Jobless rise awaits Japan's new leader
Saturday 01 August 1998
On Thursday, Taichi Sakaiya, the new director-general of the Economic Planning Agency, had described Japan's jobless level as offering some cause for comfort, observing that it was "still lower than those in some European countries."
The latest figures, released just a day later, show Japan closing the gap with Britain (4.8% in June) and the US (4.5 per cent).
Acknowledging that the time left for action is now "not very long", Mr Obuchi indicated on Friday that he was willing to stay in power only until the economy is revitalised, according to Tokyo spokesman. His official term in office is due to expire next September.
Mr Obuchi added that he will be ready to leave once he is sure that the measures he has adopted are effecting a revival of the economy.
Hinting at strategy, he also mentioned that people should be prepared to suffer some bankruptcies in the banking sector. On Thursday, new finance minister Kiichi Miyazawa had said that the government planned to submit six bills to the current parliament session that would include a "total plan" to bail out banks.
Japan's jobless rate, which had been steady at 3-3.5 per cent for the past three years, broke the 4 per cent barrier in April, standing at 4.1 per cent in both April and May.
The jobless rate among women, meanwhile, reached a post-war high of 4.2 per cent in June, a 0.3 per cent increase from one month earlier.
The latest figures show 2.84 million people out of work in June, an increase of 550,000 from one year earlier. The Labour Ministry added to the gloom by announcing that the ratio of job offers to job seekers dropped to 0.51 in June, the worst figure since January 1978.
The jobless downturn is likely to intensify calls for the speedy introduction of permanent tax cuts, of up to 10 trillion yen, and a cut in the consumption tax, possibly to its earlier level of 3 per cent - the two measures regarded as most critical to the creation of new jobs.
The top priority, however, will continue to be dealing with Japan's bad loans, totalling in excess of $600 billion.
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 2 Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Nazi gold train: 'Significant' discovery made in Poland
Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
TTIP controversy: The European Commission and Big Tobacco accused of cover-up after heavily redacted documents released
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sale...
£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...
£20400 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and highly reputable organisat...