Japan Business News: Shinzo Abe, Economic Revitalization, Sony, Toshiba and Toyota

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Japan Business News: Shinzo Abe, Economic Revitalization, Sony, Toshiba and Toyota

Kanako Itamae and Pierre Leblanc

Modern Tokyo Times


Shinzo Abe, the newly elected Prime Minister of Japan, is intent on restructuring the economy in order to kick start 2013. Therefore, he is hoping that the newly created headquarters for economic revival will be a fresh start. This newly created “control tower” is hoping to enhance both the public and private sector by utilizing the knowledge of specialists.

Abe is clearly focused on shaping a vibrant image and it is abundantly clear that economic factors swayed many people to vote for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Of course, the self-destructive Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) helped greatly but despite this Abe did hit a chord with his no nonsense approach. Also, he appears to have nipped the nuclear issue in the bud by also promising to kick start this important source of energy.

Abe commented that “We will do our best to make people look back and that the nation’s economic revival began today…All members (of the newly created economic revival headquarters) will join forces to make a jump start.”

It is noticeable that Akira Amari is the deputy head of this newly formed headquarters with Abe being the head. Akiri Amari is the minister who is being entrusted with economic revitalization. This implies that he is Abe’s right-hand-man when it comes to economic issues related to revitalization. Overall, this headquarters will work with powerful individuals in the private sector, the governor of the Bank of Japan, powerful economic related ministers and in liaison with the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.

Meanwhile on the business front Sony announced the Xperia Z smartphone whereby a major feature is that this smartphone is water-resistant. It is reported that around 10% of all mobiles are dropped down the toilet at one time or another. Of course, other features of the Xperia Z must appeal because this market is extremely competitive. Therefore, other powerful areas like being able to record high dynamic range (HDR) will appeal to many end users alongside the water-resistant angle.

Toshiba Corp. is hoping to boost nuclear opportunities outside of Japan because the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues to hinder the nuclear sector in this nation. In saying this, the nuclear sector should bounce back under Abe. Therefore, Toshiba increased its stake in Westinghouse Electric Co. to 87% in order to improve its international leverages.

Toyota on the other hand is focused on consolidating its current plants instead of building new plants over the next three years. This applies to cost cutting measures and improving on productivity levels. It appears that the current market conditions and the changing economic sands which began in 2008 are behind this cautious approach.

Lee Jay Walker provided background support to both main writers



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