Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
EU parliament approves 'world's largest' free trade deal with Japan
The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove duties on almost all agriculture and industrial products as well as open up the service sector and procurement. It also moves to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade.

"Almost five centuries after Europeans established the first trade ties with Japan, the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will bring our trade, political and strategic relationship to a whole new level," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"whole new"? hmm, I've only gone back to the Edo period ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 06:22:17 PM EST
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Japan passes controversial new immigration bill to attract foreign workers, 7 Dec
"inescapable demographic pressures"

archived temp staffing
Shrinking Japan OKs Divisive Bill to Get More Foreign Labor
"two categories of workers would be accepted: less-skilled workers and former interns ..."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 06:35:52 PM EST
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While the demographic crisis is real in Japan, it drives me nuts every time I see stories about "the desperate need to import foreign workers" without mentioning the fact that more and more Japanese young people are being caught in a no-win treadmill of minimally paid contract work and brutal overtime, and the withdrawal from the labor force that this causes - not that hard when so many young people live with their parents well into their 20's anyway.
by Zwackus on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 01:50:03 AM EST
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"Demographic dramas": one would think a nation like Japan would be particularly able to gracefully degrade with the size of it economy and demand. Alas. Surplus labor is always in fashion for one, really only one, reason --to depress wages and circulation, to support the store of value in retained earnings, capital invested generations ago. For what it's worth Japan hasn't reported GINI index in close to a decade, but it's looking forward to a flush which will not be re-distributed.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 07:04:06 AM EST
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Family and kids require a decent financial basis, especially in the Eastern (sexist/patriarchal) Yin-Yang family culture. Miserable working prospects alone could explain the demographic slump itself.
by das monde on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 11:05:20 AM EST
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This is certainly why the Italians have been reproducing less than any other 'advanced' democracy for decades now.
They love kids too much to subject their future to the crazed whims of their lunatic governments.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2018 at 03:51:21 AM EST
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Kanji of the year reflects disasters that battered Japan in 2018
Deadly earthquakes, typhoons and a record heat wave that wreaked havoc across Japan prompted the public to vote for "wazawai," meaning disaster, as the kanji that best captures their sentiments about the year now passing.

The kanji of the year was announced Dec. 12 by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.

The organization received 193,214 entries, of which 20,858, the largest number, were for wazawai. The character is also pronounced as "sai."

by das monde on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 11:09:03 AM EST
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