The Year of the Rat might sound negative to Western ears, but actually these furry charmers are supposed to bring wealth. They are admired for their industriousness among other traits.
There are mixed predictions for the Japanese economy this year, but “not bright” seems to be the consensus.
Having noted all the reasons for the gloomy predictions, let’s focus on a couple of more optimistic points:
- There is the feeling of a New Deal in the air, with even the Keidanren saying higher wages would be good for re-kindling domestic demand.
- There appears to be a desire to re-enter the economy among those Freeters who chose not to join it through the traditional Salaryman route 10 years ago. An example is the transfer of ownership of convenience stores to their Freeter managers under franchise deals.
There is a push from both ends to get things moving domestically, which should help to counter the potentially negative influences from the global economy.
I leave it to Grumpy Old Pedant to expound on matters demographical should the whim seize him.
Wishing you success in 2008