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Nikkei’s 2017 rally heralds that Japan Inc. is back

Japan’s recovery has been driven by ultra-loose Bank of Japan policies and a buoyant global economy

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Little is afoot in Tokyo to create the sustainable domestic demand-led growth that has eluded the Japanese economy for two-plus decades

The Nikkei’s 19% rally isn’t completely irrational. Companies are cash rich and underpinned by an economy enjoying its best run in 16 years, unemployment at 23-year lows and investment banks heralding that Japan Inc. is back.

The missing link, though, is wages. Average monthly cash earnings rose by just 0.6% in October, year-on-year. Worse, labor unions are lowering their ambitions for bigger gains in 2018.

This disconnect raises valid questions about whether Nikkei bulls ran ahead of economic fundamentals not just this year, but in the last few.  Since Prime Minister Abe’s tenure began in December 2012, the Nikkei has gained an eye-popping 128%.

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3 ways Asia can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic faster

Countries in the East Asia and Pacific region will benefit from cooperation in three major areas: vaccine deployment, reviving sectors of the regional economy, and building on their close integration into global value chains

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Don Mueang Bangkok domestic airport

For decades, East Asia and the Pacific region sustained rapid economic growth while lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

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Thailand’s Vaccine Strategy: What went wrong?

Questions are being asked, and not answered, over the decision to rely almost entirely on Siam Bioscience, a local, palace-owned company with no experience of making vaccines, for the country’s vaccine needs, until an unseemly scramble began this year to procure alternatives.

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Last year Thailand won worldwide praise for its effective measures to contain COVID-19. This year the government is facing growing public outrage over the failure to control new covid outbreaks, and the slow acquisition of vaccines.

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