Re: My various impressions in the New Year January 7, 2022

 I would like to wish you a happy new year. I kindly ask for your continued cooperation.

I am so glad that a new year 2022 ended in peace without big accidents and disasters. I had been working at transport business nearly 40 years till the end of last June, and the first day of the business in the new year in those days was to confirm that there is no accidents nor disasters during the end of the year and the beginning of the year. My feelings are the same as before. In addition, during this season risks are getting higher such as roads are shut down due to damage from snow at cold districts, and traffic accidents and jams occur at various places. Under such circumstances, I try not to forget that truck drivers regarded as essential workers are working desperately day and night in order to carry out their duties which are life lime supporting daily life and economy.

And when I turn my eyes on at home and abroad, I regret to say that the biggest topic this year is still corona virus infection, and Omicron variant is spreading very quickly all over the world. Under such circumstances, the opening of Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games is getting closer a month later, on February 4. In addition, Eurasia Group, research company in the United States, reports that the head of world major 10 risks this year is the failure of ‘Zero Corona policy in China’, and world economy and political situations of various countries are getting unstable.

And as the second risk, it is reported that influence of big IT companies is getting stronger worldwide. According to the newspapers, market capitalization of Apple reaches 3 trillion dollars (about 350 trillion yen), and only Apple is closer to the half of market capitalization of companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2182 companies), that is about 734 trillion yen as of December 30 last year. Total market capitalization of these five companies is over 10 trillion dollars (1150 trillion yen). Worldwide money is rapidly flowing into the United States. Of course, there are many dangerous factors too. However, during 30 years till now nominal GDP of the United States has increased about 4 times, and on the other hand Japan’s nominal GDP is only 1.4 times (Even 1% annual growth in average makes 1.4 times for 30 years). And stock prices in the United States (NY Dow) have risen about 10 times, and the Nikkei Stock Average (28,791 yen as of December 21, 2021) is still 26 % lower compared to the last highest price (38,915 yen on December 29, 1989).

The big reason why there is a significant difference between the United States and Japan is existence of information and high-tech industries (IT, AI, DX and so on) such as GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft), and presence of potential ability producing such industries. The important thing for Japan right now is that we humbly accept that ‘Japan is no longer one of the world leading countries’ in the public evaluation at home and abroad, and government, bureaucracy, business, and private sector have to try to change their way of thinking, and think about how Japan, which has no resources except capable persons, will survive in the international society in future, and maintain national power and daily life.

And another thing lying on my mind is not only Upper House elections in Japan in July this year, but also midterm elections in the United States in November this year which is ranked as the third risk by Eurasia Group. At present, the Democrats holds a slim majority in the Upper House (50 +chairman1vs50) and in the Lower House(221vs213). At the next election, one third seats of the Upper House and all seats of the Lower House will be reelected.

For the time being, severe unfavorable wind for President Biden (the Democrats) is expected. And if the Democrats loses a majority, enactment of bills presented by the Administration is far from certain, and he will be lame duck during the remaining about 2 years tenure. This may cause serious influence on not only the United States but also international politics, economy, and security.

In addition, I will be 80 years old and in this sense this year is a turning point for me. As far as I am fine, I will try my best not forgetting one stanza of Mr. Samuel Ullman’s poem ‘Youth’ as a free ground. I do hope you will continue to give me further guidance and encouragement.

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