English | 中文版 |  Русский

Breaking News:

japan

editor picks 

Editor PicksView All

japan

Japan and Taiwan Exports Improve from May to June

Japan's and Taiwan's exports declined at slower paces in June 2009, compared to the last eight to twelve months. The fall in Japanese overseas sales went from 40.9 percent in May to 35.7 percent in June compared to the same time in 2008, reported the Finance Ministry in Tokyo. The Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan said that exports in May had fallen 20.14 percent and the decline slowed in June, to total about 10.91 percent fall in exports compared to 2008. The slowing decline of exports means that the economy in the U.S and Europe are perking up, said Tony Phoo, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Taipei. Exports are always linked to the exchange rate of a country's currency. The yen weakened against the dollar, going from 94.30 to 93.59, as signs of improvement in exports gave investors incentives to buy riskier assets abroad. Exports are important for the two countries, since their significant growth before the recession was due to fast increases in exports. Chief statistician, Huang Ji-Shih from the Ministry of Economic Affairs expects Taiwan's exports to begin rising in the last three months of 2009.

Japan's exports fell in June at the slowest pace this year and orders for Taiwanese shipments declined the least in eight months, adding to evidence that Asia's economies are on the road to recovery. Japanese overseas sales dropped 35.7 percent from a year earlier, easing from a 40.9 percent decline in May, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo. Orders for Taiwan exports, an indication of shipments in one to three months, fell 10.91 percent from a year earlier, easing from a 20.14 percent retreat in the previous month, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in Taipei. Worldwide stimulus worth $2.2 trillion has stabilized demand and boosted shipments for exporters including Komatsu Ltd. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. East Asia's rebound from the worst global recession since the Great Depression may be "V-shaped," the Asian Development Bank said today. "The slowdown in the exports decline is signaling a potential pick-up in the U.S. and Europe," said Tony Phoo, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Taipei. "China is driving the pickup in demand." The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.7 percent at the close in Tokyo, taking its gains to 39 percent since reaching a 26- year low on March 10. The yen weakened to 94.30 per dollar from 93.59 before the report as the improvement in exports encouraged investors to buy higher-yielding assets abroad. Taiwan's benchmark Taiex index is the world's ninth best performer this year, advancing 52 percent. Taiwan's dollar was little changed at NT$32.985 against the U.S. currency. Auto Parts, Chips Japan's trade slump eased in all of the country's main markets. Exports to China fell 23.7 percent from a year earlier, the smallest drop since October, led by improving demand for steel, auto parts and chips. Shipments to the U.S. declined 37.6 percent, the least since December, and sales to Europe slid 41.4 percent, also the best this year. "You have to search to find either a region or a product that isn't recovering," said Richard Jerram, chief economist at Macquarie Securities Ltd. in Tokyo. "What's happening is going to be positive for consumer demand and positive for corporate investment." In Singapore, exports dropped the least in nine months in June, while South Korea's shipments fell at the slowest pace in eight months. The Bank of Japan last week raised its assessment of the economy for a third month, citing rebounds in trade and factory production as the reasons that "economic conditions have stopped worsening." Trade accounted for most of Japan's growth during the country's most recent expansion, a six-year stretch that ended in October 2007. China, Hong Kong The value of Taiwan's export orders rose to $27.94 billion last month from $25.17 billion in May, today's report showed. In the first half of the year, export orders fell 23.28 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 25.85 percent drop in the January-to-May period. Huang Ji-shih, chief statistician at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, expects export orders to start rising again in the fourth quarter. Export orders to China and Hong Kong from the island combined fell 10.49 percent last month, compared with a 17.65 percent drop in May. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict the rebound in Japanese exports helped the world's second-largest economy expand an annualized 2.4 percent in the three months ended June 30. That would end four consecutive quarters of negative growth that shrunk gross domestic product down to its 2003 size. 'Driving Force' China's 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package is feeding demand for Japan's heavy equipment, autos and materials. The market this year surpassed the U.S. as Japan's biggest. "There's no doubt China has been a driving force for Japan's exports," said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Tokyo. "Manufacturers will probably continue to increase production amid the improvement in exports, and that's good for the economic outlook." Komatsu's sales of construction machinery in China will probably jump about 40 percent this month, Chairman Masahiro Sakane said today at a business conference. Japan's biggest maker of earthmovers expects China to grow to about 15 percent of total sales this business year, from 10 percent in 2008. Taiwan Semiconductor, the world's biggest made-to-order chipmaker, said sales in June were 5.3 percent higher than in May. The company is a bellwether for the electronics industry because it makes chips for products ranging from mobile phones to games consoles.

read source article

editor picks 

Other Important News In Japan


Japan's Economic Forecast Downgraded but Remains Positive

The Bank of Japan is now expecting its economy to shrink 3.4 percent, higher than its previous forecast of 3.1 percent, "in the 12 months to 31 March 2010".

This is a tremendous improvement from the contraction of 12.7 percent during the October to December 2008 period. The central bank affirms that "Japan's economic conditions have stopped worsening". The Japanese economy, whose growth heavily relies on exports of automobiles and electronics, has suffered in the past year. The falling global demand for the products has caused the economy to weaken. However, second quarter reports show that both exports and industrial production, which increased by 5.7 percent in this past May, have started to improve. They expect a recovery in the third and fourth quarter of 2009. Analysts agree with the expectation of the country's recovery: "They are definitely correct when they say the economy overall has stopped worsening," said Nikhilesh Bhattacharyya of Moody's Economy.

read source article

Japan Tankan Signals Business Spending Cuts May Impede Recovery

The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan report reflected businesses plans to further reduce spending, since it is estimated that profits will fall 20 percent this year, which is almost twice the March forecast.

Hiroshi Shiraishi, an economist at BNP Paribas in Tokyo said, "Companies have started to realize that sales aren't really going to come back, companies are faced with massive excesses in capacity." Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Tokyo said, "It could be two or three years before companies are using even three quarters of their production capacity." Aware of this, managers are cutting investment, jobs and wages. Toyota, for instance, is cutting spending 36 percent and is simultaneously cutting wages for factory workers by 15 percent. As profits continue falling, companies will continue to hire less workers (and lay some off) and invest less.

read source article

Bank of Japan's Tankan Survey Looks Better

It is predicted that the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey on June 1st will show that important manufacturing companies believe the "worst of the recession" is over.

It is predicted that the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey on June 1st will show that important manufacturing companies believe the "worst of the recession" is over on July 1, 2009. Evidence of the new outlook among large makers of electronics and cars is expected to rise from minus 58 in March to minus 43. Although the minus shows that pessimists outnumber optimists, the decrease in number of pessimists is important, especially in the manufacturing industry. As Jan Lambregts, head of financial markets research at Rabobank International in Hong Kong said, "we're seeing a rebound from rock bottom." A large increase in Chinese demand has helped Japan. Thanks to China's government spending, Japan's "heavy equipment" autos and materials have increased in sales. For instance, in China, Nissan sales rose 37 percent in April 20009, due to a subsidy that cut the consumption tax in half on small cars. In the U.S, Mazda Motor Corporations are also predicted to increase because of the Obama administration's "cash for clunkers" which would give consumers some money for trading in their old vehicles. (As much as $4,500 according to Bloomberg.) In Japan, electronics sales have increased 18 percent in the past month, due to the government's introduction of a program to advocate consumers to purchase eco-friendly products.

read source article

Goldman Sachs recommends Japanese Banks

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it recommends buying Japanese banks and shorting the nation's steelmakers, citing valuations. Japanese bank stocks are relatively cheap as they trade at about 70 percent of their average price-to-book ratio, compared with up to 120 percent for banks across Asia, Kathy Matsui, the Tokyo-based chief strategist at the brokerage, said in a report dated yesterday. The country's steel shares are at or above their midpoint price-to-book levels, the report said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it recommends buying Japanese banks and shorting the nation's steelmakers, citing valuations. Japanese bank stocks are relatively cheap as they trade at about 70 percent of their average price-to-book ratio, compared with up to 120 percent for banks across Asia, Kathy Matsui, the Tokyo-based chief strategist at the brokerage, said in a report dated yesterday. The country's steel shares are at or above their midpoint price-to-book levels, the report said. "Japanese banks should enjoy an outsized earnings impact from lower credit costs as the economy stabilizes," Matsui wrote. "The recovery in stock prices should also help alleviate capital concerns." While many investors have bought into steel stocks that are sensitive to global economic trends, most are still "extremely underweight" in domestic cyclical shares like banks, Matsui said in the report. The brokerage boosted Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. to "buy" from "sell" and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. to "neutral" from "sell," the report showed. Mitsubishi UFJ rallied 2.2 percent to 605 yen while Mizuho gained 2.1 percent to 246 yen as of the 11 a.m. trading break on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

read source article

Japan Limits Exports to North Korea while China Prepares to Act

Japan has banned exports to North Korea in response to their nuclear and missile tests in May, with the purpose of sending a "strong message".

Japan has banned exports to North Korea in response to their nuclear and missile tests in May, with the purpose of sending a "strong message". "What's most important is that North Korea make the right response... to Japan's strong message, even though there are people who point out the volume of exports is small," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura. The Japanese concern arises from the proximity of the country, since much of its territory could be hit by North Korean mid-range missiles, according to the BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo. North Korea's key trading partner is China. China "has pledged to implement tougher sanctions against North Korea, which were approved by the UN last week." These sanctions include careful inspection of ships suspected of taking banned cargo to and from North Korea, and increased ban on arms sales.

read source article

Japan Stocks Shows Optimism

Japan's stock index closed Friday above the important 10,000-point level since October 7, 2008.

Japan's stock index closed Friday above the important 10,000-point level since October 7, 2008. "Investors are upbeat over the direction of the economy with recent indicators suggesting the global economy is heading toward a recovery," said Yutaka Miura, senior strategist at Mizuho Securities Co. Ltd.

read source article

Distressed Japanese Work to Death

Analysts say that people facing an unpredictable economic future usually feel compelled to work longer hours, even if it is hazardous to their health. Although the Japanese culture of hard work is widely praised, it also poses a threat to those that overwork.

Analysts say that people facing an unpredictable economic future usually feel compelled to work longer hours, even if it is hazardous to their health. Although the Japanese culture of hard work is widely praised, it also poses a threat to those that overwork. According to a report released by the Health, Labor & Health Ministry on June 8, "a record number of workers suffering from job-induced mental disorders successfully filed for compensation". About 269 of 927 of applicants won compensation and among those 269 applicants, 66 had sought suicide, which is the second-highest number on record. In addition, about 158 deaths of workers were linked to karoshi, or working to death, which was an increase of 16 in just one year. Companies like Toyota are working to improve conditions by encouraging workers to rest and take vacations. During Golden Week holidays in May, for example, some manufacturers closed plants for longer and advocated the holidays. However, the economic hardships are still persistent. Many manufacturing workers have had to surrender to wage cuts, bonuses and overtime, which one worker said takes about $1,000 a month out of his pocket. Japan's positive second quarter forecast of growth in GDP might lessen the stress Japanese workers are currently facing.

read source article

Yen Rose Against 14 of 16 Currencies

The yen rose against euro and dollar and showed signs of strength, also the yen grew on top of 14 of 16 currencies.

The dollar earlier approached a one-week high against the euro as traders added to bets the Federal Reserve will increase its target lending rate this year as the world's largest economy recovers. Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, said that American economy will recover from the crisis by September. "I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer," Krugman added "Things seem to be getting worse more slowly. There's some reason to think that we're stabilizing."

read source article

Japan's current account drops but maintains its balance

Japan continues to suffer amid the global downturn.

Its current account surplus fell in April by 55% compared to the same month in 2008. However, the rate of decline in exports has been slowing and according to Norio Miyagawa, an economist at Shinko Research Institute, it is likely that Japan may be able to maintain a positive trade balance for the time being.

read source article

Japan Suffers First Trade Deficit Since 1980

apan's trade balance for fiscal 2008 suffered its first annual deficit in nearly three decades, data released Wednesday showed, underscoring the difficulty facing the export-reliant country in its attempt to get out of recession. The result also highlights how vulnerable the world's second largest economy is to the sharp slowdown in global trade triggered by the U.S.-originated financial crisis.

apan's trade balance for fiscal 2008 suffered its first annual deficit in nearly three decades, data released Wednesday showed, underscoring the difficulty facing the export-reliant country in its attempt to get out of recession. The result also highlights how vulnerable the world's second largest economy is to the sharp slowdown in global trade triggered by the U.S.-originated financial crisis.

read source article