Can “Abenomics” Lift Japan Out of its 15-Year Deflation?

18 April 2013

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:30pm

13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London, NW1 4QP

Organised by The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Japan has struggled with chronic deflation since its financial and real estate bubble burst 20 years ago, triggering a severe financial crisis in 1997-1998.  Since then, the Japanese economy has in fact grown in real terms, albeit sluggishly, as a result of extraordinary fiscal and monetary stimuli implemented in response to this crisis. Nonetheless, most Japanese now feel less well-off (unless they travel abroad to take advantage of the strong Yen) and Japanese industrial pre-eminence, especially in electronics, is being challenged by Korean competition. Against this backdrop, the LDP won the general election last December in a landslide, ushering into the limelight again Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister in 2006-7), who has since embarked on a new economic initiative, nicknamed “Abenomics, ” which has pushed equity markets up by more than 30%.  In this seminar the speakers address the question: ‘What is “Abenomics”, and can it achieve its goal of lifting Japan out of deflation?’  They also consider what its side-effects might be domestically, and what the implications could be for other advanced economies, especially the UK and Eurozone, which are experiencing their own prolonged period of economic troubles.

Yosuke Kawakami

Yosuke Kawakami was appointed Minister for Financial Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in July 2010, where he follows developments in UK fiscal, monetary and financial policies as well as in the London financial markets and represents Japanese interests in these areas. He is on secondment from the Japanese Ministry of Finance where he served as Director in the Financial Bureau, the Customs Bureau and the Minister’s Secretariat, as well as Deputy in the International Finance and Banking Bureaus.  He also has extensive overseas experience, having previously served at the IMF, OECD, and at the Embassy of Japan in Moscow in his 30 year career in public service. Since arriving in London, he has kept close watch on the near implosion of the Euro as well as the slow financial recovery and rising tensions in Europe, which has caused him to question the wisdom of the economics and finance professions, and thier ability to learn from past mistakes.

Andrew Smithers

Andrew Smithers started Smithers & Co. Ltd. in 1989 and now the firm provides advice on international asset allocation to more than 100 clients worldwide, covering the economies, stock, bond and currency markets of Japan, the US and major European countries. It is particularly well known for its work on the Japanese economy. Prior to starting his own firm, Andrew was at S.G.Warburg & Co. Ltd. where he ran the investment management business for some years.He read Economics at Cambridge, first visiting Japan in 1968 and living there from 1986 to 1989. He has been a regular contributor to the Nikkei Veritas Market Eye column (until Sept 2011) and to theLondon Evening Standard and Japan’s Sentaku magazine. His publications include: Valuing Wall Street with Stephen Wright, (McGraw-Hill, 2000) and Japan’s Key Challenges for the 21st Centurywith David Asher, published in Japanese by Diamond Press in 1999. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for International Macroeconomics and Finance (CIMF) at Cambridge and a Fellow of CFA (UK).

Edward Carr (Chair)

Edward Carr joined The Economist as a Science Correspondent in 1987. After a series of jobs covering electronics, trade, energy and the environment, he moved to Paris to write about European business. In 2000, after a period as Business Editor, he left for the Financial Times, where he worked most recently as News Editor. He returned to The Economist in 2005 as Britain Editor, and was Business Affairs Editor for several years before taking up his appointment as Foreign Editor in June 2009.

 

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