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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 18:01 01/22/2008
News Review #429: January 22, 2008

Five Regions Suffer Downturns

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Five Regions Suffer Downturns
The Japan Times (1/22/2008)


It is reported in today's Japan Times (see the link above) that according to the report published by the Finance Ministry yesterday, five out of eleven regions across Japan are experiencing economic downturns, reflecting a recent pause in the improvement of employment conditions and sharp decline in housing investment. The Ministry lowered its economic assessment for the Tohoku, Kinki, Kyushu (both north and south) and Okinawa regions. It is the largest number of regions to be downgraded by the Ministry in seven years.

This must be a severe blow to the Fukuda government, because one of its most important policy issues is to deal with regional disparities, especially between the prosperous Kanto and Chubu regions and the other regions. Now it seems that the regional gap is widening, and not narrowing under the Fukuda administration. Unless something is done immediately, this adverse economic condition, in addition to a collapse in the Tokyo stock market, will negatively affect the already low popularity rating for Mr. Fukuda and the LDP.

It may be about time for the Japanese government to adopt emergency economic measures by working with the U.S. and other governments. Japan could and should do a number of things including the adoption of a short-term stimulus package, in favor of local regions, and a long-term reform plan to be appreciated overseas. The question is whether Prime Minister Fukuda will face up to the reality of the domestic and global economy, and move quickly to take action as necessary.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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