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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 9 - 15  > Failed ‘Abenomics’ should be canceled
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2016 March 9 - 15 [ECONOMY]

Failed ‘Abenomics’ should be canceled

March 13, 2016
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

The second preliminary figures regarding Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the October-December period of 2015 came out last week. It was confirmed that Japan’s economy posted a negative growth of 0.3% from the previous period for the first time in two quarters. The degree of decrease in personal consumption was larger than the previous period, though a little smaller than in the first preliminary figures. Since coming back to power, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has proclaimed that he will commit himself to “economic revitalization” and that the Japanese economy has benefitted from the effects of his “Abenomics” economic policy. The negative GDP growth has illuminated the failure of his economic policy. “Abenomics” should be canceled immediately. To continue carrying out misgovernment is the most irresponsible policy.

The Abe government has implemented financial measures called “the three arrows” and “the new three arrows” one after another and claimed that the depreciation of the value of the yen and high stock prices would contribute to larger corporate profits, better employment situation and wages, and expansion of private consumption. The government has also said that the adverse effects of a consumption tax hike in April 2014 would fade in a short period of time. Contrary to this government claim, although profits of large corporations have grown, stagnant wages, employment, and personal consumption has remained unchanged and GDP has shrunk.

More importantly, it is becoming clearer that “Abenomics” has brought about only a “vicious cycle” in the economy instead of a “virtuous cycle”. PM Abe has insisted that if large corporations make more profits, they will provide more jobs and higher wages. However, regarding the job situation which Abe says has been “improved”, during the period between October-December of 2013, just before Abe returned to power, and the corresponding period of 2015, the number of low-paid contingent workers went up by 1.72 million while that of regular workers went down by as much as 230,000. It is obvious that such a situation will hold down earnings and spending in workers’ households.

Although the failure of “Abenomics” has become evident, PM Abe has refused to acknowledge responsibility for his mistakes and is pushing forward with his anti-people policies including the consumption tax hike to 10%, cuts in public pension and social welfare programs such as nursing care services, and adverse revisions to labor laws. Abe is literally basking in misgovernment.
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