Controversy Points to Suga’s Aim to End Outdated Practices, Sota Kato Tells Straits Times
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s rejection of six candidates for the Japan Science Council has triggered charges that the new administration is curtailing academic freedom. All six were critical of government policy when Suga was the chief cabinet minister.
But the move could signal Suga’s resolve to undo outdated practices, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times. The prime minister’s “awareness for reforms is quite strong,” Kato said. “He has the know-how and personal connections to eliminate resistance from businesses or other groups with vested interests.”
“Controversy hits Suga, just 2½ weeks into tenure as PM,” Straits Times
Research Director Kobayashi Featured on NHK World Broadcast, “COVID-19: Battling the Resurgence”
Research Director Keiichiro Kobayashi was a featured panelist on NHK World’s “Global Agenda” episode on “COVID-19: Battling the Resurgence.”
The online broadcast, also featuring Ilona Kickbusch of the Graduate Institute Geneva, Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Gabriel Leung of the University of Hong Kong, focuses on how we can stay healthy and still save the economy as a second wave approaches in the midst of a recession.
“COVID-19: Battling the Resurgence,” Global Agenda, NHK World
Japanese Companies Caught in Rift between US and China, Ke Long tells Economist
Japanese companies with operations in China are in a “wait and see” mode, Senior Fellow Ke Long told The Economist, as the pandemic and the prospect of further US sanctions against Chinese companies are making them think about supply-chain stability, not just efficiency.
“Rebalancing Act,” The Economist
Foreign Policy Will Be a Challenge for PM, Comments Sota Kato
In quoting Research Director Sota Kato, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency notes that new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will face a challenge in working with other countries.
“Suga has no foreign policy experience,” Kato said, “so there is no knowing how effective he will be in international relations. It is hard to imagine Suga establishing the kind of personal rapport that Abe was able to build with other world leaders, notably [US President] Donald Trump.”
“Challenging Year Awaits Japan’s New Prime Minister Suga,” Anadolu Agency
Suga Is “Very Capable,” Kato Tells CBS News
In an article posted on CBSNews.com, Research Director Sota Kato characterizes Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s new prime minister, as “hardworking, very smart, very capable,” whose rise to the top was accomplished without money, connections, or an iconic political surname.
While Suga is regarded as a shrewd, detail-oriented backroom operator, “whether he can build personal relationships” with other world leaders, Kato notes, remains “a question mark.”
“Who Is Japan’s ‘Quiet’ New Leader, and How Will He Work with Donald Trump or Joe Biden?” CBS News
Suga Likely Next Prime Minister, Says Sota Kato
Commenting on the LDP presidential election slated for mid-September, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times that Suga is the runaway favorite, noting that the only remaining questions is whether Kishida and Ishiba can attract enough votes so they can stage another run, “perhaps next year.”
“LDP election a three-horse race, with Suga the runaway favourite,” Straits Times
Policymaking Efficiency Aided “Abe’s TPP Success,” Kato Quoted in Straits Times
Prime Minister Abe’s prolonged tenure, Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times, resulted in a concentration of policymaking powers in the Prime Minister’s Office and better policymaking efficiency.
“The political had been such,” he said, “that that I could never imagine the administration ever overcoming the strong opposition of the farm lobby and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to conclude the TPP.”
“Abe resigns: Japan's longest-serving leader leaves behind much unfinished business,” Straits Times
COVID-19 Hampered Abenomics, Hayakawa Tells Reuters
Many businesses have become even more inclined to hoard cash than spend on new innovations since the COVID-19 outbreak, Senior Fellow Hideo Hayakawa told Reuters. This has hobbled the reforms needed to sustain Japan’s economic growth—the third arrow of Abenomics.
“Abenomics fails to deliver as Japan braces for post-Abe era,” Reuters
Senior Fellow Hayakawa Tells Reuters Pandemic May Boost Inflation
In an interview with Reuters, Senior Fellow Hideo Hayakawa said the coronavirus is boosting the amount of money flowing into Japan’s economy. This could fire up inflation and achieve what years of the Bank of Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy failed to do.
“Pandemic May Fire Up Japan’s Inflation, Doing What Cenbank Could Not, Economist Says,” Reuters
Hayakawa Quoted in Asia Times
An article on the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research website by Senior Fellow Hideo Hayakawa on the role of central banks during the COVID-19 pandemic was quoted by the Asia Times.
As an example of unconventional stimulus measures to prop up the economy in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Hayakawa notes that the Bank of Japan was, in effect, conducting monetary financing to support the government’s deficit spending policies.
“Abe Running Out of Levers as Pandemic Resurges,” Asia Times
Profile of Senior Fellow Hideo Hayakawa