Re: What I think about through recent news (60)  September 16, 2022

 ■Various feelings about the season:
Hot days are continuing in the daytime as before, but in the morning and in the evening, I feel like it’s fall already. A life of Queen Elizabeth who passed away some days ago, the scene in the United Kingdom, and so forth are being reported every day. When I keep my eyes on the press, I feel the difference of the climate between the United Kingdom and Japan, because people over there seem to wear long sleeves.
And in the eastern United States, high temperatures from fall and early winter are called as Indian summer, but the origin of a word is unknown. Fall deepens from now and it becomes a fall leaf season. There are a lot of places changing leaves colors all over Japan, but the fall leaves which I will never forget are leaves in the New England region, especially Massachusetts having the large city of Boston, New Hampshire, and Vermont. And the best season to see the fall leaves is around from late September to the middle of October. A distance between New York and Boston is about 360 km, and it takes about one hour and quite near if you take a convenient shuttle flight, but if I you drive a car, it takes about 5 hours. But once you see splendid fall leaves scenery of this district, it will not go away from your eyelids for the rest of your life, and places are certainly worth seeing. Incidentally, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and was constructed in 1630. There is Freedom Trail which is about 4km walking course in relation to places of the history of founding of the United States and the war of independence. In the east coast, there are old cities like New York and Philadelphia besides Boston, and because they have a lot of roundabouts where the road is radiating in the European style, I often experienced that I did not know where I was running when I drove my car.
By the way, the food in Boston is seafood after all. There is a famous restaurant called “Union Oyster House” established in 1826 in downtown, and it is said that this restaurant is the oldest one in the United States. And the number 18 table on the second floor is a seat loved by late President John Fitzgerald Kenndy, and the memorial panel is displayed. I still remember it fondly that about more than 40 years ago, when I visited it together with my family, my daughter sat the seat and pointed to the plate. Of course, the typical dish is lobster. The larger one is more than 2kg, and American people like the melted butter sauce with it, but we loved Japanese soy sauce, with which we always carried, with it. I also recommend New England clam chowder soup. This restaurant is the one that I would like to visit again. My memories not only of fall in Japan but also fall in the United State are endless.

■Cause for concern about the world situation:
The world is being attacked by fierce inflation now. One of the biggest reasons is soaring raw material and fuel prices such as oil, natural gas, and so on. Resource prices have had a tendency to rise for a long time, but the thing which hit the fire is invasion to Ukraine by Russia. At present, the Ukrainian military is turning to fight back, and it is said that the land taken by Russia since the beginning of Russian invasion on February 24 this year was recaptured to a large degree. But I don’t think that President Putin admits this situation and withdraws without much resistance.
Propaganda effects on high approval rating of President Putin if I look at the results of local elections, and on top of this, I think that it is not easy to calm down citizens with fires in nationalism. On the other hand, in Europe like Sweden and Italy the rise of right-wing forces is conspicuous, and their policy towards Russia is different from the policy in the past, and there is a tendency to prioritize domestic interests.
How to unite G7 from now on is being questioned. This greatly affects world politics and economy.

■Business and economic situation in Japan:
According to Bank of Japan, corporate goods price index in August (preliminary figures, 2020 annual average =100) increased by 9.0% compared to the same month last year. Exceeding the same month last year is 18 months in a row. Soaring resource prices and the lowest yen value in 24 years can be considered as this background. The problem is that speed of passing the rise of corporate prices on to consumer prices is slow compared to Europe and the United States. There are about 2.6 million business operators in Japan, but 99% of them are small and medium-sized enterprises, and employees of small and medium-sized enterprises account for about 70 % of the total employed population. Under such industrial structure, passing raising prices at the large enterprise level on to the last consumer prices does not progress. This is not sound in liberal economy. As this background, it is pointed out that there is excessive competition between enterprises and the price bargaining power weakness of medium-sized enterprises for large enterprises. Without improving this structure, if the government continues to execute application measures such as temporary subsidies and benefits, it is just an antipyretic effect and it does not improve constitution. And the country’s debt is only going to grow. It is necessary for the whole country to cope with fundamental structural reforms by all means.

≪P.S.≫ I have received a report of medical checkup undergone last week. Fortunately, overall assessment was “nothing special to note” the same as last year. Inspection items are CT (chest, belly, heart), head MRA and MRI, neck MRI, echo (belly, heart, thyroid gland, carotid), stomach camera, tumor markers, and so on. Considering that I will be 80 years old next month, it was “a good reputation”. Fortunately, there was no brain atrophy and I also cleared dementia test successfully. It is not that I feel safe, but I will continue to carry out an annual medical checkup.

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