Japan

Japan’s inflation hit its fastest clip in 40 years in October, an outcome that puts the central bank in an even more awkward position as it tries to explain the need to stick with monetary stimulus to pursue stable price growth, Bloomberg News reported. Consumer prices excluding fresh food climbed 3.6% in October from a year ago, with the acceleration driven by processed food and the fading impact of mobile phone fee cuts, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday. The reading outpaced a 3.5% forecast by analysts and marks the fastest price growth since 1982.
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Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest, unexpectedly shrank in the three-month period from July to September, as a weak yen and high inflation eroded Japanese consumers’ buying power and sapped businesses’ strength, the New York Times reported. The economy contracted at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent during the third quarter, government data showed on Tuesday, ending nine months of growth and setting back the country’s recovery just as Japan was adjusting to life with looser coronavirus restrictions.
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Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday the central bank would stick to monetary easing to support the economy for the present and in order to achieve sustainable and stable inflation accompanied by wage growth in the future, Reuters reported. "We are at a stage where we will continue monetary easing to firmly back economic activity at present," Kuroda told a meeting with business leaders in Nagoya in central Japan.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday he will speed up the drafting and passage of a law to regulate the collection of donations by religious groups and protect families of believers after he met with victims of the Unification Church and was heartbroken by their “horrendous experiences,” the Associated Press reported.

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Japan said on Friday that it would subsidize around 20 percent of the average family’s electric bill, part of a sweeping economic package that comes as the country struggles with high food and energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a yen trading at decades-long lows, the New York Times reported. The total package, which weighs in at over $200 billion, includes a wide variety of economic measures, ranging from individual payments to families with children to fuel subsidies for the transportation industry.
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Japan's factory output fell in September for the first time in four months as manufacturers took a hit from rising costs for raw materials and the global economic slowdown. But in a brighter sign for the world's third-largest economy, retail sales grew for a seventh straight month, raising hopes for a sustainable boost in consumption after the easing of COVID-19-related border controls for foreign tourists earlier this month, Reuters reported.
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Japan's economic revitalisation minister stepped down on Monday after growing criticism of his failure to fully explain his ties to a church group that critics say is akin to a cult, a move that will be a blow to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Reuters reported. Daishiro Yamagiwa, the first person to resign from Kishida's government since he took power last year, became the highest profile political casualty thus far from a widening scandal sparked by the July killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
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The Japanese yen made a thumping 4 yen jump for a second straight session on Monday on suspected early intervention by the Bank of Japan, but struggled to hold its gains against a robust U.S. dollar, Reuters reported. The yen hit a low of 149.70 per dollar in early deals before being swept to a high of 145.28 within minutes in a move that suggested the BOJ had stepped in for a second successive day. The currency, however, dropped back to near 148 soon.
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The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan rose 6.9% in the April-September period from a year earlier to 3,141 for the first increase in three years, according to a survey by a credit research company, the Japan Times reported. The rise was attributable to difficulties that companies experienced in repaying financial aid they had received from the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo Shoko Research said.
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