Japan Output, Jobs Data Add To Worries Of Slowdown – Nov. 30, 2004

Japan output, jobs data add to worries of slowdown – Nov. 30, 2004
Topping off a series of weak economic data that also included soft household spending figures, the government said industrial production fell 1.6 percent from September, undershooting the market’s consensus forecast of a 0.1 percent gain.
Although the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry maintained its view that output was flat and cabinet ministers said conditions .continued to improve, economists said recent weak data may indicate something more serious than a soft patch…..

Will High Yen Cause Recession in Japan?

Is Japan teetering on the edge of yet another recession? Yen bulls are starting to run out of excuses as tonight’s horrid eco data suggests that the Land of the Rising Sun may be close to the tipping point. With Industrial Production contracting by -1.6% versus 0.1% expected, Household Spending increasing a paltry 0.1% against 0.8% projected and Small Business Confidence falling to 48.9 – well below the key 50 level – economic indicators are furiously flashing a yellow warning. Japan is suffering from chronically weak domestic demand caused by declining wages in 40 of the last 44 months. This trend is now exacerbated by a global economic slowdown and a strongly appreciating yen both of which are affecting the country’s export income. Although BOJ has not intervened in the FX markets, the necessity to do so increases with every downtick in USD/JPY…..

Yen ‘moves a bit too rapid’ — Japanese Finance Minister

Latest Forex News – FXstreet.com
Tanigaki says ‘current forex moves a bit too rapid’, Japan’s economy adjusting TOKYO (AFX) – Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki believes the yen’s recent rise against the US dollar has been too rapid, raising the possibility Japanese authorities may intervene in the currency market to staunch a further advance…

Private health-service point to a new trend in Japan

asahi.com : English
The health-service firm will charge several tens of thousands of yen per employee annually.
“The companies that sign up for the service can expect to see their medical expenses held down, which will be worth the annual costs,” said Yoichiro Imanishi, a senior researcher at Mitsubishi Research Institute, which provides data support for the establishment of the new company

WiFi Standard specially screwed up for Japan

Mobile Pipeline | 802.11 Standard Modified For Japan
The IEEE has approved an amendment to IEEE 802.11 that will enable WLAN vendors to offer wireless products that adapt to new frequencies, different channel widths, and operating parameters for indoor and outdoor use in Japan.

Yen Weakens Against Dollar After Japan Industrial Output Falls

Bloomberg.com: Asia
The yen weakened against the dollar in Asia for a third day after a government report showed Japan’s industrial production unexpectedly fell in October.
Output dropped a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent from September, compared with a 0.1 percent increase forecast by 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Japan and Philippines clash over foreign workers

Reuters AlertNet – Japan, Philippines FTA shows foreign worker hurdles—- Japan and the Philippines are near to clinching a free trade agreement (FTA) that will include letting a trickle of nurses into Japan to help cope with a shortage.
But experts say planned restrictions show how cautious Tokyo still is about opening the door to foreign workers, despite an ageing society and an expected shrinkage in the population.

Japan’s Economic Recovery May Be Ended by Yen’s Gain

The yen rose as high as 102.01 against the dollar last week, its strongest since January 2000. The yen below 105 to the dollar will further reduce profits of exporters, Hiroshi Okuda, head of the Japan Business Federation, said on Nov. 22.
Japan’s 18-month expansion is already faltering. The economy grew 0.1 percent last quarter, the slowest pace in more than a year….”The economy isn’t going to have anything to rely on for growth,” Shirota said in an interview on Nov. 24. “Should the yen stabilize at this level, the currency will be a negative factor for exports.”

Digital broadcasting is being shoved down Japanese consumers’ throuts

Digital broadcasting catching on quickly
….the nation will mark its first anniversary on Dec. 1 as an increasing number of customers tune in to the new service and digital TV set sales continue to be brisk.
But some hurdles must be cleared before 2011, when the current analog format TV broadcasting will be replaced….