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NO. 45 — December 5, 1997

 

Feature Article

STATISTICAL PROFILE: INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS OF JAPAN IN 1996

 

Table of Contents

Table 1: Japan's Global Balance of Payments, 1992-1996

Table 2: Japan's Balance of Payments with the United States, 1992-1996

Table 3: Japan's Exports and Imports in Dollar Terms, 1992-1996

Table 4: Japan's Exports and Imports in Yen Terms, 1992-1996

Table 5: Japan's Export and Import Quantum (Volume) Indexes, 1992-1996

Table 6: Japan's Export and Import Yen-Based Price Indexes, 1992-1996

Table 7: Yen-Dollar Exchange Rate Used to Convert Customs Clearance Trade Data, 1992-1996

Table 8: Yen-Dollar Exchange Rate on Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market, 1992-1996

Table 9: Japan's Exports by Major Market, 1992-1996

Table 10: Japan's Imports by Major Supplier, 1992-1996

Table 11: Japan's Trade Balance with Major Trading Partners, 1992-1996

Table 12: Japan's Exports by Commodity, 1992-1996

Table 13: Japan's Imports by Commodity, 1992-1996

Table 14: Japan's Dollar-Based Trade with the United States, 1992-1996

Table 15: Japan's Yen-Based Trade with the United States, 1992-1996

Table 16: Japan's Foreign Direct Investment by Country, FY 1992-FY 1996

Table 17: Japan's Foreign Direct Investment by Industry, FY 1992-FY 1996

Table 18: Foreign Direct Investment in Japan by Country, FY 1992-FY 1996

Table 19: Foreign Direct Investment in Japan by Industry, FY 1992-FY 1996


A Note On Changes In Japanese Government Statistics

Beginning in calendar year 1996 and fiscal year 1996 (started April 1, 1996), the Japanese government implemented several changes in its statistics-reporting practices:

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Weekly Review

YAMAICHI SECURITIES' FAILURE UNDERSCORES JAPAN'S FINANCIAL FRAGILITY by Douglas Ostrom

The problems engulfing Japan's financial sector achieved greater international prominence November 24 when Yamaichi Securities Co., Ltd., the smallest of Japan's Big Four securities companies, announced that it was closing its doors. Although government authorities and company officials insisted that the firm was not insolvent, domestic and foreign analysts assumed that Yamaichi Securities was bankrupt. If so, the failure would be the largest ever of a securities company anywhere in the world and the all-time biggest bankruptcy in Japan. Yamaichi Securities' estimated liabilities are ¥3 trillion ($30 billion at ¥100=$1.00). Customers' assets in the custody of the brokerage house, including stocks, bonds and investment trusts (mutual funds), totaled ¥24 trillion ($240 billion) as of September 30 or nearly three times more than deposits at the largest Japanese bank to fail to date, Hokkaido Takushoku Bank, Ltd. Assertions of the firm's solvency were undermined by a November 24 report that Yamaichi Securities had ¥265 billion ($2.7 billion) in previously undisclosed liabilities; those reduced by more than half the company's claimed net assets.

 

HASHIMOTO COMPROMISES ON GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURING PLAN by Jon Choy

It appears increasingly unlikely that Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto will be able to deliver on his fall 1996 election promise to significantly restructure the central government. So far, he has failed to overcome determined resistance to various aspects of his reform agenda from both government bureaucrats and some members of his own Liberal Democratic Party. Armed with recommendations from the Administrative Reform Council (which he chaired), Mr. Hashimoto has been trying for months to convince the bureaucracy and the governing LDP that Tokyo must change to meet the new demands and realities of the country's current level of economic development and global responsibilities. Although the battle is not yet over, proponents of drastic reform find in recent events scant cause for encouragement.

 

HASHIMOTO RESPONDS COOLLY TO CLINTON'S ECONOMIC ENGINE PROPOSAL by Barbara Wanner

President Clinton urged Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto November 24 to revitalize the Japanese economy through domestic demand-led growth and market deregulation. He suggested that Tokyo's failure to do so in a timely, meaningful manner could affect the economic future of Asia as well as exacerbate U.S.-Japan relations. Despite the acute problems that Mr. Hashimoto faces at home in the wake of a string of failures in the financial sector and a stalled economy, Mr. Clinton pressed his counterpart during a 45-minute one-on-one meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia to implement policies that would enable Japan to serve as the engine for growth in economically troubled Asia. The two leaders were in Canada for the November 24-25 summit of the 18 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (see following article).

 

NEWS FROM SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN CASTS CLOUD OVER APEC SUMMIT by Eric Altbach

Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia November 24 and 25 against the backdrop of more bad economic news out of South Korea and Japan, leaders from Pacific Rim nations tried to reassure jittery investors around the world that Asia still has strong potential for growth and that the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum remains committed to trade and investment liberalization. As foreign and trade ministers from the 18 APEC member countries were gathering for two days of meetings preceding the annual summit, word came that an economically struggling South Korea had requested help from the International Monetary Fund. Moreover, just as the summit started, Yamaichi Securities Co., Ltd., one of Japan's Big Four brokerage houses, closed its doors.
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Notes

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