Japan Yen hits 24-year low: LDP, “no vote,” and crushing of democracy

Japan Yen hits 24-year low: LDP, ”no vote,” and crushing of democracy

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) emerged in a stronger position after the Upper House election. However, unlike “fake news” being spread in the international and Japanese press, it wasn’t a resounding victory. 

On the contrary, 48 percent of people did not vote despite the brutal murder of the former leader Shinzo Abe – and politicians stressing “democracy will not be beaten:” because tens of millions of people in Japan are disenchanted with the political system and the LDP family elite governing chain. Therefore, after three squandered decades and twenty years of static wages – along with many sons of past LDP political elites ruling the country: the only sure thing in Japan is LDP rule (dominated power for 67 years apart from minor spells) and the debt mountain continues to grow. 

Hence, within only one day of Kishida emerging with a strengthened political hand, the yen hit a new 24-year low against the dollar when it reached 137. In a parallel universe, you would think Japan was under economic sanctions and not the Russian Federation concerning the weakening of the yen against the dollar. However, the market response sums up the situation in Japan – no change apart from growing nationalism under Kishida, more Japanese Government Bond buying by the Bank of Japan, and the masses not expecting any hope of innovation after more than three decades of mismanagement and propping up the Japanese stock market via the taxes of ordinary people. 

China, Japan, North Korea, and Singapore are one-party states by stealth – two nations are openly authoritarian (China and North Korea), while Japan and Singapore utilize the democratic system under one dominant party. Thus the killing of Abe had nothing to do with being an attack on democracy – the killer killed Abe because of his strange worldview of linking his family with the Moonies (Unification Church). Therefore, the “real crushing of democracy”concerns the LDP controlling power and endless sons of former political elites rising to the top. 

The opposition is also to blame. It is too divided – and new parties often splinter after petty political squabbles. Hence, despite Kishida achieving nothing – for example, more debt, declining yen, the next Covid-wave just began, food price increases, energy price increases, destroying ties with the Russian Federation, and other negative policies – his LDP party still came out on top of the Upper House election. 

(Yen to Dollar rate in the last 12 months – huge weakness under Kishida)

Japan is blighted by the highest ratio of debt in the world. This concerns the endless mismanagement of the economy by the ruling LDP. Not content with this, the government is involved in the unhealthy buying of Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) via the Bank of Japan (BOJ) – while the BOJ and the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) hold roughly one-eighth of the market capitalization of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (the First Section).

In June, the BOJ bought a staggering $120 billion in Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) to protect its policy of minimal interest rates. The BOJ owns roughly 50 percent of all JGBs long-term debt. This equates to just below 529 trillion yen – just below 4 trillion dollars. 

NHK reports, “There are worries that the bank’s increasing assets may have serious repercussions on the financial market, when the BOJ shifts to tapering its monetary easing policy.”

Amazingly – despite over three decades of endless abuse of the taxes of ordinary workers – the LDP continues to not only run the political show: it is also increasingly interfering in the stock market, while the BOJ buys JGBs like no tomorrow to increase the cycle of debt.

Hence, a moribund banking sector for ordinary people to expect a modicum of small profit because the interest rate is pointless. Thus Kishida’s “new capitalism” is yet another conjuring trick of the ruling LDP. One moment, the statement was “greater distribution of wealth.” However, it turns out that Kishida’s “new capitalism” is aimed at the asset-owning class. 

However, given the weakening yen, the recent downturn of the stock market despite government manipulation, a paltry housing market outside certain minor areas of growth, and a moribund banking sector for savers – then outside heavy investors who utilize the international system, how will ordinary people be enticed to risk the wealth they have internally? 

Japan needs fresh innovation, new non-family elites within the ruling LDP, strong opposition political parties, and the freeing of the economy from the burdensome meddling of the state apparatus. If not, another squandered decade awaits – along with the low birth rate that threatens future convulsions. Therefore, while Kishida seeks to double the military budget despite the horrendous economic headwinds of debt and increasing prices; a new approach is needed that opens up the economy, politics, and where the banking sector provides a modicum of return based on normal interest rates that generate capital – rather than a mundane banking sector that is stifled by the LDP debt trap. 

Family political elites like Kishida need to be thrown into “the dustbin of non-democracy and consigned to history”– along with the mindset of state control being defeated. If not, the future of Japan remains bleak!

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