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GT Voice: Japan’s faltering financial system cannot afford to observe US decoupling


A bullet practice heads for Tokyo. Photograph: VCG

Because of the Japanese yen’s sharp depreciation, Japan’s nominal GDP denominated in US greenback phrases is more likely to shrink considerably to under $4 trillion this 12 months, falling again to a stage final seen 30 years in the past, the Nikkei reported on Monday.

Over the previous three many years, nice adjustments have taken place throughout the worldwide financial panorama. In greenback phrases, the Chinese language financial system has grown 20-fold, the US has recorded a threefold improve, however the Japanese financial system is falling again to the place it was 30 years in the past. The extreme challenges and difficulties confronted by the Japanese financial system pose a severe query for Japan’s political elites as to how lengthy they are going to permit an financial and commerce agenda rife with “Chilly Battle” mentality proceed to tug down the financial system.

Particularly, the Japanese financial system is going through such challenges as depreciation of the yen, file commerce deficit and hovering vitality prices. Though Japan’s financial system and monetary markets are carefully linked to the US, Japan’s central financial institution didn’t observe the US Federal Reserve’s charge hikes, resulting in the continual depreciation within the yen towards the greenback.

Whereas the Financial institution of Japan’s intention to stimulate the financial system and keep away from a chronic interval of deflation is comprehensible, the truth that the ultra-loose financial and monetary insurance policies which have been applied over the previous eight years have failed to spice up the financial system is adequate to point the vulnerability of the Japanese financial system.

At such a troublesome time, strengthened economics and commerce ties with China would assist if Japan needs to revive its financial system. But, the Japanese authorities, below so-called financial safety concerns, has appeared extra enthusiastic than ever to align itself with the US by way of regional geopolitical and financial points, on the expense of its financial ties with China.

It’s no secret that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s authorities has been aggressively selling the so-called financial safety idea, with the Japanese parliament in Might passing an financial safety invoice aimed toward guarding know-how and reinforcing essential provide chains.

Some in Japan consider that seizing each alternative to strengthen cooperation with the US and different technologically superior nations will ship it extra benefits within the face of the so-called “financial safety threats” from China. Nevertheless, a extra probably final result could possibly be that Japan’s misguided method could find yourself hurting its personal financial system and that of the area.

For Japan, the prospect to be one of many financial rule-makers with the US within the area could seem tempting, however Japan mustn’t ignore the truth that anybody might be harm by the hegemony of guidelines that prioritize American pursuits.

This 12 months marks the fiftieth anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. After half a century of ups and downs, fruitful outcomes have been seen throughout bilateral financial and commerce cooperation. China has been Japan’s largest buying and selling companion for 15 years in a row, with commerce with China accounting for greater than 20 % of Japan’s overseas commerce. Bilateral commerce in 2021 reached an all-time excessive of $371.4 billion.

Objectively talking, with such a robust complementary commerce construction between the 2 nations, it’s vital for Japan to take care of its fundamental coverage rationality and strategic independence based mostly by itself pursuits and people of the area. There ought to be rational boundaries to safeguard potential financial dangers, as an alternative of politicizing financial cooperation to impress confrontation.

If Japan blindly follows the US in “financial and technological decoupling” from China, it won’t solely significantly have an effect on the secure improvement of China-Japan relations but additionally derail the Asia-Pacific financial integration to a big extent, which can even deprive Japan of additional alternatives in benefiting from regional financial improve. The faltering Japanese financial system can’t afford such dire penalties.

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