Ghost Of John Maynard Keynes Haunts Japan’s Economy

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the prime … [+] minister’s official residence in Tokyo on October 4, 2021.

TORU HANAI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

When Fumio Kishida became prime minister last October, few of us longtime Japan observers expected much at all.

Yet the 64-year-old has been surprisingly present and, dare I say, productive as Covid-19 does its worst, China pushed its weight around and Russia invaded Ukraine. On this last one, Kishida was quick to sign on to sanctions and remind the globe Japan is a vital democratic player.

The bad news, though, is that Kishida’s economic ambitions have been, for the most part, a dud. That is evidenced by news that factory output fell for a second straight month in January. It fit with other indications that hopes for an economic rebound this quarter are sure to be dashed.

The good news here is that Kishida has it in…

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