Promotion of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) into Japan has been an important policy in the Abenomics growth strategy. This paper examines if we observe positive impacts of the policy in the data. We first estimate a gravity model of bilateral FDIs using data for 35 OECD countries as destination countries. In estimating the model, we handle zero values for FDI stock explicitly. The model includes (origin and destination) country-specific effects as well as destination-country specific time trends.
Using a unique dataset on all major corporate restructuring events in Japan between 1981 and 2010, we assess changes in the role of the main bank in guiding corporate turarounds, and the economic consequences of these changes for distressed firms. We identify firms in distress among all listed firms based on accounting data, and we separately identify firms undergoing corporate restructuring based on a newspaper search for the Japanese term “saiken”.
Japan is known to have an exceptionally low level of inward foreign direct investment (FDI). The promotion of inward FDI is one of the policy goals of Abenomics structural reforms. This present paper studies the accumulation of Japan's inward FDI stock during the first 3 years of Abenomics (2012–2015), and finds no evidence that Japan's inward FDI stock increased more than the trend before Abenomics started would have predicted.
Scholars at Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies assess the strategic situation in East Asia to be unsettled, unstable, and drifting in ways unfavorable for American interests. These developments are worrisome to countries in the region, most of which want the United States to reduce uncertainty about American intentions by taking early and effective steps to clarify and solidify U.S. engagement. In the absence of such steps, they will seek to reduce uncertainty and protect their own interests in ways that reduce U.S.
This paper examines the evolution of Japan’s capital markets and the related regulatory reforms after the Global Financial Crisis. We start by looking at the importance of capital markets in the Japanese financial system. We study how the size of financial flows through capital markets relative to those through the banking sector changed since the 1980s in Section 2. Then, in Section 3, we look at how Japan’s financial system responded to the Global Financial Crisis. We find that the disruption of the financial system in Japan was small.
This paper is examines the evolution of Japan’s capital markets and the related regulatory reforms after the Global Financial Crisis. We start by looking at the importance of capital markets in the Japanese financial system. We study how the size of financial flows through capital markets relative to those through the banking sector changed since the 1980s in Section 2. Then, in Section 3, we look at how Japan’s financial system responded to the Global Financial Crisis. We find that the disruption of the financial system in Japan was small.
Improving the environment for business is an important part of the growth strategy of Abenomics. As the goal for this effort, the Abe Administration aims to improve Japan’s rank in the World Bank Doing Business Ranking to one of the top three among OECD. This paper clarifies what it takes for Japan to achieve the goal. By looking at details of the World Bank Doing Business ranking, we identify various reforms that Japan could implement to improve the ranking.
Innovation is essential for the growth of a matured economy like Japan. This report examines the institutional foundations of innovation-based economic growth and explores the role of Japanese government in encouraging innovation by Japanese companies and entrepreneurs. We start by summarizing eleven elements that characterize the ecosystem of Silicon Valley, which is often considered to be the best example of innovation-based economy. We then discuss how those elements fit with six institutional foundations that support the innovation-based economic growth.
This paper reexamines Japanese policy choices during its banking crisis in the 1990s and draws some lessons relevant for the United States and Europe in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007–09. The paper focuses on two aspects of postcrisis economic policy of Japan: the delay in bank recapitalization and the lack of structural reforms. These two policy shortcomings retarded Japan’s recovery from the crisis and were responsible for its stagnant postcrisis growth. The paper also suggests some political economy factors that contributed to the Japanese policies.
On August 15, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will publish a short statement to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. This follows similar practices of his predecessors. Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama started by delivering a short statement on the fiftieth anniversary in 1995. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi followed in 2005 with the statement on the sixtieth anniversary.
This paper aims to understand Japan’s financial regulatory responses after the global financial crisis and recession. Japan’s post-crisis reactions show two seemingly opposing trends: collaboration with international organizations to strengthen the regulation to maintain financial stability, and regulatory forbearance for the banks with troubled small and medium enterprise [SME] borrowers.
This paper presents a simulation model based on the growth rate, the inflation rate, and the consumption tax rate in the future. Future tax revenues and fiscal expenditures are projected using regression models estimated from past data. The fiscal situation is called unsustainable if the outstanding amount of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) becomes higher than the level of private sector financial assets. We focus on the general account of the central government, which is the source of JGB issues.
Recent academic papers have shown that the Japanese sovereign debt situation is not sustainable. The puzzle is that the bond rate has remained low and stable. Some suggest that the low yield can be explained by domestic residents’ willingness to hold Japanese government bonds (JGBs) despite its low return, and that as long as domestic residents remain home-biased, the JGBs are sustainable. About 95% of JGBs are currently owned by domestic residents.
This report discusses desirable policy directions and options in the aftermath of the Great Tohoku Earthquake. It argues that the importance of Japan’s productivity growth has not been invalidated by the disaster, and suggests that Japan should consider restoration and reconstruction from the earthquake as a great opportunity to reposition its policies.
We construct quarterly series of the revenues, expenditures, and debt outstanding for Japan from 1980 to 2010, and analyze the sustainability of the fiscal policy. We pursue three approaches to examine the sustainability. First, we calculate the minimum tax rate that stabilizes the debt to GDP ratio given the future government expenditures. Using 2010 as the base year, we find that the government revenue to GDP ratio must rise permanently to 40–47% (from the current 33%) to stabilize the debt to GDP ratio.
The purpose of this report is to explain the causes of Japan's economic stagnation and identify policy choices that might help restore growth.
The focus is intentionally on longer-term issues, rather than the immediate challenges that are associated with the fallout from the global recession.
In this book Takeo Hoshi and Anil Kashyap examine the history of the Japanese financial system, from its nineteenth-century beginnings through the collapse of the 1990s that concluded with sweeping reforms. Combining financial theory with new data and original case studies, they show why the Japanese financial system developed as it did and how its history affects its ongoing evolution.
Japan has the highest debt to GDP ratio among advanced countries, and many studies find that the current fiscal regime of Japan is not sustainable. Yet, the Japanese government bond continues to enjoy low and stable interest rates. The most plausible explanation for such an apparent anomaly is that the bonds are predominantly held by the Japanese residents, who are willing to absorb increasing amount of Japanese Government Bonds (JGB) without requiring high yields.