Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano on Sunday expressed his optimism that Japan's current economic growth will continue beyond the autumn of this year and turn out to be the longest postwar expansion.
In a television program, Yosano predicted that the ongoing growth will easily outlast the previous record of 57 straight months of expansion through July 1970, known as the "Izanagi" boom after an ancient Japanese god. A new longevity record will be set if the current expansionary phase continues until November.
Yosano said Japan's economic growth rate is expected to exceed 2 pct in fiscal 2006, suggesting the possibility of an upward revision to the government's forecast of 1.9 pct growth for the year that ends in March 2007.
Meanwhile, Yosano criticized Internal Affairs Minister Heizo Takenaka for arguing that a 3 percentage point hike in the consumption tax rate, currently at 5 pct, would be sufficient to rebuild the tattered state finances.
If Takenaka is to insist that a 3 pct hike is sufficient, he should provide evidence to back up his argument, Yosano said. (Jiji Press)
April 17, 2006 (Mainichi Daily News ／ Japan National News)
I agree with Yosano's optimism that Japan's current economic growth will continue, but I think we must be careful in two points.
First, a longer span current economic growth doesn't always mean that people's life is better now. That is because a current economic growth just means that the current economic is better than that before. If the current economic growth is longer than Izanagi boom and becomes the longest expansion of Japan, Japanese People's family budget will be likely not good. So we should not be glad at this Yosano's prospect.
Second, an economic growth rate expected by the government cannot be believed. Japanese government has ever expressed a little higher growth rates than the appropriate rates expected for the real economic many times. The present government may release also too high rate in order to make people think Japanese economic will keep on growing and to prevent them from criticizing the government. That is why we are demanded to have the ability to know the real economic by ourselves.
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