Re: A news item and subject which I just want to check out (65) October 28, 2022

This is my last Blog streaming in October. It is feeling like autumn more and more day by day, and I feel the arrival of winter because day light hours are reduced day by day. The shipment time of fruits such as kyoho grape, muscat, persimmon, apple, and pear seem to be staggered depending on the origin of fruits, and I can enjoy various fruits in this time. However, there is a fruit like strawberry which is on sale all year around, and a seasonal feeling depending on the fruit like the old day has faded away.

I picked up news items which I want to check out this week, too.

■How to make the most of the weak yen’s merit:
The yen’s depreciation trend has continued as before, and the Bank of Japan seems to intervene in the market as a line of defense of 1 dollar 150 yen. In this background, there is the strength of the dollar because FRB will not loosen the reins as long as inflation does not subside. In order to mitigate its impact, European countries are trying to raise interest rates to prevent their currencies from depreciating. But euro and sterling pound are staying low.
On the other hand, there are plus and minus in the yen’s depreciation. In the positive side, export industries enjoy the benefits. However, it is not effective as before, because the tendency to move a production base overseas by Japanese manufacturing industry has been increasing, and the trade balance, the difference between exports and imports, is always in the red. The biggest bad influence in the negative side is soaring price of imported raw materials.
In order to cover this, improving service balance using the yen’s depreciation is necessary. For instance, accommodation fees and expenditure on food and drink of foreign travelers visiting Japan, and international transport costs and passenger fares, and so on. In particular, tourism is promising, but it seems to me that China, which accounted for one third of total visitors to Japan before COVID-19, can’t be expected because China maintains a zero-COVID policy, and labor shortage becomes an obstacle.
Anyway, it is pointed out that the background of the yen’s depreciation is an interest differential between Japan and the United States, but more than that, we can’t forget that decline in Japan’s national power, in other words, Japan’s strength to compete in international contests, is bringing the yen’s depreciation.

■National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (from October 16 to October 22):
At this year’s congress, the third term continuation, one term is five years of Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and the president of the People’s Republic of China, has been decided. The surroundings were solidified by the Xi’s faction, and it became a personnel appointment with an increasing dictatorial color. On the economic side, it is said that market-focused talented people were taken out of economic policy line, and the pressure on the private sector will intensify. Xi’s leadership has announced the policy of “strengthening antitrust laws and preventing uncontrolled expansion of capital”. Last year, a huge fine was imposed on Alibaba, the world largest electronic commerce company, for violating the antitrust act. This arose from the incident that president Ma of Alibaba criticized government policy, and then Xi’s leadership issued a national philosophy called “never forget that the communist party exists, in other words, reigns and rules, above you” as a concreate message. There is concern that freedom and vigor of private sector vitality like now will be suppressed.

■Frequent traffic accidents in which elderly people over 65 years old are involved:
Traffic fatalities in total have tended to decrease recent years, and according to the National Police Agency, the number in 2021 was 2,636 the lowest in statistical history. Incidentally, compared to 16,865 in 1969 which was the highest on record, the number decreased by about 84%, and the number has been below 4,000 recent years. In this background, severe penalties for drunk driving, penetration of safety awareness, widespread use of accident prevention equipment, and so on are pointed out. However, there is no end to traffic accidents in which elderly people are involved.
①Accidents while walking; The number of accident deaths while walking in 2020 was 941 in all age groups. Among these, elderly people were 723 which accounted for 96.7%. This number increased by 10.2% compared to 2011, and record high in the last ten years. As the reason for this, cases of walking other than pedestrian crossings and crossing a road diagonally seem to be noticeable.
Incidentally, among accident deaths while walking, seven years old child was the most and prominent 25 consecutive years from 1994 to 2018. The main reason seems to be that “stop” traffic sign is difficult to enter the child’s field of view, and the meaning is not fully understood. We have to pay special attention to this point.
②Increase of accidents on the job by elderly people; Amended act on stabilization of employment of elderly persons was enforced in April 2021. In addition to securing employment opportunities up to age 65 which has been already required, the act imposed an obligation on the company to make an effort to enable elderly people to work until the age of 70. With such increase in the employment of the elderly, the numbers of accidents on the job involved have been increasing. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, casualties over 60 years old were 38,574 in 2021. The numbers increased by about 1.3 times compared to 2017, and falling accidents are the main cause, and the occurrence in manufacturing industry and retail business are prominent.

≪P.S.≫ There was an article that both the chief executive officer and the current president heavily criticized for management skills of the former president who had retired and left the company about the succession issue at a major company’s financial results briefing the other day. I have no way of knowing the actual situation, but from a prospective that “isn’t it you who chose?”, I was impressed that making a public statement that ignores the personality of the other person in this way is exactly “spitting to the heavens”. They are certainly great as the top management, but I felt that they should be “rich in human nature” before “the great top management”. In other words, I think that it is necessary for them to “be respected” not to “be feared”. This is just my personal view.

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