The Japanese economy’s Goldilocks state continues, in which everything seems ‘just right’: modest but steady growth, a tight labour market, high corporate profits and elevated share prices. But there have also been notable developments on the ‘three bears’ that threaten to come home and disrupt the good fortune that Japan is still enjoying.
Japan continued its longest run of economic expansion in almost three decades, registering robust growth of 1.7 per cent throughout 2017. Public opinion pointed to Abe winning a third term as LDP president, leading him to declare 2018 a year of action on constitutional revision.
While the economic good news continued, domestic and foreign policy developments were more challenging.
Immigration remains a contentious topic as Japan looks to deal with is shrinking demographics and economy
Japan is now fully embarked on navigating a course through the economic and national security minefield that lies between the United States and China.
It is important for Japan and China to accelerate the positive trend to ensure bilateral relations do not cool again
Factions in the LDP became an integral part of political life under Japan’s LDP-dominant system of government, and will be crucial to Abe's re-election.
Can Japan resist the temptation to make dirty concessions and keep to its globalisation strategy?
Japan has found itself assuming new and unusual leadership responsibilities in the Asia Pacific as it deals with the rise of protectionism in the United States and parts of Europe.
Japan is moving too slowly to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
On 17–18 April 2018, US President Donald Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The pair’s personal rapport was emphasised throughout Abe’s visit to the United States.