Taro Aso

Japan panel warns of dangers of debt mountain

Finance Minister Taro Aso (right) and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have been warned not to assume to assume that domestic investors will keep financing Japan’s ballooning debt. Photo: AFP

A Japanese government panel warns there is “absolutely no guarantee” that domestic investors will keep financing the country’s massive public debt, citing the risk of a spike in bond yields that could crimp long-term growth prospects, draft report seen by Reuters shows.

Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 1:21pm

Japan never had smooth ties with China, says deputy PM Taro Aso

Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso in New Delhi. Photo: Reuters

Japan has never in the past 1,500 years had a smooth relationship with China, Japanese deputy prime minister Taro Aso was quoted on Sunday as saying during a visit to India.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

How they see it

Yasukuni shrine

We have to wonder what the Shinzo Abe administration has in mind when it comes to Japan's strained relations with its neighbours. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and two cabinet members visited war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

28 Apr 2013 - 5:02am

Shinzo Abe should stay away from Yasukuni shrine

Yasukuni Shrine

Japanese politicians have a simple enough calculation when deciding whether to honour the country's war dead at the Yasukuni Shrine. To go is an act of nationalism that will win points with right-wing voters, but it is guaranteed to further damage already inflamed relations with China. The more than 170 cabinet ministers and members of parliament who in recent days have made the visit showed how little they regard good ties with Beijing. Amid fresh tensions over the Diaoyu Islands, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would be foolish indeed to follow their lead.

24 Apr 2013 - 3:14am 2 comments

Japan policy sparks Davos fears of ‘currency war’

Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa (left) and Finance Minister Taro Aso in Tokyo. Photo: EPA

Japan’s controversial new economic policy emerged as one of the hot topics at this year’s Davos forum, with talk of currency wars and strong rebuttals from Japanese officials.

The new government in Tokyo, led by Shinzo Abe, has pushed the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to step up efforts to battle nearly two decades of deflation and sluggish growth in the world’s third-largest economy.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

A bad week for … , January 27, 2013

Taro Aso

Taro Aso

Japan's deputy prime minister has a reputation for speaking his mind. But he would have perhaps been wise to keep his mouth shut at a meeting on social security. Aso, who is also the finance minister, urged the country's ill, elderly people to "hurry up and die" to save on government health spending. He swiftly retracted his remarks.


27 Jan 2013 - 1:51am

Aso retracts 'hurry up and die' gaffe

Taro Aso. Photo: Bloomberg

Taro Aso, Japan's deputy prime minister, was forced to deny that he advocated the elderly should "hurry up and die" to save the government the cost of providing medical care for them.

The 72-year-old Aso, who has a reputation for speaking insensitively, was addressing a meeting on social security issues on the burden imposed by prolonging patients' lives with treatment.

22 Jan 2013 - 5:03am

Japan minister pledges Myanmar debt relief, loans

Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso (left) talks with Lower house speaker Shwe Mann (right) at the parliament on Thursday. Photo: EPA

Japan’s new government will stand by pledges to waive Myanmar debt and extend new loans, its finance minister said on Thursday on a visit to boost economic ties.

4 Jan 2013 - 11:29am

Japanese finance minister leads push into Myanmar's market

Myanmese President Thein Sein meets Taro Aso. Photo: AP

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso met Myanmar's president and senior officials yesterday in a sign that Tokyo wants to tap a market of 64 million people that has been dominated by neighbouring China.

The trip to Myanmar is Aso's first official foreign visit since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet took office last month.

4 Jan 2013 - 4:14am

Briefs, October 7, 2012

Taro Aso to discuss territorial spat in Seoul. Photo: Xinhua

Rebel leader captured at Quezon City hideout

7 Oct 2012 - 2:42am

Japan's Aso ‘to meet S.Korean leader to mend ties’

Former Japanese prime minister Taro Aso. Photo: Xinhua

Former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is planning to meet South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in a bid to mend ties soured by a territorial dispute, a report said Saturday.

Relations between Tokyo and Seoul were badly damaged in August when Lee made a surprise visit to the Dokdo islands, which lie between the two countries. Japan claims them as the Takeshima islands.

6 Oct 2012 - 2:46pm

Japan's security concerns are those of the Asia-Pacific

With all eyes on a rising India, an awakened China and a roiling Islam, we tend to take good old solid Japan (still the world's second-largest economy) as a given. But it's a mistake: these are times that try Japan's soul.

28 Jul 2009 - 12:00am

Summit big on promises but short on solutions

The two-day, 43-nation Asia-Europe Meeting closed yesterday afternoon in Beijing with plenty of promises to boost co-ordination and co-operation but few concrete measures that would immediately offer nations the tools needed to combat the financial meltdown.

The 'no-action' scenario was exactly what analysts had expected.

26 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Japan's political road to nowhere

BBC World News announced the bombshell within 25 minutes of it happening: Yasuo Fukuda had resigned. But then it struggled to understand why. Its Asia-Pacific online editor, clearly scratching her head, suggested that the Japanese prime minister had been hurt because millions of pension records had gone missing.

6 Sep 2008 - 12:00am

Japan's bitter prospects after Abe

Shinzo Abe has finally acknowledged his deep unpopularity and decided to resign as Japan's prime minister. But the timing of his announcement offered a final, telling example of his lack of leadership. That Mr Abe checked into hospital the next day suffering from stress and exhaustion spoke eloquently about the political chef who could not stand the heat in the kitchen.

15 Sep 2007 - 12:00am