News / Asia

Japan's Big Spending 'Abenomics' Sparks Interest From Ailing Europe

Japan's Big Spending 'Abenomics' Sparks Interest From Ailing Europei
June 22, 2013 2:41 AM
Not many politicians can claim to have had economic theories named after them - but the Japanese prime minister is now one. Shinzo Abe's program of big spending and loose fiscal policy has been dubbed 'Abenomics' - and with Japan recently showing what looks like strong growth, there have been calls for ailing European economies to adopt a similar strategy. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Japan's Big Spending 'Abenomics' Sparks Interest From Ailing Europe
Henry Ridgwell
Not many politicians can claim to have had economic theories named after them, but the Japanese Prime Minister is now one. Shinzo Abe's program of big spending and loose fiscal policy has been dubbed 'Abenomics' - and with Japan recently showing economic growth, there have been calls for ailing European economies to adopt a similar strategy.

Laughing with his fellow leaders at the final photo opportunity in Lough Erne, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared highly satisfied with the outcome of this week's G8 summit in Northern Ireland.  He spoke at a press conference Tuesday.

Abe said that in the global economic discussion as well as in the bilateral talks, a strong interest was shown in the Japanese fiscal and growth strategies.

Analysts say much of that interest has come from Europe - which is suffering from low or negative growth, much like Japan had for the last two decades.  

"The short term relief that these programs can bring is, of course, something that is very welcome, would be very welcome in large parts of the euro area," Tobias Blattner, European Economist at the Japanese firm Daiwa Capital Markets.

Shinzo Abe describes Abenomics as having three 'arrows': monetary policies, or keeping down the value of the yen currency; huge fiscal stimulus - essentially printing more money; and encouraging growth through deregulation and policies like getting more women into the workforce.
So far it appears to be having an effect.

The yen has tumbled by over 20 percent against the dollar since last year.  That helped Japanese exports soar at the fastest annual rate in May since 2010 - up 10 percent from the previous year.  In the first quarter of 2013, Japan's economy grew by an annualized rate of 4.1 percent.

So should Europe's ailing economies take a leaf out of the book of Abenomics?  Takuji Okubo, Chief Economist at Japan Macro Advisors urges caution.

"When you look into the contents of the growth, you do see that half of the growth is coming from public demand such as public works, government consumption and that is still concerning, and that says that Japan's economy is still not self-sustaining," Okubo said.

When French President Francois Hollande visited Tokyo earlier this month, some French and Japanese media suggested he was going there for a lesson in 'Abenomics.'  France's economy meanwhile fell back into recession last quarter.  Hollande had this response.

"We have very different situations.  France is in the eurozone, and together with our partners, working together. Japan has the sovereign right to decide on its monetary policy and conditions alone," he said.

Blattner says President Hollande is being realistic. "Implementing the kind of Abenomic policies would not even be possible in the current framework.  It would only be possible at an aggregate level and, of course, there we have the skepticism of the core member states, the northern European economies like Germany, the Netherlands," he said.
So while Shinzo Abe appears to be speeding Japan's economic recovery - it seems Abenomics might not be one of the country's many exports.

You May Like

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Kitagawa keikoh from: Daikanyama, JPN
June 22, 2013 7:54 PM
Japan had experienced the WW II and atomic bombs, and after that we have been working very hard to become one of the world top economic countries.
That's why we are recovering from the economic crisis, not because such meaningless politic strategy as Abenomics.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 23, 2013 10:41 PM
I think EU couniries need not pay attention to Abenomics because it seems merely a tempolary economic recovery.
Actually yen is again getting weak to dollar and stock plices are also getting down recently only a few months after the first action of monetary loosing. Those who have enjoyed weak yen and high stock prices are limited in big exporting companies and stock players.

Economic investment of firms is not yet prompted because domestic demands are not increased as expected. Workers wages and employment rate are not improved in general. A raise of consumption tax is planned next spring.
In Response

by: Samurai from: Japan
June 23, 2013 8:15 AM
I don't think Abenomix is meaningless. Mr. Abe is now following the way USA took several years ago, i.e., a departure from deflation. Japan has been in the straits of deflation for more than two decades. The only way to depart from the deflation is to cause Japan's economy to inflate (in this case, "reflation").

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs