Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Abe Agonistes

Apr. 09, 2018 3:28 PM ETUUP, FXY4 Comments
Marc Chandler profile picture
Marc Chandler


  • Abe is mired in couple of scandals.
  • Japan is not exempt from US steel tariffs, but a 1/3 of its steel exports to the US may be due to their specialty nature.
  • The dollar may have bottomed against the yen, but may be in a JPY105-JPY110 range.

These should be good days for Japan's Prime Minister Abe. After being punished in local elections, Abe recovered to push back a challenge by his former defense minister and now governor of Tokyo. He reappointed Kuroda at the helm of the Bank of Japan, breaking from a 50-year tradition of one-term BOJ head.

The Japanese economy is enjoying its longest expansion in a couple of decades. The threat of deflation has been arrested, and in February Japan's core inflation stood at 1.0%, the same as the ECB's core measure, though it is calculated quite differently.

The US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. Abe had belatedly seen how TPP could further his own domestic agenda. Although many thought this ended the Obama Administration's "pivot to Asia," Trump's stepped-up efforts to confront North Korea and China offers much for Abe to like.

Still, there has been divergence. The US did not step-up its confrontation until North Korea claimed the ability to strike the US homeland, even though treaties obligate the US to regard on attack on Japan as the same as an attack on it. Japanese officials are concerned that in bilateral talks the US may sacrifice Japan's interest to secure a deal.

Several countries have been given exemptions, some permanent and some temporary, from US steel and aluminum tariffs. Not Japanese producers. It may be more of a political insult than an economic injury for Japan. While Macron and Merkel, who will visit the US later this week, will seek an exemption for EU members, Japan may pursue a different set of tactics, allowing Abe to focus on security issues when he calls on Trump next week.

The US is the destination of less than 10% of Japan's steel exports. Asia is home to 805 of Japan's 38 mln

This article was written by

Marc Chandler profile picture
Marc Chandler has been covering the global capital markets in one fashion or another for 25 years, working at economic consulting firms and global investment banks. A prolific writer and speaker he appears regularly on CNBC and has spoken for the Foreign Policy Association. In addition to being quoted in the financial press daily, Chandler has been published in the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post. In 2009 Chandler was named a Business Visionary by Forbes. Marc's commentary can be found at his blog (www.marctomarket.com) and twitter www.twitter.com/marcmakingsense

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.