifestyles of our nationals. ”

4. Japan and ASEAN to Strengthen Efforts for Post-Epidemic Recovery

Kyodo News reported Sep 16, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed Wednesday to step up their economic recovery efforts after the CCP virus outbreak affected industrial output. The two sides will expand an action plan adopted last year covering goals on strengthening the resilience of supply chains, guaranteeing smooth trade procedures, and promoting digital technology, their economy ministers said in a joint statement released after a videoconference. As a result, trade between Japan and the 10-member ASEAN totaled $204 billion in 2020, down 9.7 percent from the previous year, while Japanese direct investment in the bloc declined 64.4 percent to $8.5 billion, according to the statement. During the meeting, the ministers also agreed to ensure the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement entered into force by early January.

5. Japan Finds Foreign Substance in More Pfizer Vaccines from Same Batch

Kyodo News reported on Sep 16,  A white substance was found in more vials of unused Pfizer vaccine in and around Tokyo, all from the same batch reported the day before, local authorities said Wednesday. The vials containing white floating matter belonged to batch FF5357 and were found at vaccination sites in Hino in western Tokyo and Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture.  The reports follow those of the cities of Sagamihara and Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture and Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture on Tuesday.

6. The Bank of Japan Will Continue to Buy Corporate Bonds and Green Bonds

Bloomberg reported on Sep 15, In an online speech at a conference hosted by the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA), Kuroda said the Bank of Japan is taking measures to address climate change by its mandate. The Bank of Japan will continue to purchase corporate bonds, including green bonds. Noting that inflation in Japan is different from the West, he said that price growth in Japan is slightly positive when temporary factors are not taken into account. The central bank is committed to achieving the 2% inflation target as soon as possible and increasing the intensity of easing measures if necessary.

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】
Translator: Curiosity
Proofreading: Totoro

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