Shinichiro Tsukada says his small plastering company in Tokyo wouldn’t survive without the 22 Chinese and Vietnamese workers who make up half his payroll. “They’re treasures, real treasures,” he said. “Workers are disappearing as our population ages. Buildings cannot be built because there aren’t enough workers. We have no choice but to allow them into the country.” Across Japan, hotels, farms and construction sites are feeling an intensifying labor crunch as the worker pool shrinks and demand rises ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That is prying open the country’s restrictive immigration policies, which until now have only allowed a trickle of so-called unskilled foreign workers into the country. But authorities are treading carefully because immigration is a delicate subject in Japan. Although public attitudes are slowly shifting, there is widespread concern that an influx of foreigners will upset the social order, increase job … [Read more...] about Demand for foreign workers may soften Japan’s immigration rules
Immigrants help the economy
IMF warns US fiscal, trade policies create risks to global economy (photo AFP) The tax cuts will generate a near-term boost to growth but also "will elevate the risks to the US and global economy," and increase the size of those risks, the IMF said in its annual review of the US economy. Meanwhile, the punitive import duties the US has imposed and threatened could harm the world economic recovery by "catalyzing a cycle of retaliatory responses" and interrupting global supply chains, the report said. On the eve of an expected White House announcement of the list of perhaps US$50 billion in Chinese goods that will be hit with 25 per cent tariffs, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said trade wars had no winners. If there is tit-for-tat retaliation from US trading partners, which they have threatened, there will be "losers on both sides," Lagarde told reporters. 'SERIOUS' ECONOMIC IMPACT And that outcome would have a "serious" economic impact on the US and global economies, she … [Read more...] about IMF warns US fiscal, trade policies create risks to global economy
Half of the ASEAN+3 economies are projected to grow at a slower pace in the next two years, reducing the region’s overall growth rate, reports the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). ASEAN+3 includes 10 ASEAN economies and three other large economies---China, Japan and South Korea. Seven of the 13 economies that are predicted to grow more slowly in the next two years include the four East Asia economies besides Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia---the leading economies in the ASEAN region. The GDP (gross domestic product) growth rates for these economies range from 1.3 per cent to 6.6 per cent in 2018 and from 0.7 per cent to 6.4 per cent in 2019. Among them, China is seen as the strongest growing economy while Japan is considered the weakest as AMRO slashes its growth forecast for Japan from 1.3 per cent in 2018 to 0.7 per cent in 2019. AMRO predicts the GDP growth of the ASEAN+3 block to reach 5.4 per cent in 2018, down 0.2 percentage points from 2017. Two economies … [Read more...] about ASEAN+3 economies to grow slower in 2018-19
Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd arrives at 10 Downing Street in central London on Apr 25, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Tolga Akmen) The resignation of one of May’s closest allies is a blow as she navigates the final year of negotiations ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union in March 2019. It also deprives the cabinet of one of its most outspoken pro-European members. In a resignation letter to May, Amber Rudd said she had inadvertently misled a parliamentary committee last Wednesday by denying the government had targets for the deportation of illegal migrants. May accepted her resignation. For two weeks, British ministers have been struggling to explain why some descendants of the so-called "Windrush generation", invited to Britain to plug labour shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, had been denied basic rights. The Windrush scandal overshadowed the Commonwealth summit in London and has raised questions about May's six-year stint as interior minister before she became prime … [Read more...] about British interior minister Rudd resigns after immigration scandal
As he rubs shoulders with leaders of the world's other major economies, Donald Trump is in a bullish mood about the U.S. recovery even if there are clouds on the horizon. "Stock Market at all time high, unemployment at lowest level in years (wages will start going up) and our base has never been stronger!" the U.S. president tweeted at the start of a week which ends with his attendance at the G20 summit in Hamburg. "No matter where you look, the economy is blazing," he said in a July 4 Independence Day speech, a day before heading to Europe. Trump, who frequently complains the US media refuses to give him credit, can point to some heady figures since his unexpected election which was greeted gleefully on the stock markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 17.2 percent since last November's election, while the broader S&P 500 gained 13.7 percent, and the tech-dominated Nasdaq 18.4 percent. Banking stocks in particular soared amid promises the sector would … [Read more...] about Trump bullish on ‘blazing’ economy but whose recovery is it?