Japan and energy-saving period under Kishida: NATO to reality

Japan and energy-saving period under Kishida: NATO to reality

Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan continues to enjoy his foreign trips to incite against China and the Russian Federation. However, in Japan, people are disturbed by price increases on foodstuffs, the deteriorating yen against the dollar, the spurting economy, static wages, the mountain of debt, the low birth rate, pension worries, and other important areas.

During his trip to Europe (G7 meeting and the NATO conference), Kishida made grand statements concerning the threat of China and the Russian Federation. At home, he equally appeals to increase the military budget by 100 percent. However, in reality, the mega mountain of debt means increasing the military budget from 1 percent to 2 percent of GDP in one go will put enormous strains on the economy.

Thus on his return to Japan, the reality of the problems facing this G7 nation is abundantly clear. Hence, Japan is now entering a three-month period to conserve electricity. If this isn’t achieved, then power problems will blight the nation during the height of summer and put further strains on the economy.

Unusually high temperatures in late June are exacerbating the threat of energy shortages. Despite this, Kishida adores his never-ending recent travels and being in the international limelight. Thus when leadership is needed concerning increasing hikes of foodstuffs, the yen in freefall against the dollar, the convulsions of sanctions on the Russian Federation, and other important issues – Kishida seems aloof.

Aging thermal plants are also causing problems. Likewise, Japan’s response to nuclear power plants since the Fukushima crisis began over ten years ago is slow and cumbersome. Sadly, all too expected under the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – the same concerns the slowness of digitalization, not tackling the low birth rate, over 20 years of static wages for vast numbers of people, three squandered economic decades and other areas that are neglected time after time.

Kishida’s anti-Russia policies might also put further strains on Japan. This concerns the announcement that the Russian Federation will set up a new business operation to manage the Sakhalin 2 oil and liquefied natural gas project. Hence, with Japan getting just under 10 percent of its LNG imports from the Russian Federation (virtually all emanating from Sakhalin 2), Japan possibly faces another major problem to overcome concerning the short-sighted policies of Kishida.

Steelmakers in Japan are also expected to reduce production further this month. This concerns power shortages and negative economic activity related to steel products.


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