Monthly Archives: October 2014

Tokyo Live: Everything’s relative – Japan’s official 3.6% unemployment rate in September is seen as bad. Most of the rest of the world can only dream of achieving such low unemployment. The current job-to-applicant ratio is 1.09. Yes, that means that there are more jobs available than there are job seekers.

Two portfolio managers are leaving Dalton Investments to launch their own pan-Asian value strategy. Tony Hsu (ex-Goldman Sachs) and Yuya Shimizu (ex-Moore Strategic Value Partners) are setting up OTS Capital in Hong Kong.

Tokyo Live: While Western media talks about a growing nuclear opposition in Japan, Japan is starting to get back to nuclear business. Yesterday the town of Satsumasendai in southwest Japan voted to approve the restart of two nuclear reactors operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co.

Tokyo Live: Yesterday Japan’s Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot discriminate against pregnant women by demoting them or denying requests for lighter work. Another step in the right direction to abolish “maternity harassment” in the workplace.

According to Eurekahedge, Asia ex-Japan focused funds were the only regional mandate reporting net asset inflows during the month of September. They have returned 6.66% YTD and are on track to outperform their global peers.

Tokyo Live: Hedge fund managers visiting Tokyo are asking about the likelihood of the second increase in consumption tax being implemented as planned in October 2015. It seems as if the market participants have already priced in the increase and thus any delay in implementation may actually cause more of an impact than an already expected increase.

Tokyo Live: Somehow Japan needs to produce more babies without the mothers dropping out of the workforce. The number of childcare places in central Tokyo has increased dramatically as part of the Abe government’s aim of increasing the female participation rate in the workforce. Quality is, however, very uneven and for childcare places for the youngest children there is still more demand than supply. Well, it’s a start and a big step in the right direction for Japan’s economy but still some way to go.

Tokyo Live: Taiwanese investors are everywhere. The Taiwanese interest in acquiring Japanese assets remains strong. Tokyo has already seen a strong wave of real estate investments by Taiwanese investors. Other parts of Japan, such as Okinawa, are now also seeing increased interest from Taiwan.

Tokyo Live: Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke was in Tokyo yesterday. He said that BoJ is “making a tremendous effort” with a “very aggressive programme”. Bernanke sees a strong commitment by the BoJ and the Abe government and thus he remains optimistic of Japan’s efforts to fight deflation.

Introducing Tokyo Live: a new information service from HFC Advisory Group. Tokyo Live is focused on quick and short information based on anecdotal evidence from the streets of Tokyo. Real Japanese insights from real people on the ground. What’s the mood like? What are people doing? What’s going on?