Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Pay attention to the risks from soaring energy prices"

(AFP) - Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa delivers a speech in Tokyo on July 18. Japan's central bank chief warned Friday to pay attention to the risks from soaring energy prices, saying that policymakers underestimated the impact of the oil shocks in the 1970s.

I found the above (brief) quote on News On Japan. There are no further links, no way to find out what else Mr. Shirakawa said. Isn't it strange that the World's second largest economy is not better prepared to broadcast its views on the internet, in languages that people in the rest of the world may understand? Or do Japanese people also not care what the Bank of Japan Governor says?

I think he has got it right, so let us try to find out what else he thinks.

Update: The Bank of Japan has an English website, where updates are not done in a normal, timley fashion, but rather randomly. How cute.


www.japaneconomynews.com said...

The Bank of Japan's English updates are actually done in a very regular fashion, just quite a bit behind the Japanese ones.

The Bank itself does a quarterly standard of living survey. I don't know if they even bother translating this one to English, but they ask people how they feel about the BOJ and what it does. In the most recent survey, 3.8% reported that the BOJ's policy explanations were easy to understand, and this figure has been on the decline.


I doubt the BOJ is really relevant enough globally to have all of its materials translated quickly. The news agencies get the most usable quotes and it's usually a month or so before a full translation of most reports comes out. Most of what is said in their reports changes very little from month to month.

nznzman said...

Does the American govt publish everything in Japanese and French?

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks for the comments. I was looking for his July 18 statement both on the Japanese and English websites, and couldn't find it.

As for translations, I think they are very important. Today is July 22, and the latest statement by Mr. Shirakawa was published on June 9, from a meeting on May 22 - exactly two months old.

Anyway, it was the first time I tried to find something on the BoJ website.

www.japaneconomynews.com said...

Martin, I agree with you fully. I do think it would benefit the Bank of Japan greatly to have its statements translated more quickly (especially since the BOJ Policy Board notes are nearly the same every month - I don't get what takes so long to get them out).

If you're looking for timely quotes in English beyond the usual soundbyte, there's only one real source: Nikkei Net Interactive. It's not free, but the subscription is very, very worth it if you're watching that kind of stuff in Japan.

Here are some links to the July 18 quotes. I can't copy and paste them here, but shoot me an email and I can - you know...


Pandabonium said...

From what can find he is simply looking at "high" oil prices as a temporary situation. He wrote a paper in 2001 about how central banks should respond to things like oil shocks (sorry I can't get a copy at this time).

He also wrote a book which was published last month: "Modern Monetary Policy in Theory and Practice: Central Banking and Financial Markets", a review of which is here:

A slightly more informative report on his speech than the brief quote you found is here:

It doesn't look to me like he sees the big picture with regard to resources and is just using past BOJ policy and its results to formulate current policy. Nice that he is trying to learn from history, but too bad he doesn't understand the fundamental change that is underway with resource depletion.

Martin J Frid said...

Much appreciated.

My question was related to what he thinks will happen to Japan as oil prices remain high (and will continue to go up). Does he think economic growth will continue under this new paradigm?

Pandabonium said...

I don't think he realizes it's a new paradigm and will just adjust central bank reaction based on past (temporary) oil shocks.