business in Japan


“Japan is back.” In uttering this dramatic statement on 22 February 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared his intention to shake the world’s third largest economy out of two decades of debilitating deflation and anemic economic growth. Dubbed the ‘world’s greatest economic experiment’, his policy of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reform saw the Japanese stock market rise by 57% in 2013.


For good reason, the Japanese economy is receiving a lot of intention at the moment. Observers of Japan have many questions: How are Japanese businesses responding? How is this impacting the yen’s value? What will be the effect of the impending rise sales tax rise? Can Abe’s third arrow of structural reform hit its target? Aren’t Japan’s economic problems due to its ageing populating anyway?


In this article we look at a few resources you can use to answer these questions and keep up with business in Japan and market news.


  • Nikkei Asian Review (English language) – The Nikkei Asian Review is perhaps the premier English language publication on business and economic news on Japan. Previously known as the Nikkei Weekly, the Nikkei Asian Review has long been a go-to resources for investors interested in Japan.
  • Wall Street Journal: Japan (English language and Japanese language) – How could we talk about financial journalism without mentioning the Wall Street Journal? WSJ:Japan contains well researched and well written articles on the Japanese market in Japanese. WSJ:Asia similarly contains excellent coverage in English.  Although access to most content requires a subscription, for the serious observer of Japanese markets the articles are worth their cost.
  • Itou Youichi’s Round Up World Now (Japanese language) – Round Up World Now is a long standing and influential weekly podcast and radio program in which esteemed financial commentator Itou Youichi analyses economic and political developments in Japan. This is an excellent no-cost resource for Japanese language students desiring to expand their vocabulary to include economic terminology.
  • East Asia Forum (English language) – The East Asia Forum offers analysis and research on politics, economics, business, law, security, international relations and society relevant to public policy in East Asia.  Each week a number of articles are published on the East Asia Forum by scholars from a wide range of educational institutions across Asia. This is a particularly good resources for analysis of Japan’s negotiations regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the free trade agreement between Japan and Australia which is expected to be signed in the middle of 2014.


Did you find these resources useful? Are there any publications that you would like to recommend? Please share your knowledge by contacting us at Asia Options.


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Will Barker is a lawyer in the Brisbane offices of a global law firm. He has studied abroad in Japan and the UK and represented Australia at a number of international youth diplomatic conferences.

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