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Mon, December 4, 2023 | 22:41
Abenomics doomed
As the Japanese currency continues to strengthen, Abenomics, Japan’s economic agenda based on a weak yen to fight deflation and boost exports, is faltering. The yen hovered above 120 yen against the U.S. dollar until January after hitting a low of 125 last June. Last week, however, the 110 yen-to-the-dollar barrier was shattered, and the yen might surge below 100.
Worsening fiscal health
National debt is growing rapidly as government officials apparently stand around looking on with folded arms. Given the inevitable rise in welfare expenses, it's long overdue for the government to take extraordinary efforts in order to regain financial soundness.
Offshore tax evasion
An independent online news outlet reported Monday that the eldest son of former President Roh Tae-woo established three paper companies at an overseas tax haven. Newstapa said Roh Jae-heon, 50, set up the three firms in the British Virgin Islands in May 2012, raising suspicions that he may have attempted to evade taxes.
Probe of prosecutor
Jin Kyung-jun, head of the Justice Ministry’s Korea Immigration Service, offered to resign Saturday over suspicions that he pocketed huge gains through the sale of his Nexon stock. In a statement, Jin said, “I registered all my fortune according to the relevant law. But I didn’t know that that would fall short of meeting people’s expectations.”
Monetary easing dispute
Controversy over a Korean version of quantitative easing (QE) is heating up. On Tuesday, Kang Bong-kyun, co-head of the ruling Saenuri Party’s campaign committee, made the monetary easing pledge, saying, "Monetary policy must be conducted in such a way as to provide money to where the credit crunch is serious.’’
Battle for chip supremacy
China is gearing up to create a world-class semiconductor industry. On Monday, XMC, China’s state-owned contract chipmaker, broke ground in Wuhan, Hubei Province, for the first Chinese-owned 3-D NAND flash chips factory at a cost of $24 billion. Earlier, Tsinghua Unigroup announced a plan to invest $30 billion to build memory chip plants.
Uproot job inheritance
The youth unemployment rate hit a record high of 12.5 percent in February amid a global economic downturn. At a time when it is increasingly difficult to obtain decent jobs, ensuring fair and transparent recruitment is only natural.
Trump's ignorance
Since entering the U.S. presidential race, Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, has shown a shallow knowledge of foreign policy. His ignorance about East Asia, in particular, has been a major cause for concern to South Korea, which is always under a serious security threat from North Korea.
Brace for the worst
President Park Geun-hye on Thursday ordered the military to beef up security in response to North Korea's recent repeated threats. "Park instructed the military to be fully ready to cope with the North's reckless provocations," said a presidential spokesman, adding that she also asked for all citizens to pay heed to possible emergency situations.
Defeating terrorism
A series of bomb blasts caused carnage and chaos in Brussels on Tuesday, killing at least 34 people and injuring more than 200 others. At 8 a.m. two explosions occurred in the departure area of Brussels Airport. About one hour later, another blast rocked the Maelbeek Metro Station in the heart of the city, leaving 20 dead and injuring 100 others - 10 seriously.